Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back Into It!

I’ve been on holiday, travelling around and have not felt drawn to writing in my blog for some time. I’m trying to work up some enthusiasm and here I am on a Sunday afternoon at home – and totally out of excuses! Last Sunday we spent with the grandchildren and their parents at Healesville watching a music concert. My musician son was heavily involved in an Abby Road concert there – he had come up with the idea and many of the children and young people involved (including my g’son) were performing songs from the old Beatles album. It was a perfect day and lovely to see the family again after our very successful motoring tour around parts of Tasmania.
We had flown into Launceston and hired a car with my brother and his wife. Travelling for 10 days we stayed 2 nights in each location and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Walked around a huge lake in the shadow of Cradle Mountain; visited the eerie but hauntingly beautiful old convict centre at Port Arthur; were dazzled by the old world charm and serenity of old Hobart town, particularly around Battery Point and Salamanca; enraptured by our sandstone, convict built cottage accommodation in Hamilton – surrounded by a heavily perfumed cottage garden visited by huge (but harmless) bumblebees; were awed by the giant trees in the Styx forest. On a mild day in Hobart we drove up to the top of Mount Wellington and were snowed on and frozen!

We took a car ferry over to Bruny Island and explored its beauty for the day. On Bruny we visited a memorial to Truganini – an amazingly strong tribal woman who used to live on the island with her family and tribal group. I only ever had vague information about this lady but here we found her full and devastating story – at 17yrs she witnessed her mother’s stabbing murder by men from a whaling ship; her two sisters were kidnapped by sealers, timber-getters violently killed her betrothed and she was repeatedly raped; her brother was killed and her stepmother kidnapped by convicts; her father died of despair within months. Her story doesn’t get much better - and you can read it all for yourself if you follow the link. Her story is a sombre and powerful reminder of the devastation and destruction wrought by the European invasion of Australia. It is important to note however the Truganini was not the last Tasmanian aboriginal person. There are still today many folk in Tasmania who can claim aboriginal descent. The First Australians on SBS made that very clear.
Our Tasmanian sojourn was altogether amazing and very enjoyable - totally recommend it to anyone in coowee of the apple isle.