a perth-fect pub

Oh, what a play on words. Genius writing, I hear you say. Or maybe not. If the cricket in Perth was a big disappointment, then the discovery of an Irish bar in the centre of the city called Durty Nelly’s by Deano and Sara was nothing short of genius.

We’ve been very lucky on this tour so far in terms of the performance of the English side. From the incredible turnaround with the bat in the second innings at Brisbane to the all round brilliance of the display in Adelaide, the boys have performed as well as any of us dreamt they could when we arrived down under several weeks back. The exciting nature of the tests has meant that drinking copious amounts of alcohol has not been as perhaps necessary as it can be on tour. The cricket has provided more than enough enjoyment, so much so that many of us struggled to get properly smashed up in Adelaide. Sure we found a decent boozer in Adelaide that served cheap(ish) Bulmers, but for some reason it didn’t quite create that full on smash up feeling that a bar on tour can sometimes serve up. I honesty believe that this was down to being high on life thanks to the innings rout that we had witnessed over the previous few days.

When I first started watching cricket I was very much one of these people that liked to watch as much of the cricket in the flesh as possible. I remember me and my mate Sands watching that infamous third day of the Ashes test at Edgbaston where we would literally time our trips to the toilet to coincide with a gap in play, such as a drinks break or a bowling change, that would allow us to miss nothing more than the odd delivery. On one of my first trips to India I would ensure that I was in my seat for the start of play, even after getting back from a crazy night out in Bombay in the very early hours of the morning. There was one night I remember being particularly messy, crawling in from Not Just Jazz By The Bay shortly before the sun came up. In fact, I think it still stands out as my best night out on tour. It was that good that Ben couldn’t manage a single ball in the ground the next day! Last winter in South Africa I had moved to the opposite end of the scale, going out just before lunch time and not returning till the last hour of the day by which time I was that pissed I couldn’t remember the score at close of play. I also spent the rest of the night nursing a wounded arm from falling off one of the wooden tables that served beer. Class. In all fairness it turned out to be another legendary night on tour that saw me and Expat Andy get about fifth wind, managing to follow a group of yanks up Long Street to continue the boozing to the early hours. Without the ‘warm up’ session of that afternoon I’d have probably never bothered with the nightclubbing and would have missed out on some fun and frolics with some cool new people.

As I mentioned, that was an extreme. I love my cricket and even now like to be in the ground for the majority of the days play despite the lure of pub carnage away from the ground. I’ve missed a couple of sessions this tour in bars, though. In the past I may have felt guilty about this, but many tours and test matches in I’m more than happy to spend some time with friends new and old in various establishments around the grounds. For starters, it’s not always great fun watching us get rolled over cheaply for the second time in two days or putting up with BMA’s (see earlier blog for meaning) screaming at you how great Mike Hussey is or how crap the Pommie’s are. A little time away from the cricket helps rejuvenate my support for the lads when they most need it. Most places we play test cricket are also located in very hot climates. I love the sun, but for eight hours a day for fives days in a row is not good fun – though reading many peoples updates from home on facebook tells me that you are all having to put up with something called snow? Luckily I’ve avoided it for the third winter in a row now, so perhaps I’m sounded quite spoilt about the tough nature of being in the sun for days on end. Lifestyle choice would be all I say in retort to anyone cursing me.

Back to Durty Nelly’s. What a pub it was to stumble upon in these expensive touring times. For the bargain price you could get a pint of Guinness for just $5.50!!!!!!! Excuse the slightly excessive use of the exclamation mark there, but when you are used to saying, ‘Oh, $8 dollars for a proper pint, that’s not too bad’ because you have been paying $10 in most bars for a decent pint for the last four weeks, then you’d get just as excited too. No really, you would. So, always being open to new things (don’t laugh at the back) I have more than happily trained my palate to enjoy the taste of this famous Irish drop. In fact, I’ve trained myself so well that I’ve rediscovered the talent of getting pissed for the sake of it during the evenings of a cricket tour. I genuinely lost that ability thanks to the exchange rate during the Brisbane and Adelaide games. It was sometimes difficult dragging myself away from a bar while others on a three or four week trip got smashed up like it was any other tour. Spending the two months I did in South East Asia socialising in bars and clubs without even considering the cost made coming over here and having to budget an even tougher task. Thanks to Durty Nelly’s and it’s marvellous Christmas Guinness offer, I’ve had the best week on tour so far. I’m not saying you have to get smashed to have fun, oh no. Not at all. But during a test match in which we are getting well and truly beaten in, it helps a heck of a lot to get over the disappointment with a big session in the evening with my mates in a fine Irish bar.

Despite the cricket, I’ve enjoyed my time in Perth too. I wrote on arrival that I would be spending the longest time in one place in nearly seven years here at Beatty Lodge. If I am honest I thought that I’d struggle with the longevity of the time here, what with being more used to a few days here and a few days there than an extended period in the same bed. I’m delighted to report that I’ve loved my time here. It has been pretty full on again, so much so that only now am I spending some time next to the hostel pool trying desperately to not get sunburnt from the ferocious Western Australian sun, while writing this brief update.

Tomorrow is a trip to Melbourne where I’ll be spending my second Christmas away from home in a row. To all my friends and family, have a lovely Christmas. I hope you have just a Perth-fect one as the early gift Durty Nelly’s gave me.

As a final treat here is a top five list of bars that have had that extra ‘something’ while on a cricket tour-

Jamaican Sub Aqua Club – Kingston Town’s very only scuba diving establishment for wannabe rastafarians. Welcomes any type of diver, experienced or otherwise. Home of ice cold Red Stripe.

Not Just Jazz By The Bay – Bombay’s young and vibrant crowd blend in with several dozen English fans to dance the night away to a Neil Diamond tribute band. Ran out of bottled beer by 2am so we risked the Kingfisher draught stuff. A good idea at the time, though ones bowels were unforgiving the following day.

Slug & Lettuce – Our local in Cape Town, overlooking the World Cup stadium. Warnings of death to kittens for anyone caught pleasuring there selves in the pub toilets.

The Pub – Any watering hole that doesn’t bother naming itself is worth a mention. Situated in the centre of Kandy, Sri Lanka, it served pints of Lion served in Bullseye style tumblers for less than a quid. Nice.

Cocktails and Dreams – Lovingly referred to as ‘Tetleys and a Wank’ thanks to the northern mind of Damo. Our favourite pub in Baga Beach, Goa. An area of the country that is a must visit to get away from the day to day stresses of an Indian City.


2 Responses to “a perth-fect pub”

  1. 1 Martin Chapple
    December 21, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Have a ball matey!! We will be too!!!

  2. 2 Donna
    December 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Nice Blog Rich..perthect..and


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    ha ha ha and finally what’s wrong with trying a little elderflower cordial now and then!!!

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