At Easter-time Stawell Giveth and Stawell Taketh Away

After a year in the wilderness, the Gift has returned to Stawell. Hayley Orman and Ed Ware were the triumphant winning pair in 2021…but there are thousands of stories from the Gift.

We re-visit this classic Almanac yarn each Easter (for good reason):

Dips O’Donnell tells the story of his crack at Stawell and what the event and the weekend mean to the O’Donnell family.

Almanac Footy: AFL Practice Match – Cats v Pies

Dips O’Donnell took his time to watch the Geelong v Collingwood practice match last week. With his eye on the next new thing out of the Cattery, he was impressed by an array of players and tactics.

Almanac Life: A Short Note to 2020.

2020 was a year like no other but Dips O’Donnell is optimistic for 2021.

Grand Final – Richmond v Geelong: Cactus

The bitter taste of a grand final loss is an unwelcome experience as Geelong supporter Dips O’Donnell explains.

Finals Week 1 – Port Adelaide v Geelong: The wisdom of walnuts

Likened to a wonderful scene in The Sopranos, Cats fans are currently suffering after yet another finals loss. Dips O’Donnell is the first to react.

Round 17 – Geelong v Richmond: Zero

So, I’m thinking the Almanac has entered its Sgt Pepper’s stage, thanks to Dips who has really been affected by Geelong’s loss to the Tiges. Gather around him as he cleans the loos, vacuums the stairs while listening to a philosophy podcast and some classic music. [This is your 200th piece on the Almanac site Dips. Thank you. – JTH]

Almanac Poetry: There was a brown land called Australia

Dips O’Donnell has been moved to poetry by the plight of Victoria.

Almanac Footy Comment: Reconnecting without contact

When the pandemic walls started to close in and the AFL hit the decks in the attempt to salvage the season, Dips thought the whole experiment might be a fool’s errand. With time, he now confesses that the physically-distant competition has allowed him the peace and space to reconnect with his team [Marvellous – Ed.]

Almanac Poetry: The Pub

The local pub is a living history museum with many stories to tell. Dips takes a nostalgic look at these institutions in his poem, ‘The Pub’.

Almanac Life: Looking back in lockdown

Nostalgia, going home, the innocence of childhood, living life – 50 years down the track, Dips O’Donnell remembers and relishes a rich tapestry.

AFL: WTF

In these abnormal footy times, has Covid-19 enabled a level playing field for season 2020? Dips ponders the question and other thoughts.

Almanac (Footy) Linguistics: AFL Terminology

The dictionary defines ‘pithy’ as ‘terse and vigorously expressive’. Dips gets pithy about the over-used sobriquet ‘blockbuster’.

AFL: Curving the Curve

Dips takes time out after some hard yakka to reminisce – on oil heaters and premiership droughts broken, bulbs dormant and thorns more active. [Perhaps JTH has done the same Youtube searches? Ed.]

Almanac Poetry – A Beer With No Pub

Dips has had enough! Airing his frustration in satirical verse, it’s time to re-open the pubs and let the good times roll he urges. [Ed: We’ll drink to that!]

Footy: The Rise of the Fall

Dips muses on the push to bring back footy (prematurely?) and the nature of the AFL beast that demands a conversation be had on the merits of the spectacle and its perhaps seedier underbelly.

Almanac Surfing: Surfing and the middle-aged accountant

Following Dips O’Donnell’s excellent Queen’s Birthday weekend surfing piece, we thought we’d let you know where it all started. Here’s Dips’ first crack at the caper, a piece which was published in Long Bombs to Snake I.

Those Other Days Are Gone

In this ever-changing world, a poignant futuristic (and historical) story from Dips O’Donnell, father and son discuss footy in the good old days.

Two Ply in the Tempest

We may well be enduring our biggest challenge for decades, but Dips O’Donnell ponders the possible constructive lessons we just might learn, possibly even emerging as a better society.

Almanac Lunch (Report): 1989 The Great Grand Final

Dips O’Donnell enjoyed the cracking Almanac lunch at Perc’s North Fitzroy Arms on Friday. Tinsel Tony Wilson, Dean Anderson and Darren Flanigan told some great stories. Many more are told in Tony’s wonderful book: 1989 The Great Grand Final.

Mysteries of the New World

Dips is worried that he may be off the pace in the modern world, mystified at the (ab)use of language as he understands it. Are you able to offer him any assistance?