Summer 2017

04 January 2018

Hello again! It's nice to be back, I hope you had a relaxing summer break. On Monday I head back to work after three weeks off. It's been so good. We stayed in Canberra and our days were filled with summery things - books, movies, and plenty of delicious food. We had a handful of really hot days, but most mornings and nights have been lovely and cool. Here are a few photos, beginning on Christmas Day, which started with presents, panettone, mangoes and coffee:

I was chuffed to unwrap so many thoughtful gifts, especially two new cookbooks to inspire slow summer meals. I actually claimed all of the Christmas cooking this year, which is manageable if it's just for two. I baked sourdough for a lunchtime picnic by the lake and for dinner, I made jerk chicken that cooks sitting atop a half-empty beer can (nerve-wracking!), corn cobs with lime mayo, a peach and fennel salad, and my mother-in-law's cheesecake for dessert.

Because we were home for Christmas, we called our families and FaceTimed our niece and nephew before settling in with a bunch of DVDs - Le Week-End was especially good. We saw a few movies at the cinema too, and my favourite was easily Call Me By Your Name. Watch it on the big screen if you can, it's mesmerising.

It always takes me a good week to settle into holiday mode and somewhere between Christmas and New Years, I stopped waking up at six and thinking about errands and lay around reading instead.

I finished A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work in two days, and highly recommend it to any Helen Garner fan. Each chapter is dedicated to a book and period of her life, and draws from letters and journals from the time, as well as interviews with friends, publishers and Helen herself. I immediately followed it up with The Feel of Steel, and am listening to True Stories as an audiobook. It's especially enjoyable because Helen reads it!

I also read... a finance book. This one to be exact. It's a little cheesy in parts but it's straightforward and practical. I've been fudging it this far! Here's a cheat's guide from Monique Bowley.

Peak happiness hit when I could ride to the shops and buy a Calypso mango and a punnet of raspberries for five dollars. Being at home meant I could cook anytime I liked. Swedish crepes were a highlight, I'm planning to make them for my sister's family who are moving to Canberra in a few short weeks (!!!!). I reckon my niece and nephew will love filling them and rolling them up. Nutella and strawberry was my favourite combination :) I made currant buns from the same book, and we ate them warm for afternoon tea.

On New Year's Day, we took a homemade pizza and a bottle of wine down to the foreshore. Looking back on 2017, I'm reminded of the fact that we helped made marriage equality law, and that people finally started saying 'We believe the women'.

2018 is already looking different. I am so excited about living in the same city as my sister, brother-in-law and their two kids. I'm making spaghetti bolognese to help them get through the first busy week and will take over some local ice cream too. And when I get back to work, I'll be trying out a nine-day fortnight. I feel like a long weekend every other week will make way for more creativity and life :)

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