Tasmanian's Special Places
Scott loves Zelda and Zelda loves Scott. And together they adore their three children.
The Ariti family are not from around these parts, but the longer they stay the more they feel local.
For the all the hardship caused by the global health pandemic there have been stories of connection, reconnection, family, and opportunity.
"COVID-19 has made us honorary Tasmanians. What a wonderful gift," Mr Ariti said.
The Aritis are from the mainland; from across the now protective strait of water named after British naval surgeon and explorer George Bass. It's an often-turbulent sea-highway linking our state to the departure and arrival hub of Melbourne.
Victorians have found themselves cut-off. It is a dire situation with the capital city shut down again, this time for six weeks, and schools on forced holidays for at least another week.
The full extent of economic impacts will be monumental, sending a crystal-clear message that the challenges of COVID-19 are far from over.
Tasmanians have not been immune with the NorthWest outbreak making our state the second most infectious per capita after Victoria.
However, the Tasmanian Government was able raise the drawbridge and exploit the moat, creating natural separation and offering liquid distance as a vaccine.
The Aritis were fortunate, willingly locked in when the drawbridge was raised with Tasmania becoming their fortress for the past four months since mid-March.
Scott and Zelda and their children now also call Binalong Bay their "spiritual home away from home".
The jewel in the crown with the whitest of white calcareous sand contrasted against vast blue skies with streaks of cirrus and blobs of cotton-wool cumulus clouds.
Orange lichen on the plentiful granite structures borders the coastline.
"Looking out at the spectacular beach, framed by forest and mighty orange boulders, is our bliss," Mrs Ariti said.
The English naval officer and navigator, Captain Tobias Furneaux, named the area from Eddystone Point to Binalong Bay the Bay of Fires in 1773 after noticing local Aboriginal tribes using fire to manage the land.
As Elder, Patsy Cameron noted in her 2011 publication Grease and Ochre: "Furneaux was so impressed by the extent of the fires sweeping the northeast coastline, known to the clanspeople as larerpoonne, that he named the bight Bay of Fires."
Mr Ariti is privileged - he can work from his new home. An executive and sought-after corporate emcee and raconteur, his golden tonsils and turn of phrase remain in high demand.
Nonetheless an enforced break with a less hectic lifestyle will "do him good".
Just 18-months ago they took the plunge and invested in the state's booming real estate market finding their diamond far away from the hustle and bustle of the "inner ring of suburbs and big city life".
Early on they decided they didn't want to be Airbnb; rather, they just wanted to be neighbours from across the way.
Like many locals including those in an honorary capacity, Scott and Zelda have fallen for Syrena, the late Aleks Szolomiak's Welcome and Farewell to Binalong Bay sculpture who acknowledges residents and shack lovers as they return home whilst also stirring the opinions of visitors every day.
The Christian name Syrena is of Polish origin meaning mermaid or siren. The sculpture portrays a triumphant bikini clad woman determined to take on the waves and the world.
Mr Ariti, the hirsute descendent of Greek and Irish migrants, spends his evenings devouring stories of our second Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin "with a moustache worth emulating" and the narrative horrors of Stephen King.
Mrs Ariti prepares lessons for the following day with the kids 'enjoying' "appropriately high standards" at the "School of Mum".
Scott and Zelda begin their day with a morning walk just before dawn through the reserve out the back.
They leave the kids snoozing and brave the cold and dark for the beauty of the Australian bush in winter.
"It's like a Frederick McCubbin painting up there until you get to the top of the hill nearest the bay and then it's a blaze of pure J.M. William Turner in the sunrise", Mr Ariti said.
The Aritis walk Humbug Point together hoping to spot a seal. The kids climb the granite to enjoy the expansive view.
During summer they hit the waves on paddle and body boards and play board games at the kitchen table on rainy days accompanied by priceless views and local cheese and wine.
They have made friends. From locals who generously care for the local tennis court through to their "incredibly kind neighbours" who have made them the "Southern Hemisphere's best wood fired pizzas", lent them warm clothes for a trip to Maria Island, and provided gardening advice to start an aptly named Happy Wanderer hedge.
Going home will be hard. But Scott loves Zelda and Zelda loves Scott. And together they will do what is best for their children.
"Why would anyone want to leave?", Mr Ariti rhetorically questioned a local colleague via text message.
"We don't," shot back an instant reply.
- Brian Wightman is a former Tasmanian Attorney-General and school principal