Nici Wickes' staycation may be more exciting than some heading out of Auckland, with plans to host a weekly radio show on NewstalkZB, tend her new beehives and dine out with friends. She talks us through her busy summer plans.
Where I'm Going:
I'm staying at home, which is a complete and welcome novelty for me given all the travelling I do for work throughout the year! "Home" is my 1950s bach at Sunset Beach, Port Waikato, and I love having a beach-based summer. All I do is schlep down to the water for swims, try and surf if it's small enough, and sit around with friends and family who come to stay. I do most of the cooking but I keep it super simple, and it's mostly on the barbecue so casual is the call!
Where I'm Eating:
We have a fish and chippery at Port Waikato that operates out of a converted shipping container and it does the freshest, best battered gurnard and great chips so I'll be treated myself with a few warm parcels from there. I take them straight down to the beach at sunset with my own plum and tomato sauces.
And I'll travel into Auckland every week to meet up with friends and eat at all the places that are packed out during the year - Coco's Cantina, Ortolana, Depot, The Blue Breeze Inn.
Where I'm Drinking:
I'm going to take some short day trips and play catch-up. On my list: Waihi Beach Hotel, now that the Hip Group have taken it over; Hallertau, because I'm long overdue; The Tasting Shed, because it's beautifully restful to hang out at; and The Oyster Inn on Waiheke. So many choices!
What I'm Wearing:
I bought my first onesie and I'm loving its versatility, though it's weird when you go to the toilet of course, as you're practically naked, but perhaps it's the price you pay for fashion! I have a huge selection of jandals and bikinis, too, and they'll all get a good work-out.
What I'm Reading:
I'm about 25 per cent through The Luminaries on my Kindle and loving it. And I've got a library book, Second Suns, the story of two doctors who've dedicated themselves to the Himalayan Cataract Project, restoring the eyesight to many in Nepal. I do like a great story of inspiration over the summer, it helps to put me in a frame of mind to consider what I want to achieve in the upcoming year - to stretch ourselves seems like a decent quest to me.
What I'm Making:
I make a lot of fritters in the summer, out on the barbecue plate. Zucchini, mint and feta; carrot and pecorino (gorgeous with a steak); potato, rosemary and snapper. Endless options.
My summer must-have:
Havaianas - my lawn has a terrible case of prickles.
Something new I want to try this summer:
Two things for me: I have just gotten beehives and I am so interested in beginning that adventure - bees, honey, busy-ness, nature, woohoo!
And another first, I'm hosting my own radio show during the summer. Every Sunday morning, from nine to noon, I'll be on on NewstalkZB, and it's going to be great to talk to the range of interesting guests we've got lined up. I adore my eight minutes with Jack Tame every Saturday during the year, talking food, but to have a bit more time and be in the big chair so to speak, makes me feel excited!