Wild and woolly

The weather has turned and it’s got cold these past few days.  I’ve been admiring the beautiful new winter collections from some of my favourite labels including Gorman, Obus, Miranda Murphy and Nancybird as well as Elk Accessories whose garage sale with up to 80% off started today and goes until Sunday.  I walked past Green with Envy in Flinders Lane on Sunday night when I was in the city and fell in love with their beautiful shop window featuring some gorgeous floral dresses by Nicholas and an amazing fresh floral display.  I was just as taken with the actual florist shop, Pollon Flowers, on the opposite side of the street whose window display was reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland but with a gold tortoise featured rather than a white rabbit.

Evie dress image via Fashion Lane

I just wanted to mention some other upcoming markets including the Sisters’ Market in Brunswick this Sunday, Markit at Fed Square on Sunday 7 May and the Heide Mother’s Day Market in Bulleen on Saturday 13 May.

Image via Pollon Flowers

I’m hoping to make it back to my weekly class at Cinch PT sometime soon but in the meantime my very dynamic trainer Nikki has been very busy organising the Diamond Valley United Girls Night In Pamper Night and Pop Up Market event on Friday 12 May.  I can’t quite keep up with her!  But that’s maybe what trainers do – set the bar high.

Image via Girls Night In Facebook page

I’ll be back next week and will have another local profile ready to go.  Stay warm!


A Garden State

It’s been a really busy start to the year and I can’t believe my next Bold Thinking Series lecture – Michael Kirby on Health, Law & Sexuality is on next week at the NGV Great Hall, which holds 600 people and we are almost at capacity.  La Trobe University has been bringing out the big guns in terms of names with former PM Paul Keating being the keynote speaker at the Ideas & Society lecture on our role in Asia the Trump era, run by Emeritus Professor and public intellectual Robert Manne, at the Melbourne Recital Centre this Friday.  This event sold out within the first week or so of being advertised.

Image via Speakeasy HQ

I also out went out on Sunday night with my workmates to see my Irish friend Colum perform in his show Improv Against Humanity (based on the naughty card game) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  Before the show, we tried for a table at Supernormal in Flinders Lane, which was super crowded and so decided to go to the Garden State Hotel (on the former Rosati’s site), which was also going off when we entered.  The resident DJ was spinning some pretty groovy tunes so it was a shame we couldn’t stay for a dance – we opted for a basement booth table away from the noise and ordered counter meals after walking into the restaurant, which was more pricey.

Image via Speakeasy HQ

Colum’s gig had been shifted to Speakeasy HQ past the Waterside Hotel in Flinders Street – it’s Melbourne’s only dedicated vaudeville venue (and art gallery) located upstairs with a lounge bar outside the stage area and is housed in a former gold-rush era bank building – I was admiring the beautiful patterned ceiling while I was there.  And the gig?  It was very funny and improv performers are brave souls indeed – so quick off the mark….let’s just say that the words ‘semen’ and ‘dolphin’ were put to good use over the course of the evening.  Colum is not my only talented work friend, I discovered another friend Michelle used to be a high school teacher by day and a salsa dancer by night!  Next time out there will definitely be a bit of boogie-ing on down.

Image via Garden State Hotel

If you attended a Dawn Service this morning, I hope you managed to have a restful afternoon this Anzac Day.  It’s been nice to pause and reflect.

Image via Garden State Hotel

A Different Perspective

This is the name of a new exhibition in West Heidelberg that includes, photography, installation, sound, film and free ‘Art Adventure Bike Tours’, which explores the unseen, unheard and unexpected aspects of Banyule.  It’s definitely got my imagination piqued! Opening night is next Friday 28th April with the artworks from Lisa Watson, soundscapes by Jess Lovell and film watching in an urban lounge setting.

Image via Facebook

I’ve been a bit alarmed watching the news this past week and seeing the rise of nationalism around the world.  It all feels a bit dark and gloomy at the moment but maybe that’s just my winter mood starting to arrive…I could do with a different perspective myself.

On a more positive note, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks catching up with friends and family – a couple of whom have bought their ‘forever’ home and it’s been lovely to see them so happy and settled in their new houses complete with new furniture and furnishings.  I start wanting to go into cocoon mode at this time of year so just wanted to post on a few things which have caught my eye.


3 panel firescreen image via Sneddons

I love this Art Deco-style firescreen (above), which would look great in my living room.  Remember to get your chimney swept if you do have an open fireplace.  I also love the very expensive but very cool modernist hanging ErgoFocus fireplaces (below) from France.

Image via oblica.com.au

Rugs are also something that add a lot of warmth to the home if you have floorboards like us.  I prefer natural fibres like wool, cotton, silk, linen and jute but am mindful of dust given we all suffer from various allergies in my household.  I’m more of a traditionalist and think it’s worth saving up to buy quality rugs that last for years rather than being a disposable fashion item.  Hali Rugs, Loom Rugs and Cadrys all sell beautiful rugs – I also love Kulchi‘s Moroccan rugs.

Doorstops image via 1803.com.au

Finally, I discovered these gorgeous Australian made deer leather doorstops (above) from 1803 – I think they’d look great in a modernist or mid-century home.  If you prefer fabric or something more organic, Memi Designs also make lovely doorstops – the finishing touch for any house.  Finally, these outdoor pots from Anchor Ceramics in Reservoir would look fantastic on a window, balcony or deck.

Image via Anchor Ceramics


Pink moon

Apparently, this was the full moon we had last week although it doesn’t refer to the colour of the moon as such but a spring flower – the moss pink herb.  It’s also the name of a Nick Drake album that Mr Rosanna and I have.  I hope you had a happy Easter – it was also Greek and Jewish Easter at the same time so lots of celebrating all round.  If you managed to get away over the break, I hope you had a great time.

Image via Wikipedia

As for my family, we had a staycation here in Melbourne but enjoyed catching up with both sides of the family for hot cross buns and Easter dinners.  It’s taken Mr Rosanna and me a lot of time to set up our boys’ separate bedrooms so for us, there’s been trips to Westfield Doncaster and Ikea Richmond and I daresay we’ll be traipsing out to Freedom Northland at some stage too – it’s been quite a process and we are also still de-cluttering.  I’ve started reading Marie Kondo’s ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up‘ and trying to enact some of her suggestions such as starting with getting rid of clothes before moving on to books.

Image via zotheysay blog

I also bought myself a copy of Zoe Foster Blake’s Amazinger Face not so long ago but have yet to find time to pick it up and read it.  At the risk of sounding very vain (!), you can take the girl out of beauty PR but…well, you know the rest.  It’s such a small world in Melbourne that I have re–connected with one of my ex-Aveda colleagues Donna as we both now work at La Trobe University.  While one part of me will always be interested in beauty on the outside, it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside.  In my take on Yves Saint Laurent’s famous words… beauty fades, but intelligence is forever.

Image via Chinabargroup.com

While we were at Westfield Doncaster, we managed to co-incide exiting the cinema with the 1.30pm yum cha session at Secret Kitchen and have managed to have brunch there and Golden Dragon Palace in Templestowe in the past fortnight.  I always like the 1.30pm sessions if you can hold out that long, as you don’t get kicked out early given it’s the last session of the day.  Secret Kitchen has lovely views if you do book although Golden Dragon Palace has the better food.  If you’re at all squeamish about live seafood in the fish tanks then Secret Kitchen is also not the place for you.  Have a good week – it’s a short one!

Big city

I’ve actually spent a fair amount of time in the city the past few days.  My Bold Thinking Series lecture was held on the last balmy night of Autumn last week.  I had to fight my way through the crowds sitting outside the front of the State Library and on the nearby streets to get my noodles before the lecture started and emerged after my event, to find just as many people enjoying the night – including a dance off and some pretty rad moves by a group of guys out the front.  Melbourne really has become an international metropolis in many ways – I just hope we can continue to grow in a sustainable way and I’m grateful for the relative peace we live in given all that is currently happening on the world stage.

L-R: David Metcalfe, Dr Fiona McKenzie, MC Francis Leach, Jan Owen & James Fazzino

My lecture itself was fascinating – both futurist Dr Fiona McKenzie and businessman James Fazzino did a great job of flying the flag for La Trobe University while digital transformer David Metcalfe from Linked In and Foundation for Young Australians CEO Jan Owen collectively provided enlightening and insightful perspectives on what the future of work might look like – including the need for soft skills such as cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, social awareness, entrepreneurship, leadership, digital and communication skills.  The landscape is changing and we need to change with it in order to keep up.  You can watch it all on livestream here if you’re interested.

ACMI image via Wikipedia

From warmth to freezing cold, I was back in the city on Sunday as my children were booked into an Easter school holiday workshop at ACMI.  We also had a prior engagement at Docklands beforehand and it was a nightmare trying to work our way back to the top of town given the inclement weather and the fact that Flinders Street was closed for Run for the Kids.  I was impressed with the runners who still competed despite the 11 degree rainy day outdoors – tough stuff indeed.  I was happy to escape into the studios at ACMI and grab coffee and lunch from the cafe.  Enjoy the rest of the week – I’m counting down to Easter and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

Local Profile – Andrew Potocnik

Ahhh…the people you run into when you’re both running (literally) around local parklands.  I actually know Andrew through Mr Rosanna as they are both long-time middle distance runners, who know each other from many years ago.  Andrew is also a talented artist who stopped full-time teaching a little while ago – time which he can now devote to his artistic practice along with being invited to demonstrate his skills at international symposiums…DSC_8179

Name: Andrew Potocnik

Occupation: Teacher, wood artist

Lives: Macleod

How long: My whole life, so far…


Describe myself: I’ve always found myself drawn to wood as a material that enabled me to fulfil my day to day (utilitarian) needs, but more importantly it has given potential to convert concepts conjured in my mind into three-dimensional creations. I find it difficult to walk past a piece of wood and not see potential in its colour, grain, texture or form that can be converted into an object that celebrates its origin, and hopefully enriches the lives of people whose lives the piece enters. Let’s be honest, how much closer can we get to our local environment than crafting trees that have passed their use-by date into something that will live forever in the right hands?

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Best things about living in this area: Macleod is a relatively unknown area that is tucked away in a leafy part of Banyule. There is plenty of parkland, it’s close to the Yarra and its running trails… not to forget places like… shhhhh, let’s keep them just between those of us who know…

Website: www.andrewpotocnik.com

Facebook: Andrew Potocnik

Instagram: Andrew Potocnik

Up in Smoke

It’s the name of the restaurant and general store I went to on the weekend for a family lunch in the wicked west.  This American-style barbecue joint in Footscray touts itself as being all about beef + smoke + beer so it was an interesting place to take my kids to!  There’s an outdoor beer garden and it’s pretty cool looking although I have to say I still think the food is better locally at Bobo’s Diner in Ivanhoe, although I may be a bit biased…

Inside Up in Smoke – Footscray

A work friend who’s been to Up in Smoke has said that Le Bon Ton in Collingwood is pretty similar if you’re looking for another place with a great atmosphere that does smokehouse food reminiscent of the American south.  Speaking of things French, there is a new Haute Couture Houses lecture with NGV Curator, Fashion and Textiles Paola Di Trocchio available on Wednesday 3 May at The Johnston Collection in East Melbourne.  Her previous six lectures have already sold out.

Image via Le Bon Ton – Collingwood

Speaking of which, I think my upcoming Bold Thinking Series lecture at the State Library Victoria later this week has almost sold out.  I will indeed be just as interested as the rest of you on what our panel of experts have to say about the future of work.  Have a great week!