Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Classic spring in Tassie

Warm sunshine. A strong, icy wind. Waves of misty rain. Sun again. Then heavy rain. Repeat. That's Tasmania in spring. One good thing about it is the glorious rainbows it produces!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Build me a boat

And then there were three! A third St. Ayles Skiff built in Franklin was launched on the Huon River under a perfect sunny blue sky today, as part of the Swiftsure Regatta. The community gathered on the shore to wish her well. Speeches were made. Scotch whisky was poured over the bow. She was named 'Freyja', after the goddess from Norse mythology. The Little Boat Choir sang appropriately boaty songs, and into the water she went, alongside Billie and Imagine. Wonderful.

The water is wide, I can't get o'er
And neither have I wings to fly
Build me a boat that will carry two
And both shall row, my love and I.

[folk song of Scottish origin]

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Calm water sailing

One afternoon this week we had a special treat - a sail on Huon River on board the beautiful Yukon. It's hard to believe she's been living in Franklin for five years now, along with her lovely owner family, David, Ea and their sons. You too can sit back and enjoy the views, take a look around below deck and hear the story of the ship's restoration and journey from Denmark - book your 90 minute calm water cruise here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fat pig business

Last night, the Kingborough Community Enterprise Centre held its regular Huon Valley business dinner at Fat Pig Farm, the 70-acre family farm run by Matthew Evans (possibly best known for the Gourmet Farmer TV series) and Sadie Chrestman. It was a real treat. The 42 local business people seated at a long table enjoyed a feast of (very) local produce from the farm and surrounds. On arrival, guests were served tasty spring onion tarts and a cup of house-made blackcurrant cordial, with a dash of McHenry's Gin for those who wanted the extra kick. We ate pork rillettes from the actual Fat Pigs, freshly made ricotta, pickles, radishes, cottage pie (from their beef), bacon with beans, pak choi, salad... and the house-churned butter with wood-fired sourdough - oh, yum! We could see the vineyard that one of the wines came from out the window. The handheld apple, rhubarb and custard crumbles meant everyone could get up, move around the table and network during dessert. A great idea for a function like this.

It was my first visit to Fat Pig Farm and I hope to get back soon, as I'd really like a good look around the farm. From the back deck we could see the vegetable gardens and cattle in the distance; the pigs just out of sight behind some trees. The Friday long table lunches and the cookery classes sound great too... something for the list of things to do next year.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bowled over by roses

The weather is warming up, and a bunch of locals have started playing barefoot bowls again on a Friday afternoon. Just like in the movie Crackerjack, the Franklin Bowls Club is looking at ways to expand its membership and remain relevant to the local community. It's a great way for us to unwind and have a laugh at the end of the week.

As the sun set on Friday, I turned around to admire the green hills of Franklin, but got distracted by the gorgeous rose bushes of different varieties all around the bowling green. Someone from the bowls club has been tending these beauties well...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Swooping around

This year, the welcome swallows have not built a nest under our deck, but they are swooping around the house a lot and collecting dog hairs and dry pieces of grass. They sometimes crash into the glass... and if the glass door is open, they fly right in! David has rescued three of them from our lounge and kitchen this week.

I am enjoying watching them from my desk as they've taken to perching between my new geranium planter boxes and preening themselves, making delightful chirping noises. Look closely and you'll see two of these gorgeous little fellows.