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  • Ashleigh Ogilvie-Lee

Blog 2 - From a Villa in Grey Lynn - Watching the Rugby World Cup Final with my boys

It is hard to watch a grown man fail to kick a ball between two

posts and thus seal the fate of mighty warriors while the

General looks on unable to fight with his men because he’s

been a naughty boy and has to sit in the corner.


It is hard to watch the interviews with the fans afterwards with

one sobbing that now the All Blacks have lost, he won’t get

Monday off.


However hard the game was to watch, the hardest

thing to grasp was that my boys, now two fully grown men, fail

to take the responsibility of adulthood seriously, as illustrated by

their relaxed and, dare I say, amusing banter as we all

watched disaster befalling our country. As South Africa slowly

but surely inched ahead after the haka failed to terrify them,

Jamie lay under Jettie’s (granddaughter) duvet with a purple

and pink meerkat on it, bemoaning the fact he hadn’t kept up

his rugby so he couldn’t be there helping the boys. Gus asked in

what capacity, hydration? as Jamie was lying there with a

water bottle in his hand, drinking away the week-long

celebration of the amazing feat Gus had achieved by turning

30. I am cleaning the fridge and making vegetable stock in

between making coffee and toast for the two spectators whom I

am amazed have managed to arrange to wake themselves so

early on a Sunday. Gus says, "You're not cooking, are you, Mum?"

I reply, remotely touched by his concern, "I am. You make too

many dishes."


I bring water, coffee, cheese, and Vegemite toast to

them, and finally, I say, "I’m not your slave," and Gus says, "Of

course, you’re not. You’re the Queen of Neverland, refusing to

acknowledge its tarnished reputation."


Jamie asks, "Could you turn the heater off? I’m roasting!"

Gus asks, "Is there a pomme (apple) anywhere? You know me,

Mum, I like a lot of fresh fruit around the house. It’s the World

Cup Final, and your boys are stressed." I find a pomme, and

pleased with the service, Gus suggests, "How lucky I am. You

never get to spoil us, Ma. You’re the best mon Cherie in the

world," still confusing French genders after five years of French at

school and a year in France. I tell them how proud I am that

they have stopped vaping and drinking, and Jamie adds, "Today."


Jamie continues his commentary, regretting his non-attendance

not at but in the game. "I feel bad I bowed out," he laments. "Ma,

do you remember all those West games?" I vaguely remember

Jamie vomiting out the car window at age 9 after he had played

rugby with a rumbling appendix which they took out that

afternoon, so I suppose yes, there was a degree of commitment

there once.


Gus says, "It’s impossible to watch the game as they look so

thirsty," while Jamie is sitting on the couch unable to do anything

about it. Jamie says, somewhat petulantly, "I used to kick for

Melbourne Grammar."


I go to the markets and bring back a lamb sausage roll each for

the two spectators, which I serve with tomato sauce. Gus wants

kimchi, and Jamie wants a fork.


The All Blacks lose, and after hearing the South African captain

talk so movingly about what this win means for the whole of the

third world, while the NZ Captain says how bravely his men

fought with one man down, himself, I couldn’t help but think the

difference might have been in the captains. I say, "I think South

Africa deserved to win," and Jamie says, "How would you know,

Ma? You were at the markets buying sausage rolls."


Gus asks if we still have Jamie’s old rugby boots in the attic, as

they even give medals to the water boys.


"I used to kick for Melbourne Grammar," Jamie retorts and starts

running through some of the past scores of matches he played

when he was 14. Djokovic is in the stand, and Jamie says, "The

greatest of all time. I used to be number one at Huntly." I’m not

sure in what, and I go and lie down with a headache.


Gus comes into my room as I lie on my bed. He goes over to

my window, which is blowing out a bit as a cyclone is due to

come. "I’m really worried about your window, Mum. Someone

should have a look at it," says Gus the builder.




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2 Comments


jandavies08
Nov 29, 2023

You, beautiful Ashleigh, are a Comic Genius

Jana

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Guest
Nov 26, 2023

oh so insightful my very eloquent sister. well done xx

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