Ha –gotcha! Bet that made you open it!

Good morning Blind Wisdom seekers!

Wow – what a week – with my third refereeing gig for the nude touch rugby. Someone wrote on a facebook post “only in Dunedin” and I guess they are right. Where else would 14 guys strip off their clothes in front of a crowd of thousands to play a serious game of rugby! And using a ref who is blind! It’s been 10 years since I refereed my first game at Middle beach when England played the Nude blacks in a curtain raiser to a test match in 2004. It was a real ‘why not’ moment and an opportunity I will, I’d have to say, always cherish.

Yet again, the senses come in to play. The smell of the nude boys on the bus on the way to the ground, the sound of the cheering crowd, the taste of the pre match water and the feel, well, how else does a blind ref ref – the feel of the imaginary sprigs on the boys imaginary boots! This year, thanks goes to Duane from grab a seat who guided me around the field and told me when to blow my whistle and which calls to make. In this instance, I received information through my ears in order to be able to control the game! My favourite moment however came at the beginning of the second half when an imaginary fight broke out and the ref had to break it up! There was loads of whistle blowing, and I even had to use my white cane. Eventually I got the story from the two captains and I had to send off a nude black with a red card saying, in braille, you owe the ref two beers!

One of life’s truly great moments!

Now here’s my sensory list for the week:

1 the smell of Spelt Bakery as we passed it this morning!

2 the feel of my winter hat touching my stomach as I carried it around in my pocket on my morning walk!

3 the taste of hot toast for lunch yesterday.

4 the sound of Margaret Jackson asking about all of the cakes in RJ’s pantry on Hillside Road! The lady behind the counter said cheesecakes (you know the pastry, jam and sponge cake cakes) flew out the door they did! Amazing! My Nan used to make them!

5 the feel of the collar scarf I knitted for William for his 21st birthday! Don’t worry – I didn’t just give him a crappy home made scarf from his blind aunty! He got money too!

6 the taste of the mandarin I had for morning tea yesterday.

7 the feel of the bags I bought from Otago Packaging to put my braille envelopes in!

8 the taste of my hot cup of tea just now

9 the sound of james excitedly bringing the nude touch rugby video footage in to me!

10 the feel of the dry washing as I brought it inside just now!

I may not see but I can smell

And taste and touch and listen

And when I do this every day

I find my optimism!