I haven't written anything for quite a while, it seems.
There was the whole packing up and buying a house on the internet and moving from one side of the country to the other thing.
Then there was the unpacking and replenishing the stash and hanging out with my oldest friends and my sister and checking out the local opshops and tipshops and markets thing.
Tomorrow, it's exactly one year since I arrived back in Tasmania, the place I grew up and went to school.
I've survived four seasons. People here call reverse cycle airconditioning a 'heat pump', because the other bit doesn't get used a whole lot. Which, after 30+ brain-melting summers in WA, is a good thing. I've had to install a gas log heater because, frankly, the heat pump wasn't holding it. And a heat pump has less than zero ambiance. I like ambiance. And warm.
I'm amazed that so many of the locals have forgotten just how amazingly gobsmackingly beautiful this place is. They're so used to it they don't notice it. The colours, the red of the earth, the mountains, the stone, the rivers are so incredibly lovely and so very accessible. You can drive for an hour, and go from the beach to the snow.
Real estate is relatively cheap here, compared to the capitals and bigger cities on the big island. Rates and water rates aren't cheap, and neither is gas or electricity.(You must remember that there is a way smaller population base from which income can be derived.) That being noted, electricity does seem eye-crossingly more expensive here.
Firewood is taken very seriously. It will be brought to you stacked very neatly so that you can see exactly how many cubic metres you're getting. In WA a ute dumps a pile of wood somewhere in the vicinity of your house...
There's an abundance of reasonably priced local veggies, fruit, seafood and meat. It's a foodies paradise, as long as you stay away from the major supermarkets. There are heaps of small veggie shops, butchers, and independent grocers, as well as markets. Buying local is taken very, very seriously and that's great.
I'm desperately missing a really good deli, with cheeses and salamis and stuff like that. All in one place. There must be one somewhere.
The local wine is great and most of the local 'champagne' is magnificent.
There are events all year round, arts, food, music. Always something to do, something to look at. Unless it's Monday night. Pack sandwiches, if it's Monday night.
And the opshops, and the tipshops? Perhaps I'll tell you about those next time...