Which is funny really, as the Governor, after whom my street was named, has gone down in the annals of Tasmanian history as nothing more than a drunken profligate. He may have been the son of of a woman called Temperance, yet he exhibited anything but, and is famous to this day for having invented a celebrated punch concoction called the 'Blow My Skull'.....a potent combination of rum, brandy, citrus, sugar, water and BEER. Luckily, 'The governor having an impenetrable cranium, and an iron frame could take several goblets of the alcoholic fluid, and walk away as lithe and happy as possible'. In a colony awash with booze, he spent a lot of his time drunk.
Some fifty years later, Henry Jones did not. He was a very strict teetotaller. He was also a local boy made good. Famous for starting work at age 12 in the Jam Factory down on the Hobart waterfront pasting labels on tins, he went on to own the company and became the first Tasmanian knighted.
Sir Henry Jones was a local entrepreneur with international interests - he had a finger in what seemed like every pie and created his enormous success through not only jam but also tin mining, fruit growing and shipping. His personal motto was 'I excel in everything I do'. And he did. Our house was built for one of his nine daughters (he also had three sons) on the occasion of her marriage. He then built the two houses next door for other daughters.....one of which later became the childhood home of the errant, notorious, womanising cad, Errol Flynn.
These days the local Hobart boy made good that everybody is talking about is David Walsh. He with the deep, deep pockets....deep enough to have created MONA.....a personal museum, a monument to himself. All financed by his intricate gambling systems. It's been described as 'a subversive Disneyland for adults' and it really is extraordinary. It has changed the whole dynamic of Hobart tourism, suddenly punters aren't so interested in wading through the grim convict ruins of the past but rather are coming down by the plane load to marvel, star struck, at the heavily sex and death oriented exhibits in David's museum.
But destination MONA is not just about the art, they also grow and make Morilla wine and Moo Brew beer.....if you find yourself entering the parallel universe of a MONA event (Dark MOFO is next on the calendar in June, quick get your tickets) and drinking David's grog you will no doubt giggle that the plastic glasses in which they serve the beer are emblazoned with the logo 'Not suitable for Bogans'. Yes, really.
Anyway, why wouldn't you want to be a Hobart housewife? Although I'm afraid that I'm taking a mini break and moving my particular brand of domesticity off shore for the next three and a half months. See you when we get to France!