Monday 24 January 2011

What the Dickens?

Now I'm in Tasmania, just an hour's flight from Melbourne, and it's warm and dry and sunny, and I'm in the country staying tonight at Quamby Estate in relaxed and historic luxury.

Quamby, though. Doesn't it sound like a Dickens character? Mr Quamby, perhaps: an elderly gent with a crooked eye and a dodgy past. Or Quamby the groom with bandy legs and a heart of gold. But it's an Aboriginal word meaning a place to camp and rest.

Anyway, it's lovely here, pushing 200 years old, white-painted brick with shady verandas, a walled rose garden, surrounded by huge old oaks and elms, and lawns rolling away towards the surrounding fields. And all the rooms are different, some with sloping ceilings or stand-alone baths or french doors, and all inviting. Mine has sunshine and a view of the rose garden. Nice. I don't mind that it was built by convicts.

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