Family activities are the best. I love finding new things to do and share with my family and as your kids get older, the list of activities open to you just gets longer and longer. We’re lucky enough to have a few of the Cricket World Cup matches being played in Auckland, so yesterday we went to watch the SA vs Pakistan game. Not quite the ending or score we had hoped for, but it was a fun day out, albeit it a rather long one.
The stadium in Auckland is set in the middle of a suburban area, oddly enough, and there were discussions about it being moved or a newer more modern one being built in the city on the water front a few years ago which I personally think would have been ideal, but that idea was poo-pooed by many as a complete waste of money and it was decided to upgrade the existing one.
It isn’t one of the biggest in the world, and certainly not the flashiest, but it seats just on 50,000 and is, I have to admit, money well spent. It looks great too and has really nice facilities. The only thing I might complain about is that because it is in suburbia, many roads are closed around it’s perimeter so if you plan to drive there then you end up parking miles away and having to walk and walk and walk with your bags, jackets, etc. Not great when this is supposed to be an exciting day out for a young family.
But I have to say that we were super impressed with the public transport arrangements. There were event buses from various centres around the city that operate on a park-and-ride basis, with your event ticket being your bus fare. These operated every 10 minutes between certain times, so were looking like a viable option, until a friend suggested the train. Unfortunately the trains don’t run north, which is a shame as it would be a huge advantage to have this as an alternative travel option to the motorway, but event trains were running between the city and the stadium. And so it was that we drove to the city and caught a train – much excitement in our family as this was our first train trip together. To avoid the crowds leaving post match, we left a few minutes early but sadly would have had to wait 35 minutes for the first of the post-match event trains, so the organisers arranged a bus for a few of us who’d had the same idea which took us directly back to the city.
Days that include train trips, cricket matches and bus rides tick all the boxes for little boys, so we had a very sleepy head in the car on the way home late last night. To top it all off, we arranged to meet up with a little friend from cricket club and the two of them carried on like ferrets – endless energy and fun! Hopefully a few good memories too.
There had been talk of thunderstorms during the match yesterday, but thankfully they stayed away and the game was only interrupted by a few short showers, but this morning I’ve woken up with the soft gentle sound of rain outside. It’s great as our garden desperately needs it after the fantastic summer we’ve had, but it seems that Autumn has officially begun today. I’ve also woken up hungry as a day filled with junk food and snacks doesn’t do much for one’s energy levels, so a fresh loaf of my delicious health bread is in the oven. Fresh out of the oven, and still warm enough to melt the butter – can’t wait! Even the smell is starting to get the saliva glands working but can’t relax for long as we’re off to Walking with Dinosaurs this morning. It’s one of those weekends where everything seems to happen at once, but today will not include trains or buses, from what I’ve heard, the dinosaurs will speak for themselves, figuratively speaking of course, but it should be a great show so enjoy your day and make some wonderful memories with the people you love.
500 g Nutty Wheat flour (or use 450 g wheatmeal flour and 50 g oat bran – I also add a few spoons of Wheat Germ for the extra fibre but be careful you don’t add too much dry ingredient as the bread will then be dry and heavy – it’s already pretty dense as it is)
5 ml baking powder
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
5 ml salt
5 ml poppy seeds
5 ml sesame seeds
500 ml plain yoghurt
5 ml honey
15 ml sunflower oil (or any light flavourless oil)
digestive bran (oat bran) for sprinkling
poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds to sprinkle
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Combine all the dry ingredients, up to and including teh sesame seeds, in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the yoghurt, honey and oil, and fold into the dry mixture.
- Sprinkle a greased 22 cm x 10 cm loaf tin with digestive bran and pour the mixture into the pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
- Sprinkle the top with the bran and seeds.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Don’t be alarmed if the sunflower seeds turn green during cooking. This is just the baking powder or bicarb. If it bothers you, you can prevent this by soaking the seeds in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain the water off and add the seeds to the mixture – I have personally not tried this as I’m not worried if the seeds are green but as always, it’s up to you.