A beer with…Yvette Wroby

 

Barry Nicholls continues his new ‘A beer with…’ column by chatting with Yvette Wroby, best known on these pages as an avid Saints’ supporter, a champion of women’s football, and long time supporter of  The Footy Almanac.

 

 

 

 

A beer with … Yvette Wroby

 

Yvette is a retired psychotherapist, social worker, writer and artist. Her grandmother used to say children are the investment and grandchildren are the dividends, and if you add dogs to that, Yvette has two current obsessions/dividends, and neither have anything to do with that weird-shaped ball.

 

 

How long have you been writing?

 

I have written since the age of 11, at first to a diary I called Fred. I was obviously keen to talk to a boy, even a made-up one. The journal was full of falling in and out of love, family life, and St Kilda losing the 1971 Grand Final to Hawthorn. There was more drama. I remember praising the Hawks as being just too good for us. I no longer praise those we lose to.

 

 

How did you start as a writer?

 

My writing was sporadic until I wrote for the Almanac (2010), when I swore that if I got published, I would write every week. This lasted years…until five years ago when I just ran out of positive things to say about St Kilda or football in general.

 

Plus, all that writing led to an adventure of my own, and I wrote Siren’s Call about…you guessed it… footy, St Kilda, my family, and the broader St Kilda football club community.

 

Then, women’s footy took off in the AFL zone, and I participated in the two Women’s Footy Almanacs. What a full-on ride that was.

 

After all that, I ran out of steam and started looking after my grandkids. Writing has gone into the background, and I only just started painting again (another love I began in 2005).

 

 

What were your favourite books as a kid?

 

As a kid, I read a lot of classics, such as Black Beauty, Little Women, and I Can Jump Puddlesby Alan Marshall (my dad had met him).  I have always had lots of books on the go, and since the lockdowns and COVID, I have read as many Beatles or Beatles-related books as I can get my hands on.  I love Podcasts about Beatles books by Joe Wisbey, who has guided me to many a new book.  I have read many from people around them: women, tailors, hairdressers, managers, friends, and organisers. I await the latest from their roadie and buddy, Mel Evans.

 

 

How did you first get published?

 

My first published works were cartoons…and I got many awards and appreciation for my contributions to Comic Edge, an Australian publication.  I discovered the Almanac after hearing John Harms with Lindy Burns on the ABC on my way home from work—thus a new challenge and writing every day.  I had begun writing every morning as suggested by The Artists Way, and it worked.

 

 

What are your plans for the future?


I have a planned road trip to Perth. Colin, my Cavoodle, often tries to visit his best friend near our place, and he doesn’t understand that she and her delightful parents have moved to Perth.  This trip is for Colin, so he knows how far we must go to see Minnie!  My friend Rina has done the hard work of extensive planning (with some of my input), and we will take the slow road and take our time, driving only up to 3-4 hours per day. We will stay near John Harms and family for a few days for a thorough catch-up. I plan to write about that journey and those of my past. I have headings planned out and am ready to rock and roll again. It will be a kid-free time, and I hope to write every night.

 

 

What do you watch on streaming?

 

I love streaming and watching everything Beatles-related, including biographies (I have read a few of those lately), and I seem to love murder/mysteries.  Pride and Prejudice is my go-to book; I have read Jane Austen’s books.  I am currently reading Harry Potter to my second eldest grandchild and have just rewatched all the movies again, as well as mushy stuff.

 

 

What is life like for you at the moment?

 

My life now (at this very moment) involves making masses of chicken soup (lots of sick family and friends lately, and supplies are down), watching a bit of footy (if the game is interesting), doing cross-word puzzles, painting a few commissions, and clearing out my house of excesses.

 

I am finally free of grown-up children in the house, and I spend lots of overnights with the grandkids and friends’ dogs when they are away. Colin has lots of company, and I like more than one dog without the expense.

 

 

What is your Desert Island book?

 

My Desert Island book…Mark Lewisham’s next Beatles book! I have about 20 Beatles books still unread, too, so I would smuggle them onto the island, too.

 

 

Barry Nicholls is a former A-grade district cricketer (for Kensington in Adelaide) who has written about the sport for three decades. He’s also been a broadcaster on ABC Radio for nearly 20 years. Barry has written nine books, including You Only Get One Innings: Family, Mates and the Wisdom of Cricket and For Those Who Wait: The Barry Jarman Story and The Pocket History of the Ashes. He has contributed to Inside SportWisden Cricketers’ Almanac Australia and other publications.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Great article. I can relate to Yvette’s frustration as a St Kilda supporter. To be twenty points up at three quarter time in the 1971 Grand Final and lose is extremely hard to take, especially when St Kilda hasn’t won a flag since 1966. Not only was 1971 frustrating, so was the 1997 Grand Final when St Kilda were the hot favourites and lost, after leading by 12 points at half time.

    The 2009 Grand Final was equally frustrating as St Kilda had numerous opportunities to sew up the match early, but kicked very inaccurately. They led by 7 points at three quarter time and lost. A bit like last Saturday against Essendon.

    If only the ball had bounced right for Milne in the 2010 drawn Grand Final. St Kilda are the most jinxed team. They need some luck. At least, to St Kilda supporters anyway, losing a Grand Final is better than adding to our massive 27 wooden spoons!

    I was just thinking about Yvette the other day, as I no longer see any more of her articles in the Footy Almanac. Great to see an article about an update of her life in general.

    I sincerely hope that St Kilda can win their 2nd flag in Yvette’s, mine and most St Kilda supporters’ lifetimes!

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Thank you Anon for the lovely words and reminder of Saints pain and misery in expansive detail. Have you ever noticed how teams that have beaten us in grand finals go on to win even more premierships… winning breeds winners and losing breeds….us.

    As to the beer bit… lovely Rina reminded me the title whisky with Yvette would be more apt. Give me a good single malt non peated Japanese whisky over any beer. Rina also took that photo last Christmas when I was dog sitting grand-dog and good friends dog and we were with friends for Christmas Day.

  3. Rick Kane says

    Wonderful interview and great to hear from Yvette, who has been a core of the Almanac family. Yvette, thank you for the heads up re Joe Wisbey. Yes, I stopped reading the interview to search him out on Spotify and I look forward to listening to him discuss Beatles books with the authors. Sounds great to me. Have a great trip Yvette and we look forward to catching up at an Almanac gathering or a Beatles event! Did you see Paul McCartney last October, what a concert!

    Cheers

  4. Mickey Randall says

    Excellent to hear from Yvette who I met at a lunch nearly a decade ago. Glad she’s still creating and has plans to create some more!

    Would love to read some from her on her love for the Beatles (a topic which is always compelling).

    This is a great series, Barry. Thanks.

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