Stormboy and I arrived in Launceston, Tasmania, after a true red-eye from Perth. We hadn't slept at all on Sunday night; well I think he may have slept between three and five before Melbourne - but I know I didn't. At Tullamarine airport I gathered our luggage in a circle around us, set up the laptop on a stainless steel bench, read my paper out loud to my son, accepted his critique and revised my powerpoints. He checked his face book. All around us people were looking at their screens. I pointed out the orthodox Jews lining up for Los Angeles, the Somalian families heading for Adelaide, the Maori man in his sharp suit and white shoes in the London queue. A whitebread Albany boy is Stormboy and his eyes were widened that night.
We staggered into the backpackers in Launceston and learned that we couldn't check in before two in the afternoon. This was the point where I pulled the overtired parent role - pointing out that my child hadn't slept for days and all we needed was two beds and some doonas. Like. Now. The Arthouse Backpacker staff are super cool and make up their own rules and we got a bed within minutes.
We found the supermarket after a beannied adventure and trudged to the backpackers through howling rain and other rhetoric, carrying bags full of food and shampoo. "This reminds me of Dunedin," Stormboy grumbled. He was close to fainting from lack of sleep. Only the thought of climbing through the abandoned gasworks building kept him awake. "Walking through a strange, cold town, carrying food and having no home because my Mum's got a university agenda. Dunedin.Tasmania. Yay. Go Mum."