Friday Five: Beyond Eucumbene…


So anyways, we had a fabulous weekend in Eucumbene. It was cold enough that we got to wear proper winter jackets and beanies, but not uncomfortably so. It didn’t snow, but there was plenty higher up left over from the big dump of a couple of weeks ago. Most important, the weather was clear and blue.


I call it camping, but its not- not really. Seven of us sleep in four small curtained bedrooms, doubling up on the beds- it’s cozy. My brother sleeps outside in his swag- only party because of the space constraints- braving the brumbies, kangaroos and other creatures of the night (insert wicked laugh).


Each family is responsible for one days cooking- lunch and dinner- with breakfast being own care. Aside from breakfast, all food has to be prepared and cooked outdoors- that’s the rule. It’s also, if we’re being honest, the main reason we go. The kids might think it’s for a play in the snow and a little off-roading in our SUVs, but we don’t spend much time doing that. Most of the rest of the time the younger ones amuse themselves indoors playing games, watching DVDs, and trying to convince the older ones to take them for walks to look for snow or kangaroos.


For the adults, we come to cook, eat and drink together. It’s all about the challenge of building a fire and cooking on it. There’s the teeniest amount of competition associated so we plan and prepare for weeks. Besides, if dinner is a flop, you’d better have a back-up plan: Jindabyne is about a 30 minute drive away.

So, what did we cook? I’ve already told you about the jaffles, but also on the menu last weekend was a fabulous stuffed pumpkin (I’ll tell you more about that on Monday); a super spicy Indonesian beef curry (possibly the dish of the weekend); a butter chicken; and a butterscotch self saucing pudding that ended up being more of a butterscotch sponge (#fail).

Anyways, enough of that for now, onto the five…

What I’m proud of…


Just how dirty my car is. It’s not just needs a wash dirty, but respectfully dirty. The sort of caked on mud dirty that would have other SUVs nodding thoughtfully and saying stuff like, ‘Dude, you’ve had some fun!’


What made me laugh…


I’m reading Bill Bryson’s Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country and it’s laugh out loud on the bus at inappropriate moments funny. He had some hilarious things to say about John Howard and Canberra, but this passage- where he’s trying to explain cricket- had fellow commuters looking at me with concern:

Needless to say, very little was happening on the pitch…several of the players were examining the ground by the stumps, evidently looking for something. I couldn’t think what, but then one of the commentators noted that England had just lost a wicket, so I supposed it was that.

What I learnt…

It’s interesting reading a book about your country written by an outsider looking in. There’s so much they didn’t teach us at school that they should have- I was horrified reading some of what I probably should have known. This blog is, however, usually a political free zone so I won’t get on my soapbox right now. On a different, but no less serious (environmental) subject, was the story about Thomas Austin, a landowner in Winchelsea, Victoria who, in 1859, imported 24 wild rabbits from England and released them into the bush for what is euphemistically termed “sport.” They bred like, well, rabbits and by 1880 it was estimated that two million acres of Victoria had been picked clean. We all know how that story has developed over the years- all because some dude wanted to sit on his balcony and have a little “sport”…yes, the soapbox is in danger of coming out again.

What I’m struggling with…

Routine. I’ve started a new job. It’s in the city and my routines are all out of whack. To catch a bus into the city, I leave home at 6.30am and I’m generally (if I catch the right bus) in the front door at 7pm. That means that my morning exercise won’t happen unless I’m at the door of the gym at 5am. Yes, that means an alarm at even more stupid o’clock just to manage a 45minute workout. I’m still getting long walks in over the weekend, but it’s not enough.

Given that it’s 101 days until I do Milford Track, a new normal is required, so from next week, it will look a little like this:

Monday am: gym- strength & core

Tuesday pm: walk home from bus interchange- it takes an hour and there are hills…

Wednesday am: gym- strength & core

Thursday pm: walk home from interchange

Friday: long walk

Saturday: rest day

Sunday: long walk

What inspired me…

I’ve been binge listening to Mel Kettle’s new podcast A Great Recipe For Life. Her guests are from different and very varied fields and the tone is really conversational. Anyways, one line from the episode with Warwick Merry made me grab my pen immediately. Mel asked how he’d like to be remembered, or was it what made him tick? The details don’t matter, but his reply does: inspire, influence, energise and treat everything as an opportunity to have fun. Even a trip to the supermarket. I like that.

How was your week? Did anything or anybody inspire you?



Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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