I wish I could have spent more time here in Tasmania, I was hoping to see the Huon pine trees, one of the oldest living organisms on the planet, Huge trees that are thousands of years old before Christ was born. Tall sailing ships are in Hobart, from Mexico, Russia, and Indonesia, and crowds gathered down on the wharf to see them. Sailors and young women together, "new strains of the clap" as one man put it cynically.

Dave Lasky, a friend, told me that people don't talk about the shooting massacre in Port Arthur much these days, but everyone knows someone who was affected by the massacre. Someone who died or whose kid died just because they happened to be walking down the street that day or eating in that Cafe when the "unstable" loner with a high-powered rifle walked in and shot anyone who moved for some reason. There was no screaming for a lynching at his trial, people didn't feel anger they were just shocked! Now all guns have been handed in after a parent became active in the anti-gun lobby, and all old rifles, keepsakes, and heirlooms were taken/given in by their owners. I went to meet a mate Rob, a Vietnam veteran, whom I met at the Wheat-sheaf public bar 6 years before, he used to hunt and fish. Rob and Gary, the old Wheat-sheaf barman, plan to revisit Vietnam after 30 years when they were fighting there. I met Rob where he normally drinks now, at the Waratah hotel, he and Anthony, a friend he was painting for, reckoned some people had buried rifles and guns in their gardens, sealed and greased inside plumbing piping and screwed away at each end to protect them from the damp earth.

I visited Rob again later who had tried to make a banjo, and ukulele out of a Cuban cigar box and a guitar neck. But had the wrong gauge strings and couldn't find the tuning over the fretboard.