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From pre–work to after hours, there’s a bunch of ways to both upskill and get social in Freo.

Crochet in the fish pub

Hooks, yarn and conversation are the heroes at The Crochet Rumble at Clancy’s Fish Pub. Learn or hone your crochet skills over drinks and chat while working on your creations–something of your choice, or a beanie to donate to clients of St Pat’s homeless centre. Just a fiver gets you a seat at the crochet circle, and there’s instruction and tools if you need. The rumble kicks off from 7 pm on the second Wednesday of each month.

Early morning ocean swimming

The Polar Bears are a North Fremantle institution, meeting daily at Port Beach for a bracing dawn plunge. Exercise is not the only benefit of this ritual. There’s a high level of social inclusion–tea and toast from around 8 am–plus the great sense of achievement from catching the day at its youngest. It’s a low key gathering, and swimmers range from the serious to the ‘tea–bagger’, but you need to demonstrate a commitment if you want to join the club. Swimmers meet at the Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club between 5.30 and 7.30 am.

Singing at the Navy Club

Love a singalong but intimidated by traditional choirs? Here’s a no–fuss solution. Sing!Sing!Sing! is a pub choir with an emphasis on fun, and drop-ins are welcome. The group gathers upstairs at the Navy Club to belt out three part harmonies for a range of pop songs. There’s no public performances, no auditions and no requirement to read music. Just listen to the songs (they change weekly, clues are available by email) before you show up with your fiver to sing, and get the dopamine hit that comes with singing in company. The tuneful fun happens on Tuesday nights, 7.30-9 pm.

Group gardening

Many hands make light work, and in the case of Hilton Harvest, the rewards are edible. Volunteer gardening sessions happen at the friendly community garden a couple of times a week. Enjoy some social banter, green thumb enhancement and recipe-swapping while helping with seasonal tasks like planting seeds, making compost, netting fruit trees, mulching, pruning, staking and attending to the chooks. Newcomers to gardening are welcome, and if you bring something home made to share for morning tea you’ll be well loved. It’s free to join in; Saturdays from 9.30 am to 11 am, and Mondays 9 am to 11.30 am.

Beer school

Going out for drinks can be educational. At the Monk’s Beer School, there’s something different under discussion each month, but politics and religion are unlikely to get a look in. If it’s hops related, it’s on the radar. Learn from the Monk’s brewer about all things beer, and taste a few brews while you’re about it. You can get small bites or a more substantial feed with your ticket to this informal talkfest, from $25. It’s on the last Thursday of each month, at 7 pm in the Ivy Room.

Book club

The Studio Anthro book club is all about reflecting on ideas and events, and getting fresh perspectives on life. It’s a relaxed gathering of keen readers, many of whom started as strangers but have become firm friends. The reading list is on the Studio Anthro website, and there’s a 10% discount at New Edition if you mention the Studio Anthro connection. Register if you’d like to join in. The group meets on the second Sunday of the month at Stacked Café at Stackwood, 10.30 am to midday.