You’ll Never Guess

Miss6 was obviously looking for something when she poked her head into the kitchen.

No, not something. Someone.

Her eyes lit up when she spotted Nath, the patriarch of our host family here in Hobart, leaning against his kitchen bench and she walked up to him, motioning for him to bend down to her level.

“Can I ask you a question?” she whispered, hands clasped around his ear.

He stood up straight and thought about this.

“I think you just did,” he told her.

There was a pause as this was processed, then her little hands beckoned and surrounded his ear again.

“Can I ask you another question?” she whispered. Her hands had almost come away again when she physically seized his lobe before it could escape and she added, “I mean after this question which I just asked you.”

Who says my kids can’t be taught?

“You know what?” said Nath, rubbing his ear, “I might know what you want to ask me.”

Because we’ve been here messing up his kitchen, clearing out his freezer and drinking his beer for coming up to two weeks now so it’s only to be expected he’d taken stock of how each of us tick. And more to the point, this was clearly not the first time Miss6 had wanted to whisper something conspiratorially into his ear.

Though the pain, I think, was an addition.

For all that this may have played out before, Miss6 looked doubtful.

“Really?” she asked.

“I’m betting,” said Nath, “you’re hungry. Are you maybe going to ask me for something to eat?”

Had Tracey or I been in the room we’d have yelled out Bingo!


“No,” said Miss6, shaking her head, and Nath looked as surprised as we would have.

“What do you want to ask me then?”

Miss6 indicated for him to lower his head again so she could whisper into his ear: the slightly red one.

And then she asked in a low voice completely lacking in any sort of irony, “Can I have an ice block?”

Eaglehawk Lookout

The view from Eaglehawk Neck Lookout on the way to Port Arthur. Worth turning off the main road for.
Hoping this is a sign now she’s six she’s going to start following instructions.
Suggested parking for the bus appeared to be down the embankment. Glad we came in the car.

You’ve heard of treehuggers? This is a subspecies.

Port Arthur

The centre at the entrance to Port Arthur is, in a word, brilliant. We all got cards (like playing cards) to match up to past occupants of the place. It was a great gimmick to get us all thinking about the men, women and kids (one young convicts we had was nine ffs) who came here to live out some or sadly all of the remainder of their lives. No photos though because we were too into it to think about taking any. Next time.
By the time the camera came out we were in the next section trying on irons. They kept the kids amused for long enough for me to duck off for a coffee for me and Tracey and were effective enough the kids were right where I left them when I got back.
I checked the gift shop and they didn’t have any available. If you have a contact pm me.

The restorations here are beautiful and not what you’d expect. They aren’t trying to recreate things so much as show off the ruins. It works.

There are plaques around the place telling individual stories and giving the history. Again, it works well. 

Methinks the architect in charge of the restoration is a bit of a closet Dr Who fan.
We kept getting told how good the convicts were at building stuff while they showed us stuff which had fallen apart. I know I’m missing something but I have questions. I did read on a plaque there’d been a couple of bushfires through the hospital up the hill. I’m guessing that didn’t help.

This is an artists impression of a boat being built. This is why you hire architects and draftsmen, they use rulers. We didn’t make it around to this part of the site but apparently there’s voices telling a story about the old dockyards – which had to be shut down because the convicts were such good workmen they were putting the legit craftsmen out of businessShould have had these guys working on the buildings.
The iconic shot from the boat (boat tour is all included in the ticket price – win).

Cadaver dog would go nuts on this little island. It’s the colony’s graveyard, although most people ‘living’ there are in unmarked graves because some dolt decided convicts were sinners who didn’t deserve to have proper tombstones. Given some were little kids sent to Australia for stealing a handkerchief, I think that’s a bit rich.

That’s the hospital up on the hill. All looks a bit isolated now, but when you see old photos the hill was thick with buildings.

Port Arthur is money well spent. If I’m honest the only thing I could think about coming in was the massacre, but once I got in here I hardly thought about that at all. There’s much more interesting stuff here than what one dickhead did to so many innocents on one sad day.

Miss10 found herself a catwalk.

We spent maybe four hours in Port Arthur and only got to see maybe a third of the place. Maybe less. Cost was $99 for 2 adults and up to 6 kids (thank you!). We paid an extra $20 to extend our family pass out to two years (more thank you!). We’ll be going back before we leave Tassie.

“What the hell are you doing in this photo?” I laughed at Master12 when I put this up. “Hiding my banana,” only made me laugh louder. Not a euphemism. He actually is.

The hospital from another angle. Catholic Church bought it to convert it into a boys home but a bushfire gutted it. They rebuilt it from the insurance payout but another fire went through it. Maybe there is a god?
Mental asylum.
Potential inmates?

Bruce, the bag. Which I will remember to bring along next time for when the kids get sick of carrying their water bottles and maps.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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