Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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Some people really know how to cheer you up…
The last few days have seen some lovely and generous Christmas gifts pour into the office, several accompanied by kind sentiments wishing me well during the final stages of my medical treatment.
One package revealed a nice bottle of Bordeaux (pictured) called Dédicace, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. But was my well-wisher being a little mischievous? Take another look at the bottle – note in particular the ‘de Fabien Pelous’ reference.
Fabien who? Any rugby fan will give you the answer. Now retired, Monsieur Pelous is one of the great French rugby players of all time. A lock, he played almost all of his professional career for Stade Toulousain, and is the all-time leader in appearances for the French national team, Les Bleus.
In particular he played a key role in the French Rugby World Cup squad of 2007. Yes that squad. The one that so dramatically turned over the hot favourites, the All Blacks, by 20-18 in arguably the most sensational rugby match of all time.
It is a game I have never been able to watch again since. The very recounting of it leaves me with a deep feeling of despair revisited. To this day I still have nightmares about that performance, just as I dread the All Blacks round-one encounter with France in next year’s World Cup in New Zealand. I’m only just about able to eat French Fries again. Some things are just too painful…
So excuse me, if I don’t partake of Mr Pelous’s wine just yet. I shall instead position it prominently in my office, eye it occasionally, if warily, and only ever, ever open it if New Zealand one day wins the World Cup. Cynics may say it is destined to become a very well-aged wine.