French novelist, Marcel Proust,once said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Every time I visit Tasmania, Australia’s smallest State and separated from the mainland, I come across some fascinating gems.
Firstly, at 60 Duke Street in prestigious Sandy Bay, the childhood home of Errol Flynn.
From Flynn’s My Wicked Wicked Ways:
“A beach, Sandy Bay, was not far away and I was often there, swimming at the age of three. The beach was of hard brown sand, the water freezing cold. Mother was a good swimmer and she took me there very often. I have never been out of ocean water for very long since.”
In Kettering, where ferries transport people and cars to the beautiful and wild Bruny Island, I spotted this :
So you’re asking what’s the big deal, right?
The Oyster Cove Inn with its beautiful views of Kettering Harbour was built around 1890 for a wealthy British plantation owner named Alfred Cotton as a summer holiday home for his family. Cotton’s son, Sydney, was the model for Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Sydney was a triple threat spy for the French, the Germans and M15 and a mate of Fleming’s and Hitlers 2IC, Herman Goering.( Yep, another biography I need to chase….)
At Margate Museum I learned the fascinating history of both the oyster and scallop industries within Tasmania. Better still one of the local Primary Schools was promoting The Young Archies Award. It is a take on The Archibald Prize, an Australian portraiture art prize for painting, generally seen as the most prestigious portrait prize in Australia and first awarded in 1921.
School children were asked to draw portraits of friends or family, with visitors to the Museum asked to nominate their favourites over a given period. The painter of the portrait voted the most popular would win an art set to the value of $200.
What a wonderful way to encourage and foster creativity. Loved it.
Lastly, in sleepy little Swansea on the glorious east coast we were fortunate to attend a performance sponsored by the University of Tasmania by the winners of The Ossa Music Prize. This ensemble, made up of a percussionist and a french horn, played compositions by other students from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, which were all based on the lives and history of earlier Tasmanians. Storytelling by music if you like.
I learned about poet Gwen Harwood, colonial architect William Wilson, and Mary Roberts. Who was Mary Roberts? An absolute trailblazer. More about her soon 🙂
Will be home tonight, thank God as I do not waste time at laundromats whilst travelling and my clothes reek. All part of the travel experience, hey……