Posts Tagged ‘Food’

16-May-2015 Jamie Oliver Petition

Saturday 16 May 2015 Leave a comment

Today I signed this petition to help get kids taught how to cook food at schools. The good news is that all of our kids know how to cook good food from scratch, vegetarian of course. In face the older two are pretty good and even little Kody is coming along nicely. You could say that this was great planning on our part – but the kids would say that we are never at home and they taught themselves to fend for themselves.

In particular in these times we have taught them that “cheap food” at the supermarkets is rarely ever the best quality and you don’t need masses of poor quantity but an honest amount of quality is the most important. They are learning that.

As Michael Pollan says “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”

There was a video that with he Jamie Oliver “Food Revolution Day” here:

5-Apr-2015 Chocolate at Easter

Sunday 5 April 2015 Leave a comment

I am not really a big fan of chocolate (*), and I am not really sure how it came to be associated with Easter. However I saw this article and video today about these cocoa bean growers who didn’t even know that their beans went into chocolate, didn’t know what chocolate was and had never tasted it. So it was cool to see them try it for the first time … originally via the great Guardian – Why cheap chocolate eggs are bad for us – and terrible for poor cocoa farmers.

(*) – to be fair I do have a little bit in the evening, usually if I feel a bit peckish. However I often have our own home-made roasted nuts instead. Jazmin first started roasting them … the ones in the shops are not really roasted, even if it says so on the packet, they need be a very dark brown, even black to taste right !

Our kids usually get 2 or 3 Easter eggs each, and I think that’s because Dawn is as much a fan as the kids are. I remember back when I was a kid we used to get like 10-15 each, maybe as we had lots of uncles, aunts, grandparents etc … something our kids definitely do miss out on, although they don’t really realise as that’s the way it’s always been for them.

21-Feb-2015 Frozen Berry Recall!

Saturday 21 February 2015 Leave a comment

I was pretty annoyed with the recent recall of frozen berries that had caused Hep A in some people. I had the berries and out of our family it’s mainly me that uses them in my breakfast. I took them back to Woolworths and got my money back. I guess what annoys me is that I suppose I knew that something is fishy about the whole situation – let me explain: fresh raspberries are about $4 for a 100g punnet making it approx $40 per kg. So when someone sells them at $9 per kg then you just know it’s going to be cheap and nasty. Anyway, I have decided not to buy them anymore and the idea of getting cheap raspberries from China, you kinda know you are not buying the good stuff. I will just buy either Australian and/or Organic and wear the extra cost. As it turns out reasonably local (NSW) raspberries about $15 per kg. Maybe I am just annoyed at myself thinking I am getting a great – but we can all remember this : You get what you pay for.

Refer article in the SMH:

Patties Foods maintained samples of the berry products were tested four times using Australian food standards and they have also been working with the FSANZ to keep the public informed of their investigations.

Its chief executive Steven Chaur said there was still no “firm association [of hepatitis A] with our recalled products”.

“Many Chinese food production facilities also supply European and Japanese food markets, and they also have extremely strict hygiene and quality standards,” he said in a press release.

“Despite public misconceptions, many Chinese food production facilities are at least as hygienic as those in Australia and operate to similar regulatory compliance regimes.”

The outbreak has highlighted concerns about country-of-origin labelling on food.

Consumer group Choice has tested 55 packs of frozen mixed fruits and mixed vegetables and found nearly half the labels on the packs had “vague” or “unhelpful” information.

Choice said some of the worst claims included “Packed in New Zealand”, “Packed in Chile from imported and local ingredients” and “Processed in Belgium”.

It also found 12 per cent of its 700 members were not able to understand the meaning of “Made in Australia”.

“These claims offer very little information about a product’s origin and are largely meaningless to consumers,” Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

“Consumers deserve to know where their food comes from which is why we have launched a petition calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to take action on country of origin labelling.”

Mr Joyce has supported changes to the country-of-origin labelling laws to stop manufacturers from using “sneaky terms” to “earn a premium” on cheaply made products.

Under current laws, the term “made from Australian and imported ingredients” is common, providing no detail on the exact origins of all the ingredients in a product or where it was packaged.

“There is a good way that you can avoid all of this and that is to make sure you eat Australian product,” Mr Joyce said on Wednesday.

“I want to make sure I do everything in my power to say to people your safest food is your domestic food. That is why you pay a premium for Australian product. It is clean, green and healthy.”

Mr Joyce’s spokesman confirmed a white paper on the potential legislation changes is due to go before the cabinet.

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7-Sep-2014 Din Tai Fung

Sunday 7 September 2014 Leave a comment

My legs were sore after yesterday’s exertions, and I got up late .. nearly 11am. Pottered around then went out with Dawn to the library, Bunnings, Cronulla. Opened some lovely Father’s Day cards and presents. Very impressed with all the girls.

In the evening we went out to Din Tai Fung in World Square partially to celebrate Father’s Day but also tomorrow as it’s Dawn’s Birthday. I wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before and wanted to hand on to the last grasp of our holiday in China – Jazmin was quite keen on dumplings and I wanted somewhere with a bit of a Wow. It wasn’t super expensive and there was more than adequate options for vegetarians. We went by car to Sutherland then caught the train in the rain, left about 6pm and back home by 9.45pm.

Some Din Tai Fung restaurant reviews here:



18-Aug-2014 Bread

Monday 18 August 2014 Leave a comment

There was an interesting article about the rise of sourdough bread in the paper. Of course we eat pretty much only sourdough, even the kids. Mainly because we just hate the supermarket-style fluffy bread full of crap. The last few years we have been decreasing the amount of bread we eat, but hey we are English and invented sanwiches.

I remember at Uni buying quite good bakery bread and having cheese and salad cream on it on a daily basis eg a loaf a day!

We mainly buy Sonoma bakery bread at the Sutherland Supabarn, but sometimes get supplies from other good sourdough bakeries, there seem to be a few. Sonoma bread is all over also.




22-Apr-2014 Work again

Tuesday 22 April 2014 Leave a comment

After the 4-day Easter long weekend, it had to end, and I had to go back to work. So of coure it was a struggle to get up and get going, not helped by the “injury” to my arm/ shoulder. Work was quiet so I was able to do some chores, NRMA and RTA to handle the paperwork for the new car and the Bank to get cash out to renew our yoga. I did manage to book a remedial massage for 2pm just around the corner from work. Their website says that they specialise in sleep-caused pain and stiffness which is what I reckon mine is, but I wasn’t impressed with it, and it didn’t fix it either, and cost me $70.

In the end I didn’t leave work early at all, gone 6.30pm, and I was stuffed by the time I got home, so had a long hot bath, and a hair cut – a number 2 all over and went to bed early. Just before 11pm.

I did read this article today about food,  I guess it just re-enforces my own views that processed food is bad and just un-adulterated fruit & veg is best, but you have to draw your own line as to what “processed” means:

They conclude that no diet is clearly best, but there are common elements across eating patterns that are proven to be beneficial to health. “A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”

Among the salient points of proven health benefits the researchers note, nutritionally-replete plant-based diets are supported by a wide array of favorable health outcomes, including fewer cancers and less heart disease. These diets ideally included not just fruits and vegetables, but whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Katz and Meller found “no decisive evidence” that low-fat diets are better than diets high in healthful fats, like the Mediterranean. Those fats include a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than the typical American diet.

“If you eat food direct from nature,” Katz added, “you don’t even need to think about this. You don’t have to worry about trans fat or saturated fat or salt—most of our salt comes from processed food, not the salt shaker. If you focus on real food, nutrients tend to take care of themselves.”

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9-Nov-2013 Saturday Surf Lifesaving

Saturday 9 November 2013 Leave a comment

Today I did my 2nd patrol for Cronulla Surf club from 9am-1.30pm. I have had a really bad cough and like cold symptoms but decided to go anyway. Mostly it’s like a tickle in the throat.

I drove round and listened to the radio, the lyrics of one song stood out, which I liked and thought that maybe Michael Jackson should have listened himself – the Man in the mirror:

If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make The Change

The day was hot and sunny, well over 30C on the beach.

Luckily no rescues but I did get to swim and go out on a board for practise. Although I swim at Bundeena most days, Cronulla is just better – the water is deeper and the waves add that extra element. A perfect day.

I also met a guy called Herman, who is 85 and pretty much a raw vegan with drinks a lot of fresh juices, runs, swims, walks and does like yoga deep breathing (pranayama) each day. He looks so fit and healthy and has an incredible sharp mind, just a great example of how to grow old !

After the patrol I had a coffee at Grind – a doppio – double espressso and bought some veges. I also had to get a new pair of sunnies as Dawn took my others ones – see photo of me modelling them.

In the evening I cooked a couple of veg dishes for me and Jaz and Dawn – snow peas and mushrooms with tofu chunks with soy sauce and omboishi vinegar. Second dish was cauliflower with mustard seeds in a dry indian spice.

22-Sept-2013 Sunday Night Out

Sunday 22 September 2013 Leave a comment

Sunday during the day was typically a late start, read the paper, run and swim etc. Later in the day we usually have Sunday Night Dinner together but we were probably all missing Chelsea who was still in Japan.


Luckily we got invited to Nathan’s birthday dinner and film at Govinda’s in Darlinghurst. Most of the other people were teachers at yoga so it’s a sign we spend too much time there! We took Jaz and Ko who are getting good at eating out now.

We saw a film there – “The Way Way Back” which we all enjoyed. I think we all like lounging on the bean bag things. (Photo is not of us). Although we met at the Restaurant at 6.15pm (so we had to leave home at just gone 5pm) we didn’t get home until gone 10pm, so quite late & tired.

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1-Sept-2013 Results of August Challenge

Sunday 1 September 2013 Leave a comment

During August I started doing a challenge – I mentioned it briefly here previously.

I am keeping a tick list for each day on the wall by my desk to track :

  • no packaged breakfast cereal (usually smoothie)
  • no chips (usually my post-yoga salty treat)
  • no chocolate (usually a nibble late at night)
  • no butter or yogurt (sometimes when snacking)
  • no bread or pasta (I used to have too much and felt bloated – prefer to cut down the bulk and go for better nutrient quality)
  • sport/sweat once a day (create a better DAILY habit)

Here are the results:

As you can see it was pretty successful. I specifically chose it to be HARD and so that I might even fail. I think on average I had one slip up a week.

In September I want to continue with another challenge – this time I will try and go 3 ocean swims a week, 3 runs a week, 3 yoga classes a week and 3 times at the gym a week !

21-Aug-2013 My challenge this month

Wednesday 21 August 2013 1 comment

For breakfast I had an almond milk with a banana and about 5 fresh strawberries blended to like a smoothie. The almond milk was made by soaking 30 raw almonds in a big glass of water for 24hrs. This way when I have it in the morning I can put a new batch on to soak for the next day. You would not believe how frothy and silky a drink it makes and it’s pretty filling too. Some mornings I gave dates and/or an expresso coffee or blueberries or raspberry etc.

This month I have set my myself a personal challenge and it’s not going too bad (I will post my full tracking sheet at the end of the month). I general I am pretty healthy and generally eat a vegan diet but I really want to get more hard core and not eat any processed foods and ensure I don’t pick at aynything I don’t really want, so I am keeping a tick list for each day on the wall by my desk to track :

  • no packaged breakfast cereal (hence the smoothie)
  • no chips (usually my post-yoga salty treat)
  • no chocolate (usually a nibble late at night)
  • no butter or yogurt (sometimes when snacking)
  • no bread or pasta (I used to have too much and felt bloated – prefer to cut down the bulk and go for better nutrient quality)
  • sport/sweat once a day (create a better DAILY habit)

Dawn left at 5am for work so I sorted the kids and then after work (at Kogarah all day today) I got home early-ish to cleanup and supervise etc.

I did manage to go for a short-ish run of 30mins thru the streets approx 8.30pm – it was very dark and very cold approx 7C. Very sore glutes right where they join my bum – this is definitely from the gym.

Jacket potato with our home-made homos and baked beans for tea.

Instead of watching tv we watched a couple of “live more” videos from the UK. They were really great and incredibly inspiring:

Woman who rowed the Atlantic

Debra Searle MBE is a professional adventurer, author, TV presenter and Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Debra is arguably best known for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. After her oarsman husband developed an uncontrollable fear of the ocean, Debra, a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic. It should have taken them 6 weeks but Debra ended up spending 3 months at sea alone, encountering 30ft waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in a 23ft plywood boat.

The exposure Debra gained from this one feat has enabled her to spend the past 10 years working as a professional adventurer. She has completed the longest canoe race in the world with Bruce Parry (of Tribe and Amazon fame), sailed around Antarctica, completed the grueling L’Etape du Tour cycle race in the Pyrenees Mountains and raced in the Monte Carlo Rally Historique. One recent adventure gained significant coverage when the now-Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, joined the Dragon Boat crew called The Sisterhood. Debra navigated the Sisterhood to a new Cross-Channel world record and raised £110,000 for charity.

Expect a truly inspiring and motivating experience as you listen to Debra Searle MBE

Guy who cycled around the world in 4 years – AWESOME!!

Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer, author and blogger. He has raced a yacht across the Atlantic, rowed the Channel, canoed 500 miles down the Yukon river, run the Marathon de Sables and is currently training for SOUTH, the first unsupported return journey to the South Pole.
Aged 24, Alastair left home to cycle around the world. His journey covered 46,000 miles and took more than four years to complete. Alastair tells the story of his global odyssey, revealing lessons learned along the way whilst challenging each of us to be bold enough to begin our own adventures.

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10-Mar-2013 Breakfast of champions

Sunday 10 March 2013 Leave a comment

Having got back from the Blue Mountains quite late last night, I had a bath and sorted the kids out as Dawn was at work, then went to bed. In the morning I was starved but wanted something clean and healthy so made my breakfast of champions ..  I often have this during the week : bananas, almonds, pepitas, raspberries ground into porridge with a dash of hot water out of the kettle. We make it with our Champion Juicer.



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21-Dec-2011 Bondi plus Indian food

Wednesday 21 December 2011 Leave a comment

As usual everyone got up quite late. I did the washing up from the night before, then went down to the beach for a swim. The weather was warm & sunny, the tide was low, no waves, crystal clear water, so swam to Bonnie Vale, which is always a good swim – most of the time the water is maybe 6 feet deep and easy to see the bottom and some big fish. By the time I got back, people were up and we sort of got ready to go to Bondi, where we walked along the coast to Bronte and had a swim in the pool there, and bought some cold drinks.

I usually park halfway up Bondi Rd down a sidestreet as there is usually free parking there, and I always walk past a clothes shop in Bondi with this really cool poster on the wall – I finally found a copy of the picture on the internet. noice!

In the evening we picked up Dawn after yoga and drove to Surry Hills and went to the Maya Indian restaurant, believe it or not the kids were desperate to go here (good brainwashing on my part!!!) The kids are starting to eat more of the food and quite enjoy it. We bought some deserts to have at home (not vegan!). All up approx $100 including drinks and deserts.

Home & bed approx 11pm.

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19-Nov-2011 The rise of veganism

Saturday 19 November 2011 Leave a comment

I read this in the paper today (virtual paper of course!):

The rise of veganism – gets a triple thumbs up from me!


Waste food feeds 5,000 a lunchtime curry – yes the world & society at large are so wasteful.

8-Aug-2011 Monday Blurggh

Monday 22 August 2011 Leave a comment

Today, Monday, I still feel tired from the weekend. Although I ran the Half Marathon on Saturday, my legs still feel sore. So I was up a bit late and rushed to work and got home again approx 8pm. I was going to go running etc but hung around till Dawn went to work, then washed up and cooked my own dinner for tonight and tomorrow at work. I was then going to go running but ate it with Chelsea.

I turned off the TV when the kids went to bed, and decided I had heaps more worthwhile things to do. I then spent some time reading and watching crossfit videos like this one.

By the time it got to 11pm I thought “I know I will skip tonight’s workout in the cold and dark and go tomorrow in the daylight and add in a swim”. I have been meaning for quite sometime to go to bed before midnight and exercise in the morning. I will try that. I have also been inspired by a couple of recent blog posts:

If I get up at 6:20AM, I can be out the door by 6:30, and home by 7:15, after a romp through some amazing natural landscapes. The sun streams through the overgrown trees along the trail. I often startle deer who are also enjoying the quiet, and step over earthworms who are enjoying a muddy breakfast. This morning, the mix of sun and clouds led to a fantastic rainbow. Early in the morning, the air is cooler, and fewer cars and people out means no one stares at my comical appearance.

Yep, we’ll see.

A good example of the stuff I have been reading is this : How the world got fat. Also this: An Omnivore’s Decision-My journey toward an ethical food lifestyle.

I have been very interested in food for a long time (30years since I was a spotty teenager growing up in London). A potted history is that my family was a regular family (roast on Sundays, meat/2veg most meals). I started investigating “health foods” and “natural foods” and then became a vegetarian, then a vegan which in general is where I have been for approx 20 years. Not freakily so, and have had a bit of cheese tucked in restaurant meals when I wasn’t paying attention or when I just could be arsed to make a scene. But I have been recently feeling that vegan is not enough. I think what took the biscuit (pardon the pun) is all the vegans wondering whether Oreos are Vegan or not (you can even like the facebook page). Its just a load of crap. All that processed and packaged food is just crap. So I have been trying to just eat fruit and vegetables and stopped eating pasta, bread etc a few months back as it just left me feeling bloated. Trust me that is very hard for a committed runner to say, but even after a few days I felt heaps better. THEN I started reading about the Paleo diet and of course the Latest in Paleo podcast is just great to listen to also.

I found that even though many people on the paleo diet are meat-eaters, it actually speaks to me more than the vegan folk. As a good example from the Omnivore’s Decision (link here):

The Paleo community advocates an evolutionary approach to diet and health in which animal products play a significant role. Vegetarians, on the other hand, do not eat meat and often exclude seafood as well; vegans avoid all animal products including eggs, dairy, and even honey. The question of whether or not eating meat is ethical, sustainable, or even healthy has apparently caused quite a bit of friction between the two groups.

I think this argument is a big waste of time and a major missed opportunity for positive change. A real food vegetarian – one who focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, adds nuts and nut butters, eats pastured eggs, and avoids processed crap – is eating a diet much closer to Paleo than the majority of Americans. More importantly, the policy changes that would help make a produce-dominated diet cheaper and more accessible than a grain-based diet (including grain-fed animal products) would benefit a real food vegetarian as much as someone on a Paleo diet. We should be allies in this fight against unhealthy processed food and polluting CAFOs that cause a great deal of animal suffering.

I agree! The enemy is crappy packaged & processed food. You can still be vegan and healthy. A bit of tolerance goes a long way.

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13-Aug-2011 city to surf weekend

Saturday 13 August 2011 Leave a comment

nah I didn’t run city to surf, again. probably won’t ever bother to run it again. I don’t have any issue with it – its a good course, well organised, a great race (if you are into races – and I guess I am not). I have run it 7,8,9 times something like that. But I am just not into big crowdy races, in fact not into races at all really.

Instead I ran along Lady Carrington Drive as I am thinking about the Sutherland Half Marathon next weekend as I wanted to see if my injury would be up to it. I think it will except it took me 2hrs 8mins to run out and back for best part of 20km. Its not really a big race, but a great course to do with a bunch of other people.

I was pretty tired at the end but not too bad.

For dinner I made a leek and potato soup and it was blooming marvellous !

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4-Aug-2011 Coffee

Thursday 4 August 2011 Leave a comment

I started drinking tea when I was maybe 11 years old, with milk & 2 sugars (english style). I prefer green tea or chai now.

I probably first had coffee about 13yrs old. My parents drink it with milk and sugar (or saccharine). I didn’t like it at all until one of my aunts suggested I had it black (think it was Susan who was living with us at the time). I much preferred it that way.

So I have been drinking it black ever since. Almost the modern history of coffee – instant, then filtered, then “proper coffee”. However I noticed that black coffee quality varies greatly. Many places in Sydney do like an expresso shot then just fill the cup with boiling water, making it too hot to drink and too weak. So I started asking for a black coffee “with no extra water” which sort of worked but the quality was still very variable.

In the end someone suggested that I should just ask for a short black/ expresso, and I have found that much more agreeable. My usual order is a double expresso, almost nothing to screw up other than crap beans or a total dipstick making it.

Although I have been vegan for the best part of 20 years now, I drank black coffee beforehand, and even find soy latte or cappucinos just too milky. If I fancy anything a bit different now I will have a soy piccolo latte – they are really good. Bit in general a double expresso is heaven. What we can make at home is just ideal.

I definitely try to avoid instant coffee at all costs. But if there is not alternative then I will have some.


28-Jul-2011 Fruit

Thursday 28 July 2011 Leave a comment

My current favourite fruit is oranges. Take 1 orange and cut in half, then half again then each of the pieces in half again. You should end up with 8 pieces as these are the best size to put one section in your mouth, suck the juice out then the flesh. Eat entirely, pulp and all, until you are just left with the peel. Its best if you keep them in the fridge so they are cold. The current fad started after we went to yoga almost 2 years back, and we have them each time we finish yoga – better than juice, better than anything in fact. Now I have 1 or 2 a day. My juice consumption has gone down and what can be more natural than a fresh orange ?

In the summer I love plums. yum plum.

In the past as a kid I was lucky to have fruit quite a lot, but what stick out most is pick your own strawberries. Eat half as you are going and pay for the other half. Back then we had cream and sugar which is such a shame as strawberries are just soo delicate. dog crap would probably taste ok with cream & sugar!

I also remember the first mango I had. Back in those days we never saw them in the shops in the UK and when I went to Hong Kong and saw some I just had to buy one to taste. I had no idea how to eat them, so just bit into it like an apple, ate the skin and the flesh. The skin was a bit tough though !!

Apples, mm I love t eat them all, even the core. We were lucky to have 3 apple trees in my garden as a kid, all 3 were of different varieties – you don’t get that so much now.

I could probably talk all day about fruits I have enjoyed …..


21-Jul-2011 A day of prayer & fasting

Thursday 21 July 2011 1 comment

Well Gandhi used to refer to days of prayer & fasting, for myself its not spiritual. I started with a cough on Sunday, which really developed on Monday which hurt my chest to cough. On Tuesday people at work complained that I sounded so ill, I was bound to pass it on. So they forced me to go home early. Wednesday I felt really ill – a bad headache etc and I didn’t even get up properly until almost lunchtime. Due to the extreme rain, the weir was flooded (no surprise) so I had to take the long way round to go to the medical centre. I got some antibiotics which is very rare, but the advantage is they started working straight away. Went to bed early.

Today, Thursday, I feel a bit better, still a bit fragile and still got a nasty cough. I dropped the kids of at Ferry, and dancing this evening, but otherwise spent sometime doing a bunch of chores I haven’t got round to doing for a while. For instance migrating

I also found a great website – which has got loads of live concerts to download. I made a nice lunch for myself (a vege-burger with beetroot covered with a spinach and salsa mound). The I made the kids a nice miso-soup (with soba noodles for them) for tea.

I suspect if I go to bed soon I shall be ok for work tomorrow.

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6-Jul-2011 Why a salad costs more than a big mac

Wednesday 6 July 2011 Leave a comment

I saw this and thought it worthwhile to think about. Obviously refers to the USA but I am sure it’s no different here.


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25-Jul-2010 Regular Sunday

Sunday 25 July 2010 Leave a comment

Up late, walk the dog, hung out the washing, went swimming (Bundeena to Bonnie Vale), went to yoga, took Kody for a swimming lesson and made my own baked beans. cool – looks just like how you buy them:

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