Here we are. It’s 2020, bushfires are raging all over my country and it feels like we are on the brink of World War III. What a time to be alive! I’ve just returned to Melbourne and work from a lovely two-week break in Tasmania. It was a wonderful time, balanced with the nagging guilt of enjoying myself while other people sheltered on a beach to escape flames while homes and wildlife burnt. If you can make a donation, please do. Here’s a list of ways you can help.
We had Christmas at Andy’s parents place in the north of Tasmania. We swim in the river, went on twilight walks and kayaking missions to spot platypuses, ate and drank way too much and hung out with dogs, friends and family.
Christmas Day in the inlaws’ vineyard
Festive Andy with Syd
Andy and his dad admiring the view
After having leftovers for dinner on Boxing Day Andy and I took our glasses of gin and tonic for a walk before sunset:
Up the garden path
A beautiful huge old gum tree
Do you reckon he feels like the black sheep of the family?
We spent hours by the river, swimming and kayaking up around the bend. Andy and I braved the Boxing Day crowds to buy two giant inflatables (a unicorn and an island) which provided hours of entertainment. On one swimming excursion Andy and his sister spotted a snake crossing the river and yelled out to me, which I took as ‘warning! a snake is headed straight for you!’ and promptly took off in a panic.
Relaxing with no snakes in sight
Andy and his sister on the island
You’re pretty much guaranteed to spot a platypus in this part of the Mersey River, but your odds are higher at dusk and dawn.
Did you know the collective noun for platypuses is a ‘paddle’?
Andy and I saw lots of them on our last evening
For New Year’s Eve we headed to the coast, staying at Bridport with a group of good friends.
The beach was so beautiful
Half our NYE crew
We turned Joe into a merman
It seemed only appropriate to ring in the 20s in flapper style! We danced on the wide deck, drank Aperol Spritzes and greeted midnight with sparklers and Mambo No. 5.
Andy and I in our dollar store costumes
It was a quiet New Years Day. I spent six blissful hours on the beach while others came and went, diving into the icy water to clear fuzzy heads. Over the two weeks I read two and a half books: Educated by Tara Westover plus two trashy beach reads by Elin Hilderbrand, the undisputed queen of that genre.
Me on my mostly solo beach day ❤
Bridport’s dramatic coastline
We took the very long way to Hobart from Bridport, stopping along the east coast for lunch at Devil’s Corner winery for sparkling wine and oysters. The view was pretty hazy due to smoke from bushfires.
Sally and I in our almost matching outfits at Devil’s Corner
Natural is the only way to have oysters
On our first night in Hobart we ordered Indian takeaway and watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which I loved. Have you seen it?
I love Hobart architecture
We headed to the Taste of Tasmania and continued our trend of overeating and overdrinking. I shouldn’t have worn high waisted jeans.
Just a lovely hydrangea bush
On our last evening of the trip we celebrated our friends’ Aimee and Ed’s engagement. That night we were treated to an absolutely spectacular sunset. Probably helped in part by the smoke in the air, unfortunately.
On our very last morning a big group of us ate at Bear With Me, where I had an Australian classic known as s’ghetti on toast. It’s usually made with tinned spaghetti, dumped unceremoniously onto a slice of toast but in this case it was delicious tomato ragu pasta on sourdough, topped with pecorino and an egg. It really hit the spot.
We drove back up to Launceston for our bumpy flight to Melbourne where we were greeted with cool weather and much smokier skies.
My focus is now on our wedding (next month!). I hope you have a wonderful 2020.