Almanac Tennis: Social Tennis and Other Worlds

For a while I have been engaged in some regular Tennis on a Tuesday night, the social variety.


It’s my method of filling the evening void as the latest eps of The Bachelor and Goggle Box don’t appeal greatly, and as I have written about before, I have needed  doing other things to balance the sedentary nature that can infiltrate this city lifestyle.


Social tennis is a way of opening up tennis to all levels of competency, it doesn’t require commitment and is a great way to connect with local community.


So as this wintry, windswept week draws to a close, I have strung a few words together in a wrap of last Tuesday’s tennis gathering.



Social Tennis – Tuesday Night, as we call it in our Whats App group, did go ahead this week despite the howling wind throughout the day. Climatic conditions had given the group legitimate reason to ponder the possibility of giving it the flick, cancelling in favour of lying up on the couch at home, warm and cosy.


But, hey, rain, hail, shine, even tornado as the president has said…. Social Tennis – Tuesday Night must go on.


With a few of our regulars away, I wasn’t sure who and how many would turn up. Daniel, Bosco, Arthur and Amanda did. Between us we played 3 sets over about 2 hours.


After warming up Arthur and I took on Daniel and Bosco, the father-son duo. We were ahead 5:1 when Amanda turned up. Bosco willingly abdicated his spot on the court in her favour. 


Social Tennis is always a fluid set up to allow for unknown numbers of players.


Arthur and I then played against Amanda and Daniel. It was a well contested game that saw Arthur and I leading the way comfortably, until Daniel decided to remove his beanie and jacket and add some grunt to his game. 


During this set Daniel played the shot of the night with a mad run out wide into the darkness of court 2. He wielded an incredibly slick backhand that saw the ball fly low and long into the forehand corner of court 1, Neerim Rd End, as I stood agape somewhere in the middle of the court……In no man’s land, I had not a chance.


Nor did Arthur.


Together with Amanda’s searing volleys on the net, Arthur and I struggled to hold our lead. I did my best on serve at around 5 all….a game that saw many deuces and robust rallying to counter the wayward, windswept balls. Arthur served magnificently on many occasions, but Amanda and Daniel finally defeated us 7:5. Glory to them.


During one game Amanda challenged me on what she thought was a late call on a ball I played, that I declared out after my return hit. Sometimes it’s hard to officiate upon your own play and given the cold was ceasing our joints up, no one seemed keen to replay it….except, maybe, Amanda.


It might be social, but it’s really social-competitive.


The final game was played to four and saw Daniel, who is only 12 and has school the next day, and I take on Arthur and Amanda…. the two AA’s (initials, not drinking habits, that is).


With a 4:2 result our way, Bosco sat and watched court-side, retrieving balls hit over into laneway, whilst, simultaneously crunching important business deals in Delhi over the mobile network.


Bosco is Daniels father, a proud and always cheerful man, gently encouraging of his young son’s deep interest and love of the game. Too much tennis is not enough for Daniel.


Beanie and jacket in hand, Daniel and Bosco departed the courts for home just after 9pm.


Amanda, Arthur and I decided upon a quick post match refreshment around a formica topped table inside the pennant strung clubrooms. This gave way to some philosophical discussions, encompassing the bible, pilgrimages and sabbaticals upon Mount Athos. 


I learnt that Mt.Athos is an autonomously governed state in Greece, home to monastic traditions dating way back to the Byzantine era.


Arthur is well versed in the minutiae of quite a few biblical narratives and had Amanda and I captivated with the prophetic story of the beast somewhere in the Book of Revelations. We had clearly missed that chapter in our 13 years of Catholic education.


Meanwhile, my phone beeped with an incoming text. I opened it find an image of St. James, crook in hand, staring up at me. I wondered if someone was looking down upon us from above. No, it so happened my friend Christina was at home, warm and cosy on her couch, watching a documentary on the Lifestyle Channel. It was titled Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago.


This shifted the conversation as I’ve recently done a section of the Camino in Northern Spain. Arthur was fascinated. He knew little of it.


How the conversation actually ventured from long shots, smashes and volleys to spiritual enlightenments, I cannot recall, but it rounded off a gusty night and left us feeling inwardly appeased…I think, and curious about other worlds.


Next week we have a celebratory farewell to look forward to. The Bosco family have recently built a new home out in Clyde North, on a street named after an Australian native eucalyptus, taking them away from our locality, away from social tennis and even further away from their own native land.


Bosco has arranged for his wife, Crispin, to prepare their famous Goat Curry. Crispin will get the dish going around 3pm and Bosco will bring it up ready to serve in the evening at the clubhouse. Amanda has volunteered bottles of wine, I’ll bring along something sweet and others will join us.


It could make for some entertaining rallies.


Image: Daniels Best Shot

              digital drawing


Do you love the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE
Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE




  1. Hi Kate,

    As I used to play tennis, it’s interesting to read your playing tennis. I am happy that you enjoy playing as well as socialising with fellow players.

    Both playing matches and socialising are important to get motivated, I think. When I joined tennis schools in Sapporo, I was struggling with making new friends and joining competitions. It’s strange that I was unable to form a friendship through the same interests. Also having no opportunity to play matches led to the loss of interest in the sport.

    But now for me, footy is my icon both on and off field. I’m happy to play footy although the number of matches is small. Also I enjoy having post training beer and dinner with teammates.

    If I lived in Melbourne, I could join your tennis club, but would train footy on Tuesdays as well as Thursday with Caulfield Bears. So I could play tennis somewhere else…

    Talking about spiritual stuffs from other side of the world is good and motivates you, I reckon.

    Thanks for sharing your good tennis story.



  2. Thanks Yoshi for your insights.

    Very glad that footy has been a better opportunity for you socially.. and yes a pity it isn’t a longer season.

    Maybe you could try again at another club.

    Cheeers Kate

  3. Sounds like fun, Kate.
    But, gee, the post-match theological debates sound a little daunting!

  4. Thanks Kate. I really enjoyed your yarn. As a fan of Spain and the film “The Way” I’d love to complete a section of the Camino de Santiago. Indeed, I’d love to read your thoughts on it!

Leave a Comment