Commenting on my last blog, Old Geezer writes:
You must have been at a different Athletic Park
from me. Crowds in the 50s, 60s and 70s were
quite capable of singing, drinking, joking,
shouting and lobbing pies at the ref... The
difference is that rugby was always a winter
game and the southerly roared through Athletic
Park in winter, whereas the newfangled sevens
are held in summer, and costumes are possible.
Wellington was never as grim as journos like to
Fair point, OG. I did tarnish the dahlia somewhat,
purely for the sake of figurative contrast, you
understand. Kiwis did have fun in their own
cramped way in those days...but it was pretty blokey
stuff all the same. The great thing about the sevens
is the way they've brought women back to watch
rugby, not least, I suspect, because there's more
running than rucking, more ballet than biffo in this
version of the game.
Still, when I read something like this...
I meandered down the street, looking for
something to eat. Everything was shut.
Lambton Quay on this weekday winter
evening was a windy desolation; the only
sign of life was a sheet of the Evening Post
flying along in the icy southerly.
...it does remind me of what Wellington used to
be like 40-50 years ago. That's a passage from
Philip Temple's about-to-be-published memoir
Chance Is a Fine Thing, describing Wellington in
1957. Sound familiar, anyone?