Are we excited yet?

Exciting events to look forward to used to be few and far between – just Christmas, birthdays,  and the odd holiday or other special occasion.

Now we’re spoilt for choice. That makes it more difficult for anyone promoting anything to get our attention – and commitment – until the last moment.

This is possibly why the International Rugby Borad chief executive Mike Miller is concerned that New Zealanders don’t realise the importance of the Rugby World Cup.

I’m not among the critics of the Rugby World Cup but even so it hasn’t really been on my radar. We’ve bought tickets for one game and been invited to another but they’ve yet to register as much more than dates in a diary.

However, in the last week I’ve become aware of increasing excitement and not just among people who are interested in the rugby.

The radio was tuned to a sports talk show when I got into the car on Sunday and I heard a caller getting excited about the RWC because it meant Janet Frame’s house in Oamaru would be open.  They’ve even produced special book marks to give visitors.

What’s more Murray Deaker was excited in response.

Who would have thought that sport and literature could mix?

They’re all part of the Real New Zealand Festival which includes events as diverse as a special  Oyster Festival in Bluff and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Odes to Joy in Christchurch.

There will also be some rugby. The Fijian team is the first foreign one to arrive and when I saw them and the enthusiasm of the people welcoming them I began to realise just what is in store in the next few weeks.

There’s going to be a party, and whether it’s rugby, literature, oysters, music or any of the other dozens of events, it’s something to celebrate and get excited about.

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