It seems incredible, but we have been residents of Bruny Island, Tasmania for over six months.
It would seem timely then to comment on life as we know it. There is nothing negative to report, despite an earlier post about the incessant and persistent wind. Some long-term resident did point out that “Well, it is an island”. It was also made clear, and rightly so, that Autumn is relatively calm. In fact, Autumn weather has been a delight.
I have settled in to a comfortable rhythm in which the days are pleasantly filled with a combination of renovation and landscaping balanced with plenty of sitting admiring the view, reading, crosswords and the obligatory post-lunch snooze with my constant companion – the beautiful Ruby.
As a result of my leisurely efforts, I can report that my workshop under the house is, as of today, complete. I had bought all the materials needed some months ago but an issue of a lack of confidence on my part meant procrastination of a crippling nature. Enter Nigel, a friend from the Gold Coast, who kicked off the process and gave me a plethora of tips and tricks of the trade. Next to urge me to get on with it was Regina – a worthy apprentice and sounding board. After that the electricians put power on and moved some lights and I was able to complete the project much to my personal satisfaction.
The landscaping of the back yard is still a work in progress. Barrowing three tonnes of soil up a very steep slope is character-building but also soul-destroying. (Just thinking about it, I think I need a rest)
I’ve also managed to do a lot of work in our caged vegetable garden (caged to keep out the wallabies and possums). That has meant creating two levels to accommodate six raised garden beds and rebuilding stone walls. More barrowing of garden mix required!
Another aspect of the rhythm of life is Ruby’s constitutional in the late afternoon. She has two main routes – a walk down around Kelly’s Point or the much-preferred walk along Nebraska Beach. This, of necessity has got earlier and earlier and we find ourselves going about 4.00pm to avoid getting home in the dark. In terms of the report card, the beach has to get an A+ on several counts. First, the beach itself is pristine. I’m always on the lookout for rubbish to pick up, but invariably, I come home happily empty-handed. Secondly, almost without exception the other walkers are friendly and willing to have a chat. The other benefit of the beach is never getting sick of the beautiful and varied skies presented to us each evening.
On the subject of friendly people, its my experience that everybody we come into contact with are universally friendly, helpful and cheerful – from wonderful neighbours to retail workers and ferry staff. It must be something to do with healthy environment and gradual pace of life.
I can’t finish the report card without mentioning the absolute privilege of being surrounded by the astonishing array of flora and fauna. Luckily our block has been planted almost exclusively with native plants, and whilst I miss the varied trees and colours of Orange, there is no doubt that the local birds and animals are attracted to our home. We have resident quolls under the house and under Jan’s studio (not always welcome), echidnas are frequent visitors and we both still get a thrill every time a wallaby bounds past us when outside. Bird life is also plentiful and far too varied to mention here, but highlights have included a wedge-tail eagle, white breasted sea eagle, black cockatoos and a myriad of honey-eaters, parrots, wrens etc.
So, apart from missing friends and family, as of now there are no regrets associated with our move to Bruny. The whole experience gets a resounding ‘thumbs-up’.