Eloise Blackwell on baking, audiobooks, and a homemade spa pool

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Blackwell on missing her Great Barrier Island home

In hindsight, I would probably much rather be on the island, but when it was leading up to the lockdown, I had been around a lot of kids and just in Auckland in general and didn’t want to put my family at risk in case I had come into contact with anybody. Now that people can’t hunt and fish, the only thing I am missing know is the location. If I had it my way, I’d be out on the water everyday and in the bush. It keeps my fitness up and keeps me sane with that sea breeze and native bush smell.


Mum and Dad are still working on Barrier. Mum does the post and Dad delivers freight, so they are still working all the way through. I talk to them most nights and Dad is mad because he just wants to get out and go fishing. He can see all the bait fish in the creek and he just wants to go and net it and plan and prep for fishing missions coming up, but obviously he can’t, so he’s getting frustrated about that. My brothers are enjoying their time, they just play Fortnite all the time, so they are happy.


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Blackwell on being a ‘housewife’

We have a pretty busy, full on house. Leish [Aleisha-Pearl Nelson] is a nurse, so she’s an essential worker and one of my other flatties is a cop. I’ve pretty much been a housewife – cooking, cleaning, and doing whatever I need to do to keep myself busy.


I have perfected my afghans recipe. The good old Edmonds cookbook. I didn’t have weetbix or cornflakes, so I used my muesli and took out all the pumpkin seeds and raisins and kept the golden honey roasted bits, it was better. So, I’ve made a couple of batches of afghans, made weetbix slice and chocolate brownie. Les [Elder] sent me a feijoa crumble recipe, so I’m going to give that a go because Leish brought heaps of feijoas back from her farm. I’m getting into the baking side but obviously with baking comes a lot of sugar, so I have to make sure I’m running a lot so I can enjoy all these treats.


Blackwell on workouts

I’m pretty lucky to have raided our school gym, so I have a rack with all the weights, a rower, bench, a box for box jumps and I already had a watt bike, so we are pretty well set. Our favourite session this week has been our cardio hit …


Watt bike






Six rounds of each, one minute on and one minute off and that killed us!


What I am planning to do later in the week, is do a Zoom call with my school rugby team and we’ll do something similar live over the video call.


Blackwell on entertainment

MUSIC | I’m in charge of the workout playlist and every night we do a flat circuit. Lately, we’ve been playing a 2000s mix, with the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, One Direction. It’s all that poppy stuff, but I usually like rap.


BOARD GAMES/CARDS | We have been smashing out the card and board games like SkipBo, Uno Flip, Sequence and Catan.


AUDIOBOOKS | I’ve been listening to Audio books, because I’m not much of a reader and I find listening is easier for me to do. I just finished Andre Agassi, Open. It was good because it was quite relatable, just to hear other sports people’s journeys and what they had to go through. When I listened to his book, I was like holy heck … we do nothing compared to what he has done in his life in terms of training. It’s out the gate that from the age of 7, he had to hit 2500 balls everyday which by the end of the year ended up equating to over a million. It was forced on him by his Dad. I was lucky my parents never did anything like that to me because it would have put me off completely.


Blackwell on building her own ‘spa pool’

I haven’t done a lot of DIY, but I did try and make a spa pool at the back of my Ute the other day. It probably worked for all of five minutes. We had a bit of an issue with the tarpaulins, they were leaking. We filled it up and we were running back and forth with hot water and it was a little bit over lukewarm. If you sat down just to your belly button it started draining. We are trying to come up with a 2.0 version but it’s proving to be difficult, especially when you can’t go down the road and buy a new tarpaulin.


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Blackwell on mental space

To be honest, I think I’m training more not having other things on my plate. It’s been good for me to rest and gather myself and spend time doing things that I want to do at my own tempo, not at the usual speed of busy Auckland. If I want to sleep in I can, if I want to get up and train early, then I will do that. I’m also isolated with cool people who aren’t driving me crazy just yet, but we have 2-3 more weeks to go so that could easily change! But I’m enjoying my time at home and it’s a great chance to chill out and reset.



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