Church car park, Wellington. New Zealand
Six degrees of separation disproved in New Zealand! I have long said we kiwis have only 1½ degrees of separation and now it’s been proved. Let me set the scene for the study and outcome:
I recently dragged myself into 2011 and bought a ‘smart phone’ from my mobile provider 2Degrees
I add my Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail and think I’m pretty smart for a senior citizen and as I sail across the Cook Strait on the Kaitaki, then train from Picton to Christchurch on the CoastalPacific I tweet about the trip. How cool is that. However, pride comes before a fall.
I ring the taxi company, the train station and the police – by the time I leave Christchurch five days later it has not been found and I return to Wellington (NZ’s capital) to hunt for my faithful , but discarded, old Nokia. I get a blank SIM card, have it set up with my number, then go home where the answer phone is blinking.
“Hi Heather” a friends voice has recorded, “have you lost your phone? I think a friend has found it. He found my name in it and rang me to see if I know whose it was! Lots of mutual friends then your daughters name, Renée, made me realise it must be yours. Give me call and let me know!”
Sure enough it’s my beautiful new Ideos smart phone – it’s been run over but the man who found it is posting it back . . . not that I have insurance cover . . . but at least I’ll be able to retrieve my friends numbers.
Could you do that with 6 degrees of separation? I think not. Just think: one cyclist finds a phone, checks the names, recognises one and calls her. She recognises my other friends’ names! It sounds like my theory of New Zealand’s one and half degrees of separation has been proved correct.
Now to start saving, again, for a new smart phone. Oh well, it’s a pretty high-class problem when you think of all the problems in the world.
- How to pick the best team to follow in the Rugby World Cup : If you don’t have a particular local team to follow during the world cup colours are a great way to choose one. So, find the team whose colours suit YOU best and become their fan. If black makes YOU look cute, follow the All Blacks. If green and gold are your favourite colours well it’s the Australian team for you as that’s their sporting strip. There are many stripes of red, blue and white. Of course I’ll wear black!
- When the forwards get into a huddle to fight for the ball the technical term is a scrum. Sometimes the “other team” behave badly when in this pack, (cluster or huddle) and have to be sent to the ‘sin bin’.
- Learn history: NZ Rugby started in Nelson – it originated in the mid-1800s, in the UK, when some cheeky bloke called William Web-Ellis picked up the ‘foot’ ball and ran with it: or so I believe!
- For your information: touch judges never touch anyone, and hookers are not REAL hookers – nevertheless, they are very import in the scrum as it’s their job to ‘hook the ball’ away for the ‘other’ team. When they do that they become happy-hookers, although this is not an official rugby term.
- Learn some NEW ZEALAND rugby songs.
- Compare rugby players’ thighs: This tip is from Bearshapedshere whom I met via travel blogs and had coffee with as she set off to travel in New Zealand on a bike. Her advice was to ‘check out the size of the thighs on various players or supporters – if they are big, and they usually are – stand near them to make YOU look petite.’
- Use Numerology: Pick the player to support and follow by his number ( which as you know equates to his position on the field) For me that would be an easy choice, as my local team, (Canterbury/Crusaders ) and the All Blacks #7 is the worlds #1 (Richie McCaw )
- Look sporty: Even if you are not sporty – wear a fashion label that implies you are. I don’t know if Miss World NZ is sporty or not but I took a photo in trendy Rugby Girl clothes – and of course I wear it but don’t look as great as this young woman does!
- Learn the rules and rugby-speak: That will amaze the boys (and other rugby watching and playing girls too) then pick a team (or player) and support them totally: remember they can do no wrong! A sign at the Christchurch Central library – ‘books with balls’ – Well, rugby is a game with balls! The commentators often make (inadvertently) funny comments when talking about balls and you can too.
- Crouch, touch, pause, engage. This is a rugby term used when the forwards get into a huddle to fight for the ball. It can be used as a timing strategy in many situations that need a few seconds countdown. A friend uses it daily in her to get in and out of her apartment
- The three biggest men are put in the front row of the scrum, and the next two biggest get behind (they call these men ‘the tight five’ because they hang onto each other tightly) them and try to push the other team backwards.
- In the ‘olden days’ supporters would call out ‘weight weight’ meaning put more weight into the big shove. My mother embarrassed me by saying “No, don’t wait.’ I don’t think she understood nor had the advantage of a guide like this!
- The ‘backs’ have mathematical terms for some position names – for someone lousy at figures it is not strange that my teenage love played as ‘fullback’ or #15 rather than one of the five-eights. Other names such as ‘centre’ #13 and ‘wing’ (11 & 14) are self-explanatory
- The tight five is a dangerous place to be especially for ears. Many people don’t like cauliflower, and no-one wants their ears to be called that but many front-rowers have them because of repeated hits to the ear. Once this happens, the person’s ear may look lumpy forever. Some wise players try to prevent this by wearing headgear.
- Read rugby history: this link is about the 50 greatest All Blacks: Knowing this will impress your rugby-head mates
PS: unlike the photos, real rugby balls don’t adorn themselves with tiaras and pearls
What were my qualifications for writing this blog?
I can spell Rugby; I’m a girl, and . . .
- I once, briefly, coached a rugby team of 7 or 8 year-old boys
- My husband coached a team ( Shirley Club)
- Buck Shelford is my cousie-bro (for the curious – his grandfather and my mother-in-law were twins) BUT, I’ve only met him once with the Maori All Blacks
- I’m a one-eyed Cantabrian and an All Blacks supporter
- My younger son played for Shirley, and Canterbury in the lowest grade (before losing a leg – from his waist down – through a motor-bike accident when he was 15)
- I opposed the Springboks playing in NZ ( since about 1960) and was arrested and charged in 1981 for protesting
- I’m opinionated and love fun – and these are my best qualifications to write this!
Another from the funny sleeping dogs file, and, I’m sure there must be such a file somewhere!
Wellington ‘on a good day’ is more than just about the weather for me! New to this city, I’m always discovering more to love – here are just some from today (Friday 6th May 2011)
I go for a walk to the library, lunch, and to record a few murals in my Cuba quarter.
I love pics of funny signs, and I took these photos yesterday – in Wellington New Zealand.