Moving on…

Twenty two years ago, when we moved back to Tasmania from Melbourne, we built a house on the side of a hill. It was the only house on the hill at the time. And we grew a beautiful garden from nothing, surrounding the house with over 120 trees, including an avenue of silver birches…


The children grew and left the family home and then at the age of 60, my husband left his career with the national broadcasting network, deciding to return to his farming roots. Our personal interests centred on the country and coast and life in the city held little appeal except for the occasional appointment that we were obliged to keep. Early this year, we realised that the family home with its biggish garden was often empty and that we dashed in and out only when we had to and with little interest.


Thus we put it on the market and miraculously sold it.

Much excitement.


But then reality hit and we realised that we needed a small town-base for those town obligations (aged and infirm mother living in the city, dentist’s, hairdresser’s etc). We found a small townhouse in a court off an avenue filled with luscious gardens and close by the Derwent River, made an offer and are the new owners.


More excitement.



We can’t get access to the new place until early December.

We then had to decide what we needed to ditch from 22 years of living in the bigger family home. And this despite the fact that we had pruned hard and often because we’ve moved 15 times due to my husband’s career. We also had to decide what we needed for the next three months because there is work to be done in the new place and with Christmas coming, all the trades are booked up and then they go on holidays till mid-January!


So for the last 2-3 weeks, I have been rigorously, ruthlessly and relentlessly refining our possessions. What remains goes into store this week and removalists pack and cart it away. Easy you think?


They won’t take one’s pantry contents and so we had to pack that and take it all to House on the coast.

The fridge has to be defrosted and dried 2 days prior to pick-up. We will be living on toast!


All the garden stuff had to be transported to the farm to be stored – equipment and plant foods, French wine barrels, huge terracotta tubs etc. Vital cuttings had to be taken and potted up.

We had to decide too, what clothes we needed for the next 3 months and then had to pack and transport them to  House. Then pack all the others for store with the removalists. So a lounge suit will be packed and maybe the LBD for me – just in case.  And being Tasmania, we just might get winter during summer, so we need a couple of sweaters and so on…

Oh, and coats! Didn’t know we had so many coats and jackets. What to keep out, what to put in store?

The freezer had to go to the farm. And our old bed (our kids live there). And we will take a bed to the new place and leave it made up for emergencies until we can move the rest of the stuff in. Note the ‘WE’. My husband and I are moving all this physically ourselves because our muscleman, our son, was rushed into surgery last week and can’t do anything heavy for at least 10 days and even then, not really.

Also, those said removalists won’t take bathroom stuff, so we had to pack that (my God, I had no idea we had so MUCH bathroom stuff) and that had to be transported to House.

The dogs’ beds and bowls – stored at the farm.

And so on…

And of course in amongst this, my latest novel, Tobias, has ground to a halt with Tobias fuming and having a complete personality change from the happy and kind minstrel of The Gisborne Saga to an angry, reactive individual who can barely hold his vielle, let alone play a tune. He does not like me at all just now.

Tough, Tobias! Sorry and all that, but…

I’m trying to work out if I am upset to be moving from a house my husband designed, that we owner/built, that we landscaped and grew from the side of a hill.

The thing is, I don’t think I am upset. It served its purpose at that point in our lives. And we had actually moved on in our souls about four years ago – a different lifestyle, a different requirement for our lives.


I will probably shed a tear on uplift day. Twenty-two years of good memories and a view to die for.

But we are excited about creating a new environs, a new home – a quiet, calm oasis in the city for when we have to be there.


I got to pick new fabrics for the sofa and armchairs and I’m particularly excited about creating a new pocket-handkerchief white garden – my mini-me ‘Sissinghurst’.

But in the meantime, House and farm continue to satisfy our need for a non-urban existence because one thing we’ve learned over time is that we are sooooo not café-culture people…