Okay, so it was a massive week all round. The day job was busy (it’s getting to that time of the year) and also last week I resigned from my voluntary position as president of the RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) – something I’d thought long and hard about. It had unfortunately become a case whereby I could just about juggle the day job, writing and family commitments, but this year had spread myself too thin taking on the additional voluntary role – which meant that I didn’t feel I was doing any of the other parts properly. Anyways, the decision has now been made and communicated to members and I’ll be transitioning across to the new president during January.
Okay, let’s get on with the wrap-up.
I made it – 50,000 words in November. I think I have a title, I think I have an ending and by the end of this month I’ll have a credible first draft.
2. Hervey Bay
Sarah and I headed up the coast on Friday for the weekend. We need to find some rental accommodation for her to move into early next month. Unfortunately, it’s not as straight forward as we might have hoped – the rental market is very tight and while we have some applications in, we haven’t yet secured a property.
I have to say though, the more I see of this town the more I understand the attraction of it. The colour of the water needs to be seen to be believed and there’s a real laid-back coastal vibe with some good places to eat too. I’m looking forward to spending more time here – especially during whale watching season.
On Friday night we wandered down to the seafront for Food and Groove Friday. A free community event, Food and Groove is essentially a heap of food trucks, a stage with live music, and plenty of space for picnicking and for kids to run around. And it’s right on the water. They were also lighting the community Christmas tree so there were heaps of people down there. Good food and a great vibe.
The owners of the Airbnb we stayed in have a food truck – Bay Tacos – so it was that one that we chose to eat from and I have to say, they were very very good tacos. They serve them with the consomme, or juices, that comes from the slow cooking of the brisket. The idea is to drink this or dunk the tacos in it – we did both.
If ever you’re in Hervey Bay (who knows, you could be) Tropical Bay House was a fabulous place to stay. Stylish, comfortable, quiet, and a 10-minute walk to both the pier and the marina so super handy.
There was a gorgeous little reading nook in the flat, but I enjoyed taking my morning tea and a book out into the garden. And, best of all, Claire (our host) provided some cookbooks for me to browse.
If you’re interested, the link to the property is here.
The property is across the road from the beach so I found my happy place and wallowed a tad in the ocean. The smoke haze you can see is from the bushfires at Fraser Island – and yes, I was absolutely sun-safe.
While we were in town we also checked out the Saturday market at Urangan Pier, caught up with Debbish for lunch, and generally found our bearings.
3. Christmas tree
Yesterday was the first Sunday in December so that means the Christmas tree went up.
We make a bit of a ceremony out of it each year. The Christmas playlist gets an airing, bubbles are poured and little canapés are eaten – potato scones with smoked salmon and creme fraiche, little prosciutto and cheese pinwheels…that sort of thing.
We also have a tradition where Sarah chooses a bauble each year. This year she chose this silver reindeer, but also new to our very eclectic tree was a bauble we bought at the National Trust in Lacock in the UK on New Year’s Eve last year.
4. Poinciana Trees
Just like the fabulous pohutukawa trees in New Zealand, the poinciana blooming is our sign that Christmas is coming. Just how vivid is that red?
In other news, our frangipani is (finally) flowering.
5. Foodie stuff
No baking again this weekend and my fingers are itching to get into flour. Thanks to Hervey Bay there were some foodie adventures though.
In addition to the tacos at Food and Groove, there was also tapas on the marine at The Dock.
The whale-watching fleet leaves from here and there’s also a Chinese here that we visited on Saturday night whose black pepper prawns are worth the trip alone for and another cafe that we didn’t get the chance to try. Next time.
We caught up with Debbish for lunch at EAT at Dan & Steph’s. For those who don’t know, Dan & Steph won the reality cooking show (although these days I’d dispute that it’s about cooking – back then it was) My Kitchen Rules.
I indulged – and indulged was the right word – in a sweet potato and brisket mac and cheese. Very very good.
We also managed a sneaky gelato late one afternoon.
Okay, that was my week…who else is counting the sleeps until Christmas?