20130813-212500.jpg Sunday of my dreams, this one.

My sister and her eldest daughter, my niece Harriet, came up from Adelaide for the weekend. Three days and two nights of cuddles with this little one was just what I needed. She is the sweetest thing. Not just sweet because she's small and cute and full of giggles, but because she has the biggest and kindest heart I've ever know. She's an amazing almost six year-old, full of empathy and joy.

I made her waffles for breakfast on Sunday, as I'd promised a week ago. She was helping me mix the flour and buttermilk and said with a big sigh 'I love waffles'. My sister smiled and asked her, 'Harriet, have you ever had waffles?'. 'No', she replied happily. She went on to eat three, drowned in maple syrup, strawberries, yoghurt and pecans.

And because it was so gloriously sunny in Sydney, such a perfect not-quite-Spring day, my sister and I decided that after a run in the park our late lunch needed to include a lager shandy in a beer garden. And since the Henson Hotel is halfway between my aunt's house and the airport, it was just about right. Not to mention the food was amazing (and well priced). These folks know what they're doing - the place was packed with young families and full of charm. It felt old-school Marrickville with just the right amount of shiny and new. Harriet drew pictures of pineapples and smiley faces on the back of coasters and drank apple juice, while Kate and I sipped cold beers. It made for the nicest afternoon I've had in a long while.