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A new bronze sculpture was unveiled in Hobart on Saturday.

Between 1803 and 1853, nearly 13,000 female convicts arrived in Tasmania, bringing with them about 2,500 children, many of whom were born on the long sea voyage from the UK.

Three life size women and a young boy represent those early Europeans who arrived on this exact spot in Hobart.IMG_6506

Each tells a different story of the hardship of life for women and children in the penal colony.

The first is of a young woman accused of stealing cattle, the second of an Irish famine victim, the third a housemaid who fell pregnant and the fourth a young boy separated from his mother.

The plinths list the ships that arrived over one hundred and fifty years ago. Others list the names of the women who arrived with their children. IMG_6507IMG_6508

We saw the sculptures earlier in the day, whilst still under wraps. They were unveiled by Tasmania’s Govenor, Kate Warner, and the Irish President, Michael Higgins.

… “These sculptures remind us also of the suffering of the migrants of our times…. that the trauma of displacement and forced exile, for many reasons, are not experiences confined to our past but are the lived experiences of millions today around the world, including many who now call Australia home.”

These sculptures were created by Irish artist, Rowan Gillespie, modelled by descendants of Tasmania’s convicts. IMG_6372

Up close at ZooDoo



There are a few animal parks and sanctuary’s in Tasmania, at the weekend we visited ZooDoo for the first time.

It was easy to get up close to a variety of creatures, both Aussie locals and some from other continents. Meerkats, marmosets, emus, parrots, peacocks, wallabies and quolls were happy to pose for photos.

A safari bus took us into the enclosures of emu, camels, zebras.IMG_6027

I was conflicted about seeing lions in a confined enclosure, but there are no white lions left in the wild. The current population are all in captivity with active breeding programmes in place. Four cubs were born here in 2014, the second litter to these adult lions. The cubs were moved to zoos across Australia, to share the gene pool.IMG_5531

Animal Encounters take place each day, so I was able to see blue tongue lizards and touch a snake. A good reminder that these reptiles are waking from their winter hibernation now that it is spring here.IMG_6023

It was a fun day out.

An evening with Elton John



Music is a window to our past. Last week, Elton John put on a couple of shows in Hobart and we were fortunate to get tickets.IMG_5442

I was transported from this place and this time, back to London in my teens and twenties. Different songs, different memories, created my own time travel experience.

Elton’s voice and piano playing skills are as good as ever. Some of his band have been touring with him for over forty years. Thank you all for a fabulous show.IMG_5405IMG_5397

The programme to this small regional tour was also a window to the past, reminding us of the vinyl records of his years.IMG_5443

Which Elton song are you singing as you read this? Crocodile Rock? Rocket Man? Your Song? Daniel? Candle in the wind? Don’t’ let the sun go down on me? Philadelphia Freedom? Benny and the Jets? Tiny Dancer?