One procrastinator problem – (there are a few) – is you can start writing a blog about events and then a month later you realise you haven’t finished it and no one will even remember what you are going on about. But you have actually invested at least half an hour of quality time on the thing, so you are extremely reluctant to hit the delete button.
So I haven’t, instead, I want you all to climb into the Natty time machine and pretend it is the end of August not September. You all look great by the way, so much younger, and still so wise and knowing.
This blog is a major love fest and thank you to my whanau and the Warriors. My whanau, because we all had such a wonderful time away in Sydney and the Warriors because they were able to make Mum super happy for her birthday, and helped score some major brownie points with Mummy McConnell – thanks team you are awesome.
Mum was celebrating a big birthday this year, and she decided she didn’t want a party instead she wanted me, Lauren and her good friend Francine to join her and Dad over in Sydney for her birthday weekend and watch the Warriors play. She is a super fan, which isn’t always easy, especially when you live in a rural community. Every time they have a loss, some smart arse is ready to tell her how useless they are. But she is never one to back down from a challenge, and quite simply she loves them. Especially Manu and Konrad.
I took the liberty of contacting the Warriors marketing team and mentioning it would be Mum’s birthday ,and as we would be heading out to Campbelltown to watch them play the West Tigers and would it be possible to a send a card or something for her.
Well Georgina from the membership team did a sterling job. This is the card that she put together. When I saw it, I got teary (disclaimer I get teary at everything – including the movie Cinderella, which I could only watch on the plane until the wicked stepmother turned up)
It was just perfect. Far more than I was expecting. That is what I call looking after your fans. My only job then was not to lose it before we arrived in Sydney. Which obviously I didn’t but I had made a copy of it – just in case.
When we arrived at our Newtown, Sydney New South Wales, Australia digs, where we were going to stay for the weekend we found both Mum and Dad were seriously ill with this awful flu bug that has been going around. It was terrible. They were both so looking forward to birthday weekend and they were so unwell. I felt ill, just looking at them. (not that it is about me all the time apparently)
Sister Julie had gone to a lot of trouble to plan a whole range of activities, and it looked like the only activity would be gathering around a sick bed.
In the end, Sister Julie took Mum to a doctor, who wisely prescribed fluids, rest, and mild celebrations. So while we scaled a few things back, we did manage to have 2 great outings. The first was to Wentworth Park for the Greyhound races. What a lot of fun. It is a great facility and really central – right in Glebe. I also discovered that Lauren is very good (scarily good in fact) at placing bets, working out odds etc. I just enjoyed picking doggy number 6. So every time Lauren placed a bet on my behalf she got a hard time from the lady behind the counter. I am good like that.
Sunday was birthday/game day. Sister Julie drove us out to Campbelltown. Mum was ready. No one was going to have to guess which team she was supporting.
FYI Campbelltown is a quite a drive from Newtown. Sister Julie drove us there in a Rav 4 she had rented, and then organised us the best seats in the park. Just back from the field and sitting by other Warriors supporters. She is good at this stuff. She even provided an amazing lunch – which beat a half cold hot dog any day
It was a gorgeous afternoon. In fact Sydney really turned on fabulous weather for the weekend. The sun was shining and everything. Which it hasn’t bothered to do in Auckland for the longest time.
Having the best seats ever meant we were sitting close to the Warriors management team, including the CEO Jim Doyle. Mum thinks he is a great guy (she’s right he is) I went and asked him if would mind coming and saying hello. He not only came over, he chatted, had his photo taken, and asked Mum who the young lady was. He’s good I tells ya. I was super impressed with how genuine and nice he is is. A great CEO.
Unfortunately the Warriors did not have a good time. The Tigers thrashed them. And they didn’t qualify for the top Eight* – boo 😦
We didn’t care, the birthday girl was happy, the Warriors did score a couple of tries and we even got on TV, someone had to be in the obligatory happy flag waving shot after all.
While we were sitting in the sunshine, watching our boys. Vicky and Lauren worked their arses off preparing a fantastic birthday dinner. One of the many advantages of having a Greek sister in law is you will never ever starve. Just providing one leg of lamb and a bushel of potatoes is considered skimping and simply won’t do.
We arrived back to Chez McDag for fabulous eats and drinks. And I can confidently say Mummy McConnell had a birthday to remember. We did get her a present, but honestly we needn’t have bothered, her couple of excursions and the card were the definite highlights.
Possibly Lauren being locked in the boot of the Rav 4 following the celebrations and no one remembering she was there was a lowlight. But hey, nothing a couple of years of therapy won’t remedy.
All in all a fabulous time was had, and we definitely know and appreciate how lucky and blessed we are as a family to have time together doing things we love, even if some of us get ill or get left in the boot of the car. And Warriors you didn’t have a great season, but you do know how to look after your fans, and there is one family of supporters who love your work.
Right as you were – back to the end of September, Daylight Saving has started. The weather is fabulous, about time too. And the Grand Final is on this Sunday. I am definitely hoping the Cowboys can ride the Broncos out of town, but I do suspect the Broncos will be hard to beat.
*My Dragons did though – first time since 2011. And they were picked to be wooden spooners this year. You did great.