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Sunday, August 15, 2021

Pinky's Map of Tasmania


Pinky’s Map of Tasmania

“Land ahoy!” I screamed in nautical exhilaration. Scotto jerked out of his seasickness-tablet induced coma, rubbed his eyes and sat up looking befuddled and grumpy.

“Where?” he asked as he squinted blearily through the sea-sprayed cabin window.

“It’s the Apple Isle! We’re finally here!” I pointed to the hazy Devonport headland in the distance.

Ten days earlier, we’d left a hot, sultry Gold Coast and driven through dry, dusty western Queensland and NSW to avoid any possible Covid hotspots, only to arrive in Melbourne and be informed we were to be immediately slammed into a week-long lockdown and prohibited from boarding the Spirit of Tasmania.

Whilst our newly purchased house in Devonport sat empty awaiting our arrival, we (Scotto and me, our three dogs and cat) were forced to bunk in with Scotto’s poor sister (and her two cats) for seven days. The entire experience proved to be deeply traumatic, mentally harrowing and highly exasperating… especially for Scotto’s sister's cats.

But here we finally were, about to set foot on the hallowed ground of the unique Tasmanian Devil, the home of picturesque, unspoilt landscapes, and the eerie legends of intermarrying cousins with two heads.

That was after two more hours sitting in the vehicle queue to get through the Covid checkpoint of course.

I thought the entire of Australia should be warned about our move, so I wrote about how we sold our house on Tamborine Mountain and had it printed in the Australian newspaper, if you are interested in reading it.

So what has it been like living and working as Taswegians for seven whole months?

Did we make a dreadful mistake? Was it rash to move to the bottom of the inhabited world; a place that has no proper shopping centres, people wear beanies all year round and puffer jackets are colloquially known as Tasmanian tuxedos?

Well… now we are not in Queensland, Toto ...

You are permitted to keep as many rabbits as you like. I currently have eight rabbits however, that was an 'accident'. Apparently that type of accident is why you aren't allowed to have rabbits in Queensland.

In only ten minutes’ drive, we can watch Little Penguins waddling up the beach. You have to go in the freezing cold dark and take a torch but it's kind of worth it if you like penguins.

The scenery is sickeningly spectacular… everywhere you look. It’s so breath-taking that sometimes I have to look away because it’s too much. Everywhere you look is like a painting… or paintings are like Tasmania… one of those two things anyway.

This is a view from my school!

The kids at school wear proper winter uniforms with stockings, ties, blazers and pinafores and they are so cute you can’t get up them about anything. I teach six year olds so… just imagine.

You can wear a beanie to school if you don’t feel like washing your hair (beanies also come in handy to prevent your ears bleeding in the icy blasts from the Antarctic).

The Tasmanian salmon is quite fresh and I’ve eaten a fair few.

We don’t know anyone so I can nick up to the IGA in my Ugg boots and no bra.

Everyone else wears their Ugg boots and no bra to the IGA.

You save a LOT of money on air-conditioning. They call air conditioners ‘heat pumps’ here.

You don’t need to water the grass because it seems to rain every day.

You can pull giant apples from trees in your garden.

Tasmania has a moat around it which largely prevents filthy mainlanders bringing in their viruses so there’s no need to panic when you get a sore throat.

Launceston is pronounced, ‘Lon-ceston’ by the locals. Now that I know that fact, people have stopped jeering at me as much.

People down here are not as sweary and raucous as they are in Queensland. I’ve asked a lot of teachers why they don’t swear and they all say it’s because swearing is not professional. So all these bloody years I’ve been acting unprofessionally?… Fuck!

Thank you to you for clicking on this blog post. I know I’ve been a terrible blogger but I’ve been caught up in my painting and drawing obsession but I promise to be more regular. I’ve added a few of my works below if you’d like to look. 

These are some paintings I have done of the local area...

Street in Launceston that caught my eye!

The Bluff in Devonport
Salamanca Markets in Hobart (WIP)