Fire in Basildon

I’m happy. Truly happy for the first time in a while. There are many reasons for this, not least which is my family and friends. These are my most treasured and valued things I have in my life and they have been wonderful to me, more than I felt I have deserved.

The second reason for my happiness has been my finding employment at an International NGO working in 14 countries around the world. Just the sort of organisation I always wanted to work for whilst I was completing my degree in International Politics at Aberystwyth between 2003 & 2006.

The third reason I’m happy today is the return of the professional cricket season. It has many detractors yet it has survived many trials and tribulations and still survived. Last year the county championship’s attendances increased by 9% (to 531,000) amidst the deepest recession for 80 years.

An apt quote from George Orwell given the winter's trials and tribulations.

I’m a member of Essex county cricket club, the Westfield (and Kaneria) saga saddened and angered me, yet I’m sitting in the stands and cheering as David Masters opens his championship account (inevitably caught by James Foster) for the season.

Why is this? Well there are a number of reasons, first it’s a great opportunity to meet fellow club mates and friends who share a love for cricket. Second it’s a time for hope and new beginnings which the onset of spring (and easter) always rekindles in me after the long winter nights.

There are times when I let my self-perception become wildly distorted and refuse to see the good parts of who I am. Somehow the cricket season stops me from doing this to a large extent.

Chelmsford is a non-descript ground to a large extent. It is probably one of the ugliest grounds on the county circuit. It is functional at best. But I always love coming here, because it feels like home. The atmosphere is unique IMO. You can walk round the whole ground and not miss any of the action as there is always a view of the action to be had. The ground is central to the UK’s newest city and it feels like a community. It’s a community worth savouring and looking after, it feels like it’s an all-too-rare commodity these days.

Anyway, here’s to a spring & summer worth savouring.

Paul.

P.S. I will edit this later, on the mobile ATM.

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