Yet another 'forever' home
Dear Friends – Please accept my apologies for no news for several weeks but down here in the deep south we have been off air due to absolutely no connectivity. I’ve seen Klady’s hair become even more silver after spending 3 hours each day on the phone trying to sort out the NBN connection and an internet provider. And as with so many other NBN complaints, wholesalers and providers were unable to agree on the simple question of our address. Anyway – that’s all over now and I am settling in to our – hopefully – yet another forever home in southern Tasmania.
I hear that Christmas is nigh and believe that our new home is Klady’s Christmas gift to me as a reward for my years of faithful companionship. As a result I have taken up ownership of several parts of the property and in particular the master bedroom that faces the water.
Sitting high on the bed or relaxing on the large balcony, provides an amazing vantage point for watching the tides, birdlife, seals and yes, even Klady and SirD kayaking from our backyard. This is by far, the very best position to patrol the realm. However, I now need to focus on our first Christmas in Tassie.
What is new and different so far south?
While as with everyone, Covid has had a major impact on family reunions (especially the latest NSW cluster) but for me life has been pretty wonderful with warm weather and everyday swims in the clear Channel waters.
As we drive around the coastline, there are thousands of ‘escaped’ Christmas trees growing directly by the roadside. These have grown from dropped pine cones dropped from a former pine plantation. As Klady has always had a real Christmas tree, she earmarked a smallish one for SirD to harvest and off they set only to find at least 20 people of all ages armed with saws busy collecting their own trees and tying them to car roofs. All gone! But luckily she has spotted another big runaway tree plot for 2021.
Food wise we are almost drowning in the summer bounty – for example, warm, newly picked raspberries bought from the organic farm by the roadside, juicy strawberries and vegetables from yet more organic farms, gooseberries, strawberry spinach and lettuce, lettuce and even more lettuce!
Klady has been very creative disguising a multitude of lettuce dinners as a Thai, Italian, Turkish, Maltese and even Antarctic (for the iceberg lettuce). And I suspect, weather permitting, that by the end of January we will once again face a huge variety of heritage organic tomatoes to be converted into more summer salads and bottled as passata and other condiments for the upcoming winter months.
And my canine diet has included crunchy organic carrots with slivers of beetroot – but thankfully no lettuce – along with dried salmon chips and sardines.
In Australia, cherries traditionally are a sign that Xmas is coming but over the past years in Sydney they have been very disappointing having been picked too early and so unripe and quite tart. Klady has heard that tree- ripened black cherries are ready just after Xmas but she will have to be quick and keep an ear out on the local grapevine because as soon as a roadside sign goes up, locals swoop to buy the best of the fresh.
Following the escaped salmon adventure, the abundance of seafood continues with roadside signs advertising the selling of live crayfish (lobsters) from local jetties at a hugely discounted price thanks to the China ban on Australian seafoods. The queues at the jetties are so long that even I as the ever curious canine wasn’t allowed to get out to explore and enjoy a photo opportunity. “Sorry pup, too busy to take photos with you,” said one crayfish catcher on his boat.
But here at World’s End we won’t be eating crayfish this Christmas.
As in my last letter, for our Xmas it’s salmon; BBQed, as savoury cakes, salmon pies, flash fried fillets and Klady’s special gravlax (which I love getting samples of). And even after the festivities, I know that there will still remain least another 7kgs of local salmon in Klady’s freezer.
Let’s hope we don’t have prolonged blackouts over the next few months.
Finally my friends, I wish you, your families and friends a relaxing and happy festive time. We may not be able to get together but our bonds are so much stronger than one bloody virus!
For 2021, all I ask is that when the opportunity arises that you pack your bags and visit us here at World’s End where the air and the water is clean, the community is friendly, the fishing and swimming is great and most of all, there is peace and beauty in the nature that we live in.
Feathers the Wonder Dog xxx