It was a hot day in northern Victoria (it's always a hot day in northern Victoria - the clouds magically disperse once you cross the Great Dividing Range) for lunch at the golf club in honour of Jack.
He had been a favourite on the fairways where the feisty five-foot-six-and-a-quarter dynamo with his trademark highly polished shoes was reputed to have the shortest backswing and fastest follow-through ever seen; and at the nineteenth hole where his wit and good humour endeared him to all.
Some hundred-plus golf club members, friends and neighbours gathered; the speeches and anecdotes were in turn heartfelt and hilarious - many of course, to do with golf. One member recalled that Jack was such a bad driver that the others conspired never to let him take the wheel on their many trips to golf courses around the region; Jack had thought they were merely deferring to age - little did he know they had been whispering behind his back 'he's going to kill us if we let him behind the wheel again'.
Other stories involved Jack's motorised golf cart - he had bought it second hand - 'a bargain' - and they came to realise why. It kept breaking down. One day it refused to proceed at the tenth hole. There was no choice but for his fellow golfers to push and pull the cart - Jack aboard shouting directions - all the way back to the clubhouse. It started raining. 'Can ye nae push any faster, lads.' He was lucky they didn't tip him into the pond.
The tables were groaning with food - sandwiches of all kinds, homemade mini quiches, pies and sausage rolls; and cold beer was flowing at the open bar. Someone had brought along a tape of Scottish bagpipe music and it was playing away softly in a tape machine on a table near the bar.
Towards four o'clock, a cool breeze came through the open window overlooking the eighteenth hole. People were leaving, many heading back to their farms for the afternoon milking.
A friend from one of the farms had kindly delivered a bucket of freshly caught and boiled yabbies - freshwater crayfish. The family, especially my mother-in-law, were exhausted after the week past, so in the evening, my brother-in-law and I prepared supper by peeling the yabbies and cooking them - not forgetting the succulent claws from the larger ones - in white wine and garlic, just a few minutes, adding cream at the end. Served on rice, garlic yabbies may be the simplest and finest meal anyone ever tasted. We opened a bottle of wine.
Next morning, the drive back to Melbourne was hot to begin with. Then, as we crossed back over the Great Divide, the clouds magically reformed.
It was raining in Melbourne.