We love living in Canberra.
That fact that we get two three-day weekends in a row at this time of year really doesn’t hurt!
Take that, New South Wales! Here are the best things we can think of to do when breaking up all that extra sleeping and TV-watching…
For couples – because you’re a family too!
Cook up a (very French) storm
Who honestly has the time and care to tend to those three-hour-long recipes when there is so much else to do?
This, my friend, is what public holidays are for. Sleeping late, riding bicycles with baskets on the front and ideally learning to make Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Cheese soufflé or some other dish that always seemed too elegant for you to even bother trying.
If you don’t know where to start with France and its Public Holiday and weekend-worthy fare, then let our amazing tutor Claude show you during a One Night Stand cooking class (Provence and The Loire Valley are up next). He’ll teach you some great recipes and get your savoir-faire flowing (in the kitchen)!
Hit the road (well, path)
Speaking of bicycles with baskets on the front, if the weather’s not looking too rubbish out your window, then why not take advantage of Canberra’s many beautiful cycleways? There are few things we can think of that are more relaxing and romantic than taking a spin around the lake and having a lazy brunch.
Or course, unlike your car (which you can just throw money at when it breaks) bicycles demand a little home maintenance. Why spend a motza when you can fix that flat yourself and earn the admiration of your better half!
If you have little kids…
Graduate from mud pies
We love our kids, and we love seeing them discover the world for the first time – even if the thing they’re discovering is filthy and disgusting and oh gosh Emma how did you get that much mud on the couch?!?!?!
Give their backyard ‘adventures’ a little direction by teaching them about the circle of life and getting them involved in the gardening. Getting a compost bin or worm farm is a little investment with long term benefits for your kitchen and garden. By seeing humble potato peels turn into the black gold that is great compost, your kids will get to do something ‘gross’ that’s incredibly helpful while learning about Organic Recycling. It’s a win-win!
Don’t have one yet? Start here!
Re-attach them to your apron strings
We live in an era of consumption and convenience, and a spare day in the kitchen isn’t just a chance for you to cook ahead and get on top of school snacks, it’s a valuable opportunity to use the art of baking and foster your child’s love of the kitchen. Think about how nostalgic you are when it comes to memories of stirring, breaking a few eggs and (if you were very good) licking the bowl. Now think about how nice it will be for your kids to feel that way when they’re older. See? Magic.
What’s more, if you learn to decorate their next birthday cake yourself, then you won’t wind up spending hundreds in the insane, competitive Olympics that is kid’s birthday parties.
If your teenagers haven’t turned on you yet…
Sing, sing, SING!
Remember a time, in the deep dark past, when you would hang out with your friends, maybe have a few cheeky soft drinks together and someone would just start playing the guitar? Yes, if you want to do this with your kids it might well take some strategizing – for one thing, you don’t want to pretend it’s a ‘cool’ thing to do. Just unplug the TV, start hanging out with your spouse and then you can lure your surly little half-adults into joining in by covering some Taylor Swift. Result!
Although, obviously, learning the guitar might help. I don’t think my clarinet rendition of the theme from Lawrence of Arabia is starting ANY singalongs.
Beat them at their own game
Let’s face it, most of the time kids are more technologically savvy than their parents and we just have to accept that we are as obsolete as the Megadrive that we just. can’t. throw. out. Get ahead of the little suckers by upskilling at photography and photo book making so that you can take some of your great memories off Instagram and –shock horror – make something to put on the shelf!