A Better Winter

Dramatic Midlands Landscape

Dramatic Midlands Landscape

Its winter again in the deep South….. cold winds extended periods of rain with just the occasional teasing flash of sunshine. But do I care? Not one whit, for this winter I am comfortable, relaxed, warm and satisfied on so many levels I’ve lost count.

To bring you all up to speed, here is a quick recap of recent events.

With my plans to spend this winter in tropical paradise gone awry thanks to a nasty varicose infection, I needed a better plan.

Not keen to spend another winter socked in afloat, I accepted Dini’s offer to share her new accommodation in town. Battery Point is an historic precinct close to the Hobart CBD and the waterfront which is oft filled with camera brandishing visitors soaking up its unique architecture and vibrant history. Its busy throughout the year and is also popular with the Hobart population as well because of its many restaurants, up market hotels and of course world class bakeries!  We live pretty much in the middle of it all. 🙂

New Workshop

New Workshop

As you can imagine, this is a pretty dramatic change for a lone sailor used to his own company. I now walk into town rather than ride or drive, have my sewing machine out the back of the house and have discovered a whole swathe of new friends to play music with.
If there was something I missed more than any other last winter it was sharing music and this I have found in wild abundance since making the move to Hobart. Not only that, but I’ve found an old friend I used to play music with 22 years ago on my very first outing to do so. It happened at a tiny pub in a very out of the way location where I’d heard there was a Bluegrass jam every Tuesday night.

The first time I ventured there, who should be standing at the bar buying a drink than my old friend Dave Meikle.

Two old friends meet again!

Two old friends meet again!

Dave and I got together 30 years and several lifetimes ago to play Irish fiddle tunes and Australian Bush songs in sunny Queensland. We were successful and had many bands together in that time. When not busy with bands we played duos a couple of nights a week at different pubs in and around Maryborough. Then, 22 years ago our families moved apart to different parts of the state and we lost touch. 😦
Dave was always a bit deaf, normally sporting a hearing aid, however that night he had none and just turned up to see somebody there. So, I walked up to the bar… scarcely believing it was him and asked in a quavering voice if his name was Dave. To my total shock and disbelief he pretty much totally ignored me! Not good enough! Unsatisfied, I bought my beer and followed him to the jam area…. figuring madly that he must be Dave, still deaf in the left ear and hadn’t heard me. So, I stuck my face right in his and said very loudly… ARE YOU DAVE MEIKLE? He looked up and said equally loudly… YES!

@ an Irish session bashing away on my new Bodhran (pronounced) Bowran.... having lots of fun!

@ an Irish session bashing away on my new Bodhran drum (pronounced Bowran)…. having lots of fun!

Well, we both were in a kind of daze after that… barely believing this had happened after all this time….the night passed quickly it seemed….both still suspended in disbelief that we’d connected again. Isn’t music amazing the way it brings people together … and reunites them!!
Needless to say since that incredible moment we have enjoyed many jam sessions together and he has introduced me to many great musicians in the Hobart area. My musical life has changed dramatically since then and it just keeps getting bigger and better! I jam up to three times a week now and am loving every minute of it!!
I’d like to send a big shout out to my friends in Canada with whom I enjoyed so many wonderful ‘kitchen parties’. Be assured friends, I’ve finally found the Australian equivalent of your ‘grand ol times’ and musically I’ve not been this fulfilled since sharing songs with you by the fireside whilst the snow fell outside mid winter.

Snug winter home...(Google Earth Image)

Snug winter home…(Google Earth Image)

But what of my faithful friend and freedom machine Freespirit I hear you saying? Be assured, my girl is snug and well protected at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s marina close by….. in fact its only a 10 minute walk and I’m aboard from here. I do get down to see her a few times a week to check on how she is going. Mooring ropes, weather tightness etc and to start the motor every so often to keep it fit for next summer and beyond. I moved her up from Kettering in the first week I was here and its great knowing she is comfortable and close by.

Am I still planning to travel to the islands at the end of next summer? You bet! The big difference is I now know where I am returning once my tropical adventure has been done….. 🙂

ps…. Leg all healed up… still waiting for a Vascular operation to solve the problem permanently. 🙂

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Better Winter

  1. Greg Shakeshaft says:

    Wow, wow, wow…. Your adventures never cease to amaze me and I am so pleased in how life is panning out for you. I am really enjoying reading about how the future is progressing for you. So, I assume that you are also doing the odd canvas work judging by the workshop you have set up.

    I guess life doesn’t get much better than this and that pub looks so much like the pubs I used to frequent back in the UK. Sadly, I have yet to find somewhere with a bit of atmosphere and old world charm here in Perth.

    Perhaps you could snap a photo of Freespirit in her new home for your next update.


  2. freespirit52 says:

    Yes, am doing the odd bit here and there…. when I can stop playing music long enough!;)
    Will do with the update pic of Freespirit for next time. Cheers

  3. Vic says:

    Kristy and I are delighted in reading your latest news and adventures. So good to hear everything is going so well. Sounds like a place that would be awesome to visit. A little down time and a change of heart is a good thing. Especially when you can spend time with people and music you enjoy. Our Saturday night kitchen party is this weekend at Eva and Raymond’s, and like you, we are looking forward to it. I hadn’t realized, but as you said, people sometimes are drawn together because of music. That’s exactly how you & I & Kristy along with about a dozen people met on the same night. Jamie, Kristy’s dad, is still rocking the house at the tender age of 82 and soon to reach 83. I still think about the night in Caissie Cape when you and Jamie were jamming in the gazebo. Wow!
    Looking forward to hearing more news as you Idle through the winter.

    Take care, skipper


    • freespirit52 says:

      Hi Vic and Kristy, yes I still remember that evening too…. indeed memorable. Please make my good wishes known to the kitchen party crew this w/e. Of all the good memories I have of Canada, its playing music inside by the fire whilst the winter snow falls softly outside is the most treasured.
      That, and the wonderful friendships I now have because of them. 😉

  4. voni mann says:

    wonderful what the universe can do when one follows the bliss. i’m happy for you. it’s an inspiration. peace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s