Winter afternoons are a great time for catching up with old friends. When it's wet and cold outside what better way to spend a lazy Sunday than in front of a roaring fire – it just doesn't sound the same if you say roaring heat pump does it? - remembering the good old days with your mates.
I was fortunate enough to spend such a time recently when a couple of old school buddies from my West Coast days found their way to my humble abode ... and my booze cabinet.
Anyway. A good old session ensued, peppered with conversation that covered just about every subject you could think of.
First cab off the discussion rank was the various aches and pains those of our age seem to have in common. It seems we have all managed to get this far on the planet without too much damage. But we all looked round for a bit of wood to touch as we said it.
Secondly we each pointed out each other's hair loss. Two of us have more hole in our haircuts than actual hair (if you get my drift) while the other still sports an impressive mane without even a single grey hair. The swine.
After that we moved on to prostate issues (enough said); Donald Trump (same as prostate issues but more painful); Covid-19; politics and the popular "whatever happened to ... " discussion. All while happily supporting New Zealand's liquor industry.
Eventually, discussion turned to sport, and more particularly rugby league and the old days when we all played for a local club.
And this is where things got interesting.
We remembered the time one of us broke his nose on the goalpost; and the time one of us was so busy smiling at a local chicky babe on the sideline he missed an opponent running past him to score and we lost the game.
Then it was my turn and amid much laughter, they brought up "The Try That Wasn't".
It would be fair to say this is not something you will have read about before in any publication or seen on YouTube or any of today's online forums. Among those present on that fateful day however, it remains an absolute hoot.
To me it remains my biggest regret in sport. Ever.
I won't bore you with all the details but here's what happened.
Our team is playing a team up country on a field the sheep had been moved off five minutes earlier. There are three people watching. Along with 12 annoyed sheep.
Late in the game I get the ball five metres from my own goal line and charge forward, breaking the defensive line in the process. I'm now about 80 metres from the try line and there's only the fullback in my way.
He is dismissed with an easy bump as I race on, over the halfway line, 45 metres to go; 35, 25 with the entire country team chasing me. Everlasting glory is awaiting me as I race on and complete the greatest try ever seen in our competition with a full swan dive that the Russian judge at the Olympics would have given me 9.9 out of 10 for I'm sure.
Then the entire chasing country team fell on me. I'd dived too early and was still five metres short.
Back in the present day my friends roared with laughter as they recalled the incident.
There wasn't much I could do except swallow the embarrassment, as I have done for decades. Now I don't remember this, it may have been the booze, but apparently while voicing much regret I said something like "if I could do it all again ..."
And so, you guessed it, we re-enacted it but this time with a happy ending. On the cold, wet park down the road. All of us laughing like schoolboys as I trundled upfield. Over the halfway line, puffing and blowing like a silly old fart, 45 metres, 35, 25 with my two old mates in support all the way, 10 metres, 5 and then I couldn't resist it - the best full on swan dive my 56-year-old frame could muster after an 85 metre run.
Naturally we laughed all the way back to the warmth of my place where we eventually said our goodbyes, promising to catch up again real soon.
And when we do I'm sure we will discuss the same old things.
Though this time when it comes to the bit about aches and pains I will have to admit to a problem.
This time when I did the swan dive in for the try I pulled a hamstring and hurt my shoulder.
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to email@example.com .