World, interrupted

It definitely feels like that right now, and indeed this whole year. It’s been hard not to feel a bit disheartened and dispirited in Melbourne this week given the daily numbers. All I can say is that next weekend we’re into the last month of Winter and the countdown to Spring when we will (hopefully) be out of lockdown. It has felt quite dystopian seeing pictures of an eerily quiet CBD and people wearing masks in my neighbouring streets and Rosanna parklands.


I’ve been lucky to have resourceful extended family members make masks for our family to wear this week. If you are wanting something a bit more stylish, Flat Iron in Kew is making masks to order in three different colourways and selling three for $60 or one for $24. While it felt a bit weird wearing a mask outside the first time, I think it will start to be the new normal in time just like it has been with Zoom meetings and work. While I’ve  tried to wear a mask while running, I have found it too hard to breathe but have kept one on my wrist to wear once I stop to warm down and taken alternative paths to walkers.


I’ve been ordering my groceries online through Biviano and Sons if you’re wanting to avoid going to the supermarket and I have also seen ads for Lower Plenty Fresh. Conga Foods is moving from Bell Streeet to a new location mid-September at 60 Dougharty Road in Heidelberg West and renaming itself as the Fine Food Depot. My friends at Banyule Council are looking at innovative ways to help small business with their ‘Rediscover Local’ campaign launching next month. If you own a business in Banyule and want more exposure to customers, it’s free for you to participate. Just fill out the form from the link in their bio.


Open House Melbourne 2020 launched earlier this month if you’re wanting an explore some of the best architecture our city has to offer online. La Trobe University is holding its virtual Open Day next Sunday 2 August and enrolments for both undergraduate and post-graduate courses have exceeded target so there are many people looking to up-skill and ride out the pandemic in a meaningful way. MOMA in New York is also offering free online creative courses and I read with interest this article on the 5 types of creativity and Everyday Creative book written by Mykel Dixon. You may recognise yourself in one of the the types whether you think you’re creative or not given creativity manifests itself in many different ways. It is something I hope to instil in my children who are already showing great creative promise in terms of their musicality and art.

Finally, how lovely was it to see wedding photos of Princess Beatrice wearing her grandmother’s vintage Norman Hartnell dress and tiara and re-wearing her Valentino shoes underneath the rose-covered archway with her new husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Whether you are a royalist or not, it was beautiful and inspiring at a time when we need to see more beauty and wonder in the world.


Scream inside your heart

While it’s hard to see the silver linings at the moment, this directive to Japanese rollercoaster riders made me laugh out loud this week. I think we all feel like screaming inside our hearts – it’s been frustrating to say the least being in lockdown 2.0 and Melbourne weather isn’t helping! We’re all riding the coronacoaster of highs and lows and we are going to have to be more like the Three Musketeers – all for one and one for all.

Face masks by Paper Wings

I’d noticed more people out in public wearing face masks and face shields when I took my dog to Petbarn for a bath on Friday but now that it’s been mandated from this Wednesday – there has been a scramble to buy some. You can get disposable surgical masks from Chemist Warehouse and other places but from an environmental perspective, it’s much better if you can make your own, use an existing bandana or scarf or buy re-usable masks even if they’re not medical grade. Something is better than nothing.

By Kinsmen face masks

For an online round up – Clear Collective is selling masks without valves and this was in response to our first bushfire crisis when smoke pollution was in the air. If you’re after something more fancy Banded Together and Papinelle are selling silk face masks while for something more basic, you can try Gorman or Bonds.

For fashion with a conscience, you can also buy masks from Social Studio, Second Stitch, Sister Works and Ford Millinery – all are social enterprises or donating a portion of their sales to charity. I had liked the By Kinsmen plain face masks in black or natural but given they’ve been sold out every time I’ve gone to order, in the end I asked my cousin Beck from Fabric Drawer to make some up (which she did and then promptly sold out online but there are more to come) and have managed to order some from Paper Wings. I also love the beautiful ones made by Australian designer Megan Park.

Workplaces are now the main culprits with the genie out of the bottle in terms of community transmission and spread. I am glad that casual workers are being offered financial support to not go to work while sick, especially for those who are struggling to put food on the table and have enough money to pay bills. Victorian businesses will need more support than the average Australian business so it will be interesting to see what is decided by the Federal Government this coming week.

It’s important to hang on to hope in these strangest of times. Keep going my friends, keep going.

The power of us

While we’ve been there, done that and we can do it again – I don’t think any of us are happy to be back here in lockdown 2.0. I had a sneaking suspicion that we would, unfortunately, be going in for another round last Saturday night when Mr Rosanna took me out for my birthday dinner at Ocha in Hawthorn with me glibly referring to ‘our last supper’ on Facebook. I am still hopeful that we can reverse the numbers here in Melbourne but it’s disappointingly taken another lockdown, and a series of mistakes, for this to happen and we are all now wearing the pain.

My peace lily at home

I said at the start that this would be a long game and the challenge largely mental and that still stands.  The ABC has launched a 6-week newsletter series called Your Mental Health and it’s timely for Melburnians given the length of this second lockdown. I’ve been very conscious of the amount of young people who are suffering at the moment and have also made time to connect with people in my circle who live on their own and need to be extra vigilant about staying in touch.

And the puzzle we’re yet to complete as a family

These are challenging times and even the strongest of us need to pay attention to our wellbeing. I’ve returned to Zoom yoga classes and guilty of baking banana bread and chocolate brownies this past week but more mindful of making healthier food choices over lockdown so I don’t end up putting on those iso kilos again. I also think a little bit of comfort food makes a whole lot of sense this weekend so don’t beat yourself up if you too have had a moment of weakness! We all need to do what we can to stay positive and motivated while we carry the weight of the nation on our shoulders. Without overstating things, it’s over to us now in the community to play ball (and try not to drop it again) for all our sakes.

Jessie Pittard ceramics

For me, it’s trying to see the beauty in every day while we are living life in the slow lane. I’ve been enjoying the peace lily my in-laws gifted to me as my birthday present that sits on my desk enjoying the winter sun as well as the 1000 piece jigsaw we’re trying to complete as a family. I love local ceramic artist Jessie Pittard‘s work featuring clothes lines (above), colourful loungewear by Sage and Clare and funky earrings by Peaches and Keen (below). I’ve also been amused by the clever antics of fashionista Estelle Michaelides if you follow her Micky in the Van Facebook page. Her creativity has been inspiring as well as the promise of happier and way more glamorous times than now.

Sage and Clare loungewear image

Local small businesses everywhere are doing it really tough at the moment and Banyule Business is interested in hearing from you for their economic development survey. If you have time, which most of us do at the moment, please complete it by 19 July as it will inform future direction and three lucky respondents will receive a $100 hamper. Speaking of which, my employer La Trobe University has also internally released its reset strategy discussion paper for staff comment and consideration and it’s a good thing to do personally as well as professionally – take stock, consider (or re-consider) your options and work out where to from here. Somehow, some way, we all have to try to move forward as best we can one step at a time, one day at a time and even from one moment to another. If it all feels too overwhelming, breaking it down into small chunks always helps, controlling what you can control (your actions and reactions) as well as having something to feel grateful for at the end of every day.

Peaches and Keen earrings

There is a saying that it takes pressure to make diamonds so Melbourne – stay safe, stay strong and long may you sparkle.

Me at Ocha Japanese Restaurant last weekend

The greater good

It’s definitely not fun times for Victorians at the moment especially those in lockdown once again. I have friends and family in some of the lockdown suburbs and today’s news about those in Housing Commission buildings was pretty heartbreaking. Between the Ruby Princess debacle in NSW and hotel quarantine in Victoria – the government has definitely dropped the ball. I am hopeful that we can get on top of things and see numbers going back down – there’s no use finger pointing but the community transmissions have left most people pretty dismayed. I am extremely grateful to those in lockdown who are ‘taking one’ for the nation – I don’t think any of us will ever take the freedom we had pre-COVID-19 for granted once this pandemic is over.


I am working on staying calm and looking forward to returning to in person (but socially distanced) yoga classes with my longtime Iyengar teacher Pamela Speldwinde at Action Yoga in Ivanhoe and have also booked a shiatsu (Japanese fully clothed) massage with Aliki Zouliou who Mr Rosanna and I try to see a couple of times a year as much as it would be preferable to see her at least quarterly. We have friends who are keen cyclists, one of whom is also a tradie, and they have monthly massages as a preemptive health measure given the amount of bodywork they do on a daily basis. Pamela and Aliki have only just reopened their businesses and are being very cautious. I’ve had to buy a number of my own props to use in class but see this as a worthwhile investment given my yoga practice has been lifelong.

It’s been a strange time to celebrate my birthday but I was very spoiled over the weekend with home made meals by Mr R and time in front of the fireplace just to sit and read – it is all about the simple pleasures. Mr R and I have had our eye on an Art Deco vintage poster for some time – the original one we liked from Vintage Posters Only sold (and you can buy other original posters from Letitia Morris and The Galerie) and it was way too expensive, so we instead bought a reproduction (with the same design) from Picture Store. You can also find retro-style reproduction posters from La Brocante and Harper and Charlie. It’s often the framing which costs a lot of money – we took our poster to The Print and Framing Company in West Heidelberg (who also do some amazing things with mirror TVs) and along with my birthday flowers and cake, I was very happy with my present this year!

We are all spending more time at home and if you are still working, it’s lovely to be able to invest in interior design, and decor, that makes you happy, adds value and lifts your spirits. The one thing I always keep in mind at this time every year (traditionally the two coldest weeks in Melbourne) is that once term 2 school holidays are over, we are in the second half of winter and on the journey towards spring and lighter days ahead.