We had the BEST time during the Auckland RWC quarter-finals a couple of weeks ago! This was partially because we were lucky enough to get hold of a few extra tickets at the last minute, meaning that both Tristan and I could go to the two games (and give away four tickets to the France v England game). However, the real reason for the good weekend was the five-day visit from our friend Davey. Davey and I were at school together twenty years ago, which is pretty scary to contemplate – twenty flipping years! Blimey. Anyway, here are five reasons why he’s an excellent person with whom to embark of a long weekend of mayhem:
1. He’s committed
Davey doesn’t do anything by halves and he’s always willing to put in the hard yards in order to meet his goals. I think that this an excellent trait, and one that I would like to cultivate further (but probably won’t: I’m quite lazy). Davey arrived in Auckland on the Thursday night of the quarter-finals weekend and then he and I devoted nearly all of Friday to designing our costumes for the France v England game. The three of us had decided to support France, so Davey and I trawled through all of the $2 shops on the North Shore, looking for inspiration. We also hunted for wigs and other accessories to show our support at the All Blacks v Argentina game. Now, I don’t know many guys who would spend hours on this kind of quest, but Davey was totally determined that we would come up with something good – we weren’t going to stop until we had our costumes sorted. And look at how it paid off:
We bought el-cheapo polo shirts and stencilled them with ‘rouge’, ‘blanc’ and ‘bleu’, and then put our names and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on the back. And the masks were bought plain and painted in the French colours.
2. He’s a perfectionist
Davey did all of the shirt stencilling and most of the mask-painting, and did a far better job than I would have done. And when we went out to breakfast on Saturday without first taking the stencils off a couple of the shirts, causing wet fabric paint to stick the stencils to the fabric, he came home and got quite cross because it threatened his design aesthetic. It was all fine in the end, of course, but I do like a person who takes their work seriously.
And further evidence can be seen from his determination to look like an All Blacks super-fan on the Sunday:
The facial tattoos around his eye were painstakingly applied, swirl by swirl. And he wore this entire outfit all day.
3. He’s ultra-organised
This is, without doubt, one of Davey’s most stellar traits. He’s the only man I know who actively welcomes the chance to plan things and for me, usually the one who has to organise and book stuff in our house, it’s just awesome to be able to show up to an event and know that it’s all under control. A great illustration from the Saturday of our quarter-finals weekend: we were having pre-rugby beers at a pub called The Neighbourhood in Kingsland and had planned to watch the first quarter-final there before heading to Eden Park. However, the pub was rammed and it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to sit and eat there, and probably wouldn’t even be able to see a screen when the game came on.
Undeterred, Davey took off to explore and eventually came back to report that he’d booked a table for 12 at a local deli called The Fridge. The table was directly in front of a huge TV, the game would be on, and the food looked good. Sure enough, we headed across to The Fridge just before kick-off, had a stunning view of the game, ate delicious food, drank many beers, and then had a lovely five-minute stroll to the stadium, giving us plenty of time to get there before kick-off.
And the best thing of all? When we were there on Saturday Davey also made a booking for Sunday, so we did the exact same thing two days running and had a great time, both times.
4. He’s interested in stuff
Davey’s a guy who will mooch around with the best of them, checking things out, looking at what’s going on, talking to people… it’s a really good trait; almost like he’s hard-wired to be interested in the world around him. Of course, he might well make fun of half of what he sees or hears, but it’s usually pretty entertaining for everybody else.
5. He likes shopping
How rare is that, a man that will happily spend a few hours window-shopping? He and I did just that on the Tuesday, before he flew back to Wellington – we even . Of course, sometimes window-shopping morphs into actual shopping and a man might buy a pair of jeans that on first glance, could be as a little ‘risky’, but who doesn’t admire a bold fashion choice, eh?
The special bonus reason: he’s a great guy and one of my dearest friends, so five days in his company are guaranteed good times! Here we are at the All Blacks game, doing our best blue steel poses:
Anyway, the rugby itself was brilliant. The France v England game was very entertaining and the All Blacks v Argentina game was properly tense and, ultimately, very rewarding. Roll on this Sunday and the All Blacks v France final!