Lifestyle | Fraser Island



Sitting at my kitchen table in grey, dismal London, pondering whether or not to put the heating on or man up and grab another jumper, Australia couldn't seem further away than it does right now.

Fraser Island was too memorable an experience not to share - good and bad included.

Located along the southern bay of Queensland, Fraser Island can only be reached by boat. You can rent 4x4s if you don't have one or hop on board a tour bus that'll take you round the most idyllic parts of the island during on day or two with an overnight stay.

My mother and I, being the fearless (read obnoxious) types, decided to go it alone in our 4x4 - with it's 'sand' setting located just by the handbrake, it seemed like it was meant to be.

It wasn't. We didn't make it on to the golden sands of Fraser Island or even the barge to get us there before our first disaster.

We were breathalysed and away we went to tackle the sand before the barge. Adrenaline hit as we put the car into sand mode and ventured into the sand to the barge. For all of five seconds before we got stuck.

Think stuck in the mud and then replace the mud with sand. You put your foot down harder on the accelerator and the deeper the car gets stuck. The only benefit with sand is that it's much easier to dig out the car, be it with your hands. Lucky for us, a couple of guys came to our rescue with some solid advice. Driving on sand 101: the key is to let down the tyre pressure.

We pushed, and the car was out. Much less enthused than previously, we drove onto the barge and were driving along the sand on Fraser Island in session with the other cars. Until ours got stuck, again.

This time no one came to the rescue. And there we were, a couple of metres from the tide, which seemingly looked as if it was coming in, stuck on beach, again. Did I forget to mention that it was 32 degrees at this point? I think the best phrase to use to describe the situation would be 'a frenzied panic'. You literally can't write this sort of shit or you can, but you know what I mean.

For thirty minutes we attempted to dig out the car with our hands. Tour buses drove passed and waved, their drivers carry the smug smile that shouted, "Should have paid the $200 and saved yourselves the drama."

Then, in the distance out of nowhere, and just when we'd lost all hope - lol, kidding but we were pretty desperate by this stage - came a truck of burly bearded men with all sorts of wonderful gadgets and mechanisms to retrieve our heavily sunken car from the sand. There was the tyre pressure gage, the ramps, the rope - you name it, they had it. Once again we had our tyre pressure lowered and we were pulled free from the sand, thankfully, for the last time.

What did we learn? Sand settings are a lie. It was nothing to do with our poor preparation for driving on Fraser, obviously.

We bounded up and down sand dunes towards Lake McKenzie. The sand surrounding the lake has got to be the whitest I think I've seen to date - a quick Google tells me that it's almost pure silica, giving it that beautiful lack of colour. The water was clear and, as you can see above, becomes darker shades of blue as you move deeper in.

Lake McKenzie is centred in the middle of the island but if you head back out to the sand beaches along the coast, you can treat the beach as a motorway or sorts and drive for 70 miles to the top of the island - views and memories that you'll never forget included.
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Fashion | Stussy on the Beach


Stussy bikini

Photograph by Sophie Garrett

Just a quick one to send you all love from where you'd rather be x
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Lifestyle | Salmon & Ratatouille


If I'm not writing or exercising then you'll most likely find me in the kitchen. I didn't start cooking properly until university and like most things, I've always had a make it up as I go along attitude. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't.

Ratatouille is one of my favourite dishes. It's totally adaptable to include whatever vegetables you fancy. It's just as good cold in the summer as it is hot in the winter too. And just in case I haven't sold it well enough yet - it's also pretty cheap to make.

I make a wok-full and eat it with different meat and greens for three or four days or if you'e got company, it'll feed you and three friends.

Ingredients to serve four:

3 garlic gloves or two tablespoons of Lazy Garlic
4 large handfuls of finely chopped basil
2 carrots
1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 onion
4 large tomatoes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans
200ml water
4 salmon fillets
1 lemon
Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil spray

Method:

Firstly, finely chop the garlic. Then chop the carrots, courgette, onion, tomatoes and pepper as small or as large as you desire. I like it chunky so I cut the carrots down the centre and then across into thick chunks. I do the same with the courgette too. The red pepper I cut into quarter and then quarter again. The tomatoes I cut in half as they dissolve easily and go very mushy if they are chopped any smaller.

Next, cut the lemon in half and squeeze it over the salmon fillets. Then season these with salt and pepper and set them aside.

Olive oil spray is fairly lazy but it's a very easy way to get an even and thin coating of olive oil so, sue me. Spray a large wok with oil and when it's hot add the garlic, stirring it while it fries for a minute.

Add in the carrots. Let these fry for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice a minute. Then add in the courgette, pepper, onions and two handfuls of basil. Fry these all together for another five minutes.

Finally add the tomatoes and kidney beans, followed by the tinned tomatoes and another handful of basil.

Stir in 150ml of water and reduce the heat to a minimum. Leave the ratatouille to reduce, stirring every few minutes. This will take roughly 15 minutes but can vary so it's best to keep an eye on it. The longer you can let the ratatouille rest the better. If you have time to cook it a few hours before you eat it, do. The vegetables soak in more flavour and it makes it that much more delicious. Plus it's quick and easy to reheat.

There are two obvious ways to cook salmon, it just comes down to personal preference. I like to cook my salmon how I would cook steak - flash frying it in a frying pan to give it that crispy finish.

Spray a frying pan with olive oil and when hot, stick in the salmon skin down. Leave this to fry for two minutes and then turn it over and fry it on the other side for two minutes. Repeat this twice or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.

Plate up the ratatouille and sprinkle over some basil. Serve the salmon on the veg, squeeze some of the remaining lemon over it and there you have it!
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