There is no grand idea behind this blog, no real plan or aim to jump on the blogosphere fame wagon, I’m simply going to write about the events I experience paying particular attention to those which I deem amusing, interesting and/or noteworthy. In truth the main purpose it will serve is to save repeating the same conversation, a multitude of times, to my nearest and dearest. So, on that note and to loosely quote Lewis Carroll, lets start at the beginning and go on till we come to an end.
Firstly a word of advice for anyone planning on coming to visit me, get hold of some sleeping pills before you leave, near enough forty hours traveling will go a hell of a lot faster if you can sleep for most of it. Secondly, get to the check in desk early and ask for the extra legroom seats, they are a game changer (yes mother your need to leave ridiculously early finally paid off). Whilst I did manage to get extra legroom for the entirety of the trip, I was without sleeping pills, thankfully however I have the ability to fall asleep almost anywhere, great on a plane not so great when I’m on a night out.
Anyway, on the 2nd March (bare in mind I left on the 28th Feb) I arrived in New Zealand without a hitch and was boarding the last leg of my journey over to the South island; I would later find out this airline is affectionately know as match box airways. Now I’ve travelled on some budget airlines before but having to load my own bag was a first, as was being sat directly behind the pilot like I was in the back seat of his car.
Nevertheless the benefits of this flight heavily outweigh any negatives. Simply put, the views are incredible. New Zealand by air is something pictures cannot do justice. On a clear day as you fly over the Cook Strait via Marlborough sounds and then through Cloudy bay you are greeted by a blanket of vineyards covering the landscape. Welcome to wine country, welcome to Blenheim.
I landed at 6pm on Thursday, which meant I had half an hour until training started. Whilst no one expected me to train and I had fully intended to stand and watch, that quickly went out the window as a game of touch started and I found myself lacing up my boots for the first time on Kiwi soil. As it is still pre-season over here training was heavily fitness based, luckily I’ve already played twenty-four games this season so like to think I’m relatively match fit and completed the session pretty comfortably. Besides the fact I hate standing and watching others train, I wanted to try and shake off the jet lag. I am reminded of an old school coach of mine whom whenever a player went down injured would stand motionless holding the medical bag and shout “run it off”, this is exactly what I was trying to do with the jet lag, run it off.
n.b. running off jet lag doesn’t really work, it was good to blow away the cobwebs after sitting for forty hours but other than that it still took a fair few days for my body clock to reset.
Blenheim itself is an interesting place; a small town sat in a valley, the Wither hills on one side and Mount Richmond on the other. It’s a place I’ve found myself wandering around with my head in the skies a lot. On my first full day I left the house expecting to be out for no more than an hour. I needed to sort the essentials, a bank account, sim card and gym membership. Five hours later I returned. The next few days followed suit, wake up, grab a coffee, go to the gym and then walk. With views that seem to be never ending it’s very easy for a walk to be the same, no rush, no set routes and no maps needed, just wander until you get back to where you want to be.
With just over a week gone-by I look forward to exploring more of what Marlborough has to offer me, both in rugby and lifestyle, although the two seem to go hand-in-hand over here.