Almanac Life: Another Good Friday in Glenelg

Thrice weekly I cross the river at the King Street Bridge, but today I turn left and jog along the Patawalonga’s bank past the boat haven. It’s already escalating from warm to hot, and the sky is cloudless with that autumn-in-Adelaide vibrancy and healthfulness. Sun-smart, I’m wearing my Glenelg 2019 Premiers cap, and this sets an expectant tone given the Tigers’ season opener later against Westies. The boys and I are walking down for the opening bounce.

 

Passing the former Buffalo site, home for decades to a full-sized replica of the ship that brought free settlers to the colony, it was also a family restaurant and in its nautical dining room I once heard a kid say, “This is the best buffalo restaurant I’ve ever been to.” The ship is now gone and makes the location less cluttered, replaced by welcome light and space and hope.

 

Exiting Wigley Reserve I pick my way along to Holdfast Promenade and the ocean which always surprises me by being right there, sparkling and benevolent this morning and, for a kid from parched Kapunda, a repository of awe.

 

There’s a fluid, manic blanket of kids at the Glenelg Foreshore Playspace, climbing and jumping and yelling while their caffeinated parents watch, judging when to intervene and get the offspring home before the final set of tears abbreviates the excursion and taints everyone’s morning. Peering into Moseley Square, all palm trees and swirling pavers, it presents as the village centrepiece, drenched in Californian hues and optimism.

 

The old jetty sits quietly, this truncated version (215 metres compared to the original’s 381) built in 1969, and somewhat utilitarian with its asphalt surface. It’s unlike the creaking, kindly wooden piers of coastal towns, but as my former colleague/ poet John Malone once wrote, jetties are an umbilical cord to the vast ocean.

 

Pushing my way through the South Esplanade there’s a paddle boarder seemingly becalmed in the shallows, contemplating a recommencement of her moderate early-Easter movement across the polished water-top. About me are streams of young mums with prams, and octogenarians on sea-facing benches trading fuzzy names, aiming to make and remake connections among their ever-closing circles.

 

Just before the Broadway kiosk the green park narrows into a gentle headland. I hear the cool room buzzing with vague menace, but the breakfasters’ chat hovers above it, and the cafe is bursting with our shared fortune and eggs Florentine and holiday cheer and pancakes with berry coulis and ice-cream.

 

Leaving the beach I now turn left up Broadway past the silent homes and a freshly-cleared block, mounds of sand waiting to again become submerged beneath concrete foundations. The foot traffic instantly eases and my ambling way is mostly unimpeded by dogs and bright clots of purposeful, aged ramblers.

 

There’s a prosperous row of businesses (florist, organic store etc) at the start of my final block. I glance in the butcher shop window and think of Dennis, the sociable proprietor who began as an apprentice, and later headed up a Melbourne franchise with a string of fitness centres before returning to his first love. Reflecting upon gyms compared to butchery he once told me, “The difference was the meat twitched instead of staying still.”

 

Yesterday afternoon to mark the beginning of many enchanted things, Claire and I went to the Broady beer garden for two happy hour drinks each- pints of Coopers’ Pacific Pale Ale (habit and brevity mean I still call it Session Ale) and crisp glasses of house white, and elected to leave the car overnight on Hastings Street.

 

I see it waiting for me now in the gilded sunlight.

 

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE

 

 

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About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello

Comments

  1. Daryl Schramm says

    Marvellous Mickey. Very envious and a long way from my outer north-eastern abode. Although things aren’t too bad here sipping a tea on the back patio looking out over rooftops and plentiful trees to the valley of Cobbler Creek on this beautiful Easter Sunday morning. Having walked around your area on occasions I can gell with your describing prose well. Henly Beach just north of the square is also a favourite of mine. I see Westies seem to have improved markedly after half time on Friday. 2,900 patrons would have been a nice comfortable gathering, with enough atmosphere to cap off the day.

  2. Thanks Daryl. Although TS Eliot was of the northern hemisphere I reckon April has the best weather in Adelaide and it isn’t cruel at all. We wandered down the beach last night and caught the spectacular sunset over the gulf and headed home to the excellent news that Port were getting belted in Perth!

  3. Hi Mickey, a couple of weeks ago my carer took me for a drive to Brighton and on the way back we drove around all my old fishing haunts around the Pat. I couldn’t believe all those monstrous apartment buildings (boxes) that have been constructed stopping all the best fishing spots. It was also impossible to find a park. Anyway you must be pleased with Glenelg’s win, just as I was over the moon on Thursday night when the MIGHTY REDLEGS caned the Pesky Power Seconds. With a Crows win, you and I have had a very good Easter.

  4. It has been a very good weekend, Fisho. While apartments are going up rapidly in Glenelg, Anzac Highway is becoming a canyon of high rise as all those big homes make way for new blocks of units. Hard to believe that Glenelg and Norwood only first met on June 5!

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