Spring Fling

It’s actually the name of The Wheeler Centre’s storytelling festival that starts this coming Wednesday and may be a safer bet than outdoor activity this week. I always love seeing the Spring Carnival Racing fashion as much as I feel conflicted about horse racing itself. I do love Zimmermann’s High Tide navy and white spot halter neck dress (below) had I been attending Derby Day and it was great to see Elsa Pataky in Christian Dior.

I love Dior’s designs as much as I love Chanel – there is something about the French designer which is very timeless and classic. I took my mum to see Mrs Harris Goes to Paris last night at Cinema Nova in Carlton (based on the books by Paul Gallico below) and if you are a fan of Christian Dior’s New Look as well as Paris – it was quite delightful if not a little predictable plot-wise. Mr Rosanna gave me a framed Dior print for my birthday this year (further below) which is taking pride of place in our bedroom and an ode to all things Gallic.

It was busy down the locals’ end of Carlton last night and I now spend quite a bit of time in the suburb with work. My team has monthly lunches with all six of us having to find venues on a rotating basis. I booked Japanese restaurant Torissong last week and our meals served on a tray (further below) were delicious! I’ve spied Panda Hot Pot Carlton on the corner of Cardigan and Victoria Streets so that’s next on my list.

If you’re in Carlton, you can book tours for the Royal Exhibition Building domed rooftop – I am a fan of domes and Mr R and I got married under the dome at 333 Collins Street in the city many years ago now. Given the inclement weather, it may be safer to see Rone’s exhibition under cover at the Flinders Street station ballroom.

I’ve been wandering the streets of Ivanhoe today with Mr R taking time to stop and smell the roses including this beautiful one below in a neighbouring street. It’s great to see many haunted houses all decorated for Halloween and may it be a spooktacular occasion tonight. Enjoy tomorrow and stay dry!


Wet wet wet

Echuca has been a place I’ve associated with the Riverboats Music Festival not floods and only somewhere I’ve previously visited for work many years ago for a Heinz product launch by the acting Premier (who choppered in from Melbourne) when I was still working in PR. I have my fingers crossed for the folks up north that they stay dry given the big wet enveloping and inundating so many.

We launched our First Nations Conference 2023 (taking place in Brisbane from 1 – 3 March next year) last week and it was all hands on deck in our team at ANZSOG. There will also be a virtual element to it for those who can’t travel to the in-person event which will be very exciting when it happens next year.

I’ve worked pretty hard the past six months and been dreaming of a getaway. While I may not be able to afford to travel, it’s not stopped me romanticising about more glamorous destinations in the sun and I think travel therapy is something we all benefit from. Australian lifestyle brand Saarde’s Amalfi-inspired lounge wear (above) has captured my imagination given the wet Spring. Living la dolce vita!

Given our current weather, life looks more more like NZ umbrella brand Blunt‘s images above and I love these rubber sandals (below) by Australian shoe brand Bared although gum boots may be more practical at the moment. After buying a series of cheap umbrellas that subsequently broke, my Blunt umbrella still works beautifully since I bought it a few years ago, so better to buy once and buy well if you can afford it.

It is a hard slog until the end of the year so I’m thinking of you if you’re in the same boat as me. I haven’t yet started my Christmas shopping but it’s a good idea if you haven’t already turned your mind to it – it will be gift vouchers this year for my children, nieces and nephews who are all now of a certain age and once Spring Racing Carnival is over we will all start counting down.

I missed posting about the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2022 and Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2022, which both finished yesterday but my highlight this past weekend – besides celebrating my mum’s milestone birthday from last year – was seeing Tame Impala perform at their sold out concert on Saturday night at Rod Laver arena. Mr Rosanna and I were up on our feet by the second song and stayed dancing until the very end including their encore.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker on stage

The concert was delayed from 2020, re-scheduled to 2021 and then again to now and it was a pretty rapturous (and patient!) audience who were offered a real treat in terms of tripping the light and sound fantastic. It might have been a slow rush but it was well worth the long wait (and mesmerising performance) for live music fans in a truly atmospheric stadium environment.

Come again another day

It’s been deceptive with the sun out today to forget the recent rain and flooding events in regional Victoria and right here in Maribyrnong. I’ve seen pictures of nearby Warringal Park and the East Ivanhoe public golf course completely under water so there is no denying we are living in a climate change environment.

Image: La Trobe University Ideas & Society program

It’s timely that economist Ross Garnaut and climate activist, scientist and author Tim Flannery are in conversation on ‘The Superpower Transformation’ this coming Tuesday as part of La Trobe University’s Ideas & Society series to talk about the challenge of climate change and the chance to reset our path if Australia uses its natural and human resources to become the superpower of the emerging low carbon world economy. You can register free for this online event and I hope it may offer some hope for all of us who are feeling for those who’ve lost so much at this time.

I’ve found this year to be harder in many ways than last year when we were all working and learning remotely and operating for the most part in an online environment. The world has opened back up but it’s a changed one with labour shortages, supply chain issues, war and political instability and new operating environments for businesses who are yet to find a rhythm, particularly if they didn’t innovate during the pandemic, or even if they did but haven’t reverted back to what they were pre-COVID-19 – the world has forever changed and so have we.

Next year also feels uncertain ahead of the state elections in Victoria and NSW- will there be a recession? Who knows but it will be what it will be and we can only try to best plan for it ahead of time as well as deal with things as they arise. I am hoping to feel less anxious as the pandemic’s effects dissipate with time – it’s hard not to feel a bit battle weary and people still have scars – emotionally and physically in some cases.

Image: Kura Robata & Sake

Life goes on and celebrations still happen. I spent last night at a friend’s birthday dining out at Kura – Robata & Sake Japanese restaurant in my old ‘hood in Lygon Street, Brunswick. It was very busy with people milling about everywhere in the surrounding streets and on the strip itself. My tip if you drive there is to go left off Lygon Street not right to find parking. The food was excellent and I found out later the chef is ex-Kisume and Nobu so fine dining quality but at much more reasonable prices. I had the shared menu which cost less than $70 as a non-drinker and I would go back in future as it was great value.

The weeks are flying by at the moment and I still have birthdays in my family before Christmas as well as a work trip to the land of the long white cloud. I can’t say that life is boring! Have a great week ahead.

Death by a thousand carbs

It’s been an intense year and I’m not sure if it’s just because we’re all exhausted post-pandemic or because I’ve had a lot going on – at home, at work and in my personal life. It’s not going to end anytime soon and some of it is my choosing (to do certain things) and some of it is out of my hands. I’ve learnt you can only control your own actions and reactions, and not worry too much if it’s not something you can influence as an individual, but it will be a big three months until Christmas across a number of different fronts.

Eaglemont Village market

I’ve made time this week to catch up with some current and ex-La Trobe colleagues and we had a rollicking dinner out last week at Capitano in Carlton. It’s been on my radar for a while now as a local work-wise and if you’re into your pizza and pasta then this is the place for you. Ordering is done by QR code menu selection and four of us shared a salciccia (Italian sausage) square pizza and bread with fresh burrata cheese. Before we’d had time to order pasta, the waitress informed us that another table had double ordered and they had two hot dishes that would go to waste so we kindly helped them out! To finish, we shared the tiramasu with a twist (hazelnuts) which was delicious. Highly recommended and it was bustling inside on a rainy Thursday night.

Ceramic face plate – Louise Kyriakou

After nearly six months in Ivanhoe, I’ve finally start to enjoy my local environs visiting the Eaglemont Village Market last Sunday and dropping into the Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub last week to see the Banyule Art Salon exhibition (which has been extended) on the ground floor Art Gallery 275. It was great to see some of my favourite local artists and friends’ work on display including Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen, Irianna Kanellopoulou and Louise Kyriakou. There’s a people’s choice award to vote for and the Children’s Library, social enterprise cafe Whispers and quiet area upstairs were all full of people of different ages from children with parents and grandparents to school and university students.

Banyule Art Salon exhibit no 43

Having a local place to go (whatever it may be) in your community is a real treasure and something we can only sometimes see in the eyes of a visitor to the area. I’ve noticed that the Eaglemont Cellars Eagle Bar is always packed with locals and that The Post Inn (behind Mario’s cafe) at 1041 Heidelberg Road near Darebin station has recently opened.

Banule Art Salon exhibit no 84

I found myself in Hawthorn today eating more pizza at Santoni Pizza and Bar‘s rooftop which is a pretty cool space if you’re happy to dine al fresco (they do have heaters) and I know Whiplash cafe had a recent write up in Broadsheet along with the award-winning barista from Axil Coffee so a few places to go if you’re in the area.

Santoni Pizza & Bar rooftop sign

Lastly, a shout out for my friend Kathryn Elliott who is speaking as a BCNA Ambassador for the Reduce booze for boobs event on 15 October at non-alcoholic venue Sip & Enjoy at 281 Johnston Street in Abbotsford. As a non-drinker, it’s great to see businesses like these now open and I have managed to go for a run this weekend along the (almost flooded) Yarra trail to work off some of those carbs – my highlight was meeting a small, lone kangaroo at dusk who I spied hopping along on my right before we stopped to have look at each other.

Back to life

The glorious Spring weather has been much needed and appreciated this weekend. I had another mad week in the office with my previous Dean and CEO Ken Smith having his farewell on Thursday evening (which started with an Acknowledgment of Country and ended with a Maori song) after over five years at ANZSOG and our new CEO Adam Fennessy starting tomorrow. Needless to say I’m very glad we booked a family staycation a few months ago for this weekend at Crown Towers redeeming a gift voucher we’d been given two Christmases ago.

It is a five star hotel and my youngest was wowed by the porters in suits who greeted us as we drove in to the spectacular and very opulent foyer filled with flowers and decadent looking sweets on display at TWR (The Waiting Room) bar. We did feel like tourists in another country lining up with interstate and international guests to check in.

The other thing I will say about Crown is that their bed was probably one of the best I’ve ever slept on and I discovered today you can buy their At Home collection of beds, mattresses, pillows and bed linen if you are wanting to re-create the hotel experience at home. We didn’t get to enjoy the bath but the hotel bathrobes and slippers are also welcome additions. After unloading our luggage and ordering some in-room french fries to tide us over until dinner – we walked up the busy promenade all the way to Southbank and back before the sun set.

It was pumping on Friday night and Melbourne is definitely back – the ground floor bars and restaurants at Southbank were all vibing with young and old enjoying al fresco drinks and food and pulsing dance music – it felt great to be in the city as well as a bit of departure from the quiet of the suburbs.

The ground floor riverside restaurants at Crown look pretty atmospheric – Rockpool and Spice Temple in particular but I think all of them would be pretty amazing to eat at if you had deep pockets. We had a more budget friendly but still excellent Italian meal at Tutto Bene at Southbank up on the first floor ending our night with house gelato before walking back to our room to watch a movie in bed, which was bliss!

We also enjoyed the buffet breakfast in the light-filled Conservatory where you can ask for customised orders (the disciplined lady at the next table ordered poached eggs and greens on the side), table service for coffee and tea and both Asian and European hot and cold breakfast options. The views of the river are lovely and you don’t need to be a staying guest to book in – it makes for a very civilised way to start the day.

We sadly didn’t get time to enjoy the pool but I know the Marriott Docklands has a pretty amazing looking heated infinity pool and W Hotel’s pool can be used by non-guests if you’re wanting to party DJ and all. We did enjoy sitting by the Yarra river after we checked out taking in the rays and watching river life with rowing teams being shouted at by their coaches on bikes with megaphones, families enjoying outdoor picnics on Go Boats and groovers having food and drink on the water at Arbory Afloat, Yarra Botanica and Ponyfish Island. We had a very Melbourne weekend and that was just the start of it. Needless to say daylight savings will mean a hangover this coming week for us night owls – enjoy all.