Tasmania sits to the south of the Australian mainland, isolated from the larger island by Bass Strait - a wild and rock studded stretch of water with a reputation for danger and seasickness. The Spirit of Tasmania chugs backwards and forwards across Bass Strait on a daily basis, bringing eager visitors one way, and somewhat damper returnees the other way. Amongst other things Tasmania has a reputation for rain, scenery and wildlife - we wanted to avoid the first, soak up the second and watch the third. As it turned out, we were soaked by the first, had trouble seeing the second and managed to find a few of the third. Most holidays start with frantic packing, unpacking, repacking and frayed tempers. The late arrival of a large box of toys for the kids is likely to strain the relationship between the provider of packages and the car packer. The kids are both bored and overexcited. But finally we are packed, and surprisingly it’s late in the afternoon, but that’s OK. The short drive to t
Showing posts from April, 2011
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There’s a mark, a line really, along the banks of the Yarra at Studley Park where the flood water flowed. It pulled out the creeping plants, pushed over smaller trees and took them all downstream. Some trees are hung with a flood washed tat, like dowdy, unloved Christmas trees, trimmed with junk. Bottles are lodged in the crooks of branches, ragged sheets of plastic flap. When the river was pushing through, heavy with soil and waste, you could hear the collisions of the river junk on the tree branches - it sounded like a low pitched rattle buzz. Where branches fingered the water the abandoned consumer crap built up in moving layers. Water bottles, possibly bought by the health conscious, seemed to be the most common items, followed by the smashed remains of polystyrene packaging. They hissed and fizzed on the surface, constantly in motion. Sometimes, they organised themselves in a way that convulsed the whole surface of the water and a breakaway raft of junk would be swept downstream.