New Zealand Tour 2008

How to speak Kiwi in an hour - arrival in Hamilton

Kia Ora to all

First a bit of news that has reached us on the grapevine which may interest some readers.

Remember Stuart who came on the Prague trip - he was the one sharing a room with that funny vicar from Dobcross.

Well, I’ve heard that Stuart’s lovely wife Julie is expecting again, so congratulations from New Zealand Stu & Julie from us all - anyone who wishes to send a greeting of their own will find his e-mail address above.

If it’s another boy here are some names you must avoid - Brett, Lee, Matthew, Hayden, Michael, Clark, and Shane. You have been Warned.

We have now reached Hamilton on North island and it’s goodbye to South Island for this trip. We rounded off the tourism bit with a visit to Fox Glacier, which mustn't be confused with its "inferior" local rival glacier at Franz Josef. The locals are justly proud of their giant ice cube especially the tourist income it brings in and the publicity cites a list of statistics to prove it is better than Franz Josef Glacier, who do the same no doubt. They are both the bloody same.

On leaving the freezer department we drove to Greymouth, which can best be described as looking like it sounds, and caught the Tranz Alpine express to Christchurch for our flight to North Island.

It seemed as if every event in our journey came together on that train. Not only were our friendly kiwi shirt wearing Aussies on board, but as I walked down the train to the viewing carriage at the back it was my great misfortune to run into the whingeing Aussie OAP holiday party coming to the end of their trip wrapped in blankets to keep warm (inside a closed compartment) ." I think I’ve seen that Pom before somewhere!"

And so we arrived in Hamilton which, we had been warned, was like the back of beyond with no redeeming features. Dermot Reeve was on our flight which seemed to back up this dire prognosis.

So it was that on arrival at our motel we were pleasantly surprised to find excellent accommodation with a 42inch plasma screen TV. When we ventured out that evening we found excellent restaurants selling huge meals. And some very good bars too. Jack Simmons and Billy Bowden were present when we ate at the Lone Star restaurant (surprising for flat Jack, as they don’t sell steak & kidney puddings) and we spoke to both -- perhaps more civilly to Jack than Billy, given some of his recent decisions against us.

It was George’s birthday (70 I had been told by an anonymous source - oh go on then - it was John Hatton from Guernsey) and he kindly paid for our excellent meal, although it proved impossible for the writer to finish the Desperate Dan sized pile of spare ribs served up.

George is in fact only 61, John Hatton from Guernsey please note, and upon hearing this good news Simon and myself kindly allowed him the honour of washing the pots before we went to cricket the following morning after a fry up breakfast cooked by Simon, whose cooking methods involve more pans and lubricant than Gordon Ramsay. How George enjoyed this. You could tell by the waves of good vibes and pleasantries emanating from the sink area.

I have a message for George's servants on Guernsey--you had better start looking for other jobs when he gets back guys and gals. In fact the local NZ washing up liquid company are now thinking of using him in a commercial:

Cute child

"Uncle George, why are your hands so soft even though you wash all these greasy pots and pans"

Uncle George

"F**k off and go play on the railway line you little tw*t"

I thought you might all find it interesting and educational to learn how to speak Kiwi - its actually very easy!

Just substitute letter I for letter E, and substitute letter A for letter U and you have cracked it, or at least crucked it. Example:

We say ' Fleming went to bed at ten to seven'

Kiwis say ' Flimimg wint to bid at tin to sivin'

We say ' Bread and butter'

Kiwi's say ' Brid and batter'

Its easy when you get the hang of it.

Simon who you may remember is a groundsman went on a pitch inspection as usual after day 1 of the test. When he came back to the motel he exclaimed " The groundsman here has a lovely dick".

As we could speak Kiwi we knew exactly what he meant straight away but I bet to some of you it sounds a bit strange.

If you have been watching the cricket on TV you probably don’t need me to tell you how turgid it has been thus far.

We allowed the Kiwis to rack up 470, then used up 95 overs ourselves scoring a measly 199 runs the following day - must admit I thought those days had gone forever. All the England batsmen got starts then threw it away with the exception of Collingwood who got another terrible decision today from Harpers Bizarre.

To be honest it was more interesting watching the interaction between the two sets of supporters.

That is, the Barmy Army and Gullivers - because there sure aint any locals here.

As it’s been very hot I’ve taken to spending at least an hour in the Gullivers stand after they come back from their free lunch. They usually all wake up at about the same time the BA start singing on the other side of the ground. Conversation goes like this:

"Darling, I was just dreaming of my National Service in Singapore when those louts woke me up. It was so peaceful before they started'

"Darling" doesn’t reply but simply continues to nibble daintily on her smoked salmon canape and sip Earl Grey tea, glaring with curled lip in sheer disgust at the inebriated specimens on the other side of the great divide.

And who thought the class system no longer existed in the UK?

On day 3, two of the Gulliver’s people --who are dressed in a pale blue "Gulliver’s brand uniform" -- (it looks like Eastlands on matchday when they all sit together) braved it and came to see the specimens on the other side of the ground for themselves.

They were greeted with the following:

' Your Gullivers socks

Cost more than my tour

Your Gullivers socks cost more than my tour etc etc'

Repeat ad infinitum with pants, shirt, hat and you get the message.

I don’t think the poor dears will leave the safety of their stand again in a hurry!

The commentators box is behind the sightscreen and yesterday I was talking outside there with a Kiwi guy who was collecting autographs, photos etc. As we spoke Sir Geoffrey B approached carrying a copy of Wisden and his carrier bags and the Kiwi thrust his camera into my hands, asking me to get a picture of him with Sir GB, to which I agreed if Sir GB did also. He duly approached the great man with the request.

'What, now?? With all this stuff?? Oww all right then gerrover ere' (the worst spot in the ground for the photo) and the great man thus took control and improved his average once again.

Honestly this man could turn a lemon sour.

Another amusing interlude yesterday when a local schoolteacher brought his kids to see the Barmy Army.

At 4.45 pm what a mistake to make. I can only assume this was a field trip on 'The effects of alcohol on herd instinct'.

First, the teacher was regaled with the Arsene Wenger song, which I shall not utter here (more Lord of the Rings, fans!!)

Then, it was " You’ll be back to school tomorrow, but we'll be on the p*ss".

Not subtle. And I must confess I don’t fully understand their latest epic but I will utter it here....

"Dan Vettori, Dan Vettori, Harry Potter in disguise
We would rather steal your glasses than poke you in the eyes"

I haven’t seen the films but assume Harry Potter has to visit the optician at some stage.

That’s about it for now but I feel it would be remiss of me not to offer some advice to Steve Harmison based on his recent displays - please go home. Call this a Broad hint if you like.

A recent text message I received from Nick McNally says it all...........and I fully agree.

"There once was a young man called Steve
Who just didn’t seem to believe
He ran in half hearted
And often got carted
The ball took an age to retrieve"

Nuff said.

Regards, Al

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