An Island Off an Island

Musings from Bruny

Everyone is sick of hearing about ‘The year like no other’, but Covid aside, for us it really has been. Our relocation to the Apple Isle is definitely complete, and we’re feeling more and more like Tasmanians. This morning we were offended because Lara Hyams on ABC News Breakfast forgot to mention Hobart’s weather along with all the other state capital cities. Local news presenter, Guy Stayner has supplanted Juanita Phillips, although I must admit to a subscription to the Sydney Morning Herald.

It hasn’t been the hottest summer so far this year so we have had to make the most of what few warm, sunny days we have been afforded. Thankfully, the ferocious winds of last year have remained at bay. Our evening walks with Ruby along Nebraska beach have become part of our daily routine and we have even managed a couple of swims, albeit very quick ones. Ruby even managed a tentative but very brave swim out to us – through sheer desperation rather than for enjoyment.

Two kayaks ready to hit the water!

Our Christmas presents of kayaks have only had the one outing so far. For rank novices the conditions have to be prefect, that is a hot day, no swell and as few witnesses as possible. It has to be said that Jan has proven to be much more adept at kayaking than me – it must be all that dragon boating experience, or maybe my centre of gravity is too high. The world’s most stable water craft is still problematic. When we made it known that kayaks were our Christmas present to each other, every local without omission, regaled us with tales of their redundant crafts languishing in back yards, being used as garden beds or forlornly slowly mouldering away down at the beach. Of course, we will prove to be the exception to the rule!

Ruby assisting with the opening of gifts – and modelling her new collar. Thank you Personalised Pet!

Christmas was very quiet but lovely with traditional fare for lunch and beautiful Bruny oysters, cheese and beer later in the day. We spoiled ourselves with lots of other gifts and caught up with family and friends via Messenger video calls. Yesterday I dismantled the Christmas tree but I knew before that Christmas was over by the appearance of Hot Cross buns in the supermarket on Monday.

Another marker for the end of the festive season is the rapidity with which tourists come and go. Last week there were at least 40 boats moored off the beach, beach shelters, gazebos and kids everywhere. This week we are almost back to normal although the ferry queues have been horrendous with upwards of an hour and a half wait on both sides.

At times the ferry queue is diverted through the Pub carpark at the top of the hill to alleviate congestion on the highway.

Of course, the other indicator of summer is the welcome addition of live cricket on TV. I don’t think I’ve missed more than a handful of balls yet. The Sydney Test is rather frustrating at the moment with many rain delays. Jan managed to secure me a couple tickets for two days of the Hobart Test so let’s hope the weather is a little kinder. We also have tickets for the ODI against New Zealand in February.

We’re all aware that people say they are amazed at how much busier they are in retirement, and whilst I don’t generally concur, I have noticed that I only read 20 books last year, down from the 30-35 count of my working years. Perhaps Netflix and SBS on Demand have taken over. Heaps of landscaping and gardening have taken precedence lately as we try to tame certain areas while still trying to keep it as a sanctuary for the stunning wildlife and birds that frequent our block. The back yard has been tamed (nearly) and the weed-infested rubbish tip out to the side of the house is coming along nicely too. We really went overboard with a new house sign that arrived just before Christmas. We kept the original house name ‘Wainui’ which means ‘Big Water’ we think in Hawaiian. Can’t miss us now!

Looking flash!

So, 2022 will hopefully be the year that we can finally go and see more of Tassie, which means accommodating the needs of Ruby’s separation anxiety and looking forward to friends and family taking the opportunity to come and visit us. Hope to see you soon.

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