Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Olympic Memories

Last night I had trouble sleeping. So I got up and made a cup of tea and surfed the net. On the New York Times page I discovered that roast radishes are now a craze at restuarants in that city. A while back it was beetroot. I find it hard to imagine roast radish. Anyway I sent the page through by email to Anne. It might give her an idea for her food blog.

There was news of two resignations. Gordon Brown will step down as leader of the UK Labour Party. But not for two or three months. Why would the LibDems want to tie themselves to a corpse? He should go right away. But even then for Labour and the LibDems to attempt a coalition when they don’t even have a straight majority is a living death. The attempt would ensure a Conservative regime for a decade. The people have spoken – the Conservatives have a clear mandate.

I can greet the other resignation with more pleasure. Barabara Kendall is stepping down from competitive boardsailing after 24 years in the sport. She’s been part of the Olympic scene for some time now. It’s hard to imagine the Games without her. She’s represented New Zealand for the last five games.

There are several great Olympic memories. Okuti farmhouse, up early I go to the kitchen to ask did Halberg win last night. “Listen” said Dick, my stepfather, enjoying his first of the day smoke and cup of tea. “It’s on the news in a minute.”

They crossed to Rome. The announcer chattered about two New Zealand runners. They put on the 800 metres first. I muttered about ‘a waste of time, how did Halberg get on?’ An unknown Kiwi called Snell had won. Glory! As did Halberg. A few years later I saw Snell break the world mile record at Western Springs stadium.

Then there was a midnight in Hamilton. They were playing our anthem in Munich. Our rowing eight had won. It was the first time they’d played God Defend New Zealand. (I have no problem with the tune. It’s the words I find hard to accept). We’ve done relatively well in rowing every since culminating with the twins magnificent win in Beijing. There was Mark Todd resplendent on Charisma. And I enjoyed watching Carter win the Athens men’s triathlon But above all there was Kendall being carried triumphant on her board in Barcelona.

I began with food so I’ll end with food. Tonight, Anne’s cooking pork chops with yams. Next door neighbour Jenn brought the yams over. They’re running wild though her garden as they do. Dick gave up trying to contain them. I love their flavour. I look forward to the meal. Thanks to all for the memories.

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