Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Current obsession

When it comes to sport, I am pretty much a true-to-type, die-in-the-wool, stereotypical Australian. Sport is our national religion. It is the one thing that unites all the disparate peoples and cultures that make up Australia. We have four codes of Football (Australian Rules, Rugby Union, Rugby League and Soccer), Cricket, athletics, rowing, sailing (even people who've never been on a boat in their lives follow the progress of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race), golf, surfing, cycling, horse racing (the Melbourne Cup is the only horse race in the world that has it's own public holiday), tennis, etc, etc. And in all of the sports I've listed, we're world class. When Australia takes a sport seriously, look out the rest of the world; we won't stop until we're champions.

It's summer, so I'm obsessing about Cricket. In particular, the international matches between England vs. New Zealand at the start of the summer, and England vs. South Africa now. If I could, I'd listen to every ball of every game. Sadly, I work in a radio black spot (last year, I purchased a DAB radio just to get Test Match Special but there is no reception here), and the IT Department have blocked radio via the internet.

Kim has "County" membership of Surrey Cricket Club. In June, we treated ourselves to a Girls Day Out - a One Day International at the Oval. It was a day that started with the threat of rain and became hot and sunny, so I went prepared for anything: hiking slacks that convert to shorts (similar to these), strappy top, cardigan, waxed Barbour jacket… We packed a picnic, knitted a bit, drank champagne, sobered up on Pimms, and had a really good day out.

Anyway, ever since the match, I've been pondering County Cricket Club membership and whether it is worth applying for "County" membership to Surrey. It would entitle me to free entry at all County games and priority booking of tickets for all Internationals. Whilst £150/year isn't expensive to watch one of my favourite sports, it isn't cheap if I don't use it. The Oval is at least an hour and a half away by public transport but their secondary ground at Guildford isn't too difficult to drive to (a lot of miles, though, and then there is parking to consider).

The enticing alternative, of course, is Middlesex County Cricket Club, who at least play some matches locally to our home. And, of course, their main home ground is LORDS the Headquarters of Cricket. The benefits are the same as for Surrey, but up until about half an hour ago, it had never even occurred to me that Middlesex membership might be a possibility. In my mind, I'd been confusing them with the famous "MCC" or Marylebone Cricket Club, with whom Middlesex share Lords. The MCC was never a possibility - it has a twenty year waiting list and then only if you get proposed and seconded by at least 4 existing members. (If you are a billionaire who donates £mega-millions, I'm sure they'll find a way to squeeze you in sooner.) Middlesex, on the other hand, is do-able at £133 plus joining fee.

Decisions, decisions.

However, the question still remains: if I became a club member, would I use it? I want it, but even if it only cost £20, if I don't use it then it won't be worth it. For now, I'll put it on my "wish list" and maybe save up for it via the Sanity Fund. That'll give me a couple of months to review the idea before I have to commit myself (I have to join before October - my BIL wants tickets to next year's Lords' test match between England and Australia).

[ sigh ]

- Pam (I wants it NOW!)

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