Damn that’s quite a dam! Plus our next leg begins.

The last thing we did in Sydney before moving on was go and see the city’s largest dam. It was hot day, but well worth the visit. The area that had been flooded is huge, and it was all planned in advance even down to building a settlement for the workers to come out of the city to live in with their families. When the levels are low there are old roads visible from the viewing platform.

The dam has a visitors’ centre which is free to enter and has loads of information on the history of the dam area including a video about the settlement and building process. The settlement is still there today, and still inhabited, although obviously the building work was finished many years ago. The area around the lake is a nature reserve, so the wildlife around the dam is left to its own devices which is evident in the size of some of the fish in the lake.

The next part of our epic adventure was boarding our cruise ship for the middle portion, and main event… A cruise round New Zealand! We boarded our ship at Sydney Harbour and sailed around the coastline to Melbourne before heading onwards to New Zealand.

In Melbourne we wandered the city and checked out the Old Melbourne Gaol which is a preserved building showing the history of hanging, imprisonment and the stories of some more infamous convicts that have been held there. We also took a walk along the beach on the way back to the ship, avoiding the water and burning hot sand. There is a lido there that used to have a defence wall to prevent carnivorous sea creatures entering – we couldn’t quite understand why it’s not there any longer 😉

New Year’s Positive Intentions


A positive intention is as good a resolution. right? Especially if it’s a bid to improve the health of the whole family.

Resolutions are renowned for being made at this time of year, and swiftly forgotten or broken. There’s a surge of good intentions expressed and shared every new year, how many are realistic, and still ongoing come March? I don’t normally bother with resolutions myself,  for this very reason, the feeling that I am merely setting myself up to fail not so very far down the line…

This year is different. For several months I’ve been a bit lazy with many aspects of family life, something I’ve noticed and resolved to fix. But I want to succeed, so I have striven to find the most foolproof way possible to start out in the new year. To have the best chance of success, surely a helping hand, even if just at the start, is a good thing?

So what are my positive intentions for the family this year?

1     Cook more from scratch again – something I used to do a lot, but have got out of the habit in the last few months, and have been struggling to get it back.

2     Bake more – I home educate my youngest (10) and he loves baking, as with cooking, I used to bake regularly, I have hardly baked anything in the last 6 months.

3     Get outside more – I have done a lot of this in the last year, but for work, not for pleasure. I hope to change this for the future, getting out with one, or both, children for leisure.

4     Use my breadmaker more – another thing that used to be common in our home, but has been neglected in recent months.

Making life as easy as possible, at least in the beginning, will hopefully increase my chance of maintaining these positive steps for as long as possible, into the new year and beyond.

I have found some subscription services to help me out with 1 and 2, and take some of the hassle out of them.

Gousto ( https://www.gousto.co.uk/refer/Nevine/NEVIN99744 ), will send me all the ingredients, and instructions, to cook from scratch. I have the first order arriving tomorrow, with two meals in it, after that I can choose from 2-4 meals each week, fortnight or month. I expect to have a monthly subscription, and will be sure to report back on how I’m finding it! I can cook, but am hoping this will take the hassle out of remembering to take meat out the freezer, and then deciding what to create with it.

Baked In ( https://www.bakedin.co.uk/ ) will be sending us something to bake once a month, again everything is included (apart from fresh ingredients) so all we have to do is bake… and EAT!

Number 3 will hopefully be covered by our new dog, daily walks in all weathers are already feeling refreshing and becoming a normal part of daily life.

Number 4 I’m still working on a way to realise, having failed to find a subscription service similar to the baking. Perhaps I will make my own plan of a new bread a month…

I also have a new toy, a bridge camera, which I intend to learn to use properly…

Watch this space for updates on my progress, and how we’re finding the subscriptions.

Whatever your New Year Positive Intentions, good luck with them 😀