As the Rugby World Cup draws ever closer -- and we're now able to monitor our growing excitement second by second, courtesy of the countdown clock recently unveiled in Cathedral Square by Mayor Bob Parker -- plans are afoot all over the country to spruce the place up so that our overseas visitors will see us in our best bib and tucker. Everywhere you look there are new rubbish bins, roads, pedestrian walkways, and tree planting going on; even new public sculptures are going in, as New Zealand looks to its international reputation and scrubs up like a boarding school's dining hall on Parents' Day.
Some wowsers have moaned, a bit, about the country driving itself ever further into debt by building massive white brick and mortar elephants which are only going to be used once by a relative handful of beer-swilling global munters. Plans recently unveiled in Christchurch, however, reveal that local planners are on to this problem already. With Cathedral Square expected to be the number-one fan zone, ideas to rugger the old girl up a bit have been mooted. The arts are likely to take a front row spot, but we needn't be concerned that we'll have to look at whatever blinking thing they come up with forever. We don't have the details yet, but we're talking about more than just flags, said the council spokesperson.
"Proposals include a large inflatable rugby ball, that could sit in the Chalice sculpture."
Regrettably the news report did not provide an image of this, so I have produced my own artist's impression.
Sometimes I wonder if Neil Dawson ever gets a bit tired of this shit.