Super 14, Valentine's Day and Birthday Cake

The 2010 Super 14 season kicked off this weekend with the Blues hosting the Hurricanes, a match that ended with a particularly pleasing result.*  This Sunday was also Valentine’s Day, a yearly event that it seems one can’t avoid (no matter how much one tries).  I don’t really care for it either way, although I don’t particularly like that the build up for it starts while I’m still recovering from Christmas/New Year – to be reminded in the first week of January that Valentine’s Day is ‘soon’ is generally unwelcome!  However, timed as it is with the first round of the Super season, it does give me a reason to post the following little anecdote which is in part both rugby related and romantically themed (though totally of the fictional kind). 

A number of years ago, and unbeknownst to me, my brother and his partner decided to surprise me on my birthday with a special cake.  A few weeks before the appointed day we were sitting in our lounge when he asked me, rather out of the blue, “would you rather have a picture of Mum and Dad, or Richie McCaw?”  Slightly puzzled (and in search for a context that might clarify the question) I asked what the photo would be for, “no reason” was the reply “which photo?”  I thought about it – I didn’t need long to come up with an answer – “McCaw” I replied.  In moments of Bridget Jones-esque flights of fancy, I’ve concluded that he is one of the rare breed of men that constitutes the almost-perfect prospective son-in-law.  He plays rugby – my dad will love him, he flies a plane – my mum will love him.  This is something my brother knows well (as I may have made comments on a similar theme during various rugby matches).  So my answer was relatively straight forward.  Pictures of my parents I had.  “McCaw, definitely” I affirmed.  My brother smiled “I thought you might say that” and the conversation changed to another topic. 

A few weeks passed and it was my birthday.  After a celebratory dinner I came home to find a cake shaped box on the kitchen bench.  Despite still being rather full from dinner, I was well up for cake – after all it was my birthday and therefore indulgence is somewhat expected.  I lifted the box lid, expecting to see the usual suspect of a birthday cake, but was delighted to find something else adorning the cake.  As I opened the box I was greeted by none other than photo of McCaw staring back at me.  I may have squealed in delight and surprise  – I can’t remember.  Suddenly the purpose of his question became clear, “that’s why you wanted to know what picture I wanted!” I exclaimed, picking up and examining one of the rugby shaped candles which were dotted around the cake.  “Yeah” my brother responded, “when I went to collect it, the baker asked if it was for my younger brother” he paused and grinned “I said yes, yes it was – I didn’t know how to explain it was for my older sister!!” 

*Friday actually turned out to be a pretty good night for Wellington sport, as the Phoenix also won, securing a home semi-final in the process.  Massive congratulations for the team for that achievement! 

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