Tasmania Days 4 and 5

Yesterday we awoke to blue skies. I hoped, with a level of anticipation that today was going to be kinder, weather wise than the previous two days. Diverting my eyes towards the mountain, Mt Wellington was covered in snow to half way down. Maybe it wasn’t actually warmer as the blue skies promised!
Salamanca Market is always a favourite of mine in Tasmania. By the time we had walked the short distance from our hotel to the market, the rain was hard and wet and cold. Nothing dampens my enthusiasm for the colour and atmosphere of the markets. These markets clearly attract and keep interesting characters. I love bantering with the stall holders, admiring the local produce and of course, thoroughly enjoying a scallop pie. See scallop pie, must consume…

Stopped at Campbell Town on the way north and bought a new warm jacket. With 10 days left for me in Tasmania, I did not think that I could entertain the idea of being cold that whole time.

G & I then continued heading north to Launceston, where I spent my childhood and we spent the early years of our married life. Driving into Launceston is like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers. There is a sigh and a smile and I know that I am home.

We got together with four of our closest friends last night for a night of reminiscing, fine food, fine friends and fine wine… Yes, correct, despite my previously firm commitment to myself to abstain I found myself joining in with the others to enjoy some exceptional wines. Now I certainly did not indulge to the extent that I have in the past, and for that I am quite proud of myself, but I still woke in the middle of the night with the fuzzy head and dry mouth and came to the conclusion that I really don’t like the way that alcohol makes me feel. That is a biggy for me. I’ve had a couple of odd glasses of wine or a beer since I stopped drinking but these were in a very controlled environment and I thoroughly enjoyed them. However I do question whether I am actually strong enough to sit in a gathering such as last night’s and have just a glass of wine. Maybe I need to draw a line before events such as this and decide to be a non-drinker when the atmosphere is relaxed and uncontrolled. Later in the night the chocolates appeared…. And that is a whole story in itself on lack of restraint and over-indulgence. I am finding it very interesting to push, assess and define my limits.

G flew out this morning to return to work in Canberra and, by his account to more weather the same as we have experienced in Tasmania for the last few days.

Today I am on my way to visit some very old friends, S and J, a couple of my very favourite people. I have stopped by the Tamar River and am sitting writing this at a picnic table with warm sunshine warming me to the bones. Yes!!!! Tasmania has thought again about the weather it has been sharing with me. I grew up in a house with views over the Tamar River and sitting here this afternoon adds more to the comfortable feeling of coming home. There are birds warbling in the gum trees nearby. All along the river, which is tidal and reasonably low tide at present, there are oysters on the mud flats. A heron picks its way gingerly along the shore through the oysters. I guess whatever pickings he is finding makes the discomfort worth it as the strip of oysters is quite narrow and could easily be avoided. Tasmania is beautifully green at present. There is a small fire on the opposite bank of the river which given the weather I’m accustomed to in Queensland is a worry. I am guessing here that it really isn’t a problem at all. The river itself is perfectly still. There are glassy reflections and though there are boats moored, there is no movement of any kind. From the corner I my eye, I glimpse a plover, flying by in silence. Ever he is unwilling to disturb the tranquillity with his trademark squawk. In fact there is, in the distance a large group of birds sitting on the river, motionless; although together, they are all alone enjoying the solitude.

Sometimes I look at brief moments in time and see perfection. This is one such time. The stop here was not premeditated. I just drove past the table and thought, yes, I am going to stop there. I love the freedom to take a break from life like this in an independent way.