5 Much Loved Take That Songs

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Edited to add – I wrote this post last week. Take That are originally from Manchester and they are actually scheduled to play at Manchester Arena this upcoming weekend. They hold the record for the most concerts performed at that venue. Those concerts will likely be cancelled in light of the terror attack there and rightly so. I imagine security will be increased at concerts world wide as a result. What a horrible thing to happen, especially to children and teenagers who were likely to be fans of the musician playing there.

Since my recent Take That post, I have been thinking.. what do I consider my favourite Take That songs? The answer is not at all simple. There are so many songs over so many years. Take That music is generally very sing-a-long-able which is one reason why it is so popular in the UK where everyone goes to the pub and music plays and people sing along. Many of the songs have sections that do not have lyrics as we know them but things like oh oh oh oh oh (These Days) or ba ba ba ba (Portrait)

Two songs which have always been very popular as wedding first dance songs are – Greatest Day and Rule The World which also appeared in the movie Stardust. Rule the world is very popular for fireworks too because of the lyrics.

My current most favourite song is Let In The Sun – a catchy uplifting tune which is basically about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and getting on with it when things are Not Great.

The other songs guaranteed to get me moving and singing along at the moment are –

These Days – Upbeat and uplifting, like a freshly carbonated bottle of Soda Water. :)

Portrait – This song was performed in concert while the trio rode a bike above the audience and when you listen to it you can see why – this song is perfect for riding your air bike above a stadium of people. Or, the air bikes at Magic Mountain, if they still existed. That one is especially for the Adelaidians. :)

Giants – One of the newly released songs from Wonderland – I knew the guys were “back” in Australia when I heard this playing in a shop at Stockland.

I Like It – Sometimes the boys write a song with a specific purpose in mind – this song was the kick off song for their tour in 2015 so the lyrics are kind of specific to that. But I like it, anyway. :)

The one song I have never been a fan of is probably one of their most well known in Australia which is Back For Good. Over time the newer music has become more loved by me than the original music ever was. In particular I loved the albums Progress when Robbie Williams rejoined the band for an album and tour after a 15 year separation and I especially loved III which was the band with just Gary, Howard and Mark.

There was a documentary that went along with the making of Progress called Look Back, Don’t Stare, which was a really special moment for long time fans of the band, featuring behind the scenes footage of recording the Progress album and the band sorting out some of their long time personal issues with each other.

Take That have a new album out now called Wonderland and they will be touring Australia later this year.

Take That

The Clothing Chronicles – Part 3

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I mentioned in my first post how sizes are never the same across stores and how I always pick up the wrong size automatically – this time I am going to talk some more about the mental change that you need to make once you have lost some weight.

A few weeks ago I let the chooks out, and Rosie took off like all the foxes in Australia were chasing her. It was so funny, I took note of the time – it was dead on midday. I said to the other half when he got home he should look at our cameras so he could see Rosie, and what I saw actually shocked me. I could not believe that person on the camera was me.

The “I’m much larger than I actually am” mentality is part of the reason why I reach for the larger size automatically. I’m now less than one kilo from my goal weight of 70kg but in my mind I am at least 10kg heavier than that.

I went to Rockmans recently specifically to look at the “Long Sleeve Dressy Shirt Hem Sequin Knit” you see above. I’d been looking for a top with some sparkle that I could wear under my leather jacket. I love mixed media pieces and this chiffon hem thing seems to be a big trend here this year, though I bought several pieces like this on my Hawaii trip in 2013.

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This chiffon hem is just that, literally a hem added on to the bottom of the jumper. The jumper itself can be a little scratchy because of the sequins in the knit, just so you know. But it was exactly what I was looking for and there is such little sparkly out there in the shops this year.

Recent experiences have taught me to take more than one size into the fitting room and in this case I took in the small and the medium. I tried on the small first and was shocked when it fit perfectly.
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The small size.
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The medium size was just too big this time, especially as I wanted to wear it under a jacket. But my mind tried so hard to convince me to get the medium. It said quite clearly –

“Won’t you be more comfortable in the medium?”

“You like having room to move in your clothes, I think you should get the medium”

“If you get the medium you can wear another top underneath”

To all of this I said SHUT UP I am getting the small because it fits better. And so I did, plus BONUS it was half price so I got it for $30 and here it is in an outfit.

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That inner voice trying to tell me incorrect things is one reason why shopping can be an exhausting experience. In this case I had specifically gone to try on this one thing so it was a little easier and this was the only shop I went to, so it was less tiring than usual.

Picking out things you want to try on before you even leave the house is a great way to go about this task, I have discovered. The obvious problem can be it might not be in stock at your store in your size but some stores now have the ability to tell you whether an item is in stock at your store.

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Rockmans is one of the stores that can do this.

After my recent shopping adventures I now have quite a few new loyalty cards and some of these shops now send me daily emails which can be great if you are wanting to get something specific when it is on sale like I did with this top. I have a number of items bookmarked for future purchase when they are on sale or on clearance, if I miss out on them in my size then it is not meant to be.

Fashion

Box Kitty

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Our kitties love a good box, especially in colder weather. It is therefore a happy thing that we always use the spare empty boxes at Aldi to carry home our shopping. Some of the boxes we bring home get used for other, more useful purposes. The ones that see a lot of kitty love often have a towel or rug thrown into them and they become a kitty bed.
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The kitties would say a kitty bed is the most useful purpose for a box, the more of them, the better. Humans, don’t use these boxes for other things, just for us!

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Movie Catch Up 4

Something different this week – here are 3 movies I loved. The more movies I watch, the more I notice they tend to fall into the loved or liked category. Is that good choosing on my part, or on the part of my most favourite actors?
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Queen Of Katwe

“A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.” IMDB

I know absolutely nothing about chess. I do not understand the game and I have never taken the time to learn about it. There just always seemed to be other things to do. This is a movie about a girl who becomes a chess champion. So I was quite worried going into this that I would not understand what was going on for much of the time. I should not have worried.

This was truly one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen and I do not mean that in a way like a feast for the eyes, tricky camera angles or amazing photography though there was some great shots in here and I loved the use of colourful costumes and landscapes. I mean beautiful in the story it tells and the people it tells us about. The entire cast is wonderful. David Olewayo and Lupita N’yongo lead a cast of actors who are new to acting but certainly incredibly good at it.

I am a HUGE Lupita fan but my love for her began thanks to her amazing choices fashion wise. Some stars just take the red carpet more seriously than other stars do and Lupita became a fashion icon for me a few years ago when she was nominated for an Oscar for her incredible performance in 12 Years A Slave. She did win it and quite rightly so.

I loved this movie so much, but I particularly loved the ending and then the gorgeous part where they put the actor next to the real person. I cried happy tears, it was so wonderful.
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The Girl On The Train

“A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.” IMDB

Wow, this movie got some terrible reviews and I am not quite sure why. Maybe because I came into this knowing absolutely nothing about it, I had not read the book, and I had no expectations at all other than knowing I usually enjoy movies with Emily Blunt in them.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Rebecca Ferguson in this movie, I loved her in The White Queen mini series. Alison Janney snuck in here as a surprise to me as well. I actually really enjoyed this movie. And at one point I looked up at the clock and it was 8:30pm, the next minute I looked up to see an hour had gone by and I had not even noticed it, so entranced and enthralled was I in this story.

I am not going to tell you anything about it at all. My hope is you know as little as I did if and when you see this.
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Black Mass

“The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston.” IMDB

So the thing with Johnny Depp movies is – it will either be one of two things. Incredibly brilliant, or deeply Not Great. In this instance he is ably supported with a great cast including Jesse Plemons, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon. And that is a good thing, because I found Johnny Depp incredibly creepy in this role. The blue eye contacts certainly made him look different.

I have loved Jesse Plemons ever since his epic role as Todd in the final season of Breaking Bad. I was very pleased to see him in this movie – when I sat down to watch it the only cast member I knew about was Johnny Depp. Sometimes that is the best way to watch a movie – completely cold with no idea who is in it. Jesse is very Matt-Damon-Esque in this role, though there is not *quite* enough of him for me.

I was amazed at how you could see almost every single pore and wrinkle on the face of the actors in this movie. The focus was SO deadly sharp! I am afraid my screenshots have not done any justice to the levels of focus in this film.

There was one scene which had one of the best shots of people talking in a car that I have seen in a movie, ever. And we have seen that shot a lot of times, haven’t we?blackmass2

This film did an amazing job of taking great actors and making them super creepy. In particular Joel Edgerton. Whitey killed quite a few people so there are a few murders in the movie. Realistically though they could easily have made this movie without including any of that. There was more than enough story here to fill two movies let alone one.

I loved this more for the sheer quality of the acting and the technical aspects – that sharp focus and what it could do for the film drew me in. If you are a fan of any of the actors involved you might enjoy this as much as I did, otherwise you might want to give it a miss, especially if you do not want to see violent scenes. Well, I don’t want to see them either but I understand their role and purpose, so I tolerate them when they appear.

movies

Take That & Party

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When I began working after leaving school, I had a fair bit of disposable income. I bought myself a cheap car and put an expensive stereo system into it. My main aim at that time was to make the music loud enough that I could not hear my tone deaf friend singing in the car. I did succeed.

Each week on payday, I would drive to Castle Plaza after work and go to the music store. CDs were the format of the times, we are talking 1992-1993. I would buy enough cd’s to fill my 6 cd stacker each week, maybe two music “albums” and four singles.

One week I stumbled upon a new group I had not heard of before, an band from the UK known as “Take That”. The music shop had a super special deal – buy the CD and you got a free music video with it. The moment I bought that deal, my fate was sealed. I was to become a Forever Take That fan.

My Mother found it somewhat hilarious that it was a UK group. She had been a huge fan of the Beatles back in her day. She remembers going to Adelaide Airport to greet them. The sheer pandemonium caused by the Beatles trip to Adelaide was pretty crazy.

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I became a collector of Take That items. Whatever I could get my hands on, I would collect it. Even the dolls which as I recall were considerably Up Money as they were imported from the UK. Soon my room began to look a little.. crazy, with posters everywhere. I started to run out of wall space and had to blu-tak things to the roof.

My favourite band member was Mark Owen. This was due to the fact that he always seemed to put the most energy into his performance, especially the dancing. Any fan of the band would always have their favourite member and for many people their favourite was Robbie Williams.room1

In 1995 it was announced the band would tour Australia. I got my tickets as early as possible, I do not remember how that all came about or where I had to go to buy them. But for any self-respecting fan with disposable income aplenty, attending the concert would not be quite enough.

We planned to stay at the same hotel as the band though we had no idea which hotel it would be. Back in those days the two big 5 star hotels in town were the Hilton and the Hyatt, so we made a booking at both of them. We were there to meet the band at the airport, where they were mobbed by fans and loaded into two Toyota Tarago vans. room2

I do remember vividly that fans were thumping the vans with their fists, so hard I thought the windows would break. I did not do any thumping, in fact I remember I was pretty angry with the people who did that and the saner fans among us us told them to stop. They did not listen, though.

We raced back to the car like crazy people and took off to “follow” the band – of course miles behind them by the time we got out of the carpark. When we drove past the Hyatt, the two Taragos were out the front, so we knew where we would now be staying and cancelled our booking at the Hilton.

We were not the only fans who had this idea – in fact there were so many fans who stayed at the hotel, plus all the fans camped out the front, we were all asked to wear our room keys around our necks so they could tell we were guests and not just fans trying to sneak in.

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Here you see Gary Barlow and Howard Donald in their Tarago, taking off from the Hyatt. I’m thinking they were on the way to sound check before the concert but I really can’t recall exactly when this was taken. This was back in the days before digital cameras.

Mark Owen did get into our lift. I cannot remember anything about this moment except how shiny his hair was. I know he talked to us and asked if we were going to the concert. The rest of that lift trip is a complete blur. The concert is a complete blur.

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The only other thing I do remember is when the band went to the pool – we heard they had gone but it was closed so they could use it in peace. Our room had a view of the pool, but we were on a very high floor. Here we all are, trying to spot them.

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And here is my very blurry photo of them at the pool. I used to be able to tell you exactly who was where in this photo, now I cannot remember.

Robbie Williams went on to be the more well known artist in Australia after he left the group. The group did break up not long after he left the band and all went their separate ways. They reformed as a foursome in 2005 and went on to write and perform some excellent music much of which we never heard here in Australia. But those of us who are fans, we followed along from afar.. :)

The band recently announced they are touring Australia in November. I happen to have a good friend who lived in the UK, she has always been a fan and she had went to quite a few of their concerts.

When they did a live cinema event a couple of years ago here in Australia, she asked me to go with her and of course I did, it was great. So she was the first person I spoke to as soon as I heard about the tour, and of course both of us wanted to go. I bought the tickets on pre-sale a couple of weeks ago.

So there you have my crazy teenage fan story. ;) I guess I was lucky that by the time I became a crazy teenage fan, I had my own car, I had a job, and I could afford my obsession.

Take That

Quick Note

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No movie post this week, we have been too busy to watch movies. Part of the busy was an overnight trip to Canberra. We went to IKEA and picked up a few things, including another HODDE.

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One presently resides on the floor in front of my recliner. Something about this rug just makes me happy. If I could, I would cover the entire house with them!

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For now, I have settled for replacing an older rug in the Kitty Hang Out Area. This is a spot where the sun shines for much of the day. There are places for cats to sleep at varying levels, many including floor mats placed inside or on top of cardboard boxes.

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There is a pot of all the vegetables we did not eat over the last two and a half weeks bubbling away on the stove. Red capsicum, leek, one lonely carrot, cauliflower, zucchini, brussel sprouts and potato. It will be ready for lunchtime. Happy moments here!

Home

Sweet And Sour Chicken

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This was the second Chinese dish I ever learned how to make – the first being Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup. For some reason – probably laziness and the fact that KanTong makes a sweet and sour sauce in a jar – I stopped making it from scratch. I would love to know why that is, did I think this was harder to make than it actually is? Never, ever again will I use that jar sauce because this recipe is so simple and easy and incredibly delicious. It is taken from the Golden Circle website but I have changed it slightly to suit ourselves.

You will need –

600g chicken breast fillets chopped how you like them.
your choice of cooking oil to cover frypan (I use half coconut/half olive)
1 leek (chopped how you like)
1 green capsicum (chopped how you like)
2-3 carrots (chopped how you like)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tin pineapple (somewhere between 400-500g) – reserve the pineapple juice
1/4 cup Beerenberg tomato sauce
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

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First cook the chicken – you can dust the chicken in flour if you like, you will find that thickens the sauce slightly. I’ve done it both ways and probably won’t flour it again. Remove the chicken from the pan once browned.

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Then sweat the garlic, leeks, capsicum and carrot for a few minutes. While this is sweating, into a bowl place the reserved pineapple juice, the tomato sauce, the white wine vinegar and the soy. There, you just made your sauce! It will look brown and that might seem odd.

Once your vegies have sweat up a storm, add in your chopped pineapple and stir around a bit, mix it all together.

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Add your chicken back in. Pour the sauce in, allow to simmer. You will see the sauce change colour It will go from brown to that traditional pink-red colour..ss5

Serve over rice. This makes enough for us to have dinner plus 2 lunch serves. You could also double the amount of sauce and have that over rice as a snack or lunch, if you like. You could add in other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, snow peas, brussel sprouts chopped finely, zucchini, water chestnuts, baby corn, cabbage might be good, too.

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If you look at the Golden Circle recipe it uses a much larger tin of pineapple, and it also says to use Worcestershire sauce. We do not use that, and it is fine without it. I think any more pineapple would be too much for us, and I would steer in the direction of adding other vegetables instead.

This meal is on the weekly rotation for a while because we are enjoying it so much. The only other recipe I need to learn to make from scratch is a version of Honey and Mustard chicken – I will be giving that recipe a try in future weeks. We used to use the Chicken Tonight sauce but it is far too salty for The Other Half to consume now. I would like to try some other Chinese style made from scratch sauces as well. ;)

recipes

Movie Catch Up 3

Loved

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The Founder

“The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ innovative fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.” IMDB

I absolutely loved this movie even though it is basically the story of how Ray Kroc stole pretty much everything from the *actual* founders of Mcdonalds. It was incredibly well done, the script was engaging and it grabbed me right from the start. In the latter half of the film, though, at the exact same time as I was loving it, I was so angry about the story it was telling me so beautifully.

This is probably the best role I have ever seen Michael Keaton perform, and he does it incredibly well. The entire cast is fantastic but especially the Mcdonald Brothers, played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch.

My favourite part of the movie is when the Mcdonald brothers were telling their story of how they came up with the “speedee” system. I don’t normally put clips from the movies up here but this one was so brilliant I am going to share it.

I almost feel like the Mcdonald brothers could have been a great movie just on their own. I deeply loved those guys and I wanted to spend more time with them. It felt a bit like Mike Ehrmanraut from Breaking Bad – I just want to watch that guy do anything, for hours on end. And in Better Call Saul they are indulging me – I got to watch Mike take a car to pieces last week, it was everything I dreamed it could be.

The phone calls back and forth between Kroc and the Mcdonald brothers were pure gold. It is very hard to make that kind of stuff play on screen as well as it did.

Nice guys finish last of course, and that is exactly what ended up happening to the Mcdonald brothers. But even though you know from the get-go that this will be the eventual outcome, you spend the movie wishing it would turn out differently for them – and that Kroc would get what he deserves, which was NOT a massive fast food and real estate empire.

I do recommend this movie. You will love it yet hate it but there is no doubt you will enjoy every minute of it, especially the precious minutes you will get to spend with the Mcdonald brothers.

Liked

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The Invisible Woman

“At the height of his career, Charles Dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death.” IMDB

I was torn about whether I liked or loved this. 91% of it was loved- the costumes, the locations, the acting, all of this was brilliant. I did not like how it was told in flashback, it made the story quite confusing to me and especially how it ended quite abruptly and never really explained what happened to Charles Dickens or their relationship.

As with so many movies now, I had to go and do some research afterwards to know more. And rightly so, how do you condense a 13 year affair into a movie? This is a story which might have been better told in miniseries form.

This is a movie I would need to watch several more times to decide how I feel about it, so for now it sits squarely in the liked column. I will watch it again just because the costumes were so great.

Disliked

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It’s Complicated

“When attending their son’s college graduation, a couple reignite the spark in their relationship. But the complicated fact is they’re divorced and he’s remarried.” IMDB

I never thought I would hate a movie with a cast as great as this, but BOY did I hate this. Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, this should be a winner. It was most definitely not. I spent much of the movie cringing and debating whether I should stop watching this. Deeply terrible. Why did I keep watching this for an hour? WHHHHHYYYYYYYY? For the sake of completion? Because I wanted to know what happened to the characters?

Thankfully, I did switch it off at 1 hour 7 minutes, and I deleted it from the hard drive soon afterwards so I could not be tempted to watch the rest of it. The movie did run for another hour and I am glad I did not waste that time watching it.

When I checked it on IMDB I was unsurprised to find it was written by the same person who wrote The Intern. So now I have a writer to avoid permanently. One stinker is bad, two and you are OUT.

movies

A Day Out & Il Locale, Berry

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I’ve had laryngitis and bronchitis this past week so I have been sticking close to home. But now The Other Half has two weeks off and this past Saturday we got out of the house.

At first we were just going to the chemist and to Bunnings, a local hardware store for those of you not in Australia. But one look at the carpark of Bunnings and we decided it was a HELL NO situation. Even the chemist carpark was packed, so much so the other half chose to stay in the car.

When I got back to the car we looked at each other and said what now – do we go back home? My outfit was not quite ready for that, so I suggested we head over to Berry to pick up some hand cream I have been wanting to get.

I am a member of a local food group here in the Shoalhaven – it is usually how I find all the local gems – and someone had recently posted photos of their meal from Il Locale. So as we were wandering about reading menus, I suggested we check out the menu at Il Locale. It turned out to be a great choice.

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Il Locale is best known for the amazing gelato they make on the premises. In fact strolling past you might not be aware that they do actually serve delicious food and coffee and they do it at very reasonable prices for Berry. Berry is the kind of place where a simple ham and cheese croissant could cost you more than $10. It is a bit “Up Money” on occasion.

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The Other Half chose his usual Egg and Bacon Roll. For $8, it was a bargain. The tomato chutney was *incredible*. It was so good I actually would have liked to buy it and take it home. I am not sure if it is for sale and they were quite busy when it was time to leave, so I couldn’t interrupt and ask. Next time.

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I went for the BLAT – Bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato. It was so delicious. We also had coffee which was the perfect temperature and so, so good.

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There are a couple of side rooms with tables for people to sit and eat, which you would not necessarily know from the street.

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They also have take away sandwiches ready to go. And sorbet and gelato. Don’t forget about the gelato! It was a nice – and rare these days – treat. We do not eat out very often since changing our diet to low sodium.

We went for a stroll through our favourite shops, I got my hand cream, and by the time we were done the Bunnings carpark was suitably empty. Win win all around! Happy moments for all.

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