Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tasmania: the East Coast

This almost qualifies as a throwback, since a couple of months have gone by since I took a slow drive from Launceston, through the Fingal Valley, to St. Helens, then to Hobart, with two nights at Swansea on the way.

The things I love most about  holidays like this:

1. They are full of unstructured time. No schedule. Anything can happen! Having a few days of unstructured time is what, for me, best promotes creative thinking and new perspectives. Minimal routine, maximum productivity. Strange, perhaps, but true.

2. I'm alone. Bliss.

3. There is no plan. If the beach where I eat breakfast just begs to be walked along, I can spend the rest of the morning walking. If I meet someone on the beach, I can stay and talk as long as I like. No "sorry, gotta go, gotta be in blah place by blah o'clock". And without a fixed plan, it's as though my vision expands from something narrow and driven, to something wide and open, ready to involve and be involved in all the world:  newly flowering wattles,  the mutter of fishermen on the rocks,  the changing colours of the sea from shore to horizon, thinking about how aboriginal people would have lived in a place like this, the unusual number of motorbikes on the road, erosion, cloud formations, unemployment, rural lifestyles, family history, coffee, languages, shoreline geology.... .

4. Beauty. It is good, now and then, to be in a place where, at every turn there is gut-punching, heart-stopping, soul-soaring beauty. To participate in it, to resonate with it. To exercise that heart muscle that recognises and identifies with it. To be overwhelmed and swept away.

5. Remembering, These are places that are familiar to me from long ago. They are rich with memory and experience. I love travelling through unfamiliar places too, but this is a different kind of love.

6. Time to reflect, time to imagine, time to draw and write.

Here are some of the drawings from that drive:

The Ben Lomond Massif seen from the Fingal Valley. There were so many stunning views on this clear, cold day, but very few places where the road had sufficient shoulder space to pull over. 

Binalong Bay, just north of St. Helens. 

Granite rocks at Binalong Bay.

Swansea: the view from my window on a quiet, misty morning.

Some broken shells I picked up, walking along Beer Barrel Beach, a little south of St. Helens.

More broken shells, these I collected above the high tide mark in Swansea, some drawn there, others finished when I got to Hobart.

A short stop on the way south, for some breakfast and a bit of conversation.

At my sister's house, looking out of the window from my bed, first thing in the morning.

These are the drawings in my sketchbook from those few days. I'm glad you could join me!


  1. Great post and pages. You should be writing a book. I hope you are.

    1. I'd like to be - struggling a bit with an overall theme for it, and for time....Thank you so much for being so encouraging.

  2. So happy to see some new ones that you hadn't posted on Facebook. And the poetry is here again, Evelyn...#3 is especially tantalizing. But I'm also adoring "Tea in Triabunna"--another special, perfect as is. And I love "At My Sister's House" or "First Morning in Hobart" as an alternative title. This is all the kind of thing that makes (or should make) the world go round!

    1. Hi Louisa,
      I did see and read this earlier, and somehow, since I had responded in my head, forgot I hadn't actually done so! Thanks as always for your encouraging comments !

  3. I'm so happy you like these! Thank you.

  4. Brilliant & blissful Evelyn. As always, your words are as beautiful as your artwork. Thanks SO much for sharing with us. You make the world a better place, by diarising in words & pictures, the cameos of everyday times & places. Just so uplifting .. & inspiring. xx (Sue C... Glyde-In writing class. Couldn't get the 'Comment as' to work??)

    1. Thanks so much for your generous words, Sue.

  5. Lovely, Evelyn……….Next time you are in Tas, PLEASE get in touch! I'd love to see you. I'm living in West Launceston now, with my grand-daughter - she's working as a paralegal.

    1. Yes, I will. I fully intended to get in touch with you and a few other neglected friends this time, but it was a pretty intense family time while I was up north and it was only when I got to Hobart, staying with my sister who was at work all day, that I had a chance to meet up with other people. Had coffee with Ian and Kim - that was a treat! So - next time!!!