So, what is Sydney like in winter? That is a good question. If today is representative it is warm, clear and I was hot wearing jeans. I know, right, what a show-off city?! It’s not been a great winter here, according to people that are more local than I, which means it’s been chillier than expected with more rain. But to me it’s dry and sunny, not really a winter at all. My niece, who is from Queensland, thinks it is bone-achingly cold. I pointed out that it might be cool(-ish) but we’ve not had rain for days. She looked at me as though I was a bit mad. No rain? So what? Don’t worry, I’ll take her to British Columbia one day when she is a bit older and  has packed some rain boots….

B1 and the blue skies of a Sydney winter.

And what do people do in winter? Well, today we walked along the foreshore to a local market, each pushing a babe-ette in a stroller. We stopped at a playground so that B1 could shriek and chase an Ibis (or two, “crowd” is the official collective noun. Sidenote: don’t you just love collective nouns?), pointed out sun-baking lizards on the path and made room for enthusiastic families spending their morning cycling together. Then my sister-in-law, husband and two kids picked up Matt and B1 and took them for a spin on their boat. They’d spent the morning at the Sydney fish market and had bought us a huge bag of oysters and prawns. We washed it all down with cold Tsingtao, a tradition from our Macau days. As for B2? She took it all in stride, she’s been napping most of day, oblivious to Sydney sunshine or big-beaked birds or boats or beers.

Seafood feast.

B1 eyes up the Tsingtao…

Well, the city might not really “do” a cold winter, but after all the glorious summery-ness of this morning’s activities and food I am now pretending it is a winter’s evening. I am writing to you with a big portion of hot rice pudding next to me. I’m not sure if you like rice pudding but last night we had thai takeout and therefore a ridiculous amount of leftover, cold, hard rice (eeeuuurgh) and I suddenly thought….rice pudding! Hmmmm! I used this recipe and switched raisins for cranberries (must have been thinking of Canada..) and it is yummy mcyummy.

Now, a final food question for you – what to do with fennel? I bought a bulb the size of my head for 99 cents and now I need to use it. Ideas? Did you find a fennel dessert recipe in the end?

HUGS, Hannah

PPS. Clearly, as you can tell, I too procrastinate with food. It could be worse, couldn’t it? I like your point about “feeding your family”. Now I am seeing it as a useful bad habit. Perhaps not a bad habit at all. Perhaps even slightly virtuous (okay, now I’m pushing it…). I’m off now to read your link about writer’s procrastination. Instead of writing. Procrastinating by reading about procrastination. Now that’s a new one.