Back Online

Hobart Tasmania



I’m just back from a month offline. Some part of me must have realised that June was going to be hectic, because it passed in an absolute blur of busy-ness and I honestly didn’t have time to miss social media. I didn’t have time to do much of the reading or walking I was planning on either, although DorkySon and I did walk to school on a couple of cold, crisp mornings that were just beautiful. Continue reading

Keep It In The Ground

Guardian campaign logo Keep It In the Ground

I’ve been saying to myself for a while that I need to get back into some kind of campaigning again, but it has been hard to know what. As a non-voter in Australia I feel a bit odd about getting involved with a political party across here, and obviously I can grumble about UK politics as much as I like but I’m not really in a position to do much about it. There doesn’t seem to be as much of a lively NGO sector here as there was in Scotland, and family life means that I feel less inclined to spend my weekends waving placards and shimmying up lampposts. Although somewhat ironically having a family means that I’m now keener than ever to see a world which is safe and happy for DorkySon to grow up in. Continue reading

A Quick Update

Marc and Philip

Last week was one of those that I would quite like to forget about, to be honest. I got my speeding penalty letter on Tuesday. It turns out that even when you get a nice policeman and it’s just a caution you still get a $110 fine. On Wednesday I dropped my phone and smashed the screen. “Great,” I said to DorkyDad, “That’s two things… I wonder what the third will be?” I didn’t have to wait long to find out. On Thursday when I was in the shop getting a new phone sorted out it took so long that I came back to the car and found a parking ticket.

Then on Friday came the news that put all of my little grumbles into perspective. Two friends – two of the people I went to Greenland with, nine years ago exactly – had gone missing in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the rescue mission soon turned into a recovery mission. As I write this they have still not been found – I hope for their families’ sake that they are soon. I have had a very sad few days thinking about them, but I’ve also been smiling as I remember some of the incredible experiences we had together. It was a privilege to write a piece about Marc and Philip for the Guardian Environment blog, which you can read here.

The one piece of good news last week was that I have been shortlisted for Best Writer in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards. I’m not really doing much to deserve that at the moment, but thank you so much – I very much appreciate the support of all my readers. If you’d like to cast your vote to see me in the finals – or any of your other favourite bloggers who are shortlisted – it’ll take you two minutes to do here.

Normal blogging service will hopefully be resumed soon.

No Excuses

Red road sign STOP

The police are a very visible presence in Tasmania. It is rare that you can make a trip across town without seeing a good few police cars and at least one roadside alcohol test or speed trap going on. They are particularly present around schools at drop-off and pick-up, catching people who aren’t paying attention to the reduced speed limit at those times.

That’s a good thing. It has given us the opportunity to have a lot of discussions with DorkySon in the car about what the police do to support communities, how important it is to drive safely and responsibly, and what the negative effects of alcohol can be on people. When I was pulled over a few months ago as part of a large-scale breath testing initiative DorkySon was in the back of the car and thought it was very exciting indeed. It was over in less than a minute and with a reading of zero I was free to drive on, but he talked about it for weeks afterwards. Continue reading

A Bruny Island Break

dusk on Bruny Island

“We are living on an island, under an island, under an island, at the edge of the world.”

Sometimes you find a holiday spot that’s just so beautiful that you feel torn between telling everyone about it and keeping it a secret so it doesn’t get overrun.

That’s how I feel about our time away on Bruny Island last week. Given that my blog audience is a small one though, and that most of you live many thousands of miles away, I feel safe in spilling the beans. Continue reading