Introduction: is it go, or is it no?

October 2009
Let me start this journal with apologies to Nicholas Shakespeare for borrowing the title of his excellent book. For a quirky commentary on Tasmanian history and society, I can think of no better way to set the scene for the intending tourist than by reading this book, and hopefully I can gain some redemption by recommending it.

In Tasmania
by Nicholas Shakespeare
The Overlook Press
ISBN 1585677205
356 pages

Further reading:
A Tour of Old Tasmania
With Michael Tatlow, Charles Wooley and Peter Mercer
ISBN 9780980563733
Available from: Walk Guides Australia
with companion titles: A Walk in Old Hobart and A Walk in Old Launceston.

As the northern hemisphere summer draws to a close and the touring season winds down, here in the land of Oz spring has arrived with a vengeance. We experienced record high temperatures in the last weeks of winter, and have since been choked by a dust storm so massive it is clearly visible in satellite photos. The experts say an El Nino weather pattern is developing, and that means spring in Tasmania will be warm and dry after a drought-and-record breaking wet winter. It probably won't please the farmers, but it's just what I want for an early season tour...Well maybe not. Since I originally wrote this there have been several more episodes of severe dust storms. The winds that raise dust clouds in the north blow rain clouds, and even snow in the south, where I'm headed in just a week!

I've been planning this tour of Tasmania for the best part of a year, but as I've noted (not infrequently) in other journals, work commitments have introduced some doubt in the past few weeks, so I'm not keen to publish until I'm certain.

There are still some milestones I must achieve before I'm free to go. For the moment it's looking good, but I won't feel comfortable about this until I board my flight.