Mondays are for adventures.

Summer has finally arrived and the desire to do all things outdoorsy has only increased.  That and there has been some rather fun bands playing recently.

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To the beach!

Thursday night saw the return of a rather sizable Rum Club.  To those of you who don’t know Rum Club is the informal name for the group of us who meet in Moonshine (the rum and cider bar at the top of Hotel Steyne in Manly).  However the beginning of the night was spent at mine where I hosted a select group people for dinner and drinks before we headed into Manly.  We had lentil stew and sweet potato mash, a some what made up creation of my own.  I’ve included my ingredient list below – although I’m not sure even I could recreate it!

 

Back to Moonshine.  Moonshine is a really cool bar which has live music every Thursday and Sunday.  The bands they get in are usually pretty good and if you head up there you can be guaranteed a good night of entertainment.  And if all else fails they have a really nice balcony which you can see the ocean from.  This Thursday, a little known Australian band called Winterbourne were playing.  Now I’ve been a fan since I first saw them at Moonshine about a year ago but they are slowly getting bigger, they supported James Bay earlier this year and they’ve just got back from touring with the Rubens.  And my mother approves of them, what other persuasion do you need to give them a listen?  They are also lovely guys who don’t mind having a chat with fans which is always nice.

 

The weekend brought work and frustration with terrible weather.  I honestly have no idea how I did anything ever in England.  Out of boredom I did make the Merrymakers Low-Fructose Caramel Slice which is divine! Although a lot sweeter than I thought it would be, maybe I added too much rice malt syrup.  You can find the recipe here.

 

Waking up on Monday morning to the sun streaming through my bedroom blinds was the best feeling ever.  Chucking on my runners I went for a jog before work, most out of character behaviour, as my family would tell you.  I made it down to the water front and headed along the path for the Manly to Spit Walk.  I didn’t make it very far but I did chase some waterfalls.

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Don’t go chasing waterfalls

That evening Jessie and a few of us had planned to go yachting but that fell through.  Despite this Jessie and I decided Mondays are for adventures.  So we scaled Queencliff headland and clambered our way round to Freshwater beach from Manly.  On our way we discovered what is locally known as Queensy Wormhole.  The wormhole is so cool.  I’ve not been in anything that resembles a cave for about 3 years so the novelty of the acoustics and being entirely surrounded by rock which has outlived many man made creations was really quite exciting.  Naturally the only thing to do in this situation was dance our way through the tunnel.  Freshwater beach is the next one over from Manly, obviously, but its shorter and is more of a family beach than Manly.  That and the surf is generally better than at Manly.  Their surf club is also so cute.  It has this epic clock tower and looks more like a church than a surf club.  But most importantly, it’s an excellent swimming location.

Tuesday only brought more adventures as my friend, Steph, needs to practice her kayaking before she takes a group out as an instructor.  So she took Jessie and I as guinea pigs, and with free kayak hire we weren’t complaining.  We set off from Manly Kayak Centre and paddled round the cove to Little Manly Cove were we headed straight for Store beach.  Store beach is an epic place to get to because you can only get there by water.  It’s one of Sydney’s worst kept secrets though.  But due to it’s difficult to reach nature it is usually empty.  However, there was a romantic picnic set up on Store beach.  We decided we weren’t the kind of company the lovers had planned, so we paddled on to Collins Flats.  Collins flats gets really shallow as you get close.  Just a heads up, I’ve nearly got stuck there when I’ve been sailing before now! Our paddle and snack stop was full of laughs, jokes and, of course some serious discussion of all future plans.

I’ve been so happy these past few days and I’m giving all the credit to the company I’ve been keeping, the weather and the activities I’ve been doing.  It’s been a long time coming but I’ve realised I’m happiest when I’m outdoors doing activities with people I get on with.  Ending my days with sandy salty hair, sunburnt cheeks and a whacking great smile across my face, it’s the way life should be.  With all the fun I’ve been having I’ve only had time for good thoughts and, as Roald Dahl once said, “…if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” I feel lovely.

Lentils Stew Ingredients List

–          1 onion

–          Chili flakes

–          2 garlic cloves, minced

–          ½ a red pepper

–          1 carrot, diced

–          Can of lentils

–          Chicken stock (you could use vegetable if you wanted)

–          1 tin of chopped tomatoes

–          Sweated the veggies and then whacked in everything else and simmered until everything was soft and my guests arrived.  Simple, delicious and nutritious.

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