Almanac Life: 92 days

On the kitchen wall is a calendar.


Despite phone reminders and pinging emails I like to write events and notes in its date boxes. Things like ‘Lunch with Mum and Dad’ or ‘electricity due’ or ‘flea powder’ (dogs not boys). In February I took my annual pleasure in adding all the Glenelg games and felt the frisson of the footy season stretching out like an endless holiday with its attendant joys and hopes.


But then, of course, it didn’t happen and now five of those home match-day reminders have been and gone, virtually crossed-off, and Saturdays have been soundless at Glenelg oval. No knots of punters making their way through the Cornes Gate and down to the Fred Phillis End or over to the grassy mound in front of the scoreboard, with the beer caravan staffed by past players nearby.


I’ve not really missed it for footy is a luxury. Happily for me other indulgences have moved into that space, like gas filling a vacuum. Like many I’m in a place without the traditional weekend markers and I’ve adapted.


This has been true of the pub too.


The last time I was at the Broady was on Thursday, March 5 at 4.45. It was a calm autumnal afternoon when I met Mozz and Puggy in the beer garden and the sunlight slanted in through the frangipani tree to the glass-topped wine barrel by which we had our Coopers Session Ale.


Like many events of minor significance it was unidentified at time, and heading home I quickly dwelt upon the agreeable hour I’d had with two old mates. My thoughts were mostly of Sweden as Claire and I were flying there the next evening.


So, I’ve not really missed the pub either. Sure, I’m an enthusiast and promote the charms of my local with unwavering evangelism, but life has been full and fulfilling without it.


It’s been 92 days since my last visit and my sins have been multitudinous, if not luxurious. I look forward to a beer from a keg. With the curious exception of Coopers Sparkling Ale all beer is better this way. That’s at its best from a long neck.


Over the last week I’ve made a couple calls to the Broady to gauge how to construct a visit (there’ll be an app for this soon, no doubt). A casualty of our new world order is spontaneity. Swinging by the pub unannounced now belongs in a SBS history documentary (you know, after yet another on Hitler and his demise).


Biomedical reasons require that our pub experience will be wholly at a table. Standing or getting a round at the bar are prohibited and my first-world, privileged self is pre-emptively mourning this.


Across the week Claire has repeatedly said, “But I’ve never seen you standing at the pub.”


“What if I want to? It’s my human right, like owning an iPhone. I stood at the pub only eight months ago.”


We’ll arrive around 4.27pm. We’re booked in.


I’m excited and strangely nervous.




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About Mickey Randall

Now whip it into shape/ Shape it up, get straight/ Go forward, move ahead/ Try to detect it, it's not too late/ To whip it, whip it good


  1. I’ll be there to hold your hand Mickey.

  2. Worth waiting for, Mickey.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Enjoy Mickey. Table service is not near the experience of being perched up at/leaning on the bar, but we will take what we can get for now.

  4. roger lowrey says

    Multitudinous, luxurious or any other manifestation of sin comrade. I like what I hear. Hope you have remembered your lunches with mum and dad though. Think here “Oh Mickey has always been such a nice boy!”

  5. Kevin Densley says

    Enjoyed this, Mickey! Wonderful detail – and yes, I certainly agree with you about Cooper’s Sparkling Ale.

  6. Shane Reid says

    Thanks Mickey, what a great finish.

    During these times, I too find myself missing things I’ve never done, and probably never will, just because I can’t.

    What a great read

  7. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting.

    I can report that it was an excellent hour. While the beer garden was necessarily sparse it was great to be there, and we bumped into a number of people we knew- Gabby and Gary who I worked with a decade back and Shagger, an old uni mate. The pub was out of Session Ale, but I enjoyed a couple Pale Ales and Claire had an agreeable red.

    We had taken a step back to an old, familiar world.

  8. John Butler says

    I must put that Coopers Sparkling theory to the test, Mickey. It’s a while since I’ve had a longneck.

    Did you order the sausage roll?

  9. E.regnans says

    Well played Mickey.
    A Coopers longneck seems to be highly regarded in home-brew circles.
    The bottle itself – the vessel – being of apparently sturdy construction.
    In our small linguistic enclave a longneck is known as a King Brown.

    Yet to venture back to the pub.
    Looking forward to it.

  10. JB- I wish you well with that brutal research. I’m hoping science is on my side!

    Er- yes to the King Brown. Turk is another synonym but I’m unsure of the etymology.

    I remember reading an appraisal of Don’s Party and the author noted that the characters drank beer from big bottles. The apparent symbolism was that despite their middle class status most of them were of working class origin and their ale receptacles indicated such.


  11. Hayden Kelly says

    A good read and hopefully it happens sooner than later for you Mickey . Agree with the comment re sitting at a table and waiting for a beer off the tap to be delivered is just not right . You need to lean on the bar and watch intently as the beer is poured and watch evenly more carefully as the head is formed . Hand over your cash and pick up your wet change off the damp beer mat on the bar which studies have revealed is the major cause of arthritis in the fingers of Australian men .
    I next expect to do the same in Victoria in 2023 or maybe earlier in the unlikely event of Dan the Man passing away in the interim


  12. Thanks Hayden and welcome. Your observations suggest much studied experience. I hope the wait in your state isn’t as long as you suggest as there’s Footy Almanac lunches to be had!

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