Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our New House

Here's a view of our new house , waiting for us in the back of beyond.... Snuggled in between mountains, tucked into a valley above a river and nestled on an acre of country garden wrapped around by a paddock, it's an old 1910 weatherboard beauty, full of stories and character. I've only seen it once, when I flew out alone to make a decision on behalf of the family about whether or not to buy. Right now the builders are in there, plumbing in the claw foot bath, painting the kitchen deep red and chocolate brown, and bashing down a wall to let the light into the main living room. Still holed up in our city home (another lovely old weatherboard), I am increasingly impatient to install myself and my family, with all our treasures, beneath the clouds and the blue skies, among the flowers and the fruit trees. I am already imagining a life without traffic, beachcombing on the way home from kindergarten, and sitting on the porch with an accordion....

So, six weeks to go before we up city sticks and leave the urban sprawl of Melbourne for this back of beyond - the Huon Valley in Tasmania. Three years since we left London to bring up our children on this side of the world. And it's been a strange time in many ways. I love the breathtaking beauty of this land, the safe and sound atmosphere and the relaxed Australian friendliness of the people, but I totally underestimated the culture shock. I still haven't got used to the prevalence of tracksuits on the streets, the hoons wobbling all over the roads, and the baffling popularity of New Age spirituality. I've lost count of how many times I've asked myself - what on earth am I doing here? But now we are finally escaping the city life we never really came here for in the first place, I am beginning to remember. Melbourne has been a great starting point and we've made some lovely friends who I will miss. I'll also miss the gorgeous inner-city pockets of Northcote, Fitzroy and Carlton, with their tiny tethered park blocks, their beautiful parlour corner cafes, their quaint little cottages and converted milk bars, and the thriving music, arts and crafts scene. But these small precincts of cultural cool are too heavily eclipsed by the ever-expanding rest of the city - the endless, homogenous suburbs, the sleepy uniformity of thousands of long straight roads and infinitely bland high streets and shopping centres which just go on forever in a sea of concrete and fast food outlets. Let me out! I am counting down the days......


  1. Hello
    I saw you on Allison's Blog and wanted to welcome you to Blogging. I've only fairly recently started myself. Your Blog sounds very exciting as you head into your new life! My sister lives in the Huon Valley way. I am originally from Tasmania and often homesick for it. It is such a beautiful place of the world and perfect for bringing up children. I will be looking forward to following your adventures and good luck with your move! xx

  2. i saw you on allison's blog too + want to give you a warm welcome to blog world. your house looks wonderful and tasmania i know a little, my partner is from tasmania- i am dutch! good luck with it all!

  3. it sounds wonderful! maybe i should move to tasmania..

  4. really it's paradise.... for me it would be perfect if it were closer to England, but you can't usually have everything! But if you're creative, you love nature, and you're not good with burning hot summers, Tasmania has to be the best place in Australia.