Saturday, 5 January 2013


So, on a sunny day last week we packed up the Volvo with children, food, drinks and assorted beach paraphernalia (including wetsuits) and headed to a friend's family's beach house an hour out of town. Their shack sits cheek by jowl with others, perched on the edge of the beach with startlingly beautiful water views in the midst of now where. Back in the seventies their mum had had a serious interest in wallpaper with hallways, bathrooms and loos still adorned in the patterns which characterised the time.....matching perfectly with the carpet and the repro Van Gogh sunflowers above the mantlepiece. All a testament to the getting away from it all that shack living offers. A more simple way of life. An escape:

In the lounge room there was a turntable dating back to the time when the grown up with their own children....used to work the Hobart party scene as DJ's. So while we drank local wine and had a BBQ lunch consisting of myriad different versions on a salad theme and my husband's home made Roquefort sausages, we took a walk down memory lane by taking it in turns to select records from the box which showcased all the hits from the 70's and 80's. We introduced the children to the Wiggles previous incarnation as The Cockroaches with 'Some Kind of Girl', played Talking Heads in anticipation of David Byrne coming to Mona Foma later in the month, and generally sifted through the Rodney Rude and Mel and Kim albums reminiscing our way through lunch.....while reminding the children not to jump and dance too aggressively next to the record player as they were unused to such prehistoric ways of listening to tunes.

Hidden amongst the box of LP's was 'Strokin' by Clarence Carter....remember?...if not you can refresh your memory here:

I simultaneously wiped the tears from my eyes I was laughing so uncontrollably while thinking that the lyrics really are much more suggestive than I remembered them to be. This song opened the conversational floodgates evoking stories about university college antics (not me), tales of suspension from school for underage drinking (not me)....and bad discoing....OK maybe that was me and other friends will know who I'm referring to.

Then we took the combined 7 children down to the beach where they donned wetsuits and went for a swim.....the adults donned puffas and stood on the sand. It was another perfect day at Connelly's Marsh. We have been fortunate to share many such days with wonderful friends in this particular hamlet as other friends have a family farm and house just across the road.....which has also been the scene of much revelry.

Yesterday, Hobart reached a record temperature of 41.8 degrees and the weather was further whipped into a frenzy by severe winds. Last night, from our upstairs veranda the sky was eerily red over the hills across the river in the direction of the Tasman Peninsula. This morning, we woke to the news that in the early hours both our friends shack and farm were decimated by fire. Both couples had joined us in celebrating the hope and optimism which go hand in hand with New Year's Eve. Mercifully, while they may have lost property and the scene of many happy memories, they and their families are all safe. The beach where the children played last week was from where they were rescued by boat last night as the flames came down to the water. Still the fires on the Peninsula burn uncontrollably. The stories of destruction are truly inconceivable.



  1. Just saw the Tassie fires on the news and thinking of all I "know" in the area mainly from blogs but still a lot of concern. So pleased to hear your friends and family are safe. So sad for all that is lost but nothing more precious than life

    1. Terrible and so sad...especially when you think of the animals which weren't so lucky. So true, there's nothing more precious than life. Nothing. Rx

  2. Oh my. That's just horrifying. At least they were safe. I always hate the days of extreme temperatures and Northerly wind. I look at the hills surrounding Adelaide for signs of smoke - remembering back when I was a child and the fires burned so close to the city. My husband's family home was nearly engulfed in the Ash Wednesday fires in '83. Fortunately the wind changed just as it reached the bottom of their garden. A terrible time with so many lives lost.
    On a side note, we have yet another thing in common. I drive a Volvo too.... the ultimate sign to me of how far I have sunk on the coolness scale (but I do love my car!). Hope you all stay well xx

  3. Oh Romy I am so sorry for your friends and the loss of their houses. Scary. Glad all of them were OK though - that is always the most important thing.

    I find fire one of the most frightening aspects of living on a property.

    So hard to accept when you were just there and had such a wonderful day with them.

    Love the story of the record player and the children jumping. Nothing like that needle suddenly shifting half a track with a scratching noise to give everyone a fright!

    Take care and so glad your friends are safe.

  4. Horrifying and so confronting when the sky in Hobart is redolent of smoke. Just like that, for so many people enjoying summer in Tasmania.
    Another Volvo driver! My particular Volvo and it's colour is a dime a dozen down here, my children try to get into other people's in the school car park and last week I was attempting to open someone else's outside the shop! It is a surprisingly good car though. Rx

  5. Pleased to hear that you and friends are ok. Very sad for the people of Dunally.
    Love Tasmania and have visited several times.
    Oh, The Cockroaches - still recall their performance at Uni and being wolf whistled by them!Those were the days!

  6. awful re fire...

    Luffed the cockroaches- hey lets go let's go let's go! x

  7. I am so sorry to hear of your friend's property's awful fate. Devestating. How wonderful to hear that they were enjoyed and the memories of good times there will endure...
    I went to uni with the cockroaches, dated a Field boy a few times though he didn't remember me as a mummy many years later in the crowd...LOL!
    x kl

  8. We just recently moved to the Huon Valley from WA as we were tired of all the hot weather and the constant bush fire threat in summer. Can't believe the intensity and speed that the fires around your friends property took hold. My sympathy to all involved.
    On a lighter note - I do enjoy your blog and am learning of lots of things to do in this part of Tasmania from it. Plan to try Bikram yoga this week, never heard of it before reading you.

  9. How very sad for your friends, makes my fiery tale from last week minor in comparison!

  10. HI Romy

    I've been thinking of you being so close to the fires.. but this is VERY close.
    And on a happier note- I was on the social committe and BOOKED the Cockroaches to play our school formal... along with Boom Crash Opera.. it was a cracker of a night!!

  11. What a horrific story about those fires. I hope the weather cools down soon !x

  12. Goodness Romy, what a tale. It's horrendous. Must speak soon. J x

  13. That's terrible. I am so sad for them but also glad no one was hurt.

  14. So sad. I hope there is some positive energy coming toward Tasmania now and a recovery is happening.


I LOVE hearing your thoughts! Rx