For former RiotACT editor and occasional contributor Amy Birchall, summer is all about taking things easy…
This summer I’m most looking forward to … spending time with friends and family after a few months overseas. I’m also excited to turn off email notifications, swap my MacBook for a pile of real books, and enjoy a few days down the coast in January. And I’ll be keeping a close eye on my parents’ fruit trees, hoping to beat the cockatoos to fresh plums, apricots and figs.
I’m least looking forward to … any potential encounter with a snake, whether that’s on a nature trail or in my backyard. I try to be a friend to all creatures, but my generosity doesn’t extend to reptiles without legs.
The best swimming pool in Canberra is … Manuka Pool. My favourite time to swim is in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, when you’re almost guaranteed to have the pool to yourself. School holidays are a different story!
My favourite freshwater swimming hole is … anywhere between Kambah Pool and Pine Island. I really like Red Rocks Gorge, which is about halfway between the two. The scenery is A++.
The best beach on the NSW coast … is a three-way tie between Tuross, Mollymook and Maloneys Beach. The NSW coast has some of the best beaches in the world. How spoiled are we?
Aside from swimming and lounging on the sand/by the pool, when I’m on summer holidays I like to … work on creative projects that I don’t have the inclination or brain space to tackle during the rest of the year, like drawing, painting and writing fiction. I’ve also just started watching The Wire, so I’ll be binge-watching seasons three and four between Christmas and New Year.
My favourite summer drink is … a nice cool glass of prosecco, champagne or sparkling red.
My ice-cream of choice is … Frugii’s musk-flavoured ice cream. If that’s not available, whizzed up frozen bananas with honey is almost as good.
The salads I like to eat in summer are … never going to win awards for originality, but they make the most of the seasonal produce. My go-to right now is ripe tomatoes, lots of fresh basil and dill, olive oil and salt flakes.
The al fresco dining spot I’ll be hanging out in this summer is … the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, Brodburger in hand.
The sport I’m looking forward to playing this summer is … While not technically a sport, I can’t wait to knock over a couple of early morning hikes. Gibraltar Peak at Tidbinbilla is an old favourite, but only worth attempting if you leave early enough to beat the heat.
When it’s too hot to be outside I’ll be … overstaying my welcome at the homes of friends and family with swimming pools. Sorry in advance, Angela and Mike!
The must-attend summer event this year is … Versailles: Treasures from the Palace at the National Gallery of Australia.
The summer flicks I’m planning to see are … There’s only one film on my must-watch list this summer, and that’s Red Dog: True Blue. I watched the first Red Dog movie on a flight home earlier this year, and sobbed for almost the entire journey. After three months, I think I’ve recovered enough to handle the prequel.
On my holiday reading pile this year are … Cecily Wong’s Diamond Head, Movement Matters by Katy Bowman, and the third book in Liu Cuxin’s Three Body Problem trilogy, Death’s End.
If you’d like to share your responses to our My Summer cues, please log on and upload your own version for publication in coming weeks.