An American friend of mine who occasionally makes it to New Zealand and pays me a visit once said something that struck a chord, and which I have often had cause to recall.
He said what amused him was the way New Zealanders seemingly allowed weather reports to dictate their lives.
"Out here if there is a threat of rain or a bit of wind everyone decides they better stay home.
"In the States we go wherever we were planning to go and take our chances."
Now, before you make a judgment I have to say no, he is not a mouthy Texan who believes the rest of the world revolves round the USA.
He is a charming, rather humble man who loves New Zealand, but he is also insightful.
This week I very nearly fell for his interpretation of the way Kiwis think but I fought it off, thank God.
Kath and I were planning to go to the Tauherenikau races but the forecast was for huge winds and the likelihood of rain.
Perhaps we should stay home, I thought.
But then my American friend's words rang in my ears and those - coupled with a comment from my nephew Callum along much the same lines - shook me out of the Kiwi mindset and we packed up the picnic and went to Tauherenikau.
The crowd was a bit smaller than usual at New Year due to the Kiwi mindset no doubt, but it was still a good crowd and judging by the totes they were spenders.
Sure, there was a bit of a breeze from time to time - no rain - and the weather played no part in the day at all.
There were plenty of picnics on the go and a few barbecues, and the kids raced around the grounds having heaps of fun.
When the day was all said and done I reflected on how fortunate it was we had not succumbed to a weather report and had heeded the words of an American friend.
Never ventured, nothing gained so they say.
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