The wonderful thing about a Tassie summer is that it lasts well into March and sometimes beyond. This year we’ve been blessed with some beautiful days.
Before my thoughts turn to the coming cold, this Girl’s attention is reflecting back on some summer holiday highlights.
This summer holiday had a bit of everything. There was the obligatory Taste of Tasmania – I can’t go past Waji’s Cajun spice coated calamari with palm sugar dressing. I eat it every year.
My oldest sister came to stay and we had a week of girls’ talk, family debriefing and general food and frivolity. I’ve lived away from family for almost 20 years but it was extra special she came this year. This year I needed some family. When I saw her off on the bus to Launceston I didn’t want to cry so I ran down the street jumping up and down and waving her off like a maniac.
Thank you so much for having me and for everything we did- I had a wonderful time- it was so much fun! I didn't want to go . I know u r forty something and cute mAy not be the fav descriptor but when u were waving goodbye and jumping around u looked just like the little girl at Kenibea ave. Bittersweet -
I nearly cried on the bus.
The tears were immediate when I read her email later.
People come from all around to go to MONA FOMA. If you haven’t, you really should, and if you’re not sure, opening night is generally free and a good way to get into the groove. This Girl’s highlights were dancing to Pretty Lights, the Mahmoud Ahmed aka Ethiopian royalty, David Byrne and Elvis Costello. It is such a vibrant social time to be out and about in Hobart and a privilege to be exposed to such talent.
There was a few days spent at Hot Mamma and her lovely's shack at Randall’s Bay, swimming, eating, drinking and socialising. The shack experience is a very Tasmanian experience.
There was quite a bit of studying involved because open universities do three semesters per year. This one started in November and didn’t let up until February. I wrote an assignment and tried to understand what the freak Foucault was on about.
I wrote another assignment and reminded myself repeatedly that I chose this and tried to stay sane when all I wanted to do was go to the beach and part-ay.
And there was the Tarkine adventure with the lovely Deputy, ‘I’m the arty one’ and Skater-boy in the camper called Britz Alive! Let’s call it the summer lovin’, getting to know y’all, up front and personal-like, tour of Tasmania.
Here’s some observations.
After you pack for a campervan trip, immediately halve your gear and then do a further cull before you leave. You won’t need most of it and it will just get in your way and/or you’ll never find it again until you unpack on your return. I am very sorry I took four pairs of shoes okay but if I had my time again, I’d still pack the hairdryer.
It’s possible the lovely Deputy is a saint. He’s got the patience of one anyway. It was inspiring to witness and as one highly-strung, it was a lesson I continue to learn from.
Tasmania has SO much to see it is overwhelming. This Girl has stayed in Stanley each summer for ten years so I’ve know a bit of the north west coast, but I had no idea how delightful Corrina would be, the beauty of the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area or that the Henty sand dunes outside of Stanley even existed.
Regardless of what you may hear elsewhere, cows are curious but they won’t cross a river or a bridge just to moo outside of the Britz Alive! There are worse things in the world than camping amongst cowpats.
The Tarkine is god’s country but you can’t get a decent coffee to save yourself, unless you make it yourself. Take your own percolator.
Visiting Tasmania’s more remote locales has some other challenging aspects. There are members of the elite group of four-wheel drive enthusiasts who like tearing up and down beaches, middens and bird nests, and through other conservation areas because they like their trucks and they like to have fun in them. There’s also an enclave of visitors to tourist places who do things like scratch out the word ‘Tarkine’ from signage and even ’40,000 years’ from the time Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania. These are the little reminders of the great Tasmanian divide: resource industry versus the environment; Aboriginal heritage versus white history.
It’s been a bumper summer and this Girl is going to squeeze every last morsel out of it.
It's a great time to be in Hobart and in Tasmania over summer. There's so much to do and enjoy.
Summer dreams ripped at the seams,
bu-ut oh, those su-ummer nights....
Tell me more, tell me more!
What did you do over your summer?