Sydney’s experienced two weeks of almost unrelenting rain. Coupled with some big swells, that’s made being on the Back of the Ferry a no-go zone for the fortnight. A Back of the Ferry tradition is a journey on the evening of the Winter Solstice – and it looked like we’d be doing this year’s journey on the Side of the Ferry. Miraculously, the clouds cleared for a brief moment and not only were we able to venture out the back, we were treated to a classic sunset. By the time we’d made the turn and were cruising between the Heads, it was dark – but then the moon came out from behind some building clouds and lit it all up again. Never a bad view on the ferry – even on the shortest day of the year.
An odd beer that I picked up recently was a one-off made by Swansea based brewer Tomos Watkin. Tomos Watkin is proudly Welsh and sees its mission as “to develop the Welsh economy and increase the profile of ‘Brand Wales’ around the World”. Tomos Watkins are probably even prouder to be from Swansea and they demonstrated this by creating a beer to celebrate Swansea City AFC’s elevation to the English Premier League. Swansea City AFC is 101 years old and other than a solitary season in 1982, had never been in England’s top flight. So moved was Tomos Watkin by this achievement, a Premier Ale 2011/12 called “Not So Ugly Now” was created (One of Swansea’s nicknames is “The Swans”). How an earth some stray stubbies ended up in a bottleshop in Balgowlah Heights, I’ll never know – but the beer honoured the achievement well. Lightly hoppy – it’s a real thirst quencher. Given Swansea City stayed in the EPL and won a League Cup – I think another commemorative ale is in order. And if I ever get to Swansea for a game of football, I’ll be looking up Tomos Watkin’s pre-game hospitality deal. Outstanding.