All Black all the Time

The World Cup for rugby is being held in New Zealand. Their national team, the All Blacks, are an obsession with everyone here. They took Canada to the wood shed last night on the tele. We watched the match which included lots of kicking, pushing, scrumming, running and there was probably a pinch in there somewhere too. We don’t understand the rules but one fellow told us most people don’t. What was that penalty for? Who knows? It often involves a scrum. That is where both team face off in a big circle and push each other. There is a goal line, there are extra points. But the scrum is the most entertaining to me. And all the leg garb. These guys adorn their legs with all kinds of stuff. Bandages? suspenders? bands of elastic? long socks. And probably a long list of ortho-type bands. Their shorts are fairly short so you can admire their muscular legs…thigh rich. Many wear gel in their hair. There are tattoos and they sport facial hair, both long and short. There isn’t a “typical” look in the fashionista department. It is very interesting. The fans paint themselves up and wear funny wigs. Quite a party. Quite a sight. And very, very big. As you drive these mostly uninhabited hills (not counting sheep, of course), you will see All Black signs on fence posts, tacked to trees, on mailboxes. You name it. And the All Blacks have a logo of a fern. Go figure. Haven’t asked for an explanation yet. But, it is intriguing. It almost more fun that knowing….I suspect. Oh, and one other thing. Before the game started, the teams faced off each against each other in the middle of the field. Then the Canadian anthem was played. Then the NZ anthem was played. Then the All Blacks stuck their behinds out by flexing their knees, raised their arms half way and grabbed their elbows. Then they started chanting and dancing and at the end of their “routine”, some of them stuck their tongues out. OMG. Too funny.

So. Today we met Keith, the man in charge of the farm while the owner of the farm is globetrotting. Keith is a very big man. Looks like he could throw a lamb across the farm if he put his mind to it. What a gentleman he is…and very, very tech savvy. Was explaining how they can use gps to keep up with cattle. But on a more elemental level, he explained why they cut the tails off the sheep…which he is going to demonstrate tomorrow and we’re give it a go as the engaged tourists that we are.

You know, I think we are the only nation on earth that uses garbage disposals. Here, however, we are keeping our scraps to feed to the chickens. They love all scraps according to Keith. We did have a delightful visit with Keith. And he has a dog and when he left the house to go tend to things, he ordered his dog up. Up to the top of all-terrain vehicle they use to motor around the 1700 acres here. So…here’s big Keith revving up the ATV and his dog is riding on the back and off they go. That’s the last we saw of Keith today…he was very busy.

But I digress. Duncan, the son of the farm owners, met Keith at the house. Such a great guy. He’s the one that fixed the battery problem yesterday. So, we got a chance to thank him before he jumped on his motorcycle and went with Keith to bob tails and other stuff.

So while Keith and Duncan, drove off into the sometimes sun, we got ourselves ready to go wine tasting. It was forecasted to rain today and we thought…why not wine taste. And so we immediately got lost. This upset me (so unlike me). For some reason the fact that we didn’t have a map with us really got to me. Only we did but we forgot we did because we were so busy getting lost. OMG. How does this happen? We don’t know. If you have ideas, we’re all ears. But be nice, please…Anyway, we drove and drove and drove and all we saw was sheep and cows. We did not see any vineyards. So we consulted the map that we had not forgotten…and we turned left and then right…and lo and behold, we were still lost. At long last we found Highway 2 and turned left. The thing about HIghway 2 is that it led back to Waipawa, our home base. So, when we arrived at Waipawa, we ducked into a BP gas station….and explained that we had been driving around looking for wineries and had yet to find one. One of the customers informed us that Lime Rock was right up the street. She would take us there. We said we were sure we could find it (what were we saying?). She insisted. “Follow me”. She got in the car and then got out of the car and came up to our car. “I know another winery that might be better. I’ll take you there.” Okay, we said. So, she drove ahead of us for about 20 minutes and we arrived on the top of a hill and found an old building that looked like an old hospital. No one was there. So we drove around it and saw a sign that said the winery had moved to the building next door. So, we went there. Nobody. And it was raining. Well, our new friend insisted that she take us back to Lime Rock. So, off we went where we had come from. We turned left at the BP station that we had just been at 40 minutes earlier. Up the road about 5 minutes and we arrived at Lime Rock. There was one car out in front parked in front of a sign that said, ‘Open Nov. thru April every weekend’. We jumped out of our two cars and found the owner inside. Sure he would pour us some wine. We invited our new friend Tina to lunch. We offered her a bottle of wine. To no avail. She was just a wonderful, helpful New Zealander trying to find us some wine. We hugged before she took off.

And then we tasted wine.

Leave Comment