A forecast high of 34 °C and a long list of jobs to be done, the Christmas present wrapping seems to take forever! Across to Oakleigh shops for supplies and the heat hits me, cool again once I’m inside the little mall. Absolute mayhem inside, everyone going crazy with their last-minute shopping. An old lady walks off with another old lady’s trolley, a tug-of-war starts, shouting and arm waving… Suddenly they realise what happens and everyone bursts into laughter and apologises.

Groceries, treats, presents and beer, then an unusual sight as I cross the road heading home. Vaguely familiar wedge-shaped sports car, very low, very shiny, glinting in the sun. DMC across the bonnet, 88MPH as the number plate — I laugh as I realise, a Queensland registered DeLorean. My camera is buried under an entire bag of groceries, I’m too hot to dig it out, no photos, just a memory.

Ten o’clock at night and it was still thirty degrees as we drove in to Richmond, people everywhere in various states of pre-Christmas revelry. A quick espresso at Grandma Funks to try and liven things up — too much dinner sitting too heavily on the inside — then down to the Corner for the annual Mick Thomas show.

We arrived just as the support act was finishing giving us half an hour to get accustomed to the heat and the noise before Mick and the Sure Thing took the stage, spot on 11 o’clock. Found myself standing further back than ever before — oh my god, am I getting old? More likely too much too eat for dinner, neither Jo nor I felt liking pushing further through the crowd. At least this year we weren’t next to any obnoxious mobile phone users.

Surprise of the night was when the band left at the end, then after the applause and shouting Mick returned with… hang on, isn’t that? Jo, being shorty, can’t see the guest as easily, then she does, and being more of a fan is better at recognition. Yep, I guess it is Billy Bragg! Mick and Billy, two guitars, two distinctive voices, an interesting couple of songs.

Then the band encore, a rousing rendition of a number of favourites, then they’re leaving the stage again. Time to go? Not quite, the house lights don’t come on. Back again for one final song, what seems to be the closing number now, Stone Roses’ Made of Stone.

Quarter past one, time to go home. Still thirty degrees in Richmond. How many more years will Mick keep the shows going? Some years they seem to be an imposition, other times, like tonight, he and the band appear to be having a whale of a time. I guess we’ll find out next year, and the one after that….