Sunday thoughts

First Sunday thoughts of 2014, from Australia – if you need a summarised version of this post here it is; sunshine, heat, mangoes, sea, and salads. I wish that was my whole life.

New things I’ve learnt this week

  • Ben and I have been watching Mad Men and we got to thinking about legislation and regulations around actors smoking. Surely they can’t be having actors smoking constantly on set, nor can they force non-smokers to smoke or hire only smokers. On Mad Men itself,  apparently, the cast smoke herbal cigarettes, and I came across an interesting discussion of various faking techniques on The Straight Dope. All pretty obvious and predictable, but still good to know.
  • I started wondering what the difference was between a nut and a seed (I had eaten cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, tahini, chia seeds, and almond-brazil-cashew butter, so it was pretty topical). I quizzed the family, none of whom could come up with an answer for sure. Turns out I was the closest to the mark, suggesting that a nut is a fruit, whereas the seed is just part of a fruit. Some great answers here, giving several different explanations of the same answer, depending on what agrees with you most. The search also led me to a great website called Difference Between which I will totally be on very often – am I the only one who is constantly querying the difference between two or more similar things?!

New things I have eaten this week

As always on holiday, I am constantly eating slightly different products by different brands, and in different eateries. Here are some highlights:

  • An almond, brazil, and cashew butter by Woolworths brand Macro Wholefoods Market. It is so good – the sweetness of almonds with the earthiness of brazils and the creaminess of cashews, and all their associated health properties. Tastes great on a banana, and I bet it would be amazing on toasted spicy fruit loaf!
  • We ate at Red Pepper Gourmet Pizza at The Entrance yesterday – although just a standard takeaway-style joint with a few grubby tables, and no vegan options, they had plenty of vegetarian options which were easy to veganise, and a super friendly and helpful waitress. Their bases are vegan, and I got a small Europa pizza with artichokes, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and I forget what else. When I explained I didn’t want any form of dairy on or in my pizza, the waitress kindly added that she’d put plenty of extra sundried tomato on mine so I would get all the “juices”. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so I don’t have any photos, but the pizzas were all very tasty!
  • We then popped into Licks Gelato, among all the other ice creameries at The Entrance, who proudly advertise handmade ice cream with “no gelatine and no nasties”, and dairy-free gelato. They had apple, lemon, and a mixed berry gelato which I went for. At $4.50 a scoop it’s not cheap, but I enjoyed my fluffy creamy vegan berry gelato so much I would happily pay that again.

Other highlights this week

  • Being in Australia again – need I say more? Ok then; 25-30 degree heat, interesting bird noises, daylight saving, a beautiful deck to lounge on in the shade, great fresh food, a lake to walk along, a dog and a cat to play with, family… It’s all here!
  • Having time to sit down and get crafty, working on a holiday scrapbook for my grandma and wrecking my journal (I haven’t actually looked through that link yet, as I don’t want to plant ideas in my head that will stop me getting creative).
  • Giving my grandma and my aunt their Christmas presents – my grandma got some tea towels from Arthouse Meath, and my aunt got one of my Great Expectations Fitness t-shirts – they both loved them.
  • Hitting the beach on Friday! The waves were brutal, so even though we had only waded in to about hip-height, they kept crashing into us and pulling us off our feet, smashing us back down and swirling us around. I drank so much sea water! It’s so easy to forget how powerful the ocean can be, but we’re pretty confident swimmers and had a great time – I haven’t had that much fun in the sea in years.
  • Making the most of the summer, we went kayaking on Saturday. I haven’t been kayaking in so long and I wish I got to do it more often, it’s just the right balance of enjoyment of nature and physical exertion and peacefulness.
  • We also did a little bit of shopping and I picked up some great comfy summery buys in the sale. I also managed to find a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t look ridiculous on me (my last pair, which I’ve had for over 5 years, has just gotten scratched and it had taken me so long to find those!) and a straw hat. I feel pretty well equipped now!
  • And today, we’ve just come back from an A-League football (soccer) game; Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Heart. The game itself was a fairly uninteresting draw, but the home crowd was great – so upbeat and good natured! Sitting in the sun looking out at the sea, it was a great Sunday afternoon activity. And I’ve just come home to a bowl of leftover papaya and mango, what more could you want?

And with that I shall have to leave you to your Sunday which, for most of the world, is only just getting started while I start to feel sun-weary and sunscreen-sticky. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday to make for a great first week of 2014. I will be back soon and I will hopefully be sharing some photos!