God’s Own Country
Leave aside the fight for who invented the Pavlova. If that’s what the Aussies want then let them have the meringue. It doesn’t taste the same without some fresh Kiwi dairy cream whipped into a frenzy like Martin Crowe at the wicket in an 80’s one-dayer and layered over the top like Ian Jones reaching over those short French rugby players in an All Black line-out. And you can be sure that an Aussie pav won’t have that pièce de résistance of a few slices of kiwifruit to give the sweet some bite. You know some dessert eaters are a bunch of namby-pamby wannabes. The real discussion is about where is God’s Own Country.
New Zealand has always been 100% God’s Own Country as even the researchers have proven and it’s a title many would fear to compete for. While Aussie has a reef and the Yanks some hole in the ground they call a canyon, the Poms may have a Lake District and the Europeans rave about their mountains but which of them can say they’ve been able to bring all that natural majesty into a country the size of George Bush’s backyard? This is more than the Shire in Middle Earth or a playground for the extreme adventurer. New Zealand is a paradise where angels won’t leave and demons won’t visit. The green undulating hills mesh with crystal clear waters while man and beast walk amongst the creation that God is still rolling out years after the first seven-day first edition. Some joker called Thomas Bracken back in the 1800s wrote a stanza or two on the subject and he really caught what God’s Own Country is all about. He must have known what he was talking about because he came from Ireland, checked out Australia and then decided New Zealand was the place to be. Now some of those young whipper snappers who do the marketing have tended to shorten God’s Own Country to save on thumb rsi on their mobiles but whether you’re shouting Godzone or Godsown it really is just a country that’s a sparkle in His eye.
Coming to the 100% New Zealand experience will always be hard on the senses so preparation is important. If you’ve come from somewhere droll like an inner-city apartment block or the terrace housing of Coronation Street then you should take the time to prepare. Acclimatizing prior to your trip is important. We recommend two ways to adjust to your holiday in God’s Own Country. The preferable way would be by visualisation as you watch several All-Black matches to pick up on the warrior culture of the nation. Follow this up with a twelve-hour marathon of Lord of the Rings to ensure the scenery won’t overwhelm you on your first introduction. To encompass the full sensory experience you should visit your local florist once a day for a month prior to travelling to New Zealand. Shoving your head into a floral bouquet should prepare both eyes for the visual assault of colour as well as your nasal cavities for the fragrance of the New Zealand bush. Language may be an issue in travelling to a foreign land for some travellers so to pick up on the Kiwi accent we would advise that you start to watch less of Neighbours and more of Flight of the Conchords.
So visiting New Zealand might be a wee trip for you but I can tell you it’s the shortest distance to Heaven theologically known. The folk at Air New Zealand will get you here and their safety is world-renowned so you’ll be in good hands. Now if you think we’re concerned about this rugged wilderness and whether we have internetness or the electricity thingamajig then do not fear. We all visit the local McDonald’s carpark to use their free Wifi but it’s a good place to catch up with the whanau (family) over a New Zealand lamb burger. The pristine waters of our rivers drive our national hydro-electricity so the only Nuclear power plant you’ll see is on the hotel television with Homer kicking back a doughnut on the Simpsons.
Truth be told when God created this place he kicked the snake out of Eden and they’ve been populating Australia ever since. That’s the reason we love to sing our National Anthem. It was that same young Irishman, Thomas Bracken, who wrote the poem ‘God’s Own Country’, who then caught the heart of our nation when he wrote our national anthem. It’s the deep lyrics that resonate when we sing and they put the awe in the heart of the admirer and fear in the eyes of our adversaries. It stirs the heart, reminds you why you’re thankful to live in God’s Own Country and then gives you a sense you’re in a good place where God is looking after the place. Why don’t you come on down. I’ll tell St. Peter to meet you at the airport’s pearly gates.