The Hobart Finale

The van is back in business! We experienced great service from everyone in Hobart and our insurer Suncorp. Considering everyone returned to work on the Tuesday after Easter,  getting our van back on the Friday was outstanding.  In the mean time we caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen in 25 years since our Air Force recruit training days.  Time stands still with some friendships and that’s how it felt seeing Tanya again, like it was yesterday.  We had a lot of giggling over old photos as we relived the horror of the eighties hair styles and clothing.

After picking the van up and checking out of our park out near the airport we thought we might move a little closer to town – there was a park near town called Treasure Island that looked good.  The problem was the only treasure near this park was the local sewage treatment plant!  Hmmm… scrub that off the list.  The next closest to Hobart seemed lovely, set back in the bush only 5 minutes away and every night we had Long Nosed Potaroo’s coming to visit (once the kids were in bed, they weren’t silly).  This park turned out to be the best and the worst decision – we made some fabulous friends out of the parents of six year old triplets who setup next to us (they came to the next camp site with us as well where we managed to make most people believe we were a multiple birth association tour!)

Long Nose Potaroo in Hobart

Up Close with a Potaroo

However…on our last night in Hobart, we were sitting around with our new found friends drinking red wine, discussing the detention facility that was across the highway from our current resting place.  Although we were all aware it was there, so close to civilisation we sort of assumed it would be low security.  I mentioned the copious amounts of razor wire and double fencing we noticed on the way past that day so we googled it and found that it was the medium to high security Tasmanian prison and also the mental health unit where Martin Bryant was housed.  Needless to say we were all relieved to check out the next day – although I figure that the last place any escapees were going to hang around was outside the prison so we should be reasonably safe in the event of a break out?

Our last few days in Hobart were lovely, took the girls to Zoo Doo where they take you to feed the animals in a safari vehicle and the Emu’s and Camel’s practically climb in and take the food out of your hands (not joking about that one) and we took a boat ride to Peppermint Bay to enjoy world class food and wine after checking out the Tasmanian coast line.  I also snuck out for a half day back at MONA all by myself – my mental health break!

Camel Loving

Camel Coming Aboard

Windy on the Bow!

Peppermint Bay Restaurant

Peppermint Bay Restaurant

 

Although sad to leave next is Freycinet National Park which if memory serves is a stunning place so onwards goes the Inns circus…

When My Heart Stops Beating

I just had to slip in a quick blog about my absolute favorite exhibit from today at the Hobart Museum of Old and New Art.

The artist is Patrick Hall and he creates these beautiful, intriguing, emotionally evocative pieces of, well, furniture! Visually stunning in a dim space, these cabinets with illuminated little faces on every drawer will say “I love you” in various tones and voices when opened (that’s the bit kids love).. I was intrigued by the short pieces of writing illuminated on the top surface of each drawer – they were beautifully written and incredibly moving. To quote the narrative from the iPod guided tour:

records of living: a depository of people; of stories revealed, secrets whispered and emotions laid bare

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Here’s a short excerpt from the top of one as well:

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Museum of Old and New Art

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We had heard a lot about MONA since arriving in Tassie – mostly the gossip about how the founder had Aspergers, made his fortune counting cards, runs his art gallery as a mini dictator and how some of the exhibits were a bit too “anatomically confronting” for the four year olds ! The picture of his car space at the gallery may say it all:

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None of this prepared me for what an amazing experience this gallery turned out to be. From its beautiful setting on the water with green lawns dotted with pink bean bags and hand shaped stools to the solid sandstone walls of the underground gallery levels filled with beautiful, thought evoking, unique, shocking and sometimes grotesque art work – I loved it all.

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It was also entertaining watching my families reactions to this incredible place! Predictably the husband was not amused and spent most of his time impatiently waiting at the exit to each area. The girls were fascinated by the iPod tour devices and head phones and I predicted endless frustration with guiding them through menus (and boredom once they realised there were no apps)

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I should know better than to outguess the short people though – my little free spirit soon worked out the guided tour system and was proudly showing me each piece of art she located on the iPod and (loudly) informing me how she was learning all about them. Maybe an artistic soul in this one – showing no sign of boredom she wanted to peruse each exhibit and revel in it.

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As for the other little blossom – she takes after the husband and although happy to play with the iPod and spend time in the TV room with a bunch of peeps singing Madonna songs (I kid you not!) that was the extent of her interest and was soon making noises about lunch.

Highlight of the day for those less artistically inclined family members was then lolling about on the lawns on above mentioned pink bean bags, playing hide and seek with the kids of a lovely Dutch family, drinking wine and enjoying the afternoon sunshine – life is good ….

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