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  • Shelley Dark

#4. Tassie Christmas

We agreed that if we spent Christmas in Tassie this year we wouldn't do gifts at all. No tree, no bonbons, no gifts, no pre-cooking. A low-key Christmas without all the material hoo-hah and none of the pressure.

Steely resolution turned to marshmallow once we arrived. A tinge of sadness. No pressies???

A brainwave - a secret Santa draw, with the gifts being only objects found or made by the giver at Opossum Bay. Whispering, hiding and laughing.

And the Christmas tree? Happily, the owners of the house Frances and Henry had one they prepared earlier. -:)

The children and Philippe went kayaking, right across the bay. The rest of us lazed around contemplating the activity, walking in the garden and around the headland, reading, watching the cricket, shopping at the local Gourmet Grocer and Hill Street Grocer at Lauderdale, challenging each other to a game of pool. Quite the most relaxed Christmas.

Even the seagulls on the beach were just quietly gliding...

I've been trying to work out the puzzle of the mown areas on the headland.

Or what's over the other side of the hill...

Staring at clouds, or the helicopters which keep flying over.

There's no getting away from it though. Christmas is all about food, isn't it? These potatoes were for Christmas eve lunch, with pulled lamb and a Greek salad...

We ate Christmas lunch outside on the lawn under the umbrella. Ice cold oysters natural with lemon and fresh bread, local prawns, the best Ange seafood sauce, salad of spinach, tomato, asparagus, crisped proscuitto and sliced potato with a creamy parmesan dressing. Not too much. Not too little. Perfect.

Ange made individual pavlovas. Agrarian Kitchen eat your heart out. Chewy on inside, crunchy on outside.

I was going to make custard with the egg yolks, but suddenly sponge cake seemed a better option. Except we ate so much of the batter that there was only enough left for two patty cakes....

Individual orders were taken for pav filling.... no request was too absurd.

Small fingers....

Click on the first photo and it will bring up a slide show of the different gifts and a description: imaginative, fun and so refreshing not to feel totally overindulged.

Tassie's blue skies and warmth at lunchtime had turned chilly and overcast by 6pm, but the light!

photo courtesy Pennicott Cruises

Boxing Day

Originally I thought we might skip Bruny Island on this trip. Nooooooo came the chorus from Instagram. You must go to Bruny! And no trip to Bruny would be complete without a Pennicott cruise. Booked ✔️.

Robert Pennicott has done a remarkable job in 19 years to position his family company at the forefront of tour organisations in Tassie. They've won many awards for excellence and are active in supporting environmental protection and social causes.

We set our alarms for 5.15am but managed to stop to photograph this field on our way. Lavender perfume filled the air.

Michaelmas daisies naturalised across the way.

We were catching the ferry to Bruny leaving at 7.30am from Kettering, a pretty little fishing village. It was 7.26am and John was saying 'hurry up'....

We went across on a two decker ferry - the top deck eerily empty.

Looking back at Kettering in the morning light.

There's a neck between the northern part of Bruny and the south. This stairway was completed a couple of months ago. What beautiful workmanship!