Down home in Hobart

Hobart is my home (and not an American kitchen appliance in this instance). Like an umbilical cord that keeps pulling me in from afar, the tie will never be broken. Yet I have spent half of my life evading Hobart … escaping Tasmania, like an instransigent convict on the run. Planet Ends is my book (completed seeking publisher) about that tug of war between home and away, my love of my deep green island home, yet irascible need to roam. It also explores many universal themes – colonial history, nostalgia, wanderlust, island life and love – and is an ode to and plea for Tasmanian and all other beautiful, wild, but menaced natural spots in the world.

Here are a few small extracts (more to follow) … and a little readability poll! Bon voyage! There is no better vocation in life. At least not for me! And there may indeed be no place like home … such is the paradox of the travel itch and restless soul.

(Header photo thanks to Tourism OZ)

“A gnawing sense of un-belonging comes from staying in Hobart too long. A city whose coat of arms depicts the fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire flanked by the extinct Tasmanian emu and a Forester Kangaroo wrestling under an Esquire’s helmet and wearing garlands of apples.

Before taking leave of absence, I felt compelled to travel around my heart-shaped home and get to know it better. In doing so I was I was hoping I could ease the terrible tension between loving it and wanting to flee it for life. That was the only way I could ever entertain any thought of returning.”

Tamara Thiessen from Planet Ends: Beyond Temptation in Tasmania 

f7d030e9-d749-4149-bf8b-98edb77bf2ed-221-00000039d18f363d_tmp

Ch. 5 Pickled

“Living on an island, the ocean cuts you off from and connects you with the world in one fell swoop. This is where Europe seemed so strange and seductive to me. Nearly every time you go to a border you step into another country. In Australia your feet get wet.

The water’s edge is where I feel most reassured that there is an outside world. It also sharpens the urge to leave. Still I prefer to live with the lifejacket of the ocean in view, than succumb to my dread of heading into the Australian outback thousands of suffocating miles from salvation. Which is why after years of travelling outwards towards the rest of the planet, I am yet to visit the red centre of Australia. The thought alone has me short of breath.

Along with Sydney’s Miller’s Point, Copenhagen’s Nyhavn and Jaffa in Tel Aviv, Battery Battery Point is a place that drenches you in harbour history and the sea. “The village” as locals call it perches over the port like a boatman’s beret keeping a lookout down the river for the anticipated arrival of Napoleon, who never came. The old battery in Princes Park where I do my morning yoga, once used for canon firing practice, is now blissfully peaceful. I have been living here for 18 months, a merry little sea urchin, trawling my toes around the docks every dawn, as close to the edge as possible, my lungs marinating in salt air – a virtual ocean jog.

This has always been one of the most salubrious spots in town. Even when all else around was markedly insalubrious, it was one of the rare zones “placed, as to command the free access of the sea breeze” wrote colonial publisher and editor Henry (Saxelby) Melville in The Hobart Town Magazine in 1834.

Down narrow hilly streets with porthole views of the river, cottages called Colville, Cromwell and Barton cluster around historic pubs with salt in their pores. One renowned sea-swilling spot is the Shipwright’s Arms, “Your port of call in Hobart”. Shippies is proud to be a bastion of old-time conviviality, offering “no pokies, no TAB betting, no Keno lottery, no live music, no tofu and no bok choy.” This leaves little else to do other than drink, and engage in rowdy conversation, in the footsteps of our forebears.”

Tamara Thiessen from Planet Ends: Beyond Temptation in Tasmania

05160845-f1a0-483f-82b6-26486a78ac6b-221-0000005c83e08d0e_tmp

Battery Point (there’s also one in California), was once home to humble little sailors … but now its real estate values sail high. None more so than in Napoleon Street (he never did arrive but was heartily expected — as locals kept a lookout down the river).

11 thoughts on “Down home in Hobart

    • George! Not so anonymous! You’re a sweetie as ever! Can you believe this … 18 years in the making and remember when I lost I all about 12 years ago? Shame not for good! Oh it’s a struggle …wait to hear from this publisher is not I’ll do it witn Amazon et al ..perish the thought. But worse is that of it never seeing light of day! When do I see you in Paris? Xx

      Like

    • Ohhh Larables thanks so much for the encouragement! Well that makes two readers at least! 😄🌞 well if this publisher doesn’t give the green light I’m going to go full steam ahead and either sell on WordPress or with an Amazom alike (they take a huge whack of a kindle tax but probably worth it ! For your readership alone … and Susannah’s )

      Like

  1. Your words are for a luxurious day when a seat in the sun, or a couch with a rug, present. The time to sit and be taken into another world of rythym, like when waves roll in from the ocean such as your descriptions took me on your journey.
    Looking forward to that day when I can get my hands on the read the whole thing!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s