The Rugby World Cup is upon us! We celebrated the arrival of the Italian rugby team with a “Long Lunch” the other day. 800+ diners took over our main street for a few hours.
I was on duty early for the 0800 – 1000 shift. My job was to advise motorists that the street would be closed from 1000. We had plenty of volunteers, probably too many. That gave me plenty of time to have some fun, for example asking shopkeepers to rearrange their window displays so that only Italian colours were visible (by lunchtime please). For some reason most didn’t find that particularly funny.
By lunchtime, everyone was having a great time. Our local MP Nick Smith was there of course:
It was clear that many had the Rugby World Cup on their minds, even if they might have been sending mixed messages about who they support:
while Melissa chose to forget the rugby jersey and just look glamorous:
Friend Shaun was practising his English, Italian style (lots of gesticulations):
Stuart was obviously anticipating the arrival of the Russian team.
They play Australia here in Nelson so will have plenty of local support (NZers back anyone who plays against Australia).
This event was held once before. A couple of years ago, part of Nelson’s successful lobby to get the Italians based here. I was not long back from Christchurch. After the relative anonymity of Christchurch, the sunny day, wonderful vibes and the presence of so many people that I knew, all served to remind me that I had come home. The occasion this year felt just as good!