Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Ashes 2009

Tonight (Australian time) marks the start of the 2009 Ashes series in the UK. For the uninitiated, The Ashes is the "trophy" for Australia vs England cricket series. These series occur roughly every two years, with a series hosted by each country each four years. For an Australian player or fan, an Ashes series in England is as good as it gets.

To say I am looking forward to the coverage is an understatement. I would really love to get to England for the series one day. I'll be nearby in Germany during the last game of the series this year, but unfortunately all of the tickets are sold out.

As I'm sitting here watching the first few overs, I've been thinking about how I can almost mark progress in my life by what I was doing while watching the Ashes from England every four years. In 1989 I was just finishing primary school. I hadn't been interested in or playing cricket for long, but it sure took up a lot of my thinking. In 1993 I was mid-way through high school, and by this point was taking my studies fairly seriously as I had realised what I could achieve academically. I remember watching the games up late after coming home some of the first times I was allowed to go out with my friends at night. By 1997 I was a couple of years into uni, really enjoying engineering. I was also going out with my wife (then girlfriend) by then and my enduring memory of that series is watching it at her place after everyone else was asleep. 2001 was a big year for growing up: first full-time job, moving out with my girlfriend and thinking about getting married. It was nice watching that series late at night in a place I could call my own. Much better was 2005, when I could watch it in an apartment I owned rather than rented. By this time, we were married, and I had established myself at work though I was thinking a lot about how to go about doing a PhD as I was watching the games. This time, I'm sitting in our own house, am writing up my thesis, and my wife has begun her PhD studies. This time around I'll be occupied by what I/we are going to do next year once I'm finished. I wonder where I will be in four years time?