I'm so sad. In both senses of the word; when I got home I inhaled deeply to smell the stale urine emitting from the pillars at our building's entrance, in spite of the fact I was eating a piece of pizza, just because it's a reminder of Sunday night. And that was after I stayed late at work for late shoppers - something I usually resent - because they were French tourists, and I don't want them to go. The parade yesterday was like the family bbq the day after the wedding, and today has felt like coming back from girls' camp all over again, searching the kitchen for the only Arcoroc mug to drink from and sleeping in my sleeping bag instead of between my sheets. As we roamed the streets on Sunday night, basking in relief and triumph, I really wanted to ask people if we could still be friends tomorrow, and let's all remember tonight okay. I've never been good with endings.
The parade was wonderful. There were brass bands, one of which was made up of people dressed as kiwifruit, and there was a big white blow-up rugby ball that made me think of the NZ in Flight of the Conchords.
This is my excellent friend waiting for the All Blacks to arrive; she does a great snap-snap, and she hadn't been to bed yet. The lady beside her sat in a chair while we waited for it to begin. When her husband mentioned Sonny Bill she leapt up like a shot to everyone's amusement; he was merely asking where Sonny Bill was, and in the end he even wasn't part of the parade. Her husband did some great boos when a stupid reporter monopolised Jerome Kaino the whole time he was in front of us...
Understandably, many of the All Blacks looked like they'd rather be in bed, and several looked like they were about to throw up, so enthusiasm like this was much appreciated. I thought Piri was puking off the side but I saw on tv later that he was actually doing an interview. He's got this.
I'm pretty sure Graham Henry waved directly at me. I did only just pass the eye test for my licence renewal last week, but I'm almost certain. I was jumping in the air, waving with both hands, and yelling yeah Henry.
My beautiful city after the parade, like a Mother-of-the-bride. I'm so proud of her, and so pleased people have enjoyed her (quitting the 'she' business about now, I think). Today Auckland felt a bit depressed, like life going on almost as usual after something huge. I suppose that's one of life's strengths and tragedies; it just keeps going.
Finally, this is me hugging a stranger on Sunday night after we had won. Several people around us asked if I was French because I wasn't just crying, I was sobbing. In hindsight, it may partly have been the knowledge that it's over. But for me, it won't ever really be finished. Friends, of all the main-streets in all the cities in all the world, you walked into mine. We'll always have Auckland.