AFL Round 20 – West Coast v Collingwood: Hummingbirds at the Lomond (Paris influence)

Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux:  chez soi et à Paris.
(There are only two places in the world where we can live happy:  at home and in Paris.)
– Ernest Hemmingway

“Oh Bill, I forgot. Those eyes…”

A bloke wearing #29 for West Coast, whom I later look up as being named Scott Lycett, takes a strong mark on the lead. But after he goals he’s all Lego movie “Everything is awesome” celebration. I’d hate to see if he actually does anything.
I’m at the Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East.
Pay TV not in our house.
And a gravity-defying dress is in this room. It’s striking. Flared up at the sides. Swishy. Spotted.

There’s a drum kit set up in the corner.
Goal snapped from general play #7 (Ben Kennedy) for the Woods.
This will be a well-dressed band.
Scarfs. Flat caps.
NicNat marks well and plays on adventurously. Nearly blows it, but doesn’t.
Yer publican is setting up curtains now. Blocking out the daylight. It’s 4:54pm and dominant wintry grey is being shut out.
#17 for West Coast (Jack Darling) earns a free from a whack in the mush, disguised poorly as a spoil. Goal. 22-6.
I’ve seen this one before.
But with Mainwaring, Turley, Kemp.

These West Coast jumpers are rubbish, though, aren’t they?
West Coast long bomb goal from 3-point line. Nothing but net.
There must be 50 people in this front bar.
About 30 men.
And about 28 beards.
Nic Nat’s whole body hits Keefe like a fist into ribs.
Cox is a gun.
Priddis like Darryl Jenks, Eriq La Salle’s weedy character from Coming to America (Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall). Annoying on a grand scale. With a perm.
Collingwood #2 (Sam Dwyer) snaps goal that sees a West Coast fella hit the deck like an extra in a John Wayne shoot-out.

Notably, Witts takes a defensive mark. But with the kick, turns it over.
The stage lighting is warming up.
– Oh hiii. Now let’s introduce you…

T Cloke kicks a wild set shot.
Cracking NicNat ruck work to West Coast #13 (Shuey) who is taken high dead in front.
J Frost nudges #17 (J Kennedy), is pinged and that’s a goal. Two in the last minute of the quarter. Shite.

WC 6.5.41
CO 2.1.13

Amps are brought in.
“Hey! You made it!”
“Had some trouble.”
“The traffic is dynamite, innit?”

I’m now the only one watching the footy.
Electrical cords are unravelled.
Plugged mysteriously into jacks.
More hats appear.
There’s a couple at the side of the room. In their middling days, I reckon. He’s shrugging. Keeping close. Raising eyebrows. She’s not leaning in. And they’re both with glasses of white. Scratching her head, tousling her hair. Then vacant stares. Glancing into bottoms of glasses. Legs are crossed.
The band table is expansive. Fringes on the women. Scarves on the fellas. Chairs are pushed back.
#29 for Collingwood (Tim Broomhead) kicks a KB goal from the square.
“Everything is awesome” #29 West Coast (Scott Lycett) kicks a show pony goal from his square.

“Nah, mate that was the first time I saw my old man cry.”
“And it was for a dog, man.”
“A fxckin dog.”
“How long did he have it?”
“Eighteen years.”

Jesse White goals from thoughtful and creative Elliott and Beams efforts.
Twang on the top E string
Twang twang twang

Here’s Bill. 7 years old.
And little brother Ryan. About 4.
I’m excited.
“Ryan! I haven’t seen you for ages.”
“Well… I’m here right now.”

Nod to their dad, Bob.
Twang twang
Two guitars, a bass, drums.
Swishdress on lead.
Slide guitar from yer man in the press-studs shirt.

I’m over to chat with Bob. The kids’ mum, Ange, arrives too.
Bob’s made a resolution to have the kids see more live music.
Grand. I’m taking parenting tips.
Another pint.
Err… at 55-32, the TV is turned off.

“Hi. Great to be here on a cold and wet night. We’re going to play songs from my first album called “Nineteen steps”. Ooh, has anyone seen the lyrics sheet?”

The drummer utilizes a set of wind chimes.
A bloke at the bar takes a photo of his stubby.
The bar is filling.
Yet the beard ratio is maintained.

This is Susie Dickenson and the Hummingbirds.

Ange is on school fundraising committee. I’m roped into operating the snow cone machine at an imminent school market.

This is great horse-riding music.
In the footy and in the music, a Wild West vibe reigns.
I’ve not seen any footy for a while now.
Slide guitar.
Hot chips.
Unexpected hook up with mates.

But these days I receive emails from the Floreat Pica list. I feel compelled to check out the footy.
I farewell Bob and Ange and head around to the back; to the Juan Carlos Bar, (Keno, racing, no women) where the footy is on.
It’s the 3rd quarter*. 93-46.
There’s Ben Reid marking at half back. He was full forward earlier.

“I’ll have a steak thanks. Medium rare. Mushroom.”

R Eade, B Hart, R Harvey and N Buckley all looking funereal.
Come on lads, it’s footy,
Blessedly I’ve heard not a word of commentary today.
It’s night time.
I should be home now.
Crazy hour.
Bit I’m choosing to stay in this bar.
Three shots of Cointreau are poured alongside me. Hmm.

“Ronnie, who’d you tip?”

Susie has finished her first set.
There’s nothing to be gained here.
Win the quarter? Who cares?
Lose someone to injury? Could be important.
Woods will be out of the top eight tonight. That’s life.
Tell it to the bloke in the Sunday Age today whose wife left him after 17 years marriage.
It doesn’t matter.
We watch footy for the “whoah” moments. For the thrill. This game has been workmanlike. Ninth versus eighth. Nothing to get excited about.

Hasta luego, Juan Carlos Bar.
My first game for 5 weeks.
Hasta luego, Collingwood.
Recent time spent in Paris has me appreciating the aesthetic.
I’m off.
Nothing to see here.

Overheard as I leave:
“If you want to make a change in yer life, mate, any change…”
“Yeah… It’s up to YOU. You, mate. No one else.”
“It’s true.”
“Easier said than done… But true.”

Viva avant garde football.
Viva le slide guitar.

*  missed half time amid the Lomond music scene.

WEST COAST 6.5 9.7 15.10 19.12 (126)
COLLINGWOOD 2.1 7.2 8.4 10.6 (66)
Goals: West Coast: J Darling 4, S Lycett 4, J Kennedy 3, N Naitanui 2, D Cox, J Cripps, J Hill, L Shuey, M Brown, M Priddis.
Collingwood: B Kennedy 2, B Reid, D Beams, J Elliott, J White, S Dwyer, S Sidebottom, T Broomhead, T Cloke.
Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Sam Hay, Luke Farmer.
Official Crowd: 36,458 at Patersons Stadium.
My votes: 3 – Lomond Hotel, 2 – Susie and the Hummingbirds, 1 – Ryan.

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Glen Potter says

    Fantastic account, David. I’ll never look at Priddis again without admiring his ‘Soul Glo’.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Great to have you back in Australia Dave. No hotels anywhere near my place in South West Victoria have Foxtel. Pay TV is in my house. It is cheaper here than in Melbourne. I was wishing I didn’t have it several times between 4.40 and 7.20.
    Those West Coast jumpers are rubbish. Cartoon animal heads on a guernsey are so mid 90’s to mid noughties.
    Must check out the Lomond one day.

  3. About the only rubbish they showed all day
    They must be thick if it’s taken till now to play the way that Simpson wants.
    Maybe it’s just as well they’re playing without Matt Rosa, Brad Sheppard, Beau Waters and Sharrod Wellingham for the rest of the season. Elliot Yeo and Scott Selwood might come back but only if they’re quick learners
    I can’t see any other team giving them the corridor from now on
    Were the Pies really bad? I couldn’t tell

  4. You’ve been in Europe too long ER.
    Béarnaise sauce on a turd is still merde.
    This high falutin’ existential “I don’t really care” is beneath you.
    Bleed you Magpies. Bleed.

  5. PB, Béarnaise sauce on a turd is indeed still merde.
    I recognised the dish early.

    While all around us, people spin and paint and sing and strum and leap and yodel and ride and argue and love and admire and bleed and create…
    On and on and on.

  6. Welcome back home ER. I enjoyed this immensely. I especially like that,” The drummer utilizes a set of wind chimes.” I think I’ll go listen to some Enya.

  7. Cracking read Dave.

    There are actually 3 places we can be happy – at home, in Paris, and at Bora Bora in Tahiti.

  8. Keiran Croker says


    I can recommend the Lomond for the music and the food. Not recommended for watching footy though!

  9. Thanks all.
    Good to be back.
    Though Dips – I’m happy to verify your claim of Bora Bora.

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Loved how you took us all to the pub , OBP ! Great read as always

  11. Brilliant, e.g.!!
    Just made me want to keep reading…..

  12. DBalassone says

    Ripper read DW. Just about the most original match report I’ve ever seen. Brilliant!

  13. Acclamations messieurs.
    From this vantage point of a cold Tuesday evening, the memory of even a mediocre game appeals much more than anything to do with a court case.
    Play on.

  14. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant comment E.r. Even if the game was almost totally mediocre…..

  15. Mediocre comment. Brilliant game.

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