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Monday, 26 September 2011

It's Good to be in New Zealand

Life sometimes just doesn't get better.

Down here in the Southern Hemisphere, we're heading into Spring, symbolised by the clocks going forward last night.  The days are getting longer and the winds are getting warmer.  Even the rain is staying rain and avoiding the tendency to become hail that has been depressingly frequent this winter.

We all sat down to watch the glorious All Blacks rip the French into a confused rillette on Saturday night.  The were magnificent, and it's been a while since I enjoyed a game of rugby so much. Mind you the ¾ a bottle of Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet 2008 plus a whisky plus a large (650ml) bottle of Tsingtao beer probably helped keep my mood on the mellow side.

It's mellow, Man.

We finished watching the game with a bowl of Tip Top French Vanilla Ice Cream, with a slab of my Beloved's apple cake with Cinnamon icing.  Merlot Cabernet and Tip Top go quite well together.  For non Kiwis, Tip Top is the New Zealand-made brand of ice cream found in every dairy in the land.  It is rich and creamy, utilising only dairy fats, unlike the commercial ice creams form the UK that contain so much vegetable fat and chemicals.  It's delicious.

Our only problem down here, is that we've become too successful in making dairy products.
Our rivers and lakes are becoming polluted from the run-off from the manure-laden fields.  The water levels of the rivers are being reduced as the irrigation systems used to promote growth of grass suck down the water table.  The quality of the NZ product is such that the world demand is continuing to rise, making our dairy more expensive.  Butter has doubled in price in the last 5 years, same as milk.

Free range just means shittier fields

Most of the demand is coming from the newly prosperous Asian market, which in some ways is a bit odd.  There is a much, much higher incidence of Lactose intolerance amongst Chinese than other ethnic groups, and I wonder if the Chinese cultural inheritance of Conspicuous Consumption is actually fuelling the demand rather than a wish for Western-style fats.
Seeing that one of the symptoms of Lactose intolerance is diarrhoea, they must really want the stuff.

Hamster diarrhoea.  It's not funny.

Oh well, back to NLHS, another teacher has just phoned in her absence for today and tomorrow.  My work never ceases.  It's sometimes quite nice to just be left alone to teach, and forget all the other stuff happening.
Jings, another teacher texting in sick. Why can't these people take better care of themselves?

Pity about Scotland getting beaten in the last minutes by the Argies, but even GodZone cannot produce a continuous stream of miracles, and there's one thing every Scot has ingrained into their sporting psyche; we're gonna lose most times.  It's one of the (minor) reasons for coming down here to live.  I wanted to live in a country whose national team occasionally won their national game, and boy, did New Zealand deliver.

Go the ABs.


  1. Wine, whisky AND beer?

    {Stands straight}

    A true Scot!

    Lang may yer lum reek!

    and the comment recognition was 'turie' - which is close enough!!!!

  2. Yes it was indeed a great game, with some sterling work performed by my little (big) cousin who was playing at No.5 in the AB's.
    So I was proud on several levels. I loved the symbolism of the kiwi in the crowd who had attached a Kermit the Frog stuffed toy to a Crucifix. Powerful stuff! And did we crucify those froggies ... sure did! And now the Warriors are in the NRL Grand Final next weekend. WOW. Go NZ!

  3. We export ice cream to NZ? What a crazy world.

    The RWC has been a good advert for the game for those of us who don't really understand it. A merry band of Englishmen of my acquaintance are going down the pub on Saturday which is opening at 8.00am so that we can watch the Scotland game. They're advertising coffee and bacon rolls. Sod that, I'm having a pint.

  4. Alistair: There's nothing worth doing, than doing to excess. My lum always reeks, but there's no need to get personal, duckie.

    Valley Girl:Go the ABs, and your cousin, Whitelock or Williams? whoever, played well, although I thought Whitelock tended to display a little wimpishness in the scrummage.

    looby: WHAT? No, no, no....we don't import the bloody stuff from the UK. I once found a box of Walls Ice Cream in the supermarket freezer. It had been lying there for over 9 months, nobody wanted the disgusting stuff.

    Coffee and bacon rolls, never.

    Beer and bacon rolls, superb. Especially when the rolls have been fried in bacon fat, accompanied by organic fried eggs (in butter) potatoe scones fried in butter or bacon fat, sausages fried in anything except motor oil, and of course, the ultimate treat, the fried black pudding. Fried haggis is just a wee bit over the top.

  5. I think the product from New Zealand we see most of in the US is lamb. And Flight of the Conchords. :)

  6. Patience_Crabstick: Ah, the ubiquitus Lamb. It used tobe said that there were more sheep in NZ than people, and I believe that's still the case, although cows are catching up fast. Flight of the Conchords? I didn't know it was that popular in the USA.

  7. Oh Jeez... if the kids ever really get too much, open a Scottish cafe in Lancashire. Breakfasts like that - you wouldn't be able to sell them fast enough. Over here it's all croissants, Italian coffee and too-big sofas which you can't sit up in. You can't beat a good black pudding roll.

  8. looby: Oh my goodness, I didn't know the health nazis had taken over to such an extent. I used to get great breakfasts in Lancashire, and used to stay in a hotel in Morcambe that almost managed to give me acute cholesterol poisoning. The favourite brunch dish over here is normally eggs Benedict with crispy bacon on a toasted muffin, but the Kiwi black pudding is a bit anaemic for my tastes, and they couldn't do a good haggis to save their lives.


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