Sunday, May 25, 2014

Geeveston Fanny

This very beautiful deep red apple with crisp white flesh is a Geeveston Fanny. We picked up a bag of them at the roadside stall in Castle Forbes Bay pictured here. Fours years living here and we still haven't tried all the varieties of apple you can buy locally. These ones are so tasty.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sydney morning walks

I have been away all week for work in Sydney. Each day, I got up at 5.45 and was out walking by 6.00am. My walks there were quite different to those at home. It was light. Even at night, it's light. No need for a head torch. I walked on pavements. There were other people around. Shops and cafes were open. I wore shorts! I know sometimes I am negative about Sydney, and there are very good reasons I wanted to leave, but I do love her. Isn't she stunning?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Hot soup for dinner. The fire is on. Dew on the grass. Fungi popping up everywhere. The leaves have turned. Fog in the valley. The first frosts. And a beautiful soft light that makes everything glow yellow.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Living a double life

Increasingly, I feel torn between two different lives. The 'corporate' life versus the 'rural' life. One day I'm in a meeting in the boardroom in Sydney in a suit and heels and then off to an industry dinner. The next day I'm cleaning out the chook shed in dirty jeans, gumboots and my Dad's old sweater. The 'corporate me' is on the phone to my team in Beijing, Tokyo or Mumbai, then 'rural me' goes to collect the mail from the post office box 5km down the dirt road and buy the local rag to catch up on what's been going on. The people I know in one life know little about the other life. Variety is good and I love both lives, but increasingly I feel like I don't belong in either. I'm not complaining, I'm very aware of how lucky I am to be able to live where I do and do what I do. And I know most people have a work life and a personal life that are not the same thing. I'm just trying to explain this uncomfortable feeling I have.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Went to Agfest. Did not buy a tractor.

On Saturday, we made the trek up to Agfest 2014 in Carrick for the first time. Somehow, we made it back home without buying a tractor. Organised by the Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania, this is one huge agricultural festival. There was a bewildering array of farm equipment on offer, including some absolutely enormous machinery with matching price tags. There was livestock, fishing gear, food, craft, irrigation, wine, tools, clothing, services... pretty much anything for anyone in agriculture, from the large farm business to the smallholder. There were sheep dog trials, dressage, a 4WD track, a historic tractor parade, entertainment for the kids - a top day out all round. Apparently it had been pretty wet on Friday, but we got lucky. There was still plenty of mud, but we enjoyed mostly clear skies. We walked and walked all day and finally saw almost everything, before collapsing onto the bus for the trip back to the Huon. We'll definitely be back.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Through the grapevine

There was plenty of banter as locals converged to pick one hectare of pinot noir grapes at Cumberland Vines in Franklin this morning. The weather wasn't as kind as last year, but it was still very pleasant under the netting, snipping bunches of grapes, filling buckets and carting them to be loaded on to a truck headed to the winemaker this afternoon. With many hands on deck, it didn't seem to take long at all. We took a break for morning tea in the shed with plenty of cake, then went back to work until all the grapes were picked by around 1pm. We finished with a lunch feast and a glass of wine in the shed, as local musicians Steve and Marjorie Gadd played upstairs in the shed. What a great little community we have.

View from the vineyard 100m above the Huon River
A crate full, ready for the truck
Heading in for lunch after the work is done