Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chit-chat Wednesday Oatlands My Home Town!


Thanks for popping in. I thought you might be interested in my photo of the historic town of Oatlands in Tasmania. I spent a lot of my childhood here when we weren't in the tropics of Papua New Guinea.

My parents still live in Oatlands (population 500) and I visit as often as I can as I love it. The Callington Mill which you can see in the photograph was built in 1837. I spent many happy hours as a child playing there, making up stories. It’s where my notorious 'Perfume Club' was formed.

Oatlands is a very pretty town and has the largest collection of Georgian-style convict-built buildings in Australia. For some reason it's not as popular with tourists as Ross or Campbell Town but I love its character.

Oatlands was once home to one of Tasmania's most feared hangmen, ex-convict Solomon Blay. He was so dreaded that nobody would give him a lift to Hobart and so he had to walk there to carry out his gruesome, thankless job.

To me Oatlands will always be home. It's where the first convict Pennicott (Adam) made his home. Hopefully I'll get to revisit Oatlands soon in the near future as I'm often homesick for Tasmania.
The Scribe often laughs that my family have lived in most of the houses in the town and we have lived in quite a few. My favourites were a couple of tiny stone cottages.

My love of stone houses (we live in a brick house in Sydney), dry stone walls, history and cold, cold weather comes from Oatlands. And yet part of my childhood was in the steamy tropics of Papua New Guinea! I truly had the best of both worlds.

I've been working on a short story that I was invited to submit for a magazine. I'd been uncertain about whether I would have time to write it but luckily I did have a dream that is suitable for the subject content and so I've used my dream as the basis of the story.

And I'm also beginning the process of editing and redrafting Poets Cottage. Never one of my favourite tasks as I like to just create new stories rather than return and polish but polish I must!

I also had another dream last night where I really, really, really wanted to write some more fantasy. I woke up longing to do some imaginative writing and so hopefully in the future I'll make time for that !

If you're flying on a Qantas plane this month, check out the Scribe's interview with Peter FitzSimons. He did a lovely job with the article and I was most envious that he got to interview Peter at his gorgeous home that I've lusted after for years via magazines.

Gosh, I really long to move over the harbour. Must do some more culling of my office at the moment. I'm in the process of clearing and culling papers; an awesome task! Two writers living together collect an unbelievable amount of paper!

And I have forgotten to mention that I am actually teaching myself to crochet! Yes! It's true! I have worked out how to do a chain stitch and slowly figuring out how to do a Granny Square! I can't actually believe I'm as excited as I am about Granny Squares but it's good to keep stretching yourself into other areas of life.

Crochet and Granny Squaring are all the influence of Pip from Meet Me At Mikes! who tends to somehow get you to embrace your inner Nanna. I had never realised until Blogging how many crafty, talented people there are out there.

Enjoy your week. Stay chirpy and be creative, creative, creative! xx


  1. Oh my, I am just about to head off to Tassie next month and Oatlands is on out itinerary. Thanks for blogging about this place.

  2. You will love it! Call into Winton Cottage which has some lovely French provincial type wares. They have been featured in quite a lot of interior design media. There is also a more old ladies type op shop (my favourite kind) near Callington Mill as well. Tasmania is all very beautiful but Oatlands is like the lovely heart of the island.
    And if you're looking for a lovely coastal town then Stanley is my personal favourite. I did a lot of research there for my current book in progress. x

  3. Hi Josephine

    I have just returned from my holiday and want to say thanks for all of your great comments on my blog. I am pleased that you liked my posts.

    I love your blog; you say you are not so good technically but your blog has a great atmosphere. You have captured the feel for nostalgia and the arts brilliantly.

    I enjoyed reading your posts about the history of your home town and about the many convict buildings - this information I find very interesting. Your 'Perfume Club' too what a cool name for a 'gang'!

    Again thanks for tagging my blog and I look forward to reading more of yours. :)

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment...
    You have a lovely bloggie here- and so interesting! Living down under has always intrigued me- we loved Australia and New Zealand when we visited there right after the Olympics but never got to see Tasmania unfortunately...
    I hope to be by again soon!
    We are in the midst of moving and time is preoccupied with many boxes and a new house!

  5. I adore the look of Stanley, I want to see Penguin too so we will take a long day trip along the coast. Thanks for all this info.xx

  6. Oh, I stayed in Oatlands last year, it is beautiful! xx

  7. hello my name is aroha pennicott from invercargill new zealand and i am looking for
    help with my family tree my line is james pennicott from oatland and i am looking for en
    information to help with my searching please
    thank you

  8. Hi Josephine,
    While I didn't grown up in Oatlands,my mum did.
    She is a Penniott and I remember my Grandfather's house in Stanley street with the caves out the back.
    When I was little I longed to be able to play in there, but they where fenced off.

  9. I am also interested in the Pennicott family of Oatlands, Richard Pennicott who married Sarah Bennett. Dec 13, 2010


Thanks ever so for your comment! I love feedback! xx