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

DorkySon Turns 11

a young boy seen from behind walking through some trees near Nutgrove Beach in Hobart

Last year when I started scribbling down notes for DorkySon’s birthday blog post, I thought it would be the trickiest one I would ever have to write. We had just spent a week in Auckland for his 10th birthday, and I was struggling to work out how I could fit in all the chat about our trip with my usual reflections on the year that had just ended. There was just too much to say.

Ha.

How I wish that the hardest thing about this year’s blog post was how to fit birthday cake, a business class upgrade, and a busy weekend in another city into 1200 words.

Instead, I’m wondering how to write about turning 11 in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

* Continue reading

2020: Beginnings and Endings

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It took its time coming this year, but summer is finally, officially here.

There have been beach walks and paddles in the river, there have been windows flung open to let in the breeze, and there have been gin and tonics in the garden. What a relief. When we reached mid-December and still had our cosy jackets hanging in the hallway we began to think it might never happen.

There was the usual rush to the end of the school term – excursions, teacher gifts, final assemblies and the like. But it only took a week or two of summer holidays before things started to feel like they were calming down: DorkySon’s voice has returned to a reasonable volume, rather than the shouty level he always comes home from school with; his backpack has been emptied of detritus, ready to be repurposed as a travel bag when we head to a family wedding later this month; and all the old uniforms have been swapped for new, pushed to the back of the wardrobe and replaced for now by board shorts and rashies. Continue reading

A Winter Whinge

I’ve been in a rut this week.

After the thrilling burst of productivity that always follows the school holidays – a fantastic two weeks when I took great joy each day in ticking off every item on my task list – things seem to have ground to a halt.

It could be the weather. Lord, this winter feels like it’s never going to end. I wrote a post in early June about how charmed I was by the snow on kunanyi. Eight weeks on, the novelty has worn off.

The season isn’t lasting any longer than normal – not really – but the cold this year has been intense, relentless. It hasn’t been the beautiful crisp cold accompanied by bright sunshine that tempts you out of the house. It’s been mean, damp cold that creeps right into your bone marrow and makes it hard to crawl out of bed in the mornings. Continue reading

Double Digits

10 Birthday Cake

We are at the airport on the way to Auckland. There were air miles that were about to expire, and that’s as far as they’d take us, so we are headed across the Tasman. After recent events in Christchurch we imagine that it might be a strange and subdued time in New Zealand, but perhaps that makes it all the more important to visit and share some love.

DorkySon turns 10 while we’re away. I’m a little worried that an international trip, flying business class, sets the bar too high for future birthdays. But I also know this boy has never asked for a party, and that you only enter double figures once.

He has his headphones on as we wait to board, and sucks a berry smoothie from a glass bottle. Nine-nearly-ten is a funny age. I can see traces of the baby he was, and traces of the man he will be. He is serious, and self-contained, but has a beautiful smile and loves to laugh. Continue reading