This is not a birthday blog post

A boy walking on the trail in Tasmania's southwest wilderness

DorkySon turns thirteen later this month (THIRTEEN!!).

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I usually write a birthday post reflecting on the previous year. In fact, this year’s birthday blog would have been the tenth one… but reasonably enough DorkySon is not as keen for me to spend 1000 words going into raptures over how great he is these days. You never know who might be reading.

So this is not a birthday blog. 

Instead it’s just a reflection on our summer, and an update for far-flung family and friends on how life is going in Tasmania. If I occasionally, accidentally, veer off into saying nice things about DorkySon please just ignore that and move quickly onto the next paragraph. Continue reading

Moving on up

Image shows a child's hand holding a pen. On a piece of paper is written 'Tom's book Chapter 1 adventures'

I have to be honest… when DorkySon left his infant school at the end of Grade 2, I thought I would never love a school as much as I did that one.

It had been such a perfect fit. The nurturing little community by the sea that helped us settle into Hobart; the place where we made our first friends; the school where a succession of kind, caring and thoughtful teachers supported DorkySon from the age of four through to eight.

It was the school where we watched him learn to read, to write, to make marvellously messy artworks that he would come running up to show us at the end of the day. It was everything you would hope for in a school and so, so much more.

But I have had to eat my words, because it turned out that his next school – the primary he has attended from Grades 3 to 6, ages 8 to 12 – has been every bit as good. Continue reading

Spring 2021

Last Saturday was DorkyDad’s birthday and it began, as all the best birthdays do, with the dog jumping up onto our bed and vomiting all over it.

We hurried her back downstairs into her crate to let DorkyDad enjoy half an hour’s peace and quiet – drinking coffee and opening his presents, which included a watercolour painting of a ukulele from DorkySon, a voucher for a stargazing event on kunanyi from me, and a personalised video message from Phillies player Jimmy Rollins. Not often I’ve seen DorkyDad speechless, but it’s nice to know we can still surprise him.

Continue reading

Summer/We Did It

A man standing overlooking the Neck at Bruny Island

We are nearing the end of January, well past the midpoint of summer. It has been a subdued one, really. Cool and damp and much quieter than usual. There have been a couple of days when the temperature has tipped into the thirties; on those afternoons we have sat out in the Adirondack chairs, letting the warmth penetrate deep into our bones. But not once have we hit the switch that turns winter’s heat pump into summer’s aircon. Nor have we removed the woollen blanket from our bed, or had a day when we have braved the water at Long Beach. Continue reading

On

Alright. There is frailness

in all our music.

Sometimes we’re broken

and it’s lost.

Sometimes we forget

for years it’s even in us, heads

filled with burdens and smoke.

And sometimes we’ve held

to it and it’s there,

waiting to break out,

walking back from the end.

 

“In Memory of George Lewis” – Lou Lipsitz

 

*

We were living our best lives, and we knew it.

We have always communicated well, DorkyMum and me. There was so much talk between us in the earliest days and nights, sounding out every reason our relationship couldn’t possibly last and, then, deciding that nothing else we could ever imagine mattered as much as the two of us and how we felt next to each other.

All in.

It has not always been easy. Real life never is. But now we found ourselves living on a windswept island far away at the edge of the world, a place almost too beautiful for words. Our son was continuing to astound us with his inherent kindness, his infectious laugh, his keenness for learning, words and books.

All the food we ate and the wine we drank was produced locally. We were living in a tall, rambling house with room for everything. Our closest friends from Scotland – and DorkySon’s Godfather – had miraculously moved to the same island and now lived just a half day’s drive to the north. We were both working from home, setting our own hours and making enough money to keep it all sweet.

This is our life, we said to each other. This is who we are and what we will be.

We were deeply, deeply happy. Continue reading