Almanac Winter: Footy in the frost

Photo: Richard Colyer


Sunday morning in Northcote: serious frost. Thick ice on the Seca’s windscreen. Melted by a bucket of water, but frozen again by the time we’re sitting in the car. The 7.45 drive along Rushall Crescent reveals thick frost in the shadows, and still frost in the sunshine.


At Alfred Crescent the oval is brilliantly white with frost and, at the bubbler, the dogs’ drinking trough has a thick layer of ice on it.


I’m supposed to be taking a few notes, but my biro won’t work. I borrow one. With the Roys’ Under 10s trailing by a couple of goals, the phone rings. We have a split pipe on the garage roof at home and water is geysering into the neighbour’s yard. I suggest The Handicapper turns the water off.


The sky is stunningly beautiful.


It reminds me of Oakey where it was often -4 and sometimes -6.


Someone tells me it was -9 in Canberra that morning.


How cold was it where you were? Anyone playing sport? Golf is always good on a frosty morning. The ball flies through the crisp air.


Here’s another one, just sent in, of Sunday morning at the TCG (Tehan Cricket Ground) with the goalposts ready for the grandkids. It was -6. Photo taken by Joan Tehan and sent by Chris CT Tehan of Roys fame.



Kyabram on Sunday morning.  Pic sent by Cat from the Country (I think this is a form of metaphor – it’s actually a photo of Stanthorpe in Queensland, but it’s how cold it felt in Kyabram)

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Gee Sunday morning was cold. Reminded me of winters in Montmorency before roads, neighbours and civilisation. The flannelette pyjamas were a must. We queued up to get a turn in front of the oil heater.

  2. Double doonas for me on Sunday morning. (And the hot water bottle was still warm. I don’t follow the safety advice – I fill mine with boiling water.) My outside thermometer was unfortunately inside so I don’t know exactly how cold it got in Clifton Hill. I got up in time for a coffee before heading off on foot to Vic Park to see the Doggies fall just short of the Magpies as I caught up with fellow Almanackers T-Bone, Luke Reynolds and Mic Rees. The frost had been kicked off the grass by the time I got there. Still a great spot to catch a game of footy.

  3. Saturday was 9 degree maximum (normally our overnight minimum) and an inch of rain in Perth. The Avenging Eagle and I went to Lathlain to watch our nephew for Swan Districts Reserves (7th) beat Perth (3rd) in sleeting rain. Eagles beating the Dogs on the trannie. Hot pie, chips and coffee. Bliss. What weather?

  4. John Butler says

    Saturday morning was the cold one in Ballarat. -4

    The pretty chilly at the ‘G.

    Positively balmy Sunday morning. :)

  5. I’m in Brisbane. In an old Queenslander. When it gets to 12, I wear a singlet, jumper and coat.
    For an ex Victorian, I find Brisbane extremely cold at times.
    Nothing to grumble about though. Nothing like Melbourne. When I grew up in Melbourne, my parents would not put the heater on in the morning. We didn’t have ducted heating. We copped the temperature.
    Is cold worse than heat?

  6. Mark Duffett says

    I see.

    Heading for Huonville v Sorell on Saturday there was scattered snow everywhere more than a few hundred metres above sea level; a lot of it was still there by late afternoon on the journey home. Fortunately the sun was out for much of the match so I got quite warm. But I’m very, very glad I didn’t have to be there for the Colts game mid-morning, it would still have been well below freezing when that got under way.

  7. Dave Brown says

    Adelaide – beautiful one day, beautifuller the next. Ended up in my t-shirt on Sunday morning watching the lad go around. Sun on the back, it was positively toasty once the wind went away. But then again I grew up on Saturday morning Canberra soccer pitches where you had to run around and break up all the iced-over puddles before you got started.

  8. Don’t complain about Canberra mornings Dave. I used to intentionally tee off early on winter mornings so I could bounce the golf ball off the water hazards.

  9. Also love the Shepparton trots on a pea souper evening where the horses only come into vision for a hundred metres in the front straight. The cheats in seats would be laughing themselves silly down the back straight.

  10. Just have to comment on Cat from the Country’s photo! Amazing. She should enter it into a competition.

    And, by the way, it’s nice being back in sunny, warm Sydney, after Melbourne’s cold snap. 21 degrees today!

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    So cold at Victoria Park as I met up with the Bulldog Almanac trio. Bitterly cold wind as we stood in the sun.
    Just bloody cold as we stood in the shade sans wind.

    Cat from the Country’s photo is absolutely amazing!

  12. Does Kyabram still have the trots? In winter? Yikes!

  13. Rulebook says

    Cat from the country photo is incredible

  14. E.regnans says

    It was pretty chilly down by the Merri Ck on Sunday morning.
    Love the tackle photo. Imagining the next few seconds.

    And yep – that photo of the Hills Hoist is a classic. It often gets a run.
    It was reportedly taken in 1970 in Stanthorpe, Qld.
    Incredible amount of water hanging on the line.

  15. Cat from the Country with playful metaphor?

    In so far as Queensland frost is concerned Stanthorpe was the rival of our home town Oakey. We often had -2 to -6. Then beaut clear 19 degree days. Tambo was often in the mix. I’ll get on to BD and ER re The frost Elite of the Sunshine State.

  16. Lovely lisa says

    I remember being unable do tie my shoelaces playing netball at school, 100 yrs ago, one Saturday the net on the goals were icy. Don’t miss playing sport in our “mild” Aussie winters.

  17. I visited Stanthorpe a while back and poking around the tourist office there were photos on the wall, including one showing a vineyard worker pruning vines while knee-deep in snow. I’m still unsure which surprised me most: significant Queensland snow or a winery in Queensland! I tried the wines and reckon Wolfy, Peter Lehmann and Rocky O’Callaghan were under limited threat.

    Amazing photo, either way.

  18. E.regnans says

    Frost elites of QLD..?
    A quick scout around shows… For Queensland:
    Lowest daily minimum records

    May: Stanthorpe, 31 May 2006: -6.8
    June: Stanthorpe, 23 June 1961: -10.6
    July: Hermitage, 12 July 1965: -10.6
    August: Mitchell, 15 August 1979: -9.4
    September: Stanthorpe, 12 September 1970: -5.6

    Other towns recording notably low minimum temperatures: Applethorpe , Wallangarra, Surat, Cambooya. Killarney, Warwick, Miles, Kalpowar.

    It was -2.6 in both Stanthorpe & Applethorpe earlier this week.

  19. Tony robb says

    Thankfully got out of Canberra last week before it hit minus 9. Not an issue in Caloudra with 27 yesterday.

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