Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ticket in Tatts

‘We walk along the seafront – from Woolloomooloo to Bennelong
We walk along in the sunshine – our feet were hurting
We walked for so long
I told you that I loved you – I told you once or twice
We had a cold beer in a seaside pub – and didn’t that beer taste nice’

So runs the first verse of a neat little tune from the Professors’ favourite’s collection by the now disbanded Melbourne outfit Weddings, Parties Anything. It was running through my head as I did in fact walk along the seafront – although it was the Esplanade at Cowes on Victoria’s beautiful Phillip Island - and it stopped me in my tracks to think that such a serendipitous coincidence could occur so unexpectedly. Sorry to use the word ‘serendipitous’ in a beer blog. In future I will attempt to balance out these rare lapses with something more befitting our blog philosophy. Boobies. There you go.

The reason for the emergence of a big smile across my dial was not so much the nature of the intersection of thoughts and actions, nor was it the fine sunny day I was enjoying due to the
free-form antics of my two youngest Pilsners but it was the sudden realisation that a memory can intone such strong feelings without even being aware of it. I was smiling at the thought of a cold beer in a seaside pub and, yes, that beer did taste nice. This was made even more pleasurable by my realisation of the underlying theme of the song. As you will see from the chorus;

‘But now I’m ten cents short of a dollar –
but I feel like a man with a ticket in Tatts
We got, blue skies and window shopping and a back lane full of cats.’

Sometimes I reckon we get all caught up in the things in our lives that we think are the most pressing and important – and to an extent, they are – but we shouldn’t put them ahead of the things that really are important. We all need to work and earn the cash to keep a roof over the head and the wolf from the door but we also need to mix this up and temper it with a greater appreciation for the little things.

‘On Fridays we eat pasta – on Saturdays it’s fish
And for the rest of the week we get toasted cheese
That is our favourite dish
We live above the city – but our bed is on the floor
It’s Three flights up, Too far gone, One couldn’t ask for more’

‘But now I’m ten cents short of a dollar –
but I feel like a man with a ticket in Tatts
We got, blue skies and window shopping and a back lane full of cats.’

For me the little things are the joy of assembling all the gear as I ready myself to put on a homebrew, especially if it’s one we haven’t tried yet, the simple pleasure of spotting a new beer or, again, one I haven’t tried yet or even the first sip of nice, ice cold mainstream lager from the tap at a decent bar that doesn’t look like a futuristic stainless steel poofter coffee shop. Like I said, simple things.

My kids seem to have a pretty keen grasp of the concept of simple pleasures and perhaps that’s why I find it easy to see the good aspects of the any little thing. All the latest tricked out and techno-hyped toys are not worth the excessive plastic packaging they are bound up in when compared to the unhindered rapture of playing with Dad’s bottle capping machine or helping Dad to ‘top & tail’ the capped bottles to mix in the priming sugar. And don’t even get me started on the thrill of handing the bottles to Dad to put in to storage under the table! Fun in buckets, I tells ya!

The feeling you get when you bring a special beer back home to join its fridge friends, that waiting game you play while it chills, the unmistakable ‘tssst’ as you pop the cap and that delicious ‘glup, glup, glup’ as the glass fills. I don’t need to spell out the joy of that first taste, do I?

‘I don’t know why I come here – I don’t know if I’ll stay
But if the weather keeps up, and you keep smiling
They couldn’t drag me away (I tell you what ...)
I’ll meet you down at the Hotel – when our work is done
And we’ll play pool, til’ closing time – we’ll drink ten beers, if we have one’

‘But now I’m ten cents short of a dollar –
but I feel like a man with a ticket in Tatts
We got, blue skies and window shopping and a back lane full of cats.’

So next time you’re in the car and the phone rings, let it go through to voice mail, leave the extra paperwork ‘til later and go outside for a walk around the neighbourhood or leave work early one day and take the missus out for dinner. Go off now and enjoy some little things. Oh, by the way, I have found that the little things seem to go better with a nice beer.

Prof. Pilsner


Chris Curtis said...

Hello! I was searching for the lyrics to Ticket in Tatts just now as I wanted to be sure he sings "from woolloomooloo to benelong". He does, of course, but I couldn't find benelong on the map. Turns out its not an area but the park where the opera house is in sydney. Quite a short walk really.
Anyhoo, I noticed that in your lyrics you've got "i'll meet you down at the hotel". I'm pretty sure the lyric is "I'll meet you down at the Hopetoun". Its a pub on the corner of Fitzroy St and Bourke St in Sydney - clearly visible on google streetview! Spent many a happy hour there myself. And yes, you're right, a simple song can bring many happy memories and a smile! Nice blog!

Beer Blokes said...

G'Day Chris and thanks for your comment. Glad you found me even if by accident.

As I wrote this back in 2008 I can't remember exactly but I have always thought the 'Hotel' was, in fact, 'The Hopetoun' so I'm not sure why I typo'd this piece.

Is The Hopetoun still there? Next time I'm up Sydney way I'll check it out and report back.

Prof Pilsner

Beer Blokes said...

...just had another thought. I can't help feeling that the walk from Wooloomooloo to Bennelong is a vastly different one today than it was when Mick Thomas did the walk and penned the song. Might be fun to do a pub appraisal of that walk to see if you could find a nice beer.

Aussie said...

Found ya the same way Chris did. Awesome read; just a pity it showed me how homesick I really am after 15 years living in the Unholy Shithole of America (and how soft it's made me) that it took me twenty attempts to read it to the missus cuz I kept bawling.

Beer Blokes said...

G'Day Auusie - Howyagoin' knackers, bewdy bonza digger to hear from youse. Aussie enough!?

Glad you found this post from way-back-when and, like Chris and others, it struck a chord. I still often get these moments which turn into posts or ideas for stories which now end up over at as I don't have the time to run one site, let alone two.

At least in The States you have access to a great range of craft beers at much better value than we get over here back home.

Would love to turn yours and Chris' comments into a bit of a story. Can you email me at and I'll get a few more details for a story about Aussies abroad and what they miss most.