4.10pm Saturday, July 21: QF1 departs for London.
It's always hard when passions collide. I love my food and wine but I also enjoy being fit. I love my kids but also enjoy my own company, or at least 10 minutes peace every now and then. And as I sit on a plane bound for London I am missing out on the dramatic conclusion to the 2012 Super 15 rugby championship.
I know it seems rather ungrateful to lament missing the final acts of a provincial rugby competition for the world's greatest sporting event but, even for us fanatics, such sacrifice will soon be redundant. In four years' time in Rio de Janeiro, rugby will be back at the Olympics, in the abbreviated, frenetic form of sevens.
It won't have been a brief hiatus for rugby – 92 years to be precise. Makes colour TV seem like the new, new thing and MySpace futuristic.
Certainly it's been long enough for most of us to forget that the US is the reigning gold medallist. You think the Waratahs are in a bad patch? Well it's been more than a century since Australia's anthem was sung for rugby at the 1908 London Games.
7.40pm: Somewhere over the Northern Territory.
Kick-off. Reds on step one of three to retain their title, the Sharks striving for their first.
Rugby will bring much to the Olympics but the Olympics will bring so much more to rugby.
One reason rugby is back in the Olympics is its universality; it is nigh on a religion in New Zealand (why are so many great rugby players New Zealanders? Why are so many great sprinters Jamaican?) and Wales; likewise in places such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga – which will be vying to win their country's first-ever gold medal.
But it is also important for some fast-emerging aspirants such as Kenya and the Netherlands (yes that's right, the Dutch play rugby).
Another reason is equality. women's sevens, – for which Australia is reigning world champion – is being targeted as a medal opportunity by some surprising countries. One is again the Netherlands, which came third in a recent major international meet.
They are far from a traditional rugby power but have scoured their country for likely women, physically and athletically predisposed for rugby, and have contracted them in pursuit of gold. The US men's side has done similarly.
8.30pm: Over the Timor Sea.
Half-time at Suncorp Stadium. When the Reds lead at half-time they rarely lose. If they are behind it could be a lottery. What's the score?
The Olympics are special and are not solely about winning. In our team of perhaps 500 athletes all are peers, none more important than another, all are Olympians. An eclectic collection of athletes, of physical and psychological extremes – many of whom, while household names and legends at home, are unknown in other countries, perhaps all others.
But an Olympic gold is still the most universally recognised honour in sport and will give sevens stars the chance to stand at least beside rugby World Cup winners.
Australia currently has no specialist sevens legend such as Wasale Serevi or Eric Rush – good XVs players but giants of sevens. A gold medal may change all that.
It may not ultimately define your life but it can certainly pencil an outline. An outline for you and a platform for your sport.
9.20pm: East of East Timor.
Full-time sounds, who won?
Three hours to destination, if I sleep it won't seem so long. If I watch any of the fairly average movies it will seem forever. Patience is a virtue, but perhaps in these days of instant media and news gratification it is an absent virtue.
12.10am: Land in Singapore.
Phone on, global roaming on, searching for a network. Ten texts would be a good sign, winners celebrate en masse and virally. One text would not be, losers prefer solitude. "How'r yr Reds looking now!" says one.
Alas, the Reds lose 30-17.
John Eales will be an athlete liaison officer for the Australian Olympic Team.