Melbourne Royal

It’s the re-named Royal Melbourne Show 2022, which finished today also re-branding itself as a live music destination and festival for teenagers and adults at night once day tripper families have visited. It has been a big weekend in Melbourne with the AFL Grand Final also on. I have married into a family of footy tragics who just love to watch the football so even though our team wasn’t playing, they still entered the ballot and got seats to watch the big game.

The MCG on Grand Final day

I didn’t go but Mr Rosanna did – while the game itself was a one-sided affair – the pre-match entertainment from Robbie Williams was awesome (in his own words!) – he is a great showman and we definitely let him entertain us whether watching from home or at the game.

Me at Di Stasio Citta today

I’ve also had friends in town from Queensland and Adelaide and treated one of them to lunch at Di Stasio Citta in Spring Street today. While I have dined at the original restaurant in St Kilda a long time ago now, the city restaurant is a much more urban affair with video projections on the walls and a more industrial feel. The food was excellent with two and three-course options (both under $100) and I also appreciated the very professional and authentic Italian waiter experience.

The occasion wasn’t lost on our guests and it’s also wonderful to see your home city in the eyes of a tourist – they have plans this week to do a day trip to the Peninsula Hot Springs and a night out at Cookie – on our recommendation.

I have felt very grateful to have had the extra public holiday this week although compressing a full week of work into three days meant it was pretty intense in the office trying to make things happen and get things done. I’m hoping this coming week isn’t as full on.

I have been spending time walking or running (or a walk-run to mix things up) the main Yarra trail from Eaglemont to Heidelberg often bumping into friends and family from our old ‘hood in Rosanna. It’s one of the area’s hidden secrets where it feels like being in the country when you see horses in the paddocks and black cockatoos taking flight. The river has been threatening to burst its banks with all the extra rain but I’m making the most of things too, before our slithery friends come out of hibernation next month.

While the cost of living is hitting many of us at the bowser or supermarket, it does seem strange that we are now one of the world’s richest people even though it may not feel like it. You can’t eat your house if you’re lucky to own real estate and irrespective of what it’s worth, if your home is your only place of residence then the dollar value loses its relevance as we all have to live somewhere. It may be the generation after that benefits, and it’s them who may need all the help they can get gaining a foothold into the property market.

Not everyone can afford to dine out at CBD restaurants and it was lovely to read about Hope cafe in Fawkner providing free home cooked meals on a weekly basis to those struggling in the community. We are very lucky to live in this part of the world and I’ve mentioned that recently to someone close to me. Suburban life can sometimes feel a bit mundane but the longer I’ve lived out of the inner city, the more I’m convinced that the greatest things in life can happen in any environment, and are sometimes more likely to happen in the suburbs, where we spend the most time in our lives.


Balance, connect and revive

These are the Dulux colour forecast 2023 themes about reconnecting to nature, a desire for balance and calm and reviving our spirits with joy and play. They are speaking to me at the moment – I’ve long been someone who has valued balance which is what the word ‘yoga’ (meaning ‘union’) is all about – what you do on one side is repeated on the other and I enjoy the calm mental state it leaves me in especially after the torrid times of the past two years.

Image: Dulux ‘Revive

Connecting with nature is important for mental health – so important that the Swedish have incorporated this into their healthcare system and the Japanese concept of Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is along similar lines. Locally, Banyule has started a series of guided forest therapy walks as part of the Spring Outdoors festival 2022. The Northern Trails survey also closes tomorrow and you may wish to have your say.

Term 3 school holidays have begun and I am grateful for the additional National Day of Mourning public holiday for the Queen. It is an interesting time as I wrote about in my last post and this confusing time between what we once were and what we may become has been highlighted by Daisy Pearce’s call on what version of our nation’s history you give voice to. Voice and co-governance are very much in the spotlight at the moment and reflective of the time we are now in.

But moving on to lighter topics, with such dreary and wet Spring weather, I’m enjoying moments of colour. I had my besties over for a potluck dinner at my place last night and cheated by buying a sushi platter from Issho in East Ivanhoe and a 1.5 litre pack of 4 x different flavours from Boca Gelato. You can order some pretty amazing gelato cakes from Boca (check out the Bubblegum Dream!) and their Passion Bomb and The Neo are both on my radar. A tip too: try Bocaccio Cellars Supa IGA in Balwyn for high end ready made meals.

Some of my friends and family are lucky enough to be up north or going up north and I do love Lucy Folk’s colourful sarongs – a real indulgence if you have the budget. If you have a thing for mushrooms, you can buy decorative glass ones at Bulleen Art and Garden while I do love these handpainted wooden mushrooms from Paper Hands (pictured above) and have had a thing for Amanda Dzeidzic’s yumemiro. I’ve been thrilled to find out she has a joint contemporary glass studio, Hothaus, right here (pictured below) in Heidelberg West.

Image: Hothaus Glass Studio – Heidelberg West

Lucky you if you’re taking a break over these school holidays – my Director has fled the country and I’m in the hot seat until she gets back. Enjoy this (short) week!

Fit for a Queen

In a blink of the eye, we are suddenly in a changed world with the Queen passing away this week. Whether you are a Monarchist or not, Elizabeth II has been a stabilising, calm and enduring presence in all our lives and I have nothing but respect for someone who served her people so nobly for such a long time – she was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. I went to see the Demons play (sadly losing to Brisbane) on Friday night at the MCG and the opening ceremony captured the changing times (and perhaps changing tide) in Melbourne – there was a Welcome to Country, followed by a minute’s silence and tribute to the Queen ending with the Australian anthem sung by Deltra Goodrem. Once time has passed to mourn, I am sure the question of a Republic will arise again for Australia.

Image via Daniela Casa Cucina – East Ivanhoe

I meant to post in time for Father’s Day last Sunday but time got the better of me – some of my gift ideas were along the lines of food, wine, art and music. I’ve discovered Daniela Casa Cucina – Italian cooking classes held at Daniela’s house in East Ivanhoe, both Daniela and nearby Vinoshi’s Beverage Shop (which has a lovely feel if you get to visit) offer gift vouchers and local gin distillery Wander North with Imbue has an outlet here in Ivanhoe with their gin sampler gift set (or gift cards) a good choice for Dads who like a tipple. I’ve always thought that a Heide Museum membership is a great choice for the artistic Dad and if I had the money, I would have bought tickets to see Australian jazz great Vince Jones perform at the Jazz Lab next weekend.

Image: Vinoshi’s Beverage Shop – East Ivanhoe

I have some birthdays coming up in my household so was interested to find out about Mali Bakes in Thornbury as well as Celebration Cakes by Samantha at Pelligra Cakes in Greensborough (check out that unicorn cake!). If you love all things Melbourne, you might want to check out Garden State Journal on TikTok, read about a Melbourne magic coffee (which has been around for a while but seems to be a recent discovery for some) or watch The Lost City of Melbourne currently showing at both the Thornbury Picture House and Westgarth Cinema in Northcote as part of the Melbourne Film Festival.

Image: Wander North with Imbue – Ivanhoe

The Melbourne Writers Festival finishes today and Melbourne Fashion Week opens on 10 October so there is a lot happening with football finals this month and the start of the Melbourne Cup Carnival Race Days next month all happening before Christmas.

Celebration Cakes by Samantha image via Pelligra Cakes – Greensborough

Change is in the air for me at work and I am preparing myself for some continuously busy few months right up until early December with major events also taking place before the year is out – I hope to share more when I can. It is the end of the second Elizabethan era and it will be fascinating to see what the Carolean era will bring.