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

Park Life

beach

We are in the middle of the Easter holidays here.

I thought it was going to be a quiet break, but it hasn’t turned out that way. DorkySon spent last weekend recovering from the excitement of his birthday – he lay on the sofa and worked his way steadily through all the new DVDs he’d been given – but this week he has had a swimming lesson every day and we have been fitting in all the things like dentist appointments and haircuts that can no longer happen during the term.

Last night DorkyDad and I went to the launch of Dark MOFO. Tomorrow our supply of winter firewood arrives, so we’ll be spending a good few hours stacking that and – *shudders* – hopefully avoiding the spiders. Next week we head to Bruny Island for a few nights, before having some friends to stay for the final weekend of the holiday. Continue reading

Now you are six

DorkySon

So now you are six.

You are not a wee soft thing anymore. There is still a slight curve to your belly, and enough for a squeeze under your chin, but otherwise you are all angles and lines, long skinny legs pink with the sun.

What a year we’ve had together. This time twelve months ago you were still settling into kindergarten, sometimes nervous around other children, struggling to hold a pen the right way. But you are in the perfect school. It is a community that has nurtured all your strengths and found the right way to help with your weaknesses.

Like us, they have realised that you like to do things in your own time, unhurried. They know that gentle nudges towards independence work far better for you than rough shoves. So now, one term into prep, it is all falling into place. The building blocks of reading and writing are coming together so fast we can hardly keep up with you. All the life skills – cycling, swimming, socialising – are getting better each week. And at home you are proud to help and get involved – dressing yourself, carrying plates, pouring drinks – you become more confident and less clumsy with every day that passes. Continue reading

In Praise of Libraries

stack of books

Libraries have always been a big part of my life.

I remember the excitement of finally being old enough to join the tiny library in the village where I grew up; the responsibility of having a card to look after; the solemnity of the ritual where I would approach the counter with my chosen books and stand watching while the librarian stamped each one with a return date.

(25 years later I am still slightly ashamed that I was once careless enough to lose a book from that library. Sorry sorry sorry. I have no idea where it went.)

At primary school I was selected to be a student librarian. It was a pretty unexciting job – one for those of us who were diligent and smart, but not popular enough to be elected house captain. Still, it won me a red enamel badge with gold lettering, which I pinned to my denim jacket with pride. Continue reading

Old Friends New Friends

Boat Harbour Tasmania

We went away last weekend to the North West of Tasmania, an area of the state that I hadn’t been to before. It is so beautiful up there.

The drive is quite a long one – it took us about four and a half hours from Hobart – but that included a couple of short stops. The Midlands Highway is a very pretty drive, and DorkySon had great fun looking out for the metal sculptures that are dotted along the edge of the road.

We were staying with some of our oldest and closest friends, who have recently moved to Tasmania. We first met almost ten years ago in Edinburgh, when we were two relatively new couples. Now we are married and they are married. We have a son and they have a daughter. It is strange but wonderful that we have both somehow ended up on this small island on the other side of the world. Continue reading