Ned and Lindsey are from the beautiful island state of Tasmania – their lives were however worlds apart until the day they met in Hobart where Ned just so happened to be Lindsey’s landlord. That in itself is another story but it seems you can meet the love of your life in the strangest place.
Anyways, back to the worlds apart thing – Ned grew up in the city whereas Lindsey lived her childhood years on her family’s dairy farm on the north western corner of the island in a small town called Marrawah. It’s not so much a town, more of a community really. I saw a small country pub (which is a quintessentially Australian thing), a few roads and that was about it. The nearest supermarket or petrol station is in Smithton, about 50km to the NE, that’s an idea of how remote Marrawah is. At one point during our time there, Kristen and I went to the beach at Arthur River which is about 20km south of Marrawah and also known as The Edge of the World. We saw huge amounts of driftwood washed up (and we’re talking giant tree trunks here, not just branches) and we assumed it was from Tasmania’s forestry program. We were then told that it was actually all the way from South America. I couldn’t believe it but when I looked at the map, there was literally nothing but ocean between Arthur River and the eastern coast of southern Argentina. That’s apparently how the Dutch became the first Europeans to make it to this country back in the 1600s – once you get past the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, you just need to follow the winds and the currents.
The remoteness of a place like Marrawah seems so challenging to me – simple thing become difficult all of a sudden. But to exist and experience a place like Marrawah clears one’s head – and of course, one’s lungs too. Locals don’t say they have the cleanest air in the world for nothing.
I had been keeping in touch with Lindsey and Ned and when we spoke on Skype a month or so prior to their wedding, we spent about 10 minutes talking about the cake that Ned wanted. Like me, Ned is a proper nerd – he’s obsessive about the things that he loves. And besides Lindsey, what Ned loves is being a geologist. He loves rocks, I mean he REALLY loves rocks and he said that his dream was to have the most amazing volcano wedding cake. I immediately googled “volcano cake” and there are some great ones out there but for Ned, scientific accuracy was paramount so his cake really had to be perfectly layered to represent the reality of the earth’s underbelly. He told us that his mum and sister were on the job – and at the wedding, did they deliver. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and listening to Ned talk for 5 minutes about the different layers of the cake and what they were made out of (both in terms of cake ingredients and geological terms) was an experience to behold.
Anyways, let’s step back a few hours. Here we were, gathered at the top of this hill at the edge of Lindsey’s family property overlooking the ocean. A dead tree trunk draped with colourful paper streamers decorated the peak and we walked 15 minutes from where the buses had dropped us off. The wind cut through our clothing and the clouds made the temperature almost unbearably cold but our excitement and happiness was keeping us warm. Lindsey arrived in her uncle’s 4WD, probably the only vehicle capable of getting anywhere near where the wedding was and Ned stood atop this hill and looked down at his beautiful bride approaching, a smile beaming across his face. And then, they were married.