Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: A ragged start to the final assignment

Keven Mealamu, Sam Cane, Wyatt Crockett and Victor Vito of the All Blacks. Photo / Getty Images.
Keven Mealamu, Sam Cane, Wyatt Crockett and Victor Vito of the All Blacks. Photo / Getty Images.

Watching some of the on-board mums made me weary.

Who knows how many laps of the section of the Airbus 380 they did with their bundles of unquenchable mischief as the plane took us towards the north and the All Blacks' final year assignments.

Just when some thought all the energy had sagged from the plump limbs of tiny Harry or Harriet, the youngster squealed again demanding more action.

Some of the passengers were a little snaky at the vocal interruptions or those who wanted to wail rather than walk, but minding any tiny cargo is no snack.

Shut your peepers when you think the rascal has dozed off and you will find them peeling back your eyelids to check your status.

No thank-you, minding yourself on a longhaul flight is tough enough. The brain goes kind of mushy round the fringes-no change most of you might say.

Thanks, you enjoy your morning read.

Without children in tow, we feel pretty ragged when we fall out of the large tin albatross, before being interrogated by a suspicious points man at Heathrow, wondering what this rugby stuff is all about.

Round ball, soccer, association football; he understands those sports but this rugby thing has him a bit beat.

Your bosses have paid for you to be here have they, he inquired.

A nod of the head was followed up by supplementary questions about my travel plans, earnings and a return ticket.

Mercifully the queues at Thiefrow were not too long and moving. That did not last.

The queues, frisking and bag-searching which went on before connecting with a domestic hang-glider up to Edinburgh were extraordinary.

Our fortune was that we were at the beginning of the shift. I'd hate to think what they were like as the day wound on and the agitation levels rose.

Then the difficulties of child-minding followed me as I tried to have a meal on the first night in Edinburgh without falling into my soup. One high-chair secured midget, swiped his parents glass of vino and broke it all over himself.

Glass fragments everywhere, luckily without damage to life or limb, but a case of agitated parents apologizing profusely to staff and other patrons.

Aaaagh, the dramas of parenting. Babysitting a laptop on tour even for this technophobe, is far less stressful.

- NZ Herald

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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