Category Archives: This ain’t croquet

For all my blogs that have nothing to do with croquet.
It may surprise you that I do have a life outside of croquet.

2017 Festivus


This year’s Airing of Grievances tries to stimulate greater appreciation for the work the local council does and encourage tourism. #visitwagga

2016 Festivus

Wagga Wagga Airing of Grievances

This year’s Airing of Grievances tries to cut through the red tape and asks brewers to provide greater transparency when promoting their craft beer.

2015 Festivus

Serious issues have been raised at the Airing of Grievances at Festivus 2015. Yet again they are then further investigated by the tireless team of professional journalists at the Daily Advertiser.


Wagga Festivus 2014 – Airing of Grievances

Once again Festivus hits Wagga Wagga and the Thirsty Crow.
A low key affair with many people far too apathetic to even attend.

It would seem that some people do not take the “Airing of Grievances” seriously.
Thankfully the local Wagga Daily Advertiser and their professional team of journalists further investigated this year’s grievance.
You can read their findings at the Daily Advertiser website

Wagga Festivus 2013

Gearing up for the Wagga Festivus

Festivus will be celebrated in Wagga Wagga this year at the Thirsty Crow

Festivus is a holiday celebrated on the 23rd December, which fortunately for us is $5 pint night, so we don’t have to spend any more money than necessary.

The Festivus dinner, usually a plain meal, will not be served as the staff at the Thirsty Crow haven’t a clue about serving up a boring meal. Therefore some alcohol may be consumed whilst seated around the Festivus pole.

Come air your grievances around the Festivus pole

Come “air your grievances” around the Festivus pole

The customary tradition of “Airing of Grievances”, where we tell each other how they have disappointed us throughout the year will be take place. Craig “the brewer” Wealands will be awarding a prize for the best “grievance”. Any prize awarded will also be the first Festivus Miracle to occur in Wagga Wagga!

A $5 donation will be collected to support a local charity.

Be at the Thirsty Crow on Monday 23rd December 2013 commencing at 6pm to celebrate Festivus “with the rest of us”.

So Festivus came and went. A small group congregated around the Festivus pole at the Thirsty Crow to mark this auspicious occasion. No donation were made to the “Human Fund” as most couldn’t be bothered, a true reflection of the host (Craig the Brewer) triple booking himself and therefore unavailable for the “Feats of Strength”.

At least there was one grievance…


Happy Festivus… from the rest of us.


Cataphonx and Trolleys

On recent trip to Perth I was able to spend an afternoon in the Arts precinct in Northbridge.
Fortunate for me there was an exhibition – Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond

For those who attended Naracoorte High School many moons ago, it was the likes of Van Gogh, Dali and Picasso who inspired Cataphonx.

Rocks Upon the Sand

Rocks Upon the Sand

Love the use of granite usually used for flooring to be specifically placed on exhibition space.

Goats head using bicycle handle bars
Pure Cataphonx


Cataphonx was a bit rawer – I used an old rusted pram and two pieces of pine log within the “Golden Rectangle”

Pe-pple or an Ap-ear


My version of “Babe in the woods”

Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.


Big Bright and Beautiful

This one is for my sister Angela. I know she loves the bright colours.

Cataphonx and Trolleys

Having been inspired and reliving memories of my early years I was able to feast upon some Cataphonxic Dance, courtesy of “Trolleys”

Thirsty Crow hosting sporting champions

Wagga Wagga’s finest champions, past, present and “legends of their own lunch boxes” are celebrating their sporting championship status this afternoon at the Thirsty Crow.

Thirsty Crow’s brewer’s head

Head brewer Craig Wealands wasn’t known for his sporting prowess on the field, however he has honed his skills to providing all sporting champions the finest of ales to toast their achievements.
And he has a trophy to prove it.
So being the good sport that he is, Craig has “Sporting Ale” on tap for all sporting champions to enjoy.

Croquet Champion Jim Nicholls
enjoying a “Sporting Ale”

 So come on down to the Thirsty Crow to watch our finest footballers this weekend, bring your trophies, and embellish the great moments, both on and off the field (pool table or dart board), that has made Wagga Wagga Australia’s greatest city of good sports.
Given that Two Bird clubs, Hawks and Swans, are competing for the title, it is only fitting that I take my “Best part for a Canary played by a Budgie” trophy

“Canary played by a Budgie” trophy

3 & under becomes 10.56 and under after record rain

Record rainfall throughout the Riverina and Southern Tablelands of NSW caused the local dams (Burrinjuck and Blowering) to reach capacity within 2 days. Having been about 80% capacity, after 150m to 250mm of rain in the catchment area the dams were overflowing at un-precendented rates.
On Saturday 5 March we abandoned our local croquet as we could see the storm rolling in.

By the time Monday came around there had been plenty of rainfall in the catchment area upstream from Wagga. This caused major flooding in the Murrumbidgee. The river level quickly rose.

At 9.30pm all residents in the Wagga Wagga CBD received evacution orders and busily began packing, moving, lifting furniture before 6am Tuesday morning.

Having spent the night at my friend’s place (Thanks Bill) spent the day takng in the water views around Wagga Wagga. Amazing to see so much water…

Kangaroos “swimming for it” across kilometres of waters.


Wagga CBD protected by a 10.70 metre levee bank. The integrity of the levee could not be guaranteed, hence the evacuation. The river was tipped to peak at 10.90 metres.

 The train travelling across the Murrumbidgee at Wagga Wagga.



Every sheep for themselves… inovative ways to keep dry


And all over NSW the rain was falling and causing problems

Approximately 80% of NSW was flood affected, of which 80% of the water will flow into the Murray Darling basin to South Australia.


After a hectic few days of packing, sleeping on foreign couch and finally getting back to work, decided it best not to play in the NSW 3 & under. Whilst it was to prepare for the Eire Cup, nothing like some rest was required to get prepared for the 10 days of croquet ahead in Perth.

Thirsty Crow’s brewer night (how to prepare for team practice)

Thirsty Crow brewer - Craig Wealands

Decisions, decisions…
Local brewer, Craig Wealands, invited me to join in the festivities of the Thirsty Crow’s inaugrual brewer night. Should I pass up the opportunity and get to team practice early and refereshed?? or should I attend and celebrate Wagga Wagga’s first Continue reading

Sightseeing in Wanganui, NZ

Having not qualified for the doubles knockout, and then losing to Aiken & Harps in the first round of the knockout plate, I was fortunate to have James Abernathy take me on a tourist drive of Wanganui.

Overloking Wanganui towards croquet lawns

Wanganui is a town of 45,000 people which does not have a major industry and therefore is a welfare town with a large population of retirees and also a younger families. Wanganui has one of the hottest ratios of schools per head of population in New Zealand.

James took it to one of the only two operational lifts within a hill in the world. We had to walk 500 metres in a tunnel to the middle of the hill before taking the lift. At the top of the hill one has a fantastic view over the township of Wanganui.

Tunnel into hill

Of course one has to visit the beach when travelling in the middle of summer. The beaches on the west coast of New Zealand are a little different to what of experienced in most places around the world. There are no golden sands or gentle waves lapping the shoreline.

Tree lined Wanganui Beach

Instead one is greeted with black sand and plenty of timber as far as the eye can see. Being on the west coast of New Zealand the seas are quite rough, and whilst there is plenty of opportunity to get a good catch the treacherous seas turned plenty of fishermen away.