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

31 Days of Gratitude

Flatlay image of daily gratitude journal

I think we’ve all had to look a bit harder to see the good stuff this year, so at the start of December I decided to take a moment each day to think of something from 2020 that I’m grateful for.

I originally shared these on Twitter, one tweet each day. It was especially nice to have a few other people joining in – old friends and new – and to see the similarities and differences in the things we are each grateful for this year. In general, it feels like the big overwhelming events of 2020 have made us all reflect on the simple things close to home that we sometimes take for granted.

As a way of recording my own moments of gratitude all in one place I’ve turned them into this quick blog post.

I’d love to read your own thoughts on what you’ve been grateful for during this hugely challenging year. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. Continue reading

Settling

A collage of three photos showing Hobart trees in Autumn.

The last ten days have probably been some of the most ‘normal’ since Tasmania’s COVID19 lockdown began. It feels like we are truly settling into our new routines, and there are far fewer of the ‘fight’ days that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

The last weekend of April was lovely. The Saturday was my birthday, and we abandoned our usual amble along the beach in favour of a walk into the city. We made our way through Battery Point, admiring the autumn colours and keeping an eye out for teddy bears in windows, before wandering slowly along the waterfront. Part of Castray Esplanade has been closed off to be used as a drive-through testing centre, and we saw one car go through as we passed. We kept our fingers crossed that whoever it was would get good news the following day. Continue reading

Rhythms

A view of the River Derwent taken from Blinking Billy Point in Hobart, Tasmania

How’s everyone going out there? You doing okay?

Here in Hobart, we have just reached the end of Week Three at home. There are days when it feels like we have really hit our stride and settled into this new rhythm… and then there are those other days, where every minute feels like a fight.

In one of his recent posts on the MONA blog, David Walsh wrote: “I was happy to stay at home, until I had no choice but to stay at home.”

This resonates so much.

In truth, our lockdown life doesn’t look hugely different to how we normally live. DorkyDad and I both work from home all year round. DorkySon would be on his Easter holidays just now anyway. None of us are big socialisers. But the removal of choice has been an adjustment, as has the unending monotony of the days. It leaves a lot of time for overthinking.

We remain deeply grateful for all our privileges – indoor space, outdoor space, a full pantry and, of course, our health – but even with those advantages and an awareness of how lucky we are, we’ve been unable to escape the constant feeling of impending doom, the sense that the world is collectively holding its breath and waiting for the indefinable moment when things will start to turn. Continue reading