Nine

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And so, he is nine.

What a big year it has been. New teeth, new teacher, new school. New rules and expectations. Sad goodbyes, happy hellos, and a whole lot of laughter. If I had to choose a word to sum up eight-year-old DorkySon, I think it would be resilient.

The boy whose legs used to shake with nerves before assembly stood proudly on stage for the final concert at his small school by the sea: baseball cap on, shirt untucked, singing and dancing with his arms around his classmates.

The boy who used to be scared of water now loves it so much that if I forget to bring a towel and bathers to the beach he still insists on wading up to his shoulders fully clothed.

The boy who used to cross the street to avoid walking past a dog now follows me around the house, regaling me with ‘fascinating facts’ about Dalmatians.

This boy crashes his bike, brushes the dirt off his knees, and gets right back on again. Continue reading

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Running

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It is running season here.

I’m not a matchy-matchy clothes kind of runner. There’s no Lorna Jane activewear lurking in my drawer.

Instead, I wear one of DorkyDad’s old gym vests that I rescued from the op shop pile. There are battered trainers that I should probably get around to replacing, and a pair of shorts that are older than DorkySon. On sunny days, I pull on a cap that was a freebie at a university event. Red on black: Save the Tassie Devil.

I’m not a competitive runner either. Not even with myself. An occasional glance at the default health app on my phone tells me that I run somewhere between three and five kilometres most days. There are routes I know I can do in 15 minutes (ish) when the air is cool and still. But on those syrupy nights when the sun is still bright above the mountain, I know it’ll be more like 20. I don’t measure time or distance any more accurately than that. Continue reading

2017: Finding my Voice

The Edge of the World tasmania

2017, what a year.

A year when nuclear war suddenly became something imaginable; when it took video footage of a dying polar bear to get climate change back on the agenda; and when rickets returned to Tory-run Britain. It was the year when two days before Christmas I found DorkySon using his toy cars and Lego men to stage a reconstruction of a police SUV preventing a ‘terrorist vehicle’ from mowing down a crowd of pedestrians.

And, of course, it was the year of Trump. The year started with the self-confessed pussy grabber’s inauguration, and ended with his endorsement of Roy Moore. Between those two delightful bookends came an onslaught of revelations about public figures of every political stripe, along with a bundle of tone-deaf hot takes from Matt Damon that literally no-one needed to hear. Continue reading

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

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