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.


I can offer no love towards Geelong, Collingwood, West Coast, Essendon or the confected opportunism that is the GWS Giants 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.

Kath and KIm

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!



*the title comes from the celebrated American poet ee cummings





Adelaide’s Widest Variety of Pink

J and D

Autumn in Adelaide. It’s magnificent, and probably better than Baghdad in summer or Vladivostok in winter. The days are warm and still and the evenings are great for all manner of alfresco activity such as the Fringe Festival, centred upon the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

I was there with two dear old friends, Poof[1] and Trish[2] and we took in Judith Lucy and Denise Scott and their show Disappointments. In the football match of our lives it’s after half time and we’re, hopefully, into the Premiership Quarter[3] so the themes of dealing with aging,  bodily degeneration and the like are targeted at our demographic. It was fun, well as much fun as this comedy of cruelty could be.

Our after-show conversation was especially provoked by a rapid-fire monologue in which Judith catalogued how unspeakably awful pop music of the 1980’s is. Poof[4] and Trish[5] disagreed, coming to an enthusiastic, but ultimately incorrect defence of this cursed decade! Our friendship enjoys robust debate. The centre point of Judith’s argument was Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” whose only redeeming quality is surely the correct use of the possessive apostrophe within its title.[6]

You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute

I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot

See? ‘Tis a nonsense. Imagine a radio station dedicated to this swill? If you’d really like to wallow in colossal disappointment and have every joyful atom sucked from your being, I recommend listening to Mix 102.3, lurking poisonously on the FM band and doubtless streaming right now across an undeserving galaxy. Love the more putrid songs of the 1980’s? Here’s five in a row! Love those crappy INXS ballads that should never have been on their otherwise great albums[7]? We’ll play one an hour. Up for those rubbish Bowie tunes, from the time when he’d truly lost his way and we thought he’d never return? I’ve got one right after the news! It’ll make you tense, if not physically and spiritually sick.

When Mix 102.3 is not undertaking 1980’s aural terrorism[8] it’s playing Pink. Astonishingly, it’s slogan is “Adelaide’s Widest Variety of Music” but if there’s any truth in radio sloganeering, it should be “Adelaide’s Widest Variety of Pink.” Delusion dictates that it must play Pink multiple times within each freaking hour of their godless day. Listen for any length and you will certainly wish you were trapped in a CIA black site, and about to be folded into a dark cupboard for a fortnight. If you were bound by rope to a chair, listening through bleeding ears, and somehow decided to drink a shot of Bundy[9] every time you heard her banshee gibberish shrieking from the radio speakers, you’d turn into Sir Les Paterson[10] or Elizabeth Taylor[11] within about fifteen minutes.

I love the 1990’s. In among the grunge of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, who I also like, there were lots of sunny songs with great melodies and fetching harmonies. The Sundays and Weezer spring to mind. Then there’s Teenage Fanclub and their signature tune, “Sparky’s Dream.”[12]

It opens with gangly guitars and this great lyric

If she lived in space, man

I’d build a plane

Aside from the aeronautical impossibility it’s a song of optimism and joy.

I reckon Judith Lucy would like it. You’ll never hear it on Mix 102.3.


[1] Not her given name, but certainly her real name

[2] Not Patsy, under any circumstances

[3] Australian Rules football metaphor indicating the most crucial section of a grand final

[4] Not her given name, but certainly her real name

[5] Not Patsy, under any circumstances

[6] See previous two blog entries for more on this

[7] Shabooh Shoobah from 1982 being one

[8] As developed by the CIA, ASIO and Stock, Aitken and Waterman

[9] Dark rum from Queensland, another act of war

[10] Hideous but hugely funny cultural icon

[11] Apparently enjoyed an aperitif

[12] Note correct use of possessive apostrophe here too. See, it’s not so hard, people