What an emotional few days we have had. Of course the new week began on Sunday with the rugby final. It was a mini Battle of Britain style conflict between highly trained professionals with similar drama played out for all to see. Like the World Cup the battle in the air was finalised at the end of October long ago in 1940.
'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'. That was Churchill 75 years ago. To many of the gladiators of the skies, in typical British understatement and humour they suggested his words referred to their mess bills as they drank the evenings away to relieve the nervous stresses and tensions of the day's sorties when their lives were on the line. One in four did not make it.
Over 4 months, about 40 of the finest aviators from both the RAF and The Luftwaffe were lost each day. That the United Kingdom survived the onslaught was, in large part, due to the 'coach' of the team, Air Marshall Sir Keith Park who controlled the Southeast quadrant of England which bore the brunt of the German air armada's assault. He too was a New Zealander.
The best feature of the rugby match and its aftermath has been the modesty of players on both sides in acknowledging a good competition and each other's quality. These are the New Zealanders we want to see. Richie McCaw, Ben Smith, Beauden Barret, Steve Hanson and the boy from Ruatoria. Sure some of them could do with a few Toastmaster lessons but that lack of eloquence is part of our native backdrop.
To cap it off on Tuesday we had The Melbourne Cup and the delight of a youthful woman cutting through the middle to win for the first time, so making history. Even better were Michelle Payne's comments back in the birdcage with her Down Syndrome strapper and brother. She had dreamt of doing this since the age of 5. Many had opposed her getting the ride on Prince of Penzance, but the trainer and two owners stuck for her. ' the rest of youse can get stuffed', she said. Wow! Well said Michelle.
The win and the family background will surely end up as a story for television. The father brought up 8 children alone after his wife died in a car accident. Many were jockeys. The father had gone to Australia from Taranaki a long time ago and the horse was bred in Matamata. Not claiming a pavlova but it's good to see a Kiwi connection.
Finally to bring us down off these highs we have the idiocy of social media. Mike Hosking wandered off to the UK presumably to report on the rugby but to me it looked a bit like a 'jolly' to join in the pomp and fun. He got sick. So on the media we have wife Kate and Toni Street prattling on about £200 doctor visits, a hotel in plush Mayfair and sitting next to footballs golden boy David Beckham on a plane heading somewhere, with Royalty a seat or two in front.
This of course implies (if you hadn't known our entitlement) we are travelling First Class. Well Kate, all I can say by comparison is the humility of many of the All Blacks, their undoubted skill and the courage of the 94 New Zealand pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, they are the real Kiwis. Tossers who hang off coat-tails for a bit of Kath and Kim 'look at me' exposure have no place in my book.
I just don't get how some of the media are so far up themselves that they seem to have lost touch with what a true Kiwi was and should still be.
Well done Hanson's 'boys', well spoken Michelle and 'Go The Black Caps!'