The English summer has been appalling. Even by the usual standards of Kiwi's bagging things British, this year the arrival of summer has been as slow as the English pack to a breakdown.
Me and the missus have starved ourselves of summer hols so far to take in all the All Black pool games, Quarter Final, and (touch Woodcock) the Semi Final ... passing on a return to our favourite music festival or Bridget Jones-style 'minibreaks' to scrimp pennies and paid leave for what we hope is a winning tournament in La Belle France.
Even my Dad is here at the moment, and he is planning to leave early so he can get to Honolulu and watch the early rounds from a swimming pool bar, rather than down at the King's Queen's Nag's Horse's Head with flat ale, and a damp umbrella tucked between his feet.
But late next week, we head off to Provence: first to Marseilles, then Lyon for the games against Italy and Portugal respectively. And that's just up the road from what is now Umaga Country - Toulon.
France. Choice. Nothing like a Rugby World Cup in a rugby country. No disrespect to Ole' Blighty, but here the game loses battle with football by such a massive margin that trips to France or Wales to see New Zealand play are very special. Raucous, hilarious occasions where the UK ex-pats show off all that is best (or worst) about a few thousand liquor-fuelled Kiwis in a confined space. Last November's game against France in Lyon was brilliant, not just because of the scoreline, but due to the three or four thousand Exponents-singing All Black fans. Even Earl Kirton joined in.
Can't wait. Kia kaha.