SIX years ago, my wife and I went on the search for a vacant block of land to buy in Ipswich where we could build.
The block we found was the right size, flat, had little fill and was in a great area.
While they were all positives the thing that really topped it off was the fact that it was just a stone’s throw away from a small communal park.
We bought the block and built our home and have loved the decision every day since.
The small park has played a key role in that enjoyment especially around Christmas time when our neighbours come together for a Christmas Eve Carols night and our own Boxing Day cricket match.
The park is like having a big backyard and many of the us break away from our Christmas celebrations and reunions to join in on the fun.
The Boxing Day Test always provides its memories as rules are changed every five minutes, umpiring decisions debated and the game stopped every over as we go looking in neighbour’s yards for lost balls.
Our decision this year for every batsman to stay at the crease for four overs, ban running between the wickets and to ignore lbw decisions ensured lots of fun for the youngest batsman of just 10 years of age right through to the oldest approaching 70.
The game brought back memories of the frequent backyard battles I shared as a small child in Sydney.
The games were serious back then and the debating was loud as we all fought to stay at the crease so we could hit the winning run.
For me, my greatest obstacle was surviving the three spin demons who lived next door.
Dad was the king, and he loved the games just as much as we did. It was all part of my growing up, learning to accept losing and embracing challenges.
Our Boxing Day Test this year did come with a few hiccups as one player marched off to the doctors with badly broken finger and another retired early after doing a hamstring.
I have no doubt, however, that both will be back on our small field of dreams next year.