The news this evening is full of the floods and all the results of the storm yesterday in the North of NZ's South Island - so big that it's changed the course of rivers and swept away major road bridges on the State Highways. Some of the cherry crops which had been hailed as the very best ever have been devastated. It's hard to equate the storm - reckoned to be the worst in over 100 years - of a single day with the wonderful weather before and the calm, pleasant weather today. The rest of the first 15 minutes of TVNZ's One News was about the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake. Then came the news that large areas of Queensland in NE Australia have been declared official disaster zones in the worst floods for 150 years.
So you would think that the news that England had retained The Ashes by an innings and 157 runs would be irrelevant and of little consequence. Wrong! Australia is in mourning. I think (but am open to correction) that it's the first time in 24 years that England has retained The Ashes. The really telling thing was that on the last day the ground contained almost no Australian fans. Ricky Ponting the Australian Captain was less than the happiest bunny in the warren. It was Australia's biggest defeat for 98 years and England's best win since 1986.
Part of me says that all the troubles in the world render such frivolities inconsequential. However that would mean regarding sport nothing as compared with the wars that are being fought and the natural disasters that are occurring around the world.
But life's not like that.