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As someone who grew up constantly reading and re-reading Jane Austen, I’ve got a deep affinity for that idyllic English-village look. I was constantly charmed by these little cottages with their luxuriant little gardens. I’ve since discovered that some of them would not stand a chance against a moderately sturdy toy-kit hammer and that the plumbing leaves a lot to be wished for – but still, don’t they look lovely?

The photos were taken mostly in Hobart, which – granted – is not a hub of nightlife (Monday night, 11 pm: “What do you mean, you’re all closing? Isn’t there anywhere else to go?”. Turned out there was. One place only. It closed an hour later.), but definitely a very charming spot to come back to and settle down after you’ve sown your wild oats.

In any case, this post is largely a pastoral pean praising all things old-fashioned. Prepared to have your brain cutified out by all these tiny houses and flowers!

House, fence and garden...

A view on the landscape in an English-style village

The gardens in Port Arthur. My battery died on me immediately after we got there, so this is almost my only photo from there – would you believe the bad luck? In any case, take my word: Port Arthur is much prettier, bigger and more interesting that it seems when you read about it. Well worth a trip!

House, fence and... a kind of garden (English-style minimalism?)

Oh, look – another house, fence and garden! This is getting a bit obsessive, isn't it?

Yes, I also enjoy taking photos of plants. This one came out quite well, didn't it? I'm quite proud (of my IPhoto programme...)

Come on, I DARE you to say it's not pretty. Even if it is owned by real estate agents.

A tiny garden full of lavender: the fragrance!

There's a fair bit of going up and down in Hobart. Keeps one fit and burns the calories to leave space for all this local beer and whisky.

Did you know it? I didn't!

Pretty even with a dried up stream – this is the art of cute par excellence.

On the way back: close encounters with the local wildlife

Taken the next day after the walk around Hobart. It was hot and I spent it wandering in search of a beach, which I missed because I took a side track that looked nicer that the road, but veered off to one side, so after a few hours I gave up and turned back (right, as I later discovered, before the actual beach). I ended up having a stealthy dip in a less than limpid bay under a bridge where the water was literally up to my thighs (still managed a total submersion – then had to run away as the level rose when the tide kicked in and threatened with drowning my clothes). I had wanted a swim – and swim I would have!

And by way of good-bye to Tasmania let us ponder what constitutes "an excuse" to the Hobart Airport authorities. Would it count if someone desperately needed to get off the roadside in order to have a wee?