Saturday, December 7, 2019

Summer, apparently

The first week of summer, well, wasn't. But then the warmer, drier weather of summer doesn't really seem to start in Tasmania until January. Then it runs through to the end of March. We've had a lot of rain and wind this week and temperatures down to about 4 degrees. On one of our morning dog walks this week, all three of us got completely drenched in the pouring rain. So when David spotted dog coats for sale at the local pet store later that day he snapped one up in XL for Gretchen. It's even in the Tassie state hi-viz uniform, you can't miss her. We thought she may object to it, but to our surprise, she really seems to love wearing it, even seems a little proud! She's given passing drivers a laugh too... but she doesn't seem to know she looks a bit silly. At least it saves a lot of towel drying.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

End of an era

After a few false alarms and more comebacks than John Farnham (just joking guys), the wonderful Village Antiques of Franklin has finally closed its doors, going out with a bang of the auctioneer's gavel. The Bowmont building which housed the store has been sold and lovely new owners have moved in - more on that later I am sure. After viewings on Friday and Saturday, a good crowd turned up on Sunday for the huge auction of remaining stock, held in the old evaporators factory on the Franklin foreshore. We popped in and out during the day and missed out on the few items we had our eye on, but never mind. I could see just how much work had gone into it by owners Shane and Jane and some trusty helpers. Luckily for Franklin, they are not going far, just a short way up the hill. Now, who wants to buy the huge evaporators building and be part of the exciting renewal of Franklin?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Six cygnets

We'd heard from our friends at the good ship Yukon that there were cygnets around in Franklin, and on one of our dog walks along the Huon River in Franklin this week we got lucky, spotting this pair of proud parents with six beautiful tiny babies! I don't recall seeing so many in one batch or such little ones before. They came close for a look before sailing away across the river, hopefully to a safe spot.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Not quite the Point to Pinnacle

"Good morning and welcome to the Point to Longley!" boomed the man on the loudspeaker at the start line of the Point to Pinnacle event this morning, to a mixture of cheers, boos and laughter from the crowd. I had found out half an hour earlier from one of the friendly registration people that due to ice and snow on the last 4km of road leading to the top of kunanyi / Mt Wellington, we would be using the alternate route to the Longley Pub. It was not considered safe for all the support buses to get to the finish line.

While it looked sunny up on the mountain from Hobart, I had seen the piles of snow on Sleeping Beauty as I drove in, and as we walked closer to Fern Tree, the wind was very icy and waves of rain were passing through - so probably snowing at the top. You can see the rainbow over the mountain in one of my photos below. All along the route local residents came out to watch and cheer, some playing music (see the couple on the bagpipes at Fern Tree below!), some handing out snacks or water and others offering high fives. It was pretty incredible seeing the runners come past. There are some super fit folk out there.

Completing the Point to Pinnacle, a half-marathon length walk (for me anyway), has been on my bucket list for ages, and despite finishing the course today in 3 hours and 1 minute, I still haven't done it! Now I'll have to try again next year. You just never know what the mountain is going to throw at you.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Huon Show 2019

It was a pretty damp and chilly morning, so we thought the crowds might be down a bit at the Huon Show as we drove out there this morning, but no. The car park was almost full and there were plenty of people streaming in. We headed straight for the dog show, just in time to catch the Bernese Mountain Dogs. Such a beautiful and handsome collection of dogs, and as we know some of their handlers and breeders, we were allowed to hold onto their leads and pat and cuddle them while other dogs were in the show ring, lucky us! Our friend Chris will no doubt be pleased with his first placing and best in section in the inaugural beer brewing competition, and another friend Peta took out of the several baking and crafts prizes as usual - she's a talented cook. There was poultry, cattle, horses and the very popular baby goats. Wood chopping, dog high jump, historic machinery displays... what's not to love at a country show.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

New eatery in town

Last week the revitalisation of Franklin continued, with the much-anticipated opening of Osteria at Petty Sessions, a lovely new Italian bistro. It's wonderful to see the old Petty Sessions building, a former court house so beautifully renovated and being used again. And it's less than 500m from our front door! We wish Sofia and Martino much success with their new venture. As much as we will miss the best-ever pizza they used to make at their old premises, the menu at Osteria has something for everyone. To start, we shared a salumi board with house-cured meats, house bread and pickles, and our group opted for pasta, osso buco and scallops for mains. The desserts were generous with some Italian favourites you'd expect like gelato with brandied cherries (I loved it) and and kick-ass tiramisu (as it said on the menu). And then there's the all-local beverage list. Yum.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


Almost ten years in Tasmania and it doesn't get any easier to see the large number of dead native animals on our roads. But this morning's roadkill sighting as I jogged back down New Road in Franklin was particularly devastating. A dead pademelon, and less than a metre away, her dead joey. I shed a little tear as I moved them off the road.

In the nine years we lived at the very top of that road, I was lucky not to have hit any animals, but we saw hundreds dead on the road in that time. Mostly pademelons, wallabies and possums, a couple of our beloved wombats and some bandicoots. Many of them are killed thanks to people driving too fast for the conditions, especially at dusk. But sometimes they just hop out of the bush and straight under your car, and you've no hope of seeing them in time. Poor little guys.