Monday, 2 July 2007

Rejuvenated by a Selfish Passion

Dear friends and fellow bloggers, you may have noticed my blog idling and I have also not been commenting on your blogs. I have a lot of blog-reading to do – so many stories and recipes to catch up with!

Wow, can you believe that we've already been through half of 2007? A short mid-year vacation is a good idea to prevent feeling "burnt out" and I had a few days off before I started a new internship so I decided to refresh my mind by going somewhere along the south coast of New South Wales. Fortunately, despite this last minute decision, we managed to rent an apartment by the beach in Gerroa. The township of Gerroa, “Population: 4978”, is about a 2 hrs drive south of Sydney. The apartment is large, well-equipped and most important of all to me, it has a 180 degrees panoramic view of Seven Mile Beach National Park. Although it’s winter, I still love being by the sea. Due to the wonders of central heating and full length glass doors and windows, I was able to take in the view of the beach while sitting on the couch or lying in bed under the covers.

Vacation also means that I’ve hardly been in the kitchen, except for making coffee, toasting bread and scarmbling some eggs. I love exploring neighbouring towns on foot and tasting the local produce. Two places that left a lasting impression were: dinner at 55 on Collins (in Kiama) and a late lunch at Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery. The quality of the produce, food preparation, presentation and the service at both places were exemplary. I didn’t take any photos except for this take-away apple tartin from the sourdough bakery. There were several meals and sweet treats that inspired me and when I attempt to recreate them in my own kitchen, I will definitely write about it, so stay tuned.Now, about my selfish passion. Food to me is a very social passion because I bake or cook to share with others. Another passion of mine is my work – I feel that helping children and families while challenging at times, is always very fulfilling. But again, this involves being around other people. I have one passion that is completely selfish.

Running
. It’s my therapy, it keeps me sane, my form of meditation. Being on a vacation means that I get to explore a new area during my morning runs. I enjoy running somewhere different because my usual routes were getting rather monotonous. But I never expected that I would find the PERFECT place for running during this trip - and I’ve run in many parks, streets and beaches during my travels.


It doesn’t matter that I had to wear leggings, gloves, a beanie and a vest (it was sunny, but very windy). The sand at Seven Mile Beach was the perfect texture for running – firm enough to run with sneakers on but yet soft enough that it’s gentle on the knees. As soon as I started running, I did not feel the ground any longer. It felt as though I was floating on the sand and I felt as though I could run forever. Oh and did I mention the view? I was pretty much by myself on the beach but one morning, I did cross paths with two beautiful brown horses. Alas, they were too quick for me. ;-) Such beautiful runs remind me of why I love running so much. The runs I had during this trip were so exhilarating, therapeutic and selfish.

It is a selfish passion because running is just for me, to be with my own thoughts, It's “ME” time that makes me feel good. I am sure all of you have your own way of taking time out for yourself.

I feel rejuvenated. Sometimes one has to be selfish. I feel ready to conquer the next six months of 2007. I hope you are too.

23 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora, it's great to have you back and also to know you had fun!

You are officially my hero - I've tried running so many times but never succeeded.

lynn said...

It seems sad that taking care of yourself is thought of as selfish. You're recharging your body and your mind. If you don't do that, you have nothing to give to others. I think you should enjoy the run, guiltfree and happy!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Wow! What a beautiful place. I love winter, when it's not raining all the time and you can get outside. Nice to see you back and glad you're all refreshed from your break.

Nora B. said...

Patricia, it's actually nice to be back home again even though I had a fantastic vacation.
Awaa *blush* hero? You are too swett Patricia. Running seems hard at the start but don't give up. it becomes more enjoyable the longer you stick at it. Also have some music with you, that might help initially. My sister didn't used to enjoy running but now she can't imagine her life without it. She started when she was in her 30's.

Lynn, yes, it shouldn't be considered as selfish. I did enjoy the run guiltfree and I was filled with joy.

Amanda, we're quite lucky in Sydney that even in winter, we do have amazingly sunny days. Good to be back, except that I have to leave for work now...

Eva said...

Wow, your description almost makes me want to run, too - and you know that's pretty unusual for me...;-) Good that you had such a wonderful time!

Cynthia said...

Indeed Nora, some me time is very important. Unfortunately some people never get to have that. :(

I'm glad that you're back and more importantly, totally refreshed.

WokandSpoon said...

ooo, I've been to Kiama and 7-Mile Beach - ages ago though. and it's beautiful there! Sounds like you're having a great vacation! Have fun!

Aimée said...

Good for you! It's essential to get away and have a change of scenery every so often. You photos are so beautiful and restful-thanks.

wellunderstood said...

wow, looks as though we've a lot in common. (cooking, work, running . . . ) i'm terribly jealous, though - getting over an injury right now and haven't been able to run. sigh. it's good that you appreciate it.

Big Boys Oven said...

My goodness, it is so lovely! Wish I was there.

Nora B. said...

Eva, I really needed the break. Too bad it was only for five days.

Thanks Cynthia.

Wok & Spoon, well you'll be in Melbourne soon, so you'll get to enjoy Australia again. :-)

Thanks Aimée. Although I love our home, it was nice to be somewhere different for a change.

Wellunderstood - Indeed we have lots in common! I'm sorry to hear about your injury. The last time I messed up my knee, i was quite depressed about not being able to run. I hope you can get back into it soon.

Sid & Sunny - Thanks for dropping by. Yes, it is such a beautiful place.

Stephen said...

Hey Nora. Thanks a bunch for the comment. I wish I could take a vacation. I'm so tired of the city right now!

Wendy said...

Great post, Nora. I've just discovered running. Loving it!

Lydia said...

Selfish is not always a bad thing -- it can mean "taking care of yourself" in the best possible way. Glad to find your blog, and looking forward to sharing the second half of 2007 with you!

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hey Nora, great pics, the beach looks awesome! It's great to get away once in awhile isn't it?
As for the sticky date pudding, keep me informed on how it turns out, ok? Happy Christmas in July!

Nora B. said...

Stephen, it's nice to get away from the daily routines. It doesn't have to be a long vacation. Even if it's just for a few days, it does wonders.

Thanks, Wendy. I'm glad that you've discovered running.

My sentiments exactly, Lydia. Looking forward to reading more on your blog :-)

Thanks Carol. Actually, I have to thank my partner for taking most of the photos of me ;-) I'll definitely let you know how my puddings turn out.

Kirsten said...

Oh how wonderful!!! The beach off season can be so lovely.

Your running is inspiring - I haven't been that good to myself lately - too much eating and not enough exercise, so thank you for the boost I needed.

Kristen said...

I wish I had a passion for running. I used to run and liked it, but never would call it a passion. I have RA now, so running is out of the picture, but I so wish I could still do it!

Janet said...

Hey Nora.... you're pretty skinny for a food blogger that is "obsessed with food" :-) Maybe I ought to start running... sigh.

:-) Glad you had a nice trip!

Kelly-Jane said...

Glad to hear you had fun :) That beach looks like an awesome place to run!

chemcookit said...

Hey Nora,
wow, your pictures are gorgeous - I know it's stupid, but I didn't realize it's wintertime where you live! It's so cool to have blog-friends all around the world. :)

Nora B. said...

Kirsten, it was really nice to have the beach to myself :-)

Kristen, sorry to hear about that. I can't imagine life without running.

Janet, hmmm... I've never been called skinny before, so thank you. Growing up in Singapore where the average height is 5ft or less, I am always called "big girl", even though i think they mean "tall". Luckily after travelling, I discovered that I wasn't big but rather they were small! ;-)

Kelly-Jane, it was awesome. Wish I was back there...

Marta - yes, it's very cool!

Carolyn said...

Oh, what a wonderful sounding vacation you had! Your descriptons, and photos are great. That blue sky and ocean truely looked rejuvinating! A real adventure for me, to see your beautiful part of the world.

So glad that running has done and meant so much to you. In recent years, bicycling has been my way of soaking in the outdoor sights and sounds, relaxing, getting aerobic activity, and the one thing that gets me from left brain thinking to right brain! Not bad for some pedaling. LOL. So your love for running sounds very unselfish to me, and a very nurturing, and necessary pursuit! Hope you carry that secluded sandy scene and feeling with you through the next six months! Have a great day. :-)