Almanac Life: Saturday morning, on the Glenelg North esplanade






The beach was a pale gold and wide.


A few lone swimmers bobbed in the shallows. It was well after 10am, the hour deemed as cut-off for unleashed hounds, but a few dogs bounded along the sand ahead of their owners unbothered by any petty council by-laws. A boat or two scattered atop the shimmering gulf.


Heading north the first one was an elderly woman on a bench. She was alone. She was immersed and had a coffee beside her. She was reading a romance novel. I was instantly buoyed and felt the associated glow of life lived well by the beach.


Nearly a kilometre later I reached the esplanade shelter we call the Mormon Hut. We know it as such because occasionally on the weekend it hosts a group from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who set up displays and stands of pamphlets. I’m unsure if their honeyed ways have netted many flies, but I do admire their optimism and enterprise in setting up churchly shop right by the sea where there’s plenty of pedestrian traffic. If not theological interest.


As I arrived at the MH this morning on the near bench was an aged man also by himself, deep in a book about Greece. It may have been in Greek. He seemed relaxed and at profound peace and was enjoying his Saturday morning of leisure.


With my hands on my hips I puffed and sweated and drew in some air and looked at the other bench. There’s only two tables in the MH. On the northern side was an elderly woman with an iced tea by her elbow. She was reading a large novel. In the minute I was there she didn’t look up.


Opposite her was a man who seemed to be well into his eighties. A walking stick leaned against his seat, diagonally. He had a white beard and was hunched over an equally huge novel. By his elbow was another iced tea. Like his wife he didn’t look up nor speak.


I was pleased to be in their company, momentarily.


Continuing to huff I gazed at the elderly readers, there by the calming ocean, on a mid-summer morning, living exquisitely and with singular application.


Four people by the beach on benches. All engaged by the written word. It was poetically simple. It was as if I, too, had spent a languid hour with a book. It gave me hope and reassurance.


When I got home all drenched and ridiculous I said to Claire, “I’ve just got another idea for our retirement…”



Read more from Mickey Randall HERE



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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. You paint a picture of serenity, Mickey.

  2. Exhibit A for the prosecution, You Honour.
    We contend that: “Life – you can over-think it.”

  3. Welcome to my world Mickey. Bugger serenity. You know you’ve made it when your face in on Wanted posters in every public library in town.

  4. Thanks everyone.

    At the beach recently when a stingray glided past. All present gave it clear passage and one chap said, to my continuing alarm, “Oh, yeah, there’s a group of about seven of them and they live over there.” He pointed south. To hear that these might be territorial wasn’t of any vague comfort.

    And then last night throwing a ball about in the shallows, Alex (fourteen tomorrow) leapt about, then trashed and hollered, yelling that he’d trodden on one.

    All not so great in our coastal idyll!

  5. Thanks Mickey as always you took the reader along for the ride

  6. Thanks Rulebook. I see that Glenelg hosts Norwood in Round 1. Looking forward to it!

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