Friday, July 25, 2014

Home Town

Tasmania was my home for thirty years. Going back, spending time with family, I felt as though I was going back in time as well as travelling across space. I kept expecting to bump into people I used to know, and in my mind they were no different from when I last saw them, over twenty years ago. I couldn't quite grasp that they must have aged too, that places have changed and things I remember may no longer be there.

Drawing my dad's shell collection. He has gathered shells from the beaches around Low Head and made little cardboard trays to keep them according to their classifications. I looked them up in his field guide to get the correct names.

The view from the Low Head lighthouse is spectacular - this is the expanse of ocean (Bass Strait) looking east. Why east? Because the wind was wild and westerly and sitting on the eastern side of the headland was sheltered. I sat on a lichen covered rock - the ground was much too boggy. A young man with a dog stopped to chat for a while.

A cuppa and a wooden bowl of nibbles - dried apricots and cashews - on the green tablecloth on Dad's dining table. This is in the tiny Moleskine sketchbook.

Looking west across the Tamar to the Asbestos Ranges. The light was so clear, the hills the deepest blue. Lapwings called to each other and the fog horn sounded, though there was no fog to be seen. I sat on the edge of the water on the black basalt rocks and saw no-one. I breathed the cold, clean air and remembered other times I had looked at this view.
As I sat by the water, in the cafe at the Pilot Station, in my Dad's home, I saw these places - so familiar once - with new eyes. It seems strange to me now that I never drew them before.


  1. Evelyn, your words resonated with me. I lived in Tasmania for the first 20 years of my life. I now live on the other side of the world. But every time I go "home" I feel like I am stepping into the past. And when I meet up with friends and acquaintances the conversation always flows like a continuation of one that we started yesterday or last week. I discovered your blog through SBS. I also lived in Perth so your posts from the West are also helping me to reminisce. Thanks for the memories!

    1. Thanks for this lovely comment! I do enjoy meeting fellow expat Tasmanians and often feel nostalgic for the beauty of the place and the lifestyle.
      I'll look out for you on SBS! Do you use the same name there?