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My Summer: Jane Speechley

By Jane Speechley - 3 January 2017 0

Australia white sand beach - Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales.

As our My Summer series continues, here’s how motoring writer Jane Speechley plans to spend her time over the next few months … 

This summer I’m most looking forward to … a cruise I have planned for the end of January, woohoo! It’s to celebrate my upcoming (*cough*) milestone birthday. A cruise is a divisive holiday – some people love them, some people loathe the very idea.

We’re travelling as a group, on a big, brand new ship with heaps of exciting features and activities – including a Flow Rider surf machine, sky diving experience and a robot bartender on board!? So as the time draws closer, I’m started to get really excited about it.

The best swimming pool in Canberra is … not in Canberra at all, but over the border in Googong. The new sport and recreational centre has a great pool and play facilities for the kids*, but there are still not enough people around for it to be crowded … Er, I mean, it’s REALLY crowded and very unpleasant, move along people, nothing to see here …

(*sadly, it’s closed at the moment for clean-up following a power outage, but once it’s open again, you should definitely still not go there).

My favourite freshwater swimming hole is … ah, I love swimming in cool fresh water more than anything else! Something I don’t do often enough, we spent many long and happy days at Pine Island and the Cotter as I was growing up.

I love dogs, so if I don’t have one of my own, I’m often minding some else’s, and that’s why I particularly love Uriarra Crossing. Great for people and puppy dogs!

Right now, I’m housesitting in Yarralumla so I’m also rediscovering Yarralumla Bay and Weston Park.

The best beach on the NSW coast is … definitely Hyams Beach, another hidden gem. Why am I giving away all my secrets!?

I love the whole Jervis Bay region – it’s my go-to getaway when I need some head space – and Hyams Beach (pictured above) is the highlight. Perfect blue water, remarkable white sand, and you can spot fish, seals and – based on recent news – even whale sharks!? Eek, maybe stick to the sand for now …

Aside from swimming and lounging on the sand/by the pool, when I’m on summer holidays I like to … catch up with all the friends I’ve neglected throughout the year. This year has been a particularly busy one, so let’s just say, I have many rounds of drinks to buy!

My favourite summer drink is … this response will impact upon my hard-earned reputation immensely, but actually, I’m loving plain chilled sparkling water at the moment.

My ice-cream of choice is … chocolate. Always chocolate. You can put whatever else you like in there, as long as the chocolate is always there as well.

The salads I like to eat in summer are … okay, this isn’t a typical summer salad but I have to mention it. A colleague recently introduced me to that whacky salad that most people are reluctant to try. You know the one – it usually has some combination of fruit, marshmallows, coconut and sour cream. Similar to what Americans call Ambrosia? It was DELICIOUS! Probably more of a dessert than a salad, but seriously, you have to try it before you judge it.

The al fresco dining spots I’ll be hanging out in this summer are … anywhere along the Kingston Foreshore. There are so many great places there already, and there seem to be new gems popping up all the time.

Otherwise, the very best al fresco dining spot is right in my own backyard, where I can have that extra glass of cold sav blanc without having to worry about driving anywhere.

The sport I’m looking forward to playing this summer is … one of my resolutions this year (yawn) is to try a few new things, so tennis and stand-up paddle boarding are on the agenda.

The sport I’m looking forward to watching this summer is … oh, call me un-Australian, but I’m not a big fan of hours in front of either the tennis or cricket. And that seems to be just about all that’s on during the summer! Can’t wait for the motor sports seasons to start back up though 😉

When it’s too hot to be outside I’ll be … inside in the air conditioning, really, most of the time. My Irish ancestry and pale complexion still don’t appreciate the summer sun and heat too much.

The must-attend summer events this year are … the National Multicultural Festival and the Canberra Show are my big two every year. We’ve had a blast at some of the Australian National Botanic Garden Summer Sounds events over the past couple of years too, so I’d highly recommend those.

I’ll also be heading back to Summernats this year, for the first time in many years – stay tuned for more on that.

The best outings for children this summer are … anywhere that’s well supervised, especially if there’s water around! Like most of us, I’ve been saddened and horrified by, what seems to be a higher-than-usual number of drownings this year. I don’t have children but I have two nieces who I adore. You just can’t be too careful.

The summer flicks I’m planning to see are … I’m so out of touch with movies at the moment! I’ve been too busy to watch many this year, so I feel like I’m still catching up on my 2016 list. I finally saw ‘The Force Awakens’ though, in anticipation of ‘Rogue One’.

And I definitely have some binge TV series watching to do.

On my holiday reading pile this year are … a lot of saved links and articles, as well as some professional reading.

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.

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