September and everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves

It must be acknowledged that autumn is ridiculously good in Adelaide. The cloudless, immensely liveable days host a tremendous array of outdoor fun at the beach, at the Fringe Festival, in the backyard. It’s a spectacular time in this cosy city, clinging to the edge of our isolated island at 34.9285° S.


Every month has highpoints, but September is the one to which I pin most happy expectation. I love winter, and while here it’s brief, I’m mostly pleased to wave farewell to it, and smile at spring.


So what is it about September?


Football finals.


From my home town of Kapunda, to Adelaide’s suburban competition and then to the immovable Australian Football League, it’s the best month to enjoy our unique game. I love that it must be the only sport in which competitors miss a goal but are rewarded with a point for being close. You know, for having a go. In this country we value laconic imprecision, of course.


With the Adelaide Crows yet again having September off for poor behaviour my attention now goes elsewhere. I still take a huge interest in the AFL finals, and my inner socialist dictates that my temporary affections are with the most deserving, and generally least successful team, so I’m barracking for the Western Bulldogs. They’ve one flag in the last six decades.


Triumphing on the month’s last Saturday will provide associative hope to the Crows for 2020. Football fans, after all, must be optimists. Without this, we cease to be.


At the local level my team Glenelg qualified for the finals following a dark decade of absence. Indeed, they have a shot at the premiership cup; their first since the antediluvian era (1986, but you get my point). It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be surprising. Most vitally, it’s going to be memorable.


Spring is a seductress, but a shameless tease too. With the days lengthening swiftly we end our hibernation and amble outdoors expecting bright, sunny skies. There’s a burst of cheerful warmth, and suddenly, barbeques sizzle, thongs flip-flop out of the wardrobe, and a few frenzied punters even splash down to the beach.


But, before you’ve pumped up the tyres on your cobwebby bike, or ironed your speedos, a gusty change lashes through, and again you need a beanie on just to stick out the bins. And this schizophrenic weather can go on endlessly. It’s like buying tickets to a Bob Dylan concert and worrying about who’ll turn up on the night. The good Bob, or the bad Bob?


The international cricket season is slow to get a rumblin’ so horse-racing enjoys some attention until mid-November. I love the Group 1 races such as the Makybe Diva Stakes, named after the Port Lincoln wonder mare who won three consecutive Melbourne Cups, and the Moir Stakes, which sadly isn’t the Moi Stakes and therefore named after Kath and Kim. The boys and I will invest the odd hour in the Broadway pub watching some of the turf action. Max might even wear his Black Caviar cap. It’ll be a raspberry and chips for all.


September is rebirth and renaissance; promise and hope; a farewell to the murk and a cautious nod at the light. It’s when the year stomps down on the accelerator and tyres squealing, burns towards Christmas like a mad Monaro.


Let’s wind down the windows, and crank up the radio!


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About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello


  1. Sorry folks. Forgot to acknowledge that the title is the final line in ee cummings’ great poem Who Knows If The Moon’s. He’s great on love and joy and things connected to spring. As you were!

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Surely it’s named after the Moir Sisters, who(m?) I always associate with the opening of Football Park.

  3. Swish- of course the Moir Sisters were managed by Glenn Wheatley. Of course The Moir Stakes is named after a former MVRC president and lawyer. It has been won by Miss Andretti, Black Caviar and one of my favourites Apache Cat (“The Cat”).

  4. Mickey, surely you didn’t forget September is SHOW TIME in SA. Clowns, dodge ’em cars and sample bags – not to mention fairy floss, hot donuts and the animals of course.

  5. Fisho- a shameful omission! Within the Adelaide Showgrounds is one of my favourite signs- “No tethering of cattle along sheep pavillion wall after 8.30am.”

  6. Mickey Yep a special time,I admit I think my Redlegs participation won’t last long obviously I hope I am wrong
    the bays are the team to beat.Go Brisbane lions in the awful and looking forward to the SAAFL finals
    Go Payneham Norwood Union !

  7. Perth doesn’t really do winter. “Occasional showers” is the plat du jour. 30 degrees Wednesday breaking the August record. Now a week of wind and rain with the skies only clearing for THURSDAY. I feel like a condemned man hoping for a final Governor’s Reprieve. Last year was all possibility and nothing to lose. This year we LOOK a better side but play with a POWERful inconsistency. Last Thursday UNLOSABLE sudden death final was Bulldogs in 2016. I thought the teams had changed jumpers in the bye week.
    Keen to adopt “laconic imprecision” as my golfing credo. Used to know the Spring WFA progression by heart and how they matched the footy finals schedule. Liston; Feehan; Turnbull etc had a timeless rhythm. How can you get excited by the Chicken Treat All You Can Eat UniSportsBrokeMug Bonus Bets Stakes? Ho hum. A fool and his parts are soon monied.

  8. george smith says

    Don’t forget folks, with the AFL in remission, the snaffle, the waffle and the VFL are planning a big weekend. Double headers at the Adelaide oval for starters…

    Unfortunately we can’t get them live up here in Sydney, but they will be on Channel 7 Catch Up on Sunday and Monday.

    The existential angst that is Wayne Bennett continues in the Rugby League, last night the Cowboys said goodbye to their stadium by beating the Bulldogs.

    And in the EPL, Liverpool and Man City continue to spit out teams like grape pips, while Newcastle faces lowly Watford in an attempt to get its season back on track.

    And what would spring be like without this:

  9. Rulebook, looking forward to tomorrow’s big clash. Should the Legs bring their best to the match and sustain it over the 4 quarters (something they’ve had difficulty in doing) they’ll have a very real chance of winning.

    My fond wish is that the grand Final will be fought between the Bays and the Redlegs. Lord help us if it’s between the Crows and Power seconds.

    Chin up Book.

  10. citrus bob says

    Ah you poor Croweaters all you need now is another coach at both Port and Adelaide who is not home grown.
    Mind you i think the Crows have come undone because there are to many crows with “power” written all over them. they may need outsiders to help them enjoy September in the future.
    As for the Power the “Donald Trumps'” of the AFL.
    Sorry for you Micky and the rest of your murder. Thanks heavens Lachie Neale and Shannon Hurn made the All-Australian Unit and DONT start on that wicketkeeper PLEASE.

  11. Rulebook- really looking forward to SANFL finals; good luck to your teams. Triple header tomorrow for the Unley Jets!

    PB- The Go-Betweens are among our finest with 16 Lovers Lane a gem. I like Robert Forster on the bridge tribute in Brisbane: “When Grant and I sat around in 1978 thinking about the things we’d get from being in a rock band, a bridge wasn’t one of them. It’s not the actual bridge that’s so astonishing, it’s driving down roads that have those big signs like Ipswich, Gold Coast, and seeing Go Between Bridge. But really nice … and a bridge is a beautiful thing. It’s nicer than a Go-Between sewage works.”

    George- I think it’s great that the state leagues get a free hit this weekend, but the megalomaniacal AFL will still dominate the news cycle despite there being no football played in that league. Is this the Orwellian endgame: no actual pesky football; just a 1000+ strong AFL media department churning out galactically huge quantities of “content”?

    Fisho- I think the SANFL finals should have been on Sunday but will be interested in how the night game goes tomorrow in terms of crowd and ratings. Good luck to your ‘Legs.

    Thanks to everyone.

  12. CB- well done to Glenelg’s finest Lachie Neale and top Barossa boy Bunga Hurn. Much to happen at the Crows and I’m reminded of Shakespeare- “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

    That wicketkeeper will get his chance, but not just yet.

    Good luck to Paddy and the Cats over the next month!

  13. Colin Ritchie says

    Mickey, you’re just an old romantic at heart! Loved the read.

  14. Thanks Colin. Good luck to your Bombers in the next few weeks. Looking forward to the unpredictability of the finals.

  15. roger lowrey says

    As always Mickey, love reading your work. The Moir Stakes though? A Group One where they come tearing through that gap at a frightening breakneck speed, then fan slightly as they wobble around gathering their balance but still have a corner to turn and scramble home. Phew!

    Re the finals, you see, the child bride and I fly out to Ireland at 2130 on Brownlow night just as Paddy gets another medal, well, maybe . Yeah OK, I thought earlier in the year when we booked that the Cats would lose yet another prelim final, I would crack them and wish the hell I was in Dublin. BTW Smokie Dawson, where is that short list of pubs you promised me?

    Anyway, let me know any quiet Kapunda related horses emerging through the system for the spring won’t you comrade?!


  16. Luke Reynolds says

    Mickey, love spring. Winters are harsh in South West Victoria. And July’s haven’t traditionally been kind to Collingwood. Bring on the AFL finals. And the 4th & 5th Tests.

    All the best for your Glenelg team, look forward to some positive September Glenelg reports from yourself.

  17. Daryl Schramm says

    Greetings from Panorama BC Mickey and all. Unfortunately will miss SANFL week 2 finals. Loved the read. Local cricket starts in October as well.

  18. Thanks Roger. It’s always interesting when people travel overseas at this time of year having made decisions many months prior about what would happen to their team in the finals. A colleague often books flights to Melbourne for the grand final. Obviously she used them in 2017, but generally will change them and use them at a different time. A couple years’ back she went to Melbourne to see UB40 in concert, instead. I could think of little worse.

    Luke- I imagine your attention will be split Friday night between the footy and the cricket. That’s a big night for you!

    Daryl- hope things are good in Canada. BC is a remarkable place and Banff and Vancouver still rank among my favourites.

    Thanks to everyone.

  19. To all those Almanacs that enjoyed F TROOP. One of my favourite episodes featured THE BURGLAR OF BANFF or as Cap’n Parmenter and Argarn said BANFFFFFF.

    Mickey and Rulebook, as I hoped, the redlegs brought their A grade game along for most of the match to advance. Let’s hope they can eliminate the Crows seconds next week and the Bays dispatch the Power seconds.

  20. Hi MR, again we click, this time with E.E. Cummings. So, this is for you:

    anyone lived in a pretty how town
    (with up so floating many bells down)
    spring summer autumn winter
    he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

    Women and men(both little and small)
    cared for anyone not at all
    they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
    sun moon stars rain

    children guessed(but only a few
    and down they forgot as up they grew
    autumn winter spring summer)
    that noone loved him more by more

    when by now and tree by leaf
    she laughed his joy she cried his grief
    bird by snow and stir by still
    anyone’s any was all to her

    someones married their everyones
    laughed their cryings and did their dance
    (sleep wake hope and then)they
    said their nevers they slept their dream

    stars rain sun moon
    (and only the snow can begin to explain
    how children are apt to forget to remember
    with up so floating many bells down)

    one day anyone died i guess
    (and noone stooped to kiss his face)
    busy folk buried them side by side
    little by little and was by was

    all by all and deep by deep
    and more by more they dream their sleep
    noone and anyone earth by april
    wish by spirit and if by yes.

    Women and men(both dong and ding)
    summer autumn winter spring
    reaped their sowing and went their came
    sun moon stars rain

  21. Fisho- agree completely. Will be there Sunday. Should be great.

    Rick- he’s fantastic, isn’t he? One of my favourite parts of this poem is his use of “autumn” and not the ubiquitous “fall” although its etymology of “fall of leaves” is more poetic. It’s the American cultural imperialism represented by “fall” with which I take exception.

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