Back in the day when Hobart had just the one astroturf, the coach of my U17 hockey team decreed that trainings would be twice a week at 6:00 in the morning during the Tasmanian winter, presumably to prepare us for the humid 30 degree conditions we would be experiencing at the tournament in Darwin. My mother helpfully suggested that the extra exercise gained from making my own way there would be an added bonus to my fitness level.
This meant at approximately ten past 5, I would drag myself out of bed, grab my hockey stick (I slept in my shorts and t-shirt for that glorious extra minute’s sleep) and head off down the hill from Mount Stuart in the middle of winter. Anyone who has experienced Hobart at ten past five in the middle of winter will probably concur that it can be quite bleak, but if there’s no wind and it’s not raining, it’s actually quite a nice time to go for a run as you’ve definitely got the place all to yourself.
The jerry fog is a thick blanket of brutally cold cotton wool that rolls down the Derwent on winter mornings and sometimes it spreads over the whole city. One morning with sunrise still a vague notion, snow on the mountain and the air as still as if even time had frozen, I was jogging down Elphinstone road with my body being slowly swallowed from the feet up as I descended into the jerry and I clearly remember thinking “this is pretty great”. You probably had to be there. And be 16.
Anyway, mum was kind enough to pick me up after training and drive me to school, where as usual I fell asleep during maths at 11 o’clock and dreamt of climbing a beanstalk out of the fog instead of learning about algebra, just going to prove that what you learned during algebra class can be useful after high school.