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

A Marriage in Meals

A bucket of raw oysters with the text 'a marriage in meals'Even though DorkyDad and I don’t eat out a lot – maybe lunch once a fortnight and dinner once every six weeks – the freedom to go into a bar or restaurant and take our time over a meal is one of the things we are missing a lot at the moment.

With that in mind, I decided to republish this piece of writing. It was originally published on xoJane five or six years ago, but that site has since been bought and retired by Time Inc, so the post disappeared into the great internet graveyard. I’ve updated it in a couple of places where I had referred to timings that were no longer accurate, and it feels nice to give it a new home. Continue reading

A Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Review in Pictures

A figure patting a kangaroo at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania

I’ve wanted to go to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for so long!

We had some friends from the UK staying last week and, as is always the way, we seemed to fit in more visits to local attractions in that five days that we had managed in the previous five months. It was lovely being able to share some of my favourite Hobart spots with them – the view from the top of Mount Nelson, fish and chips at Maning Reef, and a lovely sunny walk in the Botanic Gardens – but the highlight for me was a trip out to Bonorong. Here are a few pictures from the day. Continue reading

Top things to do when you move to Tasmania

A young boy taking photos of the boats at Hobart waterfront

I have been poring over Tasmanian blogs and guidebooks for the last few months, trying to get a feel for the place and pick out a few activities for us to do in Hobart early on. My favourite way of getting to know any new place is just by walking around it and stumbling upon things – so I’m sure that once we’re there this list will be hastily revised – but for now this is what I’m looking forward to.

Fullers Bookshop: My book addiction has already been well documented on this blog. Spending the last two years living in a town with NO BOOKSHOP AT ALL has been painful, and has filled me with near rage every time I’ve walked down the high street. So what a joy it will be to move to Hobart where there is a much-loved indie bookshop that holds events and discussion, publishes its own titles, blogs its recommendations and generally does all the good and lovely things that a bookstore should do. Our bank balance is not going to be happy, but I sure am. Continue reading