Friday 2 September 2011: Forza Azzurri!
The Rugby World Cup is almost here and today it 'arrived' in lil' ol' Nelson in the form of a small plane load of the rather nice looking Italians - the Azzurri, Italy's hope for RWC 2011.
An invitation went out to townsfolk to meet at the new Air New Zealand hangar to welcome the players to the town the Azzurri will call 'home' for the next 4 weeks. The plane landed and was towed into the hangar then out from the plane rolled the entire team looking rather good seeing as this was the end of a 30 hour flight! The locals gave them a somewhat boisterous Nelson welcome (Nelson is not renown for it's crowd expression!)
A 'decent' number showed up and I discovered that, if you have a camera with a big lens people assume you're official media and allow you to get to the best vantage points. Bonus! "Who are you with?" "Independent" "Oh - OK" It was fun and it certainly made me consider the possibilities........... ;)
Anyway, the arrival of the Azzurri has made the RWC seem that much more real and imminent. I know it will be a long tournament and I may well tire of it in the early stages but I am actually rather looking forward to the festival atmosphere it should bring. I know it's not everyon'es cup of tea but we don't get big events like this down here too often so I for one am going to make the most of it.
Ciao for now - Forza Italia!!