Echoes of Autumn
Walking quietly through a soft mist, in the late afternoon chill, the only sound I hear is the forlorn call of a single crow. With foliage now deepening into shade, and the sun, a rim of orange over darkening hills, I reach our gate then cross the threshold.
What a joy it is to breathe the scent of slow cooking over the last embers of a fire, to see red wine poured into gleaming crystal glasses, and a candlelit table set for two …
The Convict Walk
Leaving Port Arthur, Tasmania’s early penal colony settlement, and driving up the Midlands Highway, we stop at the historic town of Oatlands for coffee and a short walk. Even here we are surprised to find evidence of Tasmania’s convict past still haunting the population.
Admiring the authentic Georgian buildings along the main street, I notice a series of tiles. Each is the size of a brick face, set end on end, bordering the concrete footpath. A hundred, at least, stretch before us. On closer inspection each tile bears a three-line inscription. One catches my eye so I bend down to read:
Peter Brannon, age twelve
transported for life in 1834
stole a handkerchief
Poor little fellow! Like a cancer, these convicts were cut away from all ordinary society. Before we leave I place a flower on his memorial tile.