June King: Living in the shadow of the big event and the Aussies

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They're in the park ... and on the radio. Photo / Paul Estcourt
They're in the park ... and on the radio. Photo / Paul Estcourt

There in my morning paper, the threat of hoodlums cutting loose from over the Ditch. Coming over here to pick up a dag of the action from this Rugby World Cup thing we're putting on.

Aussie riff-raff crashing in, when we're gearing up seriously for the loaded sort of spectators hoovered in from afar to spend up large and lift us out of our financial messes.

(And help Key and his crowd win the election, as a side-bet as well.)

Honestly, I haven't been following it a lot, but I happen to live near Eden Park and you can't get away from it, the busy fizz of all the goings-on.

And not so long to go now, either. They've been working on the roads and footpaths, and tidying up generally all over town, like opening up that Wynyard Quarter just in time.

And they've started that new bus service that does a loop around the suburbs - the Outer Link, they're calling it. (Hamilton has got the Orbiter, which strikes me as a better name.)

I've done the test-ride of course, since it's free on my Super Gold. Wish the seats were a bit higher though, to get a good look all around, and they've made it worse with those extra pictures stuck over the lower windows.

Otherwise it's the kind of ride where you could take a visitor to catch a bo-peep of the city ... it's even free for geriatric Aussies as well.

The most exciting bit around here is the new McDonald's that some locals made all the fuss about, set to open up in two weeks. A guy working there told me.

I moved here four years ago, traded down from a bigger house, for my old age. Even looked at a unit across the road from Eden Park, where the owner had mapped out the way the sunlight would be affected by the proposed new South Stand. That big? It was hard to imagine, though his line was of it not being that bad really.

You can see it now, of course, from all around. Our own bit of "Cloud" ... or bubblewrap parcel, more like it. From near the supermarket on Dominion Rd anyway.

My son's so close to it that he'll have his road blocked off. He lives on Planet Rugby,but can't afford the tickets to step across the road.

And my daughter's flat is a bit further the other way. She's not that fussed about it all, but a couple of Saturdays back, while just mooning around home, she was taken by a sound coming through the window in waves - the rise and fall of a distant roar ... Eden Park ... the All Blacks and the Wallabies ... So she turned on her radio to hear how it was going.

I had my radio on too, wondering about the score. I've got Sky but not Sky Sports (checked with the remote). Got a good screen to hunker down for the big matches, free on Maori TV, I know that much. Love the haka.

No doubt about it, there's that rivalry with the Aussies - because we know them only too well. They pinch our players and coaches and anything else going loose.

They'll pinch our kids and best workers ... but then, they cop a lot of our problems too. Botany Bay it used to be, for the outcasts of olde England (and Ireland and other grey bogs besides), while our misfits - these days - just move voluntarily across to Oz, for a fresh start in a no-worries sort of place.

And only move back for the rugby. Come to think of it, they are us.

So who's this guy that's bumped up his mortgage to get to the final? Kevin Childs, eh. Kevin bloody Childs. Used to have a cousin by that name, in Dunedin, way back.

The chubby, cheeky one of my Aunty's family where I used to stay at times. On weekend outings in the back of their car (they were rich, had a fridge and washing-machine too) we'd all sing together from my Boomerang Songster, yelling specially loud at the part, "Hallelujah, I'm a bum, Hallelujah, bum again ..."

Maybe it's MY living room floor he's planning to doss down on.

Better get in some pastry to knock up a pie.

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