Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: So, this is what happy looks like

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A good week will end fantastically if Emirates Team New Zealand win today. Photo / Abner Kingman
A good week will end fantastically if Emirates Team New Zealand win today. Photo / Abner Kingman

When I told my editor I wanted to write about how great it is to be a Kiwi, he harrumphed.

"Do you really think you should?" he asked. "What happens if the All Blacks get thumped by the Springboks and a miracle happens and Oracle win the two races on Sunday morning?"

Typical response, really. He's an Eeyore, taking a dim and pessimistic view of the world. I'm a Tigger, bouncing around irritatingly, finding life joyful and wonderful.

I assured him that even if Oracle do win it has still been a fabulous week, and not just on the water.

The week began last Sunday with Jock Paget winning the prestigious Burghley Horse Trials, and Andrew Nicholson picking up second and third place with his two horses.

We had another New Zealander in sixth place.

This sport attracts the who's who of Europe and the United States. Millions of dollars are spent trying to win these blue-ribbon equestrian events and New Zealanders made a clean sweep of the top three places.

We've had the joy of seeing a talented Devonport teenager soar up the US music charts - Lorde looks like she's becoming an international star. Later in the week, 27-year-old Kiwi Eleanor Catton became the youngest writer to be short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world.

The Luminaries is her second book and, as a finalist, she finds herself in the company of literary legends Colm Toibin and Ruth Ozeki.

I hadn't got into the America's Cup until Monday, when I accidentally caught the racing on telly. I was transfixed.

Seeing anything done brilliantly is always interesting in-and-of-itself, and the technology that drives these catamarans is fascinating.

Of course, it helps that Emirates Team New Zealand is giving Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts' Oracle a jolly good thumping.

I loved the front page of the NZ Herald this week after Oracle decided to use its wild card and postpone a race to work out how the hell to beat the Kiwis.

It showed the two catamarans and a photo of Dean Barker. "Fast cat" said the headline with an arrow pointing to the Emirates Team NZ boat. "Cool cat" said another, with an arrow next to Barker. And next to Oracle: "Scaredy cat". Brilliant. Yes, of course anything can happen and I like Grant Dalton's attitude of one race at a time and never take anything for granted.

But even if it all turns to custard, I still think we have much to celebrate.

According to a United Nations survey out this week, Kiwis are among the happiest people in the world. Yep, there we are. Thirteenth out of 156 nations for feeling good.

If the planets are in the right alignment and the moon is in its right cycle, Eleanor Catton may be the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker; Lorde will be topping the charts around the globe and Emirates Team NZ will be bringing home the America's Cup.

Let them do their happiness survey next week. We'll be number one in the world - at least for a day.

- Herald on Sunday

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