Friday, 19 April 2013


Up in my Hobart 'hood, on a still day you can smell the cloyingly heavy yeasty pong of barley and hops being turned into beer at nearby the Cascade Brewery:

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 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.

And then of course there's the local girl made good. Mary Donaldson, who met her future husband in a Sydney pub and went on to become a.....Crown Princess. I must admit to feeling somewhat ripped off as I too met the bloke I would ultimately marry in a pub....which resulted in my move from the big smoke of Hobart. Last time Crown Princess Mary came back for a visit to her childhood home of Hobart, she embraced being renting a home in the Hobart 'burbs and driving her family around in a family wagon. I suppose that Marie Antoinette, Queen of France used to play at being a milkmaid.

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!



  1. Oh you're very entertaining R! Maybe you can play at being a Crown Princess once you get to France.... you know, just swan about a bit and wait for others to do everything for you for a change. That smell of Beer (hops/ whatever it is) also hangs pungently of Edinburgh. But I've yet to make it to Tassie (one day...) so I can't properly compare. Hope the flight is relatively painless, and the champagne is on ice waiting for your arrival xx

  2. see you in Londy.

    God only knows what the hell I will be clothed in xxxxx

  3. Best of luck with it all Romy. Hope all the worries sorted out and see you in May

  4. Such an entertaining post, Romy. Am looking forward to seeing your IG snaps from abroad! J x

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Sorry FF...I think I have just posted! Strangely enough blogger is all in French which is why I just accidentally removed your comment. Also, school's out until Monday.....hopefully then I will find my sanity and an ability to string together a sentence which isn't in chicken.....the hassled language in which I communicate with my children under pressure! Oh, I'm dreaming of Monday! Rx


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