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Weeknight wonders: five activities that don’t include drinking

With the festive season fast approaching, and calendars filling up with after work drinks you seem to have promised just about everyone on your contact list, it can feel a somewhat overwhelming time (for both your liver and wallet). While there is, at times, nothing more needed or deserved than a cold glass of Pinot Gris over an in-depth debrief with a close friend, it's important to remember not everyone cares to imbibe. So, rather than asking the standard "which bar shall we go to?", here we present five other avenues for catching up with loved ones on a weeknight, perhaps even cultivating a new sense of community in the process (and giving your organs a minute to rest).

If you like a project: pottery classes at The Pottery Shed, Surry Hills

The Pottery Shed appears, to those unknown to it, as a hole in the wall located on a quiet back street in the heart of Surry Hills. Upon entry, it opens into a converted warehouse space filled with mountains of clay, shelves of finished pots and jumpsuit-clad staff that will instantly make you smile, or try to. Offering classes to all levels of ceramic experience, it’s the perfect place to visit for a creative fix that literally forces you into your body (without taking things too seriously).

For the less sculpturally inclined: Cork and Canvas, Darlinghurst

Whether you’ve never picked up a brush or consider yourself a new-age Monet, Cork and Canvas is a fun group weeknight activity that still involves wine, but importantly isn’t mandatory. Grab a group of people who have been meaning to catch up forever, BYO your own snacks and beverages, and settle in for the two hours guided painting class, where the results matter far less than the experience itself.

RUSSH is launching a film club and you’re invited. Taking place at Palace Central Cinemas, join us for a viewing and discussion of A Single Man on Wednesday, November 20. To celebrate the release of our 15th anniversary issue, we're hosting a special screening with discounted tickets for RUSSH readers, and we'd love to see you there.

If you’re committed to carbs: pasta making, your own home

If you're a fan of food, namely pasta, making it fresh as a group can provide endless entertainment and result in a delicious outcome. Making fresh pasta is surprisingly easy (much easier than pie dough), and you don’t need fancy tools to do so (just Google a YouTube tutorial for a comprehensive recipe). Basic and mandatory requirements include bench space/kitchen table, something that can roll dough flat (wine bottles, water bottles, an actual rolling pin or pasta machine for the truly dedicated) and a knife in almost any form. Get a group together to do this and delegate tasks to those who suit. Optional accompaniments include wine and/or a mediator.

For the exercise inclined: walking, anywhere

Often the problem with doing exercise classes with a friend is that there isn’t much talking involved, and this time of year is particularly hard for those of us on a budget. Offering up the suggestion of taking a walk together solves both of those issues, plus other benefits like kicking your lymphatic system back into gear, breathing in fresh air, people watching, patting dogs. As the days get longer, going for a leisurely evening stroll with a loved one, or even a new friend, will be an activity we plan to implement.

PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy @thepotteryshed_; RUSSH Issue 78, photography Mason Stevenson; RUSSH Issue 81, photography Mary McCartney; RUSSH Issue 74, photography Spela Kasal; @a.single.man.film; @sophialorenfans; @divinobyron; @velvetcoke.