Tuesday, 29 March 2016

easter adventures

Chocolate, family, beach and a mountain for us this Easter.

Chocolate, of course

Family and friends, of course,

Back for round 2 of Bellingham to Bridport, this time with Rachel and Ella.

lots of 4 wheel drive tracks 

lots of quad bikes too
and long stretches of beautiful coastline
with the occasional other car along the way 

time for a swim
someones idea of fun

Cradle Mountain, a 6-8 hour hike up and down didn't sound like much fun to me. I opted out of this one, Johanna was on photo duty (and Ella)

a long way to go
a different view
Marions lookout
getting closer
the end is in sight
almost there
a final scramble
lucky I wasn't there to see this
the reward
coming down

Monday, 21 March 2016

the other home

'Home' has come to mean different things over the last few years. It is where Johanna and I are and where Colin is with us sometimes. It is Melbourne's cbd where Colin has his 'work' apartment and we visit sometimes and it is also Melbourne where the rest of our children live. Home is Tasmania and Victoria and recently Queensland as well. Home has been an apartment, a caravan and a house, some with our belongings and some without. We have been coming and going, roaming here and there, following dreams, taking chances and making the most of opportunities. Home has come to mean not so much a particular physical space but wherever I am with those I love. Home is people and belonging not so much walls and doors.

This weekend 'home' was once again the Melbourne cbd apartment.

Literally on Bourke Street, 16 floors up it has a view of city sky scrapers; concrete, steel and glass, beautiful to some, in its own way. There are always people, lots of them, busy and moving purposefully. There is always noise, lots of it, trams and emergency vehicles and this weekend thanks to the Grand Prix fighter jets as well. There is always energy, lots of it, sounds, sights and smells, an assault on the senses.

'Home' in Melbourne means precious time with our children.

Saturday morning brunch at The Herbert meant we could see Rach, even if she was working. We sat ourselves at the bench opposite the coffee machine so we could see her and talk to her in snatches in between her coffee making. We just like to be near her. She joined us on her break, a few precious moments to catch up.

Sunday brunch was at Zac and Jan's new place (they have returned to Melbourne after a year in Canberra). It is the first time we have all been together since Christmas. Good food and time spent together, simple pleasures that deeply satisfy...

Thursday, 17 March 2016

a story

I have often been involved in volunteering, of one sort or another. Most recently, in Queensland, I had the privilege of writing the life story of people with a terminal illness. When we moved to Tassie I decided that rather than volunteer I would spend the time with my family instead and considering my fathers extended hospital stay last year and subsequent need for an aged care home, the decision was a good one.

With my father stable and settled in his new 'home' I wondered if he would be interested in telling his 'life story'. My sisters and I have heard snippets from his childhood on a share farm in rural Italy, his journey to Australia and his working life here in Tasmania with the Hydro but there were lots of gaps and every now and then he would come out with a story we had never heard or some incident of which we had no knowledge.

He was keen on the idea. Not surprisingly as the end draws near, remembering the past becomes more important and the opportunity to record those memories for future generations of family is a precious thing. It is a gift, the writing of a life story. A gift of the teller, sharing their story with family and a gift for the teller, a time to remember, make peace and make meaning of a life.

So we have begun. My father reminisces, tells stories and recalls events and I tape and then transcribe. I occasionally ask a question or draw his attention to a particular period of time. There's a heap of old photos to label and scan. It will be a long process and a slow one and that's OK. Fortunately we have begun while he still has time and the breathe to tell his story. Often in Queensland we would plan to begin or just start and time would run out, a life story ended just when the telling was beginning...

Saturday, 12 March 2016

mount direction

Saturday has become our default 'exploring day' (Johanna works Sundays). The continued warm, summery weather had Johanna yearning for a bush walk and a swim. So that is what we did - climbed Mount Direction and then headed to the coast for a swim.

Mount Direction is close by and only a half hour or so walk to the top and not much of a view. But what it does have is an old stone ruin from the 1840's when a signal station was in use.

starting out

going up

stone ruins with lots of lizards darting in and out
whats out the back
a bit of clambering
who's the rascal on the wall
heading out
feeling small
on the way down
a swim to finish

Sunday, 6 March 2016

off road

Yesterday we went on a little adventure; a long stretch of beautiful coastline, blue water and sand dunes where we drove and swam and picnicked and got bogged and had lots of fun...

the adventure started before we even arrived, we left the Brumby to cool down and all piled into Pat

Bellingham to Bridport along the beach

my brother in law spotted some friends along the way, we stopped to say hi

the perfect lunch spot, a whole beach all to ourselves

a family tradition


a swim


hand stands

a nudie run

lunch time

a fishing spot

so beautiful

time to head into the dunes

the bottom of the hill

half way up




the solution?

maybe not

time for a helping hand

thanks mate

let some more air out of the tyres and no problem

we made it to the top and all the way to Bridport