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

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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

South

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Even after more than two years here there are times when my internal compass spins automatically north – times when I try and do things the way they’ve always been done.

I had imagined that January would be productive. New month, new year, new start – the perfect opportunity to get my head together and work on some priorities for 2016. I was going to declutter the house. I was going to detox – alcohol, carbs, social media. I was going to set up my new computer so I could email editors and write something brilliant.

But of course January is still the middle of school summer holidays here, and none of that happened. Instead it was a month of ice cream and beach time, lazy Bruny days, boat trips and books. We had visitors from Scotland, cuddles with kangaroos, and soft, warm evenings in the Adirondack chairs. There were all sorts of loveliness. Continue reading

Goodbye, 2015

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It’s New Year’s Eve here in Tasmania, and like the worst possible Australian cliché, we have spent it on the beach. I’m not quite sure how – I reckon I’ll blame DorkySon – but somewhere along this wonderful journey we have turned into a family of wetsuit wearers. Even on days when the water temperature is a few degrees below balmy, we can now while away our hours bobbing in the Derwent. Continue reading

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Pictures

kangaroo Bonorong Tasmania

We had some friends from the UK staying last week and, as is always the way, we seemed to fit in more visits to local attractions in that five days that we had managed in the previous five months. It was lovely being able to share some of my favourite Hobart spots with them – the view from the top of Mount Nelson, fish and chips at Maning Reef, and a lovely sunny walk in the Botanic Gardens – but the highlight for me was a trip out to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Here are a few pictures from the day. Continue reading