Almanac Life: Four blokes walk into a yacht club

 

 

(L-R, your author, Peter Fuller, Ian Hauser and Col Ritchie)

 

A perspicacious Hawke Government backbencher once strenuously insisted at a campaign committee meeting that Australia stays drunk between Boxing Day and Australia Day so it was pointless trying to engage voters in meaningful political conversations during this period.

 

Now like all good sweeping generalisations, this one had all the structural deficiencies of others of its kin notwithstanding the matter under review. But that said, I could still see his point.

 

Moreover, this claim always seemed particularly close to the truth during the week between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – not the chronological centre point of our MHR’s period in question but surely the emotional centre point.  I mean, at what other time of the year can you have pavlova and prosecco for breakfast and nobody bats an eyelid?

 

And so it came to pass on a separate but vaguely related matter that four Footy Almanac writers gathered for lunch yesterday at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club during the 2022 staging of this splendidly languid week.

 

Now folks, don’t let the name mislead you. It was all highly enjoyable informal stuff with not a collar and tie in sight – nor sockless white shoe wearing men with well maintained white moustaches nor Liberal Party how-to-vote cards for that matter. There may well have been a few such HTVs in the top drawer but see my first sentence above.

 

And no, this was certainly not a formally gazetted Almanac function either. No JTH, no Percy, no Tex, no Gideon and no sign of a Dips nor a Smokie nor a Burkie nor a PJ Flynn nor any other Almanac royalty.

 

Instead, we simply had four redoubtable old Almanac warriors gathered for an informal lunch and chat not so much to welcome the wise men from the East to our midst; rather in our case, the wise man from Noosaville up north. The photo above kinda gives it all away doesn’t it?

 

Anyway, in keeping with the laid-back vibe of the day, let alone the “what happens at the yacht club stays at the yacht club” maxim – much of the detail now seems to have slipped your author’s mind. A few bottles of Mount Bellarine Pinot Gris will do that, if you don’t mind umpire.

 

So we shall now eschew such things as proper sentence formation, structured sequential argument and correct use of number, tense and pronouns.

 

Instead, we shall recall some erratic snippets of conversations where you, the lucky readers, must guess who said what in the following exchanges. The neatest correct entry in the comments section below wins a prize but no details are available just yet as we’ll make that bit up later.

 

Don’t worry, you’ll catch on as we go. OK, ready?

 

……….

 

A: “……Been to Geelong before comrade?”

 

B: “Not to it as such but through it. This is the first time I have stopped in the middle of town.”

 

C: “Through it?”

 

B: “Yes, we had a function near (thinks) is it Inverleigh?”

 

A: “Yep. Seventeen miles west. What the bloody hell were you doing there?”

 

B: “Family function. As I recall, the beer was pretty average, but the local pies were outstanding!”

 

C: “Oh God, don’t tell Mickey Randall that or he’ll be here next month.”

 

A: “Nup, next week mate. School holidays, and they always take their kids somewhere in the school holidays.”

 

D: (laughs) “And I don’t think they’ve been to Inverleigh yet!”

 

B: “Yeah, loves his pies and sausage rolls our Mickey doesn’t he?”

 

D: “And the Little River Band……”

 

…………

 

A: “……so how do you reckon your blokes will go next year then?”

 

B: “Oh Jeez, I dunno. We’ll do better than this year but we’re a way off a Grand Final appearance just yet.”

 

A: “Your goal to goal line is strong.”

 

B: “Yeah but losing Sam Walsh for such a long time won’t help. What about you guys?”

 

C: “If all the ducks line up, we’ll be better too but Scott has got his work cut out and that Rutten stuff still lingers like a bad smell.”

 

A: “Hmm, tell me about it.”

 

D: (Pointedly refuses to participate in the conversation but condescendingly hums a few quiet bars of “We are Geelong, the greatest team of all”)……

 

………..

 

A: “……so I needed Australian Democrats preferences to win but the Liberals had too big a lead on primaries so I was stuffed.”

 

B: “At least you had a crack.”

 

C: “Yeah, these self-opinionated critics who never put themselves forward for election but don’t have the balls to actually stand for election are weak sooks.”

 

B: “But you were elected to Colac Council once weren’t you Col (oops) so yours is a success story? How long were you there?”

 

D: “Oh long enough.”

 

C: “But just getting back to your story mate? You’ve been a candidate for Federal, State and local government haven’t you?”

 

A: “Yep and lost all three. It’s a rare claim to fame to have been rejected so thoroughly by the Australian people at all three levels of government yet I hear their message. Strangely enough, my three poignant concession speeches, at about five minutes each, collectively constitute my 15 minutes of fame under the Andy Warhol theory.”

 

B: “Hmm, probably very character forming though….”

 

…………

 

So there you have it folks. Get your entries in but don’t overthink any of it. After all, you can rest assured we certainly didn’t.

 

And if you are in Geelong and feeling peckish, you can always do worse than The Yot (sic) at the Geelong Yacht Club. They were nice to us, so they get a free plug. Dr Google will give you details.

 

Just don’t mention the Liberal Party how-to-vote cards and nobody gets hurt!

 

 

More Roger Lowrey can be read Here

 

 

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About Roger Lowrey

Roger Lowrey is a Geelong based writer who lists his special interests as reading, writing, horse racing, Roman history and AEC electoral boundaries. Some of his friends think he is a little eccentric.

Comments

  1. From the north, yes, RDL, but ‘wise’ I think not. Rather a gathering of comrade spirits linked by that commonality known as ‘the Almanac community’.

    Roger may well be a failed political candidate from a previous era but he does a fine turn as a tour guide of beautiful, downturn Geelong. He’s clearly a most affectionate son of the city. He promised that ‘The Yot’ was informal and inexpensive, and it was, as well as understated. Just the right venue for our collective release of hot air on a beautiful day. (Both the staff and the nosh were very good, by the way.)

    It was good to venture close to Peter’s territory after we have met for coffee a couple of times on the Sunshine Coast. Degrees of separation came to mind as he reminded me of his boyhood in Warrandyte where my friend Andy also grew up. Maybe Torquay next time, Peter.

    The city of Lubbock came up in conversation and Col immediately said ‘Buddy Holly’ which set off a tangent into music, the former owner of IJH’s house and the possibility that the person who bought the toilet seats on Gumtree might well be rubbing cheeks with Dolly Parton, so to speak.

    Then there were ‘the books’. As we all get to our later years, what do we do with the walls of books we’ve accumulated over the decades? Which do we keep, which do we give to charities, which go in the skip? It’s a dilemma which even the odd cull doesn’t seem to lessen significantly.

    The best line of the day belonged to Peter as he recounted his drift away from the Catholicism of his younger days. ‘As my mother saw the hopes of a biretta slipping away…’ (In typical self-deprecating style he acknowledged that the words were not original but they were, nonetheless, hilarious.)

    A good time was had by all before we went our separate ways to Colac, Torquay, North Geelong and South Yarra. Let’s do it again one day!

  2. Andy Thurlow says

    Loved this. I gave up trying to guess who said what when there was no mention of the Brisbane Broncos, which would have given one of your foursome away. And trying not to lose a friendship, that man from Noosaville will just about go anywhere to consume a good bottle of wine. Great writing and to the wannabe politician, maybe go teal, the colour of authenticity, at least when it comes to football.

  3. Kevin Densley says

    Glad, RDL, to see you continuing the “blokes walk into a” genre we instigated on the Almanac some time back. However, you should’ve taken your three comrades to that pulsing heart of Geelong West, your local, The Petrel Hotel, for an even more ‘meaningful’ experience! (Ha!)

  4. Sounds like a good lunch. Enjoyed your account RDL.

  5. Colin Ritchie says

    Thank you Ian, Roger, and Peter for a wonderful afternoon of chat, wit, and stories. I thoroughly enjoyed your company and it was a delight to be a part of the lunch.

  6. RDL- lovely recount. Sounds like your lunch had all the necessary ingredients (sorry!) for a wonderful afternoon. Wishing you all a great NYE. We’re off to Adelaide Oval for the confected cricket. Looking forward to 2023 here at the FA and hoping to get to the NFA!

  7. “Mount” Bellarine?? Hope the winemaker was better than the marketing manager.
    Enjoyed the idle chatter. Pop in if you’re ever in Perth and we can have a drink in “Mount” Lawley.

  8. Love this, RDL

  9. Lovely stuff chaps, half your luck!

  10. Peter Fuller says

    A grand occasion, brilliantly conceived and executed by RDL, riveting conversation, good food and a splendid venue. I’m in awe Roger of your impeccable memory, as you seem to have recorded most of the discussion verbatim.

  11. Magnificent Roger. I think a luncheon is what life is all about, as distinct from a lunch. A lunch is a sandwich in the shelter shed. What you have described here is a bona fide luncheon complete with too much wine and a time lapse (I’m guessing here?) of at least 150 minutes.

    Outstanding.

    I look forward to many luncheons in 2023.

  12. roger lowrey says

    Thanks to all for your kind words. The four of us had a great time.

    On specific matters raised, I advise as follows:

    Andy, I love that old Camperdown lad and erstwhile Cats’ HB Flanker Ken Hinkley but nowhere near enough to abandon the navy blue and white hoops for Port.

    KD, Ian had originally suggested the Petrel however it was closed hence the venue change.

    Mickey, just for the record have you actually been to Inverleigh? Don’t worry if you haven’t. The pies may well be OK but that’s about it.

    Peter, I wondered the same thing. The Bellarine peninsular is remarkably flat with no mountains to speak of. However, Scotchmans Hill who make this stuff have decided on the name for reasons known best to them.

    Dips, yep, we arrived about 1230 and left after 3.00 pm when they closed the kitchen. In fairness to them though they didn’t try to get us out. As a couple of us have observed, the staff were very friendly.

    Until next time folks.

    RDL

  13. Hi Roger
    Terrific piece. As Dips observes it sounds like you and the boys had an excellent “luncheon”. Hopefully there will be many more through 2023.

    Coincidentally this particular Almanacker was enjoying an excellent lunch(eon) with the family just down the road at the Torquay Hotel on Friday 30th. Our younger daughter and grandkids (Cats fans like their grandpa) had a ball. The post-lunch ice-creams went down a treat.

    What a terrific place to be on a beautiful day!

    Cheers, Burkie

  14. Luke Reynolds says

    Love it Roger, an Almanac gathering, whether it’s 2 or 200 people, is always magnificent.

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