Visiting Hawkes Bay, Dragon Stalking and battling the Storm

You know someone loves you very much when they will drive for 1000 km (there and around and back) so you can go and watch your team play another team in a sport you are not particularly interested in.  But Brett did exactly that for me last weekend.  He’s a keeper I tells ya.

Watching sport of any description is not his favourite activity, but fortunately there are always good eats and drinks and most of the time the sun seems to shine whenever we go to the Bay.

If you look really closely
Snow on these hills – if you look really closely

As usual the Bay delivered, and we definitely got the sunshine and some great eats and drinks.

We are very lucky that whenever we are down this way, we get to stay with lovely hospitable friends Julie and Jim.  Who not only know the restorative powers of a stiff gin, but Julie is a fantastic cook (getting the impression there was lots of eating and drinking on this trip because trust there was)

On Saturday we went to one of my favourite restaurants.  Ten Twenty Four. it consistently delivers delicious food in a fun way.  I can thoroughly recommend choosing their R&D (research and development) menu and just placing yourselves in the hands of the chef.  Fabulous.


Tentwentyfour dessert
Ten Twenty Four dessert
Crazy feijoa bubbles
Crazy feijoa bubbles

After our delicious eats, I thought it would be a good idea to go for a run.  It wasn’t, a 3 course lunch and matching wines does not put wings on your feet – just saying.  But hey, how else were the good citizens of Napier going to see my Dragons shirt.

Beach at Napier
Beach at Napier
Photo stop aka breathing stop
Photo stop aka breathing stop

Before too long it was time for the big game.  We were lucky enough to be staying at a great place, the Pebble Beach Motor Inn, which was only a hop, skip and a jump from Maclean Park.  A couple of interesting – well to me – observations

  • the guys running the Pebble Beach Motor Inn were absolutely thrilled that a League game was on, and in they would have discussed League for ever
  • one of them may have referred to me as the perfect woman for coming to the game – who am I to argue?
  • Maclean Park was originally a League ground, and then as League went through a decline in the region, Rugby took over

It was a cold but clear night, perfect for a game of footy and a tub of chips and a hot dog, which did not rate on the gastronomic experience at all.  But once again thanks to Brett for queuing up for the longest time and making sure there was enough sauce on them chips.  I had the important job of getting the wine and having my photo taken with the Four Nations Trophy.

Yay the Kiwis own this piece of silverware
Yay the Kiwis own this piece of silverware

Then it was game time.  My boys lost.  It was sad.  In my humble opinion they were a bit unlucky, a couple of calls didn’t go their way.  And someone may have wanted to leave before the end of the game.  But as I told Mr Brett, if my boys have to stay out there, the least we can do is stay and support them till the bitter end.

I had a great time regardless, I sat by a Maori woman who was a Storm supporter and a real wag.  There may have been streaking dares, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

At the match
At the match

So all in all, a great night, despite the result. Nearly 15 000 turned up and a really good atmosphere.  Plenty of Storm supporters there to back local boy Tohu Harris, who did play really well.

Unfortunately life isn’t all good eats, stalking your team and being told you are the perfect woman.  (Although I probably do get more than my fair share of these activities if I am quite honest)  At some stage you have head back to the big smoke, which is what we did the next day.  But we did get to see a beautiful sunrise and have a yummy breakfast at Emporium  before we hit the road.

Sunday Sunrise
Sunday Sunrise
Emporium in Napier
Emporium in Napier

The trip home was uneventful, but it was nice to see when we got home that Brett had purchased a new form of transport for me.  I told you he is a keeper.IMG_2669As I write this, the Dragons are playing the Knights and I am following the match online.  Full time whistle has just gone and a win by 22 points over the Knights.  Good times.  7 wins in a row, then 7 losses and now a great win.  Whoop Whoop.

I am a bit sad however, because it has just been announced that Heath L’Estrange hasn’t been signed for next year.  I know he was hoping for one more year.  But it isn’t be.  I really like Heath because he is such a character, he gives his all on the field and is a real family man.

Next week is going to be interesting because the Dragons will be taking on the Warriors in Wellington.  Both teams really need the win to stay in with a chance for the finals.  I am going to head down to Wellington to watch the game.  So that probably means the Warriors will win, based on how helpful my support is to the Dragons.  But hey that’s ok.  I win either way.

If you have managed to battle through that sports/eating/travelogue, just a couple of comments on events that have been in the media this week.

Adam Goodes – there have been some excellent articles about why this great AFL player and former Australian of the year has been constantly booed and derided by spectators and some in the media.  They are well worth a read.


And no we in Aotearoa shouldn’t get all smug about this, when a Fijian player left the field in tears after the abuse he suffered in Christchurch (and I know most of us think – well that’s the dick heads of Christchurch) but it isn’t acceptable ever.

My great grand dad William Thomson was half Maori and represented Waipa and Waikato for rugby early last century.  Apparently one of the reasons he stopped trialling for representative teams was because he got sick of being called nigger.  People shouldn’t have to be still dealing with this crap more than 100 years later.

And the T.P.P – Trans Pacific Partnership.  I don’t know what’s in it, because apparently it is too important and too serious for the people of New Zealand to know the details of. Even though is sounds suspiciously we will be signing away our sovereignty to big business.  Thank Zeus is didn’t get signed this time around in Hawaii and maybe the New Zealand public get more a chance to see what is actually in the thing, and what it really means.

There is so much I don’t like about Seven Sharp and it’s host. Mike Hosking.  To me this clip demonstrates it perfectly.  Mike crapping on, loving the sound of his voice.  His co host basically saying it all seems hard for my brain to take in – blech.  But he gets totally owned by Professor Jane Kelsey, who in a few minutes lays out a few pertinent facts that make more sense than the whole line we are being fed by our “glorious leader” and his minions.

Take it away Professor


Have a great week everyone, and just for the record I don’t find the idea of a Maori Language Month boring at all.  Just another thing to add to the reasons why JK and I are incompatible list.


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