On the whole not a bad week. My calf muscle has improved enough that last week I was able to do half my normal morning walk and this morning I did the whole thing without any nasty twinges. I’m back, baby!
As for the rest of the week, here’s what caught my attention.
Normally there are not many mornings go by in late September/early October where we don’t see that telltale plume of a whale “blowing” off-shore – they come in closer to shore on their way back down south than they do on the northern migration. It’s almost like a reward for getting up early.
This year though we haven’t seen any – until last Monday. Not only were there three groups of two or three whales but each were doing whaley things to get the attention of the others – and we got to see the show from the shore. Just fabulous.
2. Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef
Over the past week I’ve seen a few stories come up on Instagram about conservation group Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and the census they’re carrying out on the reef.
Believe it or not, a full census has never been done on the reef before – it’s estimated that to do so would require a billion-dollar research fleet – so this is a world first. By recruiting a flotilla of tourist boats, fishing vessels and superyachts to complete the census it’s also taking the idea of a sharing economy to the next level.
The vessels and their citizen scientists will survey up to 150 ecologically significant reefs over the next 10 weeks – from the tip of Queensland down to Lady Elliot Island.
If you want to read more about it, the story is here.
While on the subject of the reef, I loved this pic by @passionsofparadise, the tourist boat that Sarah and I went out on when we were in Cairns a few months ago. It shows the regeneration of coral which had been bleached in March.
The crew of Passions had also been involved earlier this year in a coral “planting” exercise, but that’s a subject that’s for a different time… If you’re interested though, this article is a great start.
3. Bits and pieces
It was great to get out for a stroll again during my lunch break last week. While we don’t have a spring as such, I’m loving the new growth and the blossoms on the native plants.
Also spied was this mural on the side of a building in Maroochydore…
…and this fabulous overhead pic of the end of the rock wall at Mooloolaba. This is where we walk to each morning and it’s really cool to see it from above.
There was also this story about daylight saving in Australia and why it’s all so confusing.
4. Watching, reading and writing
My binge fest of The West Wing has continued. I’ve now completed the 2nd series and was reminded just how powerful the final episode was – and how perfect the choice of Dire Straits’ “Brothers In Arms” was. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour. I reckon this is my 4th viewing and it’s no less powerful for that.
I picked this book up at the op shop and read it last week. I loved it from day one and found out yesterday that the BBC have made it into a mini-series and now I can’t wait for that. Aside from being a great story, the writing is beautiful.
On the writing front, Escape To Curlew Cottage is off with the copy editor and I got the first look at a possible cover concept. Because this is a new series set in The Cotswolds, I’ll be going for a completely different cover look – more in line with similar titles in the British market. Watch this space.
The final instalment (for now) in my chick lit series, It’s In The Stars, is well underway. I’ve hit the half way point (word count wise) and it’s looking very different to how I envisaged – although there’s nothing new there. I’m still aiming to have this draft done by the end of the month as I’m starting something completely new in November.
5. In the kitchen
I made a batch of this ginger slice for Grant and Sarah to take into the office. I featured it in Wish You Were Here and it’s a Kiwi classic.
Saturday night was Destination Italy. On the menu was fried zucchini with a cheese dipping sauce and home-made pasta with crab, lemon and chilli. They mightn’t look much in the pic below but the zucchini was next-level good. We tossed the leftover cheesy sauce with the leftover pasta and some bacon and mushroom for Sunday night supper.
As for my recipe for the week? Last week I made friends with salad – it is, after all, that time of the year and I’ve run out of soup in the freezer. This salad made a perfect weekend lunch – Smoked Salmon and avocado with a drizzle of lemony yoghurt. Yum. You can find it here.