Something New: Tena koe. That’s the formal greeting we learnt at my Te Ara Reo course. Most of learning is done by singing or chanting. And there are lots of games, running around and free coffee – making it the ideal night class as it’d probably fall asleep if it wasn’t so interactive.

Something Old: My neck is also aching and I can barely lift my arms. That’s from my first rugby training. I haven’t played proper rugby since high school. Whether my body can stand up two intense sessions of beatings a week, followed by an even more intense match will be another matter – but the experimenting continues. It’s just an under-85kg team, and so I’m only 10kgs lighter than most of the guys. But it’s the fitness which is killing me already. I’m probably one of the fitter guys on a team run, but being able to hit rucks, make tackles and get back into a defensive line – is where I’m really struggling. It’s like an all-around fitness that I’ve never needed for any other sport, except maybe surfing. Getting through at least half of season of games before an injury would be my goal. I love watching rugby and talking about it and loved coaching it last year, so to actually play for a team which is highly motivated, well-coached as this one seems to be is just so cool and hopefully I can achieve a life-long ambition to smash someone in a Eroni Clarke-style tackle.

Something Borrowed: Last weekend we had dinner with friends and did a book and clothes swap. Managed to get a mean Al Green CD and a book I’ve been coveting for many a year. Totally loving the whole book swap thing, as I probably spend $50 to $100 a year at bookshops, but as it turns out my friends have pretty similar tastes as me, so swapping books is a way cheaper way to freshen up the shelves.

Something blue: Jo would like to get rid of a vase – similar to this one. Any takers?

E noho ra.