Friday, September 9, 2011

9th Day in a Chic September

Today's chic post has been overtaken by a major event in New Zealand's history. Today is the first day in the 2011 Rugby World Cup tournament and it's hosted by us.

For those of you in North America, imagine the Super Bowl where every state supports the same team. That's what it is like here with the All Blacks. Oh, and by the way, this Super Bowl lasts seven weeks!

It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realised what a big deal this was when couriers asked us if we were going to be ‘closing early on Friday’. We thought about it and realised there wouldn’t be many people around – either they would be attending festivities or going home early to avoid mayhem traffic.

Just to tie it in with the French, this being a French Chic blog and all, rugby is one of the biggest sports in France, with crowds of up to 80,000 regularly attending club matches in Paris.

I live with a sports-mad man, which is quite amusing to me because I grew up in a family which is not into sport at all.

I'm not going to turn into a butch rugby-girl, but today I took advantage of the fine early Spring weather and we headed downtown to join the crowds and soak up the atmosphere. Naturally we stopped and had a pub lunch and pint on the way.

(Top photo): giant rugby ball down by the Viaduct Harbour

(Below): building windows festooned

Me heading downtown

Amongst the crowds

A beautiful blue sky and the Sky tower

Where the All Blacks stay when they are in town apparently

French fans with decorated berets (aren't they handsome?)

French fans wearing flags

When we were here downtown the area was filling up fast - we heard it was 100,000 plus people.

After mingling with the crowds for a short time we decided we liked our own company more and went home. It was such luxury to both be away from the shop during opening hours! We were trying to remember the last time we had lunch out together (it's been years).

Lucky for us our two-storey house has a good view of the Sky Tower and tonight we watched a 3-tonne fireworks display from our bedroom window. It was rather spectacular. Some may say it's a waste of money and I tend to agree, but it was pretty all the same.

Vive le All Blacks!


  1. What a great event! I am not a sporty either but hosting something that big has a contagious, frenetic energy that one can't help to get caught up in. Like you, I would've only managed crowds like that for a very short time and would've been dying to get home to peace and tranquility. Wonderful seeing pictures from your neck of the woods! xxBliss

  2. I don't "do" crowds well, but find the crowd dynamic fascinating...

    My "chic-ness" today is a morning spent with friends in Bible study. The topic today is "Priorities" - specifically re. relationships and home life.

    Following the study, we enjoy lunch together. It is ALWAYS a treat. Today, I'm contributing a homemade cheese-ball and crackers to accompany a soup. I know there will be s special dessert, too :)

  3. I'm with Rebecca...not a crowd person at all. My bother used to play rugby, until he blew out his knee. The second time. After watching Invictus, I understand the fever inspired by this World Cup. I'm more a soccer fan, but don't follow it like I used to. Here in Maryland, it's all lacrosse, all the time, along with sailing here in Annapolis!

  4. I just told Bill about this tournament. He would love to be there - again. Back in high school, he played rugby. He and his team spent 17 days in NZ and Australia playing rugby.

    When we went to Paris for the first time in '07, the world championship was being played there. It was during a Metro strike and we just happened to be at the Eiffel Tower where they were streaming the game live in the biggest jumbo-tron I've ever seen. There were tens of thousands of rugby fans, mostly Brits (it was UK vs South Africa) cheering and drinking and having the time of their lives. We tried, in vain, to get back to our apartment via Metro but it was too chaotic. So we walked all the way home to the Marais in the middle of the night. What a vivid memory that is for us.

    It looks like you two had a great time amongst all the excited energy. Love your trench jacket with the stripes. xo

  5. We watched the opening ceremony online. BUT! I get to watch the France v. NZ game in Paris!! :)

    HA ZAH!

    Hope you're having a blast in Aucks!

  6. Well, Go All Blacks :-)
    Nice to feel such solidarity with others; it's a perk of a small country I think, where everything means more. How great you were able to take a break with your husband. Love your photos! I didn't realize that you live so near Auckland.

    Today I feel pretty unchic (slept quite rough the last two nights) but I'm going to be kind to myself and figure out a little treat, as long as it's not food-based!


  7. Go Ireland! Our household is beyond mad about rugby, and we'll be watching every match over the internet. I SO envy you being there... love, Vivienne

  8. i love that dance that the All Blacks do before each match! haha the Haka, was it?
    I would love to be near a major world sports event! like the Olympics or the World Cup for Soccer :) must be so exciting. enjoy the atmosphere!

  9. sounds so exciting! ;)

    You always share such nice passages from books...I especially love your Jane Green of my favorite poems is Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman. It is just brilliant...and a good reminder. ;)

  10. Ah, sports. I joke that I used to live in Oklahoma where the main religion was Baptist; then in Salt Lake City where it was Mormon; now in Newcastle, England, where it is Football...

    Love that little jacket of yours!

  11. Bliss, we were in the thick of the crowds for maybe ten minutes maximum before deciding to depart. Crowds are not my thing either.

    Rebecca, if there is a public and crowded occasion I am usually far, far away... but today I thought I'd participate.

    I like 'priorities' as a topic.

    Gretchen, it is a very aggressive game with many injuries. Sailing sounds very genteel!

    Adrienne, isn't it a small world? Shame you two aren't here now. I wouldn't let you walk, although Paris is more glamorous than here.

    Adj, it was quite an impressive opening ceremony for New Zealand. We don't usually do things so fancy. You will have fun in Paris. I will be torn between the two teams, one my homeland, one more stylish. I love their uniform.

    Erina, would love to know where you live, in New Zealand/Australia, or further afield? You are so wise with the non-food-based treat. I could learn from that.

    Vivienne, I thought about that the other day, we are lucky to be right here when there are so many visitors from other countries travelling to see the games. It's fun!

    Lenna, yes, it's the haka. It's nice to have a point of difference and the haka certainly gives us that.

    Ani, thank you!

    Shelley, truer words were never spoken. Sports (no. 1 is rugby) is a religion here too.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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