5 things – Monday 31 August 2020

Good morning…and it’s a pretty fabulous morning out there. Just check out these views from the tail end of my walk this morning. This is exactly how Monday should look. Sure, I know I had to get up before 5 and I’m about to log into the day job for the rest of the day, but no matter what else the day brings, I’m grateful this is how it began. And that’s worth getting up for.

Okay, early morning philosophy done, let’s get onto this weeks five.

1.Breakfast perfection

2. These memes

Thanks to my bloggy friend Leanne from Cresting The Hill for the first of these.

3. This whale

I had Tuesday off last week and took myself off on a whale watching trip out of Mooloolaba.

The day was clear and cold, but perfect. As was the whaley encounter. No acrobatics, but this whale hung around us for quite some time and, when he saw another two whales ahead, began doing the fin out of the water rolling around thing that they do. It’s a communication thing and they did all meet up. Before that happened though, this whale surfaced beside us a number of times and went under the boat a few times as well. It meant that we were out there for longer than the skipper had planned as he needed to be sure that the whale was a decent distance from the boat before the engines were fired up again.

Seeing these amazing animals always makes me feel small – in a really good way. They are awe-inspiring and I love how each encounter is different and leaves me knowing something new about them and their migration. It’s such a privilege.

It’s also great seeing Mooloolaba from a different angle – the houses on the canals, the end of the rock wall where we walk to each morning.

It’s now almost 4 years since the day that I stood for 2 ½ hours on the M2 bus home from work in the city and walked in the front door and said to Grant, ‘Okay, you’re right, it is time, let’s make the move.’ And even though I’m feeling separated from family at the moment and missing being able to see my parents, I’m still grateful for that every single day.

4. Date Lunches

Sarah is house-sitting at the moment and our house feels so empty without her. While I know that it has to happen at some point, I’m dreading the day when she moves out properly.

Anyways, it did give us the opportunity to try somewhere new for lunch – Flame Hill Vineyard just out of Montville in the Hinterland.

I had Mackerel served with a salad of radishes, mustard greens, yellow beets, green zebra tomato and snow peas – all grown in their garden. Grant went for a mini cheese platter.

Good food, good wine, and good conversation.

5. In the Kitchen

Not a massive amount of activity this week.

I made a vanilla slab cake for Sarah and Grant to take into work – another one from the Edd Kimber book. I’m not normally one for icing cakes – it always seems like too much of a palaver for me. I’m more of the dust it with citing sugar and send it on its way type of cook. I did however adorn this one with a Swiss meringue buttercream icing – which is as decadent as it sound. It’s also a pain to make, but now I know how its done – a sugar thermometer is required for flips sake – I’ll tick that particular baking box and move on.

I also made a retro sausage curry during the week and this beef stroganoff for Saturday Kitchen Destination Easter Europe. We were going to have potato blinis with smoked salmon and creme fraiche as a starter but Grant made some potato scones instead – which we had with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and capers. More Scottish than Eastern European, but very yummy.

If you’ve read Wish You Were Here you might have come across these, but if not, the recipe (and a bit about them) is here. Oh, and they were just as yummy on Sunday morning with bacon.

In case you missed it..

  • Something about Blenheim Palace
  • I’m in the process of transferring across travel blogs from my author site, so bear with me as we revisit our 2018 road trip through France. This week we were in Champagne.
  • On Cookbook Corner, something about Nigella’s Express

Okay, so that was my week… how was yours? Hit me with your highlights.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

33 thoughts

  1. You’ve had such a busy week Jo. I love reading about all your activities and dreaming of when we can move around again. Your whale photos made me think of our girls weekend at the Gold Coast when we went whale watching. It was fantastic.

  2. Another busy but enjoyable week for you Jo. Do you know we went to Alaska to see whales and really only saw a tail! I could have stayed in our own backyard! Looks like the weather was perfect and the whales were putting on a show. You inspired me this week and I made a slow cooked lamb with chick peas, carrots, spinach and wild rice. OOh I’m starting to sound like Nigella! xx

  3. Jo I think you do more in a week than I do in a month (year???) Always good to see what you’ve been up to – and could I say that after standing (or sitting) in a bus for 2.5hrs regularly, I’d want to move too. I think you made the perfect choice and it’s certainly a lovely place to wake up in every day.
    PS thanks for sharing my quote – I always wonder if other people enjoy them as much as I do – so it’s nice to see that it was xxx

  4. The whale watching trip seems amazing. I went whale watching back in 2013 in Port Stephens and loved it. We got lucky with two humpbacks close to the boat for a while. You’re right about how awe-inspiring it is! Lovely to read about your week and giggle at the memes while also loving your sunrise photos. Hope you have a fab week ahead!

  5. That whale action is a highlight for me Jo, I’ve never seen one! Your week shows such a good way of tackling life, like head on! You really do inspire me and I’ve joined a group walking at 6.30 most mornings and feel rejuvenated at having my exercise done before 8am!! Am enjoying Baby it’s You at the moment and can hear your voice in it – how hard can it be?? Thanks for the smiles and help this week. #lifethisweek

  6. I just love whale watching – you got some great pics there. That photo with the sun behind the buildings almost doesn’t look real – great work!

  7. I remember going whale watching in primary school on a camp, but I haven’t been since! We did book in a few years ago but it was the end of the season so our trip got cancelled as the migration had passed.

  8. Jo, I’d love to go on that whale watching tour and that lunch place with you. Your photos are gorgeous. Last time i went on a whale watching tour was almost a year ago and saw a few magnificent whales on the West coast of Canada.

  9. You are always a bright part of my Instagram feed, Jo. Thank you for sharing the beauty. Great memes. A great deal of wisdom in few words. Amazing photos of the whale watching. And, yes, a move is always scary, yet your future self thanks you for this. A great post!

  10. Those whale pics are epic! What a wonderful experience and as usual everything looks delicious! Let’s face it, a boiled egg with soldiers is hard to beat!

  11. Hi Jo, what a lovely week you had! It’s good inspiration for me to make some improvements to my own weeks. Love the whale watching trip (doesn’t everyone?!), and the cooking (something I’m not doing at the moment due to trying to fix some small health problems). Hope this week is as good as the last one for you!

  12. It’s a whole new level of human experiences to see a whale in its ocean. I have too, and it was amazing. Those potato scones Grant made look wonderful and I could eat them. Nearly 4 years since that fateful bus trip hey. Unreal. Time passes by pretty darned fast.

    Thank you for linking up this week for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is 36/51 Taking Stock #4 7.9.2020 and I hope to see you there too. Take care, stay safe and well. Denyse.

  13. Gorgeous photos and I love that whale encounter. I’ve only seen one from a distance. I’m dreading my daughter leaving home also although she is looking forward to being out on her own. She has house sat for her sister a few times and our house was so quiet.

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