The thing they never tell you about homeschooling is the absolute dearth of time you will have for yourself. How every time you pick up a book, or your laptop, you will be interrupted exactly 31 seconds after settling yourself in. Admittedly, I am living in a tiny space, which means there’s nowhere to hide except for cafes, which are expensive. And siren-like. So right now I am on the deck of an unopened cafe sucking down their wifi (with full permission, of course).
We are on the side of the river, waiting for the gods (council bureaucracy) to decide whether they will realign the boundaries of a property owned by our new friend Linda. Should they agree, we will have a hectare of our very own land in the Huon Valley within easy walking distance to the little town of Franklin. It does not have views of the river, but it does have a permanent creek, tree ferns and enormous swamp gum trees.
It’s also consumed by blackberries and thistles and numerous feral foreign trees, all of which I intend to ruthlessly obliterate via a combination of goat, chainsaw and earthmoving machinery. In my head, that plan gives me a feeling of great satisfaction. But meanwhile, as the council thinks its glacially paced thoughts, we wait – too scared to sail away in case there is an unexpected ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card and we are suddenly free and clear to proceed. There is nothing in me that requires an unnecessary crossing of the Strait.
But the uncertainty is infuriating. Travel is our thing. New places. Moving about. Checking the weather and planning passages. To sit here on the river is becoming increasingly tortuous. Despite the fact that all around us is postcard perfection. So we have discussed various possible modes of attack: housesitting, sailing around the west coast, WWOOFing, buying a van and going camping.
It’s the last option that has grabbed us. The prospect of roaming freely around the Tasmanian interior. The INTERIOR! As sailors, we only know the edges. It would not be too difficult to leave Bella Luna on a mooring, spend a few grand on a secondhand van, chuck a mattress, a tent, a stove and an esky in the back of it and set off. There would be no need to shape our plans around the wind (or lack of) and we would have to lascivious delight of being able to travel in whatever direction we chose. Intoxicating choices.
No land. No dog. No garden. No base. We are all so sick of saying, “If we get the block…” If we were in the city, there would be more places we could visit, but at the same time, it feels like we should be here, as the council wheels grind slowly.
At least we can visit the land, and help the owners with making paths and chainsawing. We can visit their caravan and make cups of tea, even in their absence. It’s pretty nice.