It is four weeks to the day since we landed in Hobart.
One half of my head is saying ‘Four weeks ALREADY?‘
The other half is saying. ‘ONLY four weeks? It feels like so much longer.‘
DorkyDad started his new job this week, so gone are the lazy mornings of lounging around in pyjamas with a second coffee. We are back to early starts and hurried bowls of Special K before he has to dash for the bus. How nice it’ll be if we’re lucky enough to find a house for the longer term that allows him to walk to work again, feeling the seasons on his face rather than watching them through a window.
We are glad that it is Friday. Tomorrow we take DorkySon for a much-needed haircut, and an assessment at the swimming pool to see what kind of lessons we need to enroll him in. In between times we might have a wee dander around the docks, and lunch at the Harbour Lights.
The food here continues to astonish and delight us all. Strange to think that this time a month ago we had never sipped a glass of Freycinet chardonnay, or ploughed into a plate of potato wedges with chutney and sour cream at Elizabeth St Food and Wine. I bought DorkySon a fillet of white fish for his dinner earlier in the week, and only discovered when I got home and searched for recipes online that I’d bought him a chunk of shark. Oops!
We are so spoiled in North Hobart with both grocery stores and restaurants. If we feel like cooking ourselves, there is an abundance of local meat, fish, dairy produce and veg. If it’s been a long day and we can’t be bothered clanging the pots and pans together, there are a dozen decent takeaways within a few blocks. We’ve had warm, creamy coconut curries, spicy noodle soups, thin crust pizza and the freshest, lightest fish and chips – all carried home quickly enough that it doesn’t need reheating.
DorkySon seems to be eating at least twice his own body weight every day, mainly by means of fresh fruit. He is seldom seen these days without watermelon juice dribbling down his chin, or blueberry stains around his mouth. Lest you think he’s turning into some kind of angel child, I should mention that he’s getting well acquainted with the local ice cream and milkshake vendors too.
He and I have spent most of this week walking – at least a couple of miles every day. We have walked to the post office to send yet another batch of postcards, to the library, and to several excellent playparks. We have walked around numerous charity shops (or ‘op shops’ as they are known here), hunting for cheap books and puzzles to fill the time until our container arrives. This morning we blew all that good budgeting when we stumbled upon Fullers Bookshop in the centre of the city and fell in love with too many things in their children’s section. We even found a big glass bowl overflowing with rolls of Washi Tape, so I’ve finally been able to stick up some photos and pictures in DorkySon’s bedroom.
Yesterday we had a good long walk around one of the suburbs south of the city, after visiting what will be his new nursery. It is a lovely place; a big focus on music and arts; regular visits to the local old folks home to share songs and stories; and when we arrived the class was sitting outside in the sun, eating plates of sugar snap peas they’d just picked from their own vegetable garden. We are doing a couple more short visits next week, and all being well he will start properly the week after.
So we are settling in to this new normal. I am immensely proud of both my boys – the big one and the little one – for taking all this strange, shiny newness in their stride with good humour and a sense of adventure. We knew that coming here would make all three of us push our boundaries, and step out of our safe zones.
It is doing that, with bells on. But it’s fun, too.
Sunday we will not be walking. It will be pancakes for breakfast and stories on the sofa, maybe a game or two of ball in the garden, and we will know that we are home.