Even at 87, Bob Hawke was a formidable character.
Topics had the honour of interviewing the late, great former PM at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic in December 2016.
It was a stinking hot day in the vineyards, and Bob was doing it tough, despite the attentions of the event organisers.
The first hole at the Crowne Plaza is a water carry, but Bob stabbed his drive over the lake, to the considerable relief of the crowd assembled on the tee.
He spent much of the rest of the round sitting in a golf cart puffing on his trademark cigars and absorbing a steady stream of selfie requests with diminishing patience.
It was a heroic effort.
Topics tracked Hawkie down somewhere on the front nine and asked him about Donald Trump, who had won the US election the previous month.
He might have been flagging in the summer heat, but the Rhodes scholar's mind was as sharp as ever. He struck Topics as a man who did not suffer fools.
He said Trump was "potentially dangerous, yes, but I don't think he'll be as dangerous as he sounded on the campaign trail".
He described the president elect's attitudes to free trade and China as troubling.
"But he's won, and that's over. We should keep a good relationship, and with China. We won't always agree with him. Sometimes we'll agree with China rather than him, but we'll play it as it comes."
Hawke, the patron of the Celebrity Classic and a regular at the event since he became PM in 1983, later led the tournament dinner crowd in his traditional, four-verse rendition of Waltzing Matilda.
On the side of the angels
On the subject of Bob Hawke, we enjoyed The Shovel's take on his passing.
The satirical website reported that Bob had already announced plans in heaven to lift the living wage for angels.
Bob was also planning to deregulate the afterlife's economy, starting with floating the currency.
Democracy with bubbles
Topics' mum was at the Raymond Terrace pre-polling booth the other day and was pleased to see one of the scrutineers beside the ballot box blowing soap bubbles.
She asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was trying to make democracy more fun.
It turned out he and some of the other volunteers had organised crazy hat days and other diversions for voters during the pre-poll period.
Someone in authority had told them to stop because voting was a "serious business", but the jolly scrutineers had ignored them.
Their recalcitrance met with a nod of approval from Topics' mother, who is no fan of politics or a preferential voting system which forces her to write numbers next to parties she's never heard of.
"It's a farce," she fumed.