Discombobulated and Grateful

Yesterday was my last day at Goodman Fielder.  For the last five months I expended blood, sweat and tears – yes I am talking about you Pukekohe Pak n Save, on managing a team, myself, and an infinite variety of grocery products.  Now it is all over, the phone and laptop have been passed back.  I start a new adventure on Monday and I feel strangely discombobulated.

It really is the weirdest feeling.  I actually have no words to describe it.  But I do have some fantastic memories, and I did get to meet and interact with some truly beautiful people, for which I am honestly very grateful

It must be said, some of those beautiful people did not look very beautiful on Thursday morning, after they took me out on Wednesday for a farewell lunch.  I take full responsibility for enabling the badness. But I don’t refer to my colleagues as Wahine Toa for nothing.  They fronted up and gave their very best the next day.  I am just very grateful there is no photographic evidence of the shenanigans.

One of the most humbling things about this whole experience has been the kind words that have been said about me making a difference.  I am really not sure that is the case, all I did was hand out a few chocolates, wrote some notes of appreciation and did terrible things to the rosters and shared drives.  My poor boss will probably age about 10 years taking over my area.

But because she is so very nice, and at this point in time not realising the state of the rosters or the share drives, ahem, she gave me this most gorgeous gift.  An owl for the wisdom I imparted.  I think it is more for what I have gained, but he has a special place up at the Lodge where I can sit in the lounge and look at Mr Ruru and reflect on a most extraordinary and discombobulating 5 months in my life.

A perfect spot for Mr Ruru


My beautiful candle and the obligatory bath selfie

My colleagues also gave me a beautiful present – apart from a sore head on Thursday, a fabulous candle, they thought I could have by the bath.  It will help remind me of the light they brought when I was in a dark place, and how apparently bath selfies are so good for team morale.  Who knew?

But I might not try the bath selfie trick with my new team until I have been there for at least a week.  According to Mr Brett there is such a thing as over sharing and too much of a good thing, so I will take his guidance on that one.

Finally my pick for the game tonight between the Raiders and the Storm tonight really has to be the Raiders, after all I am going to be part of a Green Machine myself next week.  Yay me.








Piranhas vs Eagles

“So Brett, we have to go and watch a League game this afternoon because two great guys are playing.  But I promise we will only go if they are actually playing, and if the weather is good”

Needless to say this afternoon Brett and I spent a wet and windy afternoon on the sidelines at Finlayson Park along with Bill and Romeel who were also on the sidelines – oops.

Piranhas attaching the Eagles

Bill and Romeel are part of a great initiative by Counties Manukau Rugby League to encourage more Asians to play league.  Anyone who has gone to a Warriors game knows the Asian community are huge supporters but they can be a bit reluctant to play.  Hence the Ethnic League.

Here is their description from their Facebook page

The ethnic minorities of Asians and Indians taking the field to show case their skills in the first ever NZ ethnic competition run by Counties Manukau Rugby League. Currently accommodating four teams, Counties Manukau Piranhas, Auckland Wasps, Onehunga Guardianz and the Asian Eagles. Always on the look out for more teams and players for this prestigious competition. Just goes to show no matter what size, gender or ethnicity you are, anyone can play the great game of Rugby League.

And here is an article from the Herald when the league first started


Anyway it just so happens that two great guys that I have worked with, happened to be in opposing teams, and how could I miss the opportunity to watch them run into each other.  Except neither of them actually played and the conditions were not great.  I know plenty of people spend lots of time on the sidelines in sub zero temperatures ankle deep in mud to support their teams.  But not this delicate flower.  I mean there wasn’t a coffee cart,or bar for miles – just saying.

Gumboots required

But while I am a softie, the same could not be said about others.  They were absolutely committed, and showing some great skills under very trying conditions. And that was just the spectators.  The players were absolutely giving their all.  It would have been exhausting.

One of the best things about my role at Goodman Fielder has been getting the opportunity to interact more with the people of South Auckland.  I think I have mentioned this before, but South Auckland is where it is at.  If you want to see what Auckland and New Zealand is going to be like in 50 years time, spend time out here.   And if in 50 years time, we have Filipinos, Indians, Chinese, and other Asian communities out there playing a great game, supported by their families and friends, and maybe some of them making the Kiwis, then people must have been doing something right.  Mind you what do I know, I didn’t bring gumboots with me.

Bill – injured so doing the important job of statistician
Romeel stuck on the sidelines having to have selfies with old ladies
Neo, keen League fan but not prepared to get his paws muddy

Anyway today’s game resulted in a 12 all draw.  So not sure what they means in terms of rankings, but if there is a rematch for the final, Brett and I will be there.  But we will be a bit better prepared – warm hat for Brett’s head if it is a cold day, and a hip flask for the old soak.

Huge shout out to Kasey King from Counties Manukau Rugby League for getting this initiative underway, and thanks Bill and Romeel for encouraging me to come and see what happens when Piranhas meet Eagles