The Lions have landed in New Zealand! 

As you can see, allegiance is divided in the Ryding household as the Lions land in New Zealand for their 2017 tour. Me: English till I die – him, not quite so much!

We booked the tickets for the Lions game against the Highlanders a long long time ago and went up the night before to camp over. Another first occurred here too: the first time I was not at work and had left someone else in charge, with the business still open and running without me! 😳

I have to be honest, my allegiance was divided as we usually support the Highlanders, our local super rugby team, but I felt I just had to support my home nation despite this! So I took both hats! I went in wearing one, came out wearing the other!

We stayed on a camp site on the Otago Peninsula and caught a bus into town. Bargains to be had in Dunedin when you come from tiny wee Southland so I popped into K-Mart and reserved some bargain kettlebells for pick up the next morning – stuff that carrying those around all day and night! Haha!

It was rather wet all evening, not a problem for a covered stadium but quite a problem when you walk there and back from town! The Octagon was teaming with Lions supporters, it felt like mini-England! Of course, sounding English I was constantly mistaken for a tourist with my red hat on!

We got talking to some curious people that day.. a guy got on the bus wanting some local taxi advice for later.. who had come over on the full deluxe package tour including post match free beer with the teams! I don’t think he.l needed to share our taxi costs!

Then there was the young couple who we did share a ride back with: one from Keswick the other from London. Wouldn’t say what they did but had both quit their London jobs, given up their London flats and were on their way round the world on an extended holiday – year out. Nice! £££££££! It’s really funny to hear from people like these when you’ve lived somewhere long enough to start considering some things to be normal.

What do I miss most, she asked. Soreen I said. No, wait. Central heating. I miss that more than tetleys tea, more than uncle joes mint balls, more than soreen, more than any of that!

Pleased to report that on my return to work on Wednesday afternoon, although the absence cost me in time for the rest of the week, the building was still standing and no calamities had happened!

Well done team! (Even if the team in red didn’t quite manage the same success!)