Going to my happy place.

I was chatting to a mate this morning about how we were both coming back from a minor bout of the blues. And she was blaming social media, where she was watching people living these amazing lives, doing incredible things and comparing herself to them.

Comparison is the total asshole thief of joy. This I know 100% to be true. Another mate in the conversation looked at me quizzically when I told her that I plain and simply just want to be 100% happy all of the time. She informed me that no one in the entire world was 100% happy all of the time. So we reached an agreement that my aim was to be happier more times then I am not happy.

I mention this because I have just come back from an excellent weekend away where I visited Hobart and it’s surrounds. I just wanted to make the point that this IS the showreel of recent events of my life. The real stuff, the complicated, stressful shit, well I shall choose to ignore it (for now). So with that said, I present you……

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A dozen mate’s, including Mum and my naughty sister Mrs. Ryan landed on the Apple Isle on Thursday. It was an idea that was planted last year. A food and wine weekend was on the cards. Our travel guru mate Lea from Hello Me put together a three day itinerary so we could get the most out of our short visit.

First stop was a visit for some wine tasting and lunch at Stefano Lubiana Wines and Osteria  , a truly rustic winery that would not be out of place if found on the hills of Tuscany. The perfect introduction to Tasmania, as we looked out over hills full of empty vines.

The next day, our lovely bus driver called Kerry, picked us up from the Hadleys Orient Hotel, for we were off to explore. As we drove out of town, he told us about this cafe that was on the way. It was different because the owner makes everything from scratch and get this, she grows everything herself! My Slice of Pie was worth the stop.

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I loved it so much I gave the cafe and its owner Christine a shout out on Instagram. Turns out that she is one of my readers Mums! Hey Kellie!

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Because we hadn’t eaten enough (????) we then went onto Home Hill Wines, a delightful little place which combines a few of my favourite things. Wine, food and superior shopping.

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It is famous for its Pinot Noir, but I enjoyed a glass of something called a Sylvaner. And of course when I say one, I totally mean three. Sylvania is what happens when a Sauvignon Blanc and a Resiling have babies. Nommy nom nom. We feasted on 18 hour slow roasted lamb and salad, which was brilliant.

The notion was to have a bit of dutch courage, as we then headed to the Tahune Airwalk Tasmania, in the Huon Valley.

Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I would rather pick up a rabid death adder that find myself suspended on a small bridge a million meters off the ground, walking amongst the treetops of ancient Huon Pines. After much peer pressure, I told the group to fuck off.

This is Fiona.

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She had on some questionable footwear and head wear as she planned to run the path in a terrified fashion and film it as she went. But the battery died. While the rest of them braved the task, I took myself off for a delightful hike in the forest

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spent time looking up in wonder, and checking out just the most enormous trees I have ever seen. Then I realised there was not a soul around and my mind went to those movies where people got lost in deep forests. I was not sure how the hell to get out of there, and after a tense few minutes trying to work out whether I should lay down on the path and wait for someone to find me, I burst out of the forest to find Kerry and the bus, right where I left them.

The group emerged from the other side. Half of them looked totally relaxed while the other half looked totally terrified and drained of blood. White. Lea congratulated me on standing up against peer pressure, and it was off to a place called Wille Smiths, to soothe everyones nerves with a cider.
Imma let you finish, but let us pause here to bring up the beauty that is the original hiptster. I am of the opinion that Tasmania is the natural birthplace of the Hipster movement, and was always just as it was. Then a few people from Melbourne went to Tasmania, and cottoned on to this lifestyle, and emulated it. But it is Tasmania where natural hipsters can be found in their element. As you were.

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Here we are looking at an Original Organic Cider. The “Shed” appears to be made entirely from apple crates, and is so hipster it almost hurts. Out the back, a man makes wood fired pizzas in the corner of the garden, and the atmosphere is so relaxed, you could curl up with your cider and drift off for a snooze.

And that view….

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We finished up the busy day with dinner at a well known, yet fairly average seafood restaurant that was not worth really worrying about, so we will not go there.

The next day, in small groups we hit up Salamanca Markets.

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A more vibrant, diverse and colourful market I have never been to before. Tasmanians are rightfully very boastful about what they have, and show it off in spades. I was starving (seemed to be the natural state of me) and went around the entire market before settling on a slow roasted beef wrap with salad and apple chutney. Ten out of ten.

I enjoyed my morning here immensely as I am now of the age where one finds hand made ceramics appealing. Oh, and soaps. And lotions and throw rugs made of possum. But I cannot get on board the trend for eating wallaby.

We had a light lunch at the lovely Brook Street Larder before boarding the Ferry to the revered and much divisive MONA art gallery. And yes, champagne was involved.

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My gal Barb.

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My mum, Mum.

MONA is something you must do if you visit Hobart. I had been warned that you will either love it, or loathe it. I found parts of it inspired and parts of it macabre. There is the famous wall of vulvas. After seeing more that a gynie would in  year, I got into the lift with two older ladies. We discussed it. One of them said that she felt that it would have been very uncomfortable to have your vulva moulded like that. I told her that it was quite uncomfortable.

They looked at me and I told them that I was number 51.

And then the MONA lift lady ruined my print by telling them that they were all sculpted, not moulded. THE JIG WAS UP PEOPLE!

We finished our visit with another champagne while sitting on a huge lawn in bean bags, while chickens scratched around us, listening to wonderful live music. And I can and on my heart claim right then and there, I was 100% happy.

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Thank you Tasmania. You were more than a gal could have hoped for.

Where is your happy place?
Have you been there recently?