If you follow me on Twitter you may be aware that I recently finished my PhD. Yippee!!!
Three and a half years of work, and its safe to say the hand in is a bit anti-climatic. Thankfully a couple of friends, Sean and George, were there to buy me a pint, enjoyed in the sunshine at 10:30am opposite a bank of people of treadmill machines no less.
But the real celebration comes after the viva, where Andrew Jackson and Alex Thornton gave me a grilling for three and a half hours on the contents of my thesis and the thinking behind it. Thankfully they were very positive, and only gave me minor corrections. Thanks guys! Then we had a party and such, but it still never really hits you. I then had to pack up and leave Cornwall, but it still didn’t really hit me. I’m writing this now and that fact that its bloody done, over, finished, no more, hasn’t really hit me. Its been a bit manic recently, with viva, then leaving Cornwall and now I’m heading off almost immediately for a bit of a break. For you see this post is not just about the end of something….
I’ve written before about how I love sport and how I’m interested in why all human cultures “do sport”*. Well after finishing my PhD, I decided to do something more than talk wistfully about it. I’m soon embarking on a trip, where I plan to check out as many different sports, of all different kinds, in a variety of different cultures.
This begins in Morocco, before I head north to Spain, then east to Hungary, further east to Kyrgyzstan before turning south to India. Three continents, a range of different cultures and environments, and hopefully a range of different sports and games. There will be team sports, individual sports, power events, endurance events, events with men and animals, events with men against animals (yes, I will be taking in a bullfight), sports where the foe is another person, or the environment or where the opponent is no one in particular except yourself. I’m dribbling with anticipation just writing that!
It’s a holiday and a bit of a research trip all rolled together. Hopefully I will be keeping this site updated with my adventurers, pictures and stories. Let me know if you’ve been to any of these countries and you know of something awesome worth checking out!
*In fact Johan Huizinga may have got there first, with his book: “Homo ludens: A study of the play-element in culture”. I’ve now got a copy, and will be delving into it on my travels. Lets hope he’s left some thing for me to cover!