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

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DARK MOFO and the Winter Solstice

DARK MOFO Hobart 2014

What a lovely little weekend that was.

It was the winter solstice here on Saturday. The shortest day of the year was a sunny one, filled from dusk until dawn with light and brightness.

DorkyDad and I went out to the Winter Feast on Saturday night – a loud and lively celebration of local food. It was the only DARK MOFO event we went to together. DorkyDad had been to listen to poetry and music at the Odeon Theatre last week, and DorkySon and I spent a merry afternoon with our mops at Yin Xiuzhen’s ice sculpture, but Saturday night was special.

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Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

autumn in Tasmania

Tomorrow – the first day of June – is the official start of winter in Tasmania. I like the way the seasons are marked so precisely into three month chunks here.

Autumn has been glorious. The sunsets over the last few weeks have taken our breath away, and the daylight hours have had a real crispness to them. Most of the rain has come at night. On the few overcast days we’ve had, the river has looked all the lovelier, infused with a glittering silver light. The mist here, when it swirls like magic down the Derwent, is called Bridgewater Jerry. It creeps through the pillars of the Tasman Bridge, stealing it from sight for an hour or two, but it’s nothing like Edinburgh where the haar descends for days and chills you right down to the marrow.

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My Winter Survival Kit

Guess what? I think we did it. I think we survived winter.

DorkyDad is much better at winter than I am. All those years he spent living in the woods of Idaho have paid off, and cold weather seems to put him in touch with his inner cave man. He’ll head outside to shovel snow off the road even though we don’t have a car, and tell stories about the times when he had to cut down trees and chop logs for firewood.

DorkySon and I are not so keen. We hate the hassle of all those layers of clothes; hate getting up in the morning when there is ice on the windows. We prefer to snuggle up together under soft blankets, sipping hot chocolate and dreaming of summer.

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