That’s what we are doing. Wifey and I quit our jobs, flogged our cars, rented out the house and wandered off on our world tour.
Wifey and I picked up a tiny hire car (a Toyota Runt Mouse with a specialist roof rack for our surf boards) in Christchurch and drove it North to Nelson, then Picton, then we got the Interislander ferry to Wellington. (No of course we haven’t got f***ing surfboards). We’ve been to Wellington before and we stayed in a place run by a peculiar retired Scottish murderer and it gave us the creeps and we didn’t like it. Bloody weird Wellington but they made it the capital so the NZ Parliament is here.
In Gisborne we finally cracked and booked into a motel for a couple of days, ostensibly to wash our clothes, ourselves and cook without groups of sunbathing Germans flopping and barking all over the place like bloody sea lions but the first thing we did was flip the TV on to see if we could catch the Everton game. We already missed the game at Stoke because it kicked off at 9 am Tuesday morning and no pubs were open. We were also both convinced that Newcastle would lose at Stoke and I was preparing a piece on what a disgrace that was; our lack of height and cover in defence leaving us woefully ill equipped to deal with Pulis’ bullyboy tactics and not wanting to risk Hatem Ben Arfa against the detestable likes of Shawcross and Huth being a savage indictment of what Stoke expect to get away with.
We filled the time by doing a Parliament tour and were surprised in the bit where everybody has to introduce themselves to the group by an Aussie voice barking “Have we beaten Stoke yet?” when Wifey and I said we were from Newcastle. As the tour proceeded along corridors we jabbered happily with Simon from Melbourne who has been a nufc fan for 25 years. Yes yes the building is balanced on big rubber springs to combat earthquakes and the carpet is the same design as Parliament in London but why the hell did Simon think we were going to win at Stoke?
I switched my phone back on at the end of the tour and the three of us waited for news from the Potteries. This took longer than we expected because Tim, in charge of sending the score, milked his position with regular updates of all noteworthy incidents. Essentially we relived the highlights until Simon let out a shout that probably disturbed the Minister for Fisheries when the 3-1 final score was announced. Since then we have singularly failed to catch any of the goals until this morning we saw a Premiership Preview show in the Motel. It was like watching Saint and Greavesie in the 80s during that awful period where ITV had exclusive rights to show football in the UK and didn’t know what to do with them. Where you spent half an hour every Saturday hoping for the merest glimpse of a black and white shirt and were invariably disappointed. All we saw this morning was Ba thump in the penalty from a camera shot that didn’t show the ball. Perhaps the game is best left to my imagination where Newcastle, resplendent in black, are majestic, where Ba’s goals are things of power and beauty and where the hateful Pulis rings his hands and explodes with frustration as his team of thugs and monsters is dismantled by the tactical genius of Pardew and his plucky handsome charges.
Our motel has Sky Sports (NZ) 1 and 2. The Everton game is on 3. I don’t know why that bothers me so much because I can never remember games against Everton. For some reason Everton matches slip my mind entirely within a fortnight of the final whistle no matter who gets sent off or if we score 6 or lose to a scabby deflection. (I do recall bits of a 1-1 we watched in New York but that was balanced out by having no recollection of the next ten hours thanks to the NYC Mags).
Sky Sports in New Zealand is run by a malicious mackem (probably) so the only repeat showing is 5am on Thursday morning. So you can see Match of the Day and I can’t and I’m not very happy about it. Which is why I was all snippy at the start. I genuinely hope you enjoy it.