It was the last thing anyone expected. The passing of a legend, the passing of Jonah. I vividly recall that game in South Africa in 1995 when he steamrolled the English. Four tries and the, now legendary, flattening of Mike Catt.
On top of his rugby prowess, in the last few years he struck me as a thoroughly good guy, father, husband and kiwi.
I’ve just realised it’s been around 6 weeks since my last post. Clearly life and work have got in the way of blogging. That and the Rugby World Cup and all the stress and tension that generated. As far as I can work out almost every kiwi was up at 5am on finals day to watch the match. At half time with the All Blacks up by 20 odd points there was humour and a feeling of “job done”, but 20 minutes later when the gap was 4 points things got serious. Ultimately the ABs despatched those we love to beat – the Australians – and the celebrations began.
And the champagne flowed. It was quite odd being drunk at 8am on a Sunday but I suspect we weren’t the only New Zealand household in that state.
It feels like we’ve been home for ages but every so often something reminds you of holiday times.
Like the photo above. We were having breakfast at the villa one morning and two ladies arrived to clean up the madonna next door. It was our madonna apparently – because it was on the villa property – but locals take the responsibility to sweep, clean and polish it.
It was also a useful landmark if we needed to describe which vila we were in – the one next to the madonna – ahh, si la madonna. Bene.
After 3 weeks of rest and relaxation we’re back home in Wellington and back into our routine – including the daily commute to work. And despite it being spring we were met with a pretty good impersonation of winter. Sigh.
A recent article in the Daily Mail included some photos of Italy in the 1950s and earlier. One was of Positano (a Getty image) when it was more fishing village than tourist centre.
But even in this photograph there are clearly recognisable landmarks – the Church of Santa Maria Assunta up from the beach, and the steps down to the beach with those iconic bronze lions sitting at each end.
Every time we walked from the villa to the village of Positano we passed a house that simply had to be photographed. It is actually three apartments that are built, quite literally, on the side of a cliff overlooking the sea and above a private beach.
The setting is stunning and the way the house is fitted into the hill seems to sum up the relationship Positano has with its surroundings. They work in harmony, like that’s the way things have always been. The Italians have a word for this – simpatico.