November in Tasmania: Spring Turns into Summer

Spring in Hobart Tasmania: ladybird on a finger and young boy in water

It was a teasing start to spring in Tasmania, with several weeks that lurched between glorious sunshine one day and snow the next. I got a little over-excited when we finally had a few warm days in a row, and put all our winter clothes away in the cupboard. Goodbye to those puff jackets and Ugg boots for another year, I thought to myself with glee. The next week I was hauling them right back out again.

Now the warm weather has arrived for good though (crosses fingers tightly) we’re taking full advantage of it. Despite applying copious amounts of Factor 50 every time we leave the house, I’ve already had my first sunburn, and DorkySon is taking every opportunity to swim in the river. First time in, he was fully clothed. Second time round he was better prepared, with beach clothes and a bodyboard, but a rogue wave washed a pebble into his ear and the resulting pain cut his adventure short.

No worries: with the official start of summer this Friday, I’m confident there will be more swimming days ahead. Continue reading

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DorkySon: For the Oceans

Sea Shepherd Tasmania debris cleanup

Since we first arrived in Tasmania, DorkySon has held a quiet fascination with Sea Shepherd.

When the Bob Barker was in port a couple of years ago he kept a wary distance. He loved the idea of protecting whales, but he wasn’t quite sure about those big, sharp teeth painted on the bow.

He loved to look out for Sea Shepherd supporters when we were out and about. At markets and festivals, the familiar logo was emblazoned across t-shirts, hoodies, and beanies, and he could always spot them a mile off.

The longer we have lived here, the more DorkySon has grown to love the ocean and with that has come a new appreciation for the work that Sea Shepherd does. Continue reading

Four Years and Ten Years and Tasmania, Oh My!

Yellow blooms

September has long been one of my favourite months, all the more so now I live in a place where it marks the start of spring.

It’s probably the most unsettled time of year here weatherwise. It’s entirely possible to have a 2-degree night immediately followed by an 18-degree morning, and a simple trip to the shops can involve sunshine, rain, hail, snow and then back to sun again. Thank goodness for layered clothing and rainbows.

It’s a colourful time across the city. The brilliant yellow wattle is starting to look a little tired, but there’s pink and white blossom everywhere, and when I walk through our neighbourhood I catch bursts of honeysuckle on the breeze. It’s beautiful.

This September marks two anniversaries for us. Four years in Tasmania, and ten years of marriage. I’m not sure which of those feels more astonishing now, or which was the more surprising decision in the first place. Continue reading

Winter Number Four

Willie Smith's Apple Shed enamel cups

We are coming towards the end of our fourth Tasmanian winter.

I don’t want to tempt the weather gods. Perhaps just by writing this I’ll prompt a flurry of sea level snowfall, but so far it has been the easiest winter we’ve spent here. Chilly, for sure, but mostly dry with bright blue skies and beautiful sunshine.

We have learned from experience and accepted the limits of this old brick house to keep out the cold. We’ve stopped being mean with the firewood, and instead light the stove almost every day. Before he goes to bed each night, DorkySon has taken to placing his cheek on the wall upstairs where the chimney warms it. He smiles at me.

Good old fire,” he says. Continue reading

Chocolate Milk and Mangoes

Mangoes

We are adjusting to a new routine in the DorkyHouse.

My time working at the Tasmanian Writers Centre has come to an end, and I’m enjoying being my own boss again, having a variety of challenging projects on the go, and structuring my time in a flexible way that suits our family really well. I’m working hard, but feeling happier and calmer than I have for months.

That said, I’m trying to take the lessons from a year in an office environment and apply them to freelance life. I’m being much firmer about setting boundaries around work time – different email addresses for work and home, different notebooks for specific projects, and no faffing around on social media.
Continue reading