We've come to Norfolk to celebrate New Years Eve. And, as is to be expected for this time of the year, the Island's village and homes have decked the halls with a glow of lights and glitter, but it's as if Mother Nature herself too is celebrating the season, with her own decorations of spangle. The majestic pines that grace the island are draped in whispers of pale green ‘tinsel’ that flutters in the breeze. Lichen, or as I like to call it Poppy's Beard, coats the trees like an ethereal thread. In some areas it has even draped itself across the timber fences. We take a walk through the Botanical Gardens and find gems of fungi lacing the forest floor and stepping along trunks and branches. The enormous Figs lining the road near the Norfolk Blue Farm, glow in a peppering of moss and across the road in the Hundred Acre reserve, the glades are a carpet of soft wispy grass that feels like feathers.
I contemplate the description La Perouse gave to Norfolk Island when he first saw it in 1788 - “only fit for Angels and Eagles" - as Flower places my coffee and ‘Norfolk Blue Beef’ kabab in front of me. Flower definitely fits the description of an Angel with her tinkling laugh, striking white hair (albeit spiked) and sweet friendly nature. We’ve been on Norfolk Island for three days now and I’m finding we are surrounded by some of the sweetest, friendliest, if not the happiest people I’ve ever met. And they certainly live up to the possibility of being eagles when we see how versatile, hardy and dare I say, brave when we learn more about the life and culture of Norfolk and her people. Just watching how a boat is put into (and out of) the swell at the pier is an event in itself and then I’m told that because the pier – be it Kingston or Cascade – cannot take container ships, all their goods and chattels that are shipped to the island, including cars and busses, are transferred from the cargo ships to lighters at sea, then to the pier, using only ropes and pulleys and sheer manpower (along with a ute or two).
These posts originally appeared on Kerry Tolson's blog - Tuk-tuks, chicken bouquets and bicycle bells back in January 2015.
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book.