Returning from Tasmania is always difficult. It feels to me like entering back to grey-and-white Kansas in Sydney from the sparkling Tasmanian Oz. But return we must for the big smoke is where David works. And yet, the Tasmanian soil seemed alive to me when I tread on it. The sea, the sky, the air sang and sparkled. Everything feels crisp, new and more beautifully shaded in Tasmania.
I spent an hour a day walking the magical Nut in Stanley. Here my only company at times were hundreds of pademelons, blue wrens. rabbits and air blowing from Antarctica, said to be the purest in the world. As I walked, the panoramic views stretched for miles of sea and sky. The landscape looks at times like the moors in Haworth and the coastline is very Cornwall in places. It’s an incredibly gothic, spectacular place and both David and myself are more than a little Nut-obsessed.
I was very proud that five-year-old Daisy climbed it one day and didn’t use the chair-lift. It was on the Nut, I received another idea for a book and a title. Stanley is a most inspiring place for me!
And so I have come full circle. Poets Cottage began in 2007 with my last holiday in Stanley. Now I am editing it and it will be a published book.
I spent some of the week in the Captain’s Cottage editing and it was a humbling experience to share the edit with that delightful cottage in the most enchanting of fishing villages.
I was also most fortunate to personally meet and thank several locals who inspired the book and provided material that I could use. Warmest congratulations to Marguerite Eldridge of Stanley for her Australia Day award honours in the creative arts. Marguerite and her partner Lin were very instrumental in Poets Cottage, providing the title, and also inspiring the character of Birdie Pinkerton. Marguerite’s books about life in Stanley were also of great help in my research. It is wonderful to see this talented and gracious lady be recognised for her creativity at this stage of her life. I’m very grateful I got to personally thank her and she didn’t object to my daughter taking over her house and biscuit barrel!
We visited close family and it was joyful to see Daisy play with her cousins and relatives and delight in the magic of houses with large backyards, trampolines and sandpits. Always hard to leave but this trip even more so. And every day I see myself back on the Nut feeling that icy wind rush through me and the earth singing as I walk on her. There’s no place like home.