February’s been busy with everyone back at school and work. University students are yet to start back and the coronavirus is having an impact on any tertiary college or institution that has an international student cohort. Businesses too are having to pivot and it’s interesting to see what they’re doing and how – it’s definitely changing things up and setting some new precedents.
I’ve been trying to get back in to some regular exercise with returning to Iyengar classes at Action Yoga in Ivanhoe. Late last year, I started regular lunchtime reformer pilates classes in the new core cave at the La Trobe Sports Centre with my work colleagues and it’s been a great way of connecting – the team who plays together stays together.
Great to see La Trobe alumna and AFLW player Daisy Pearce front and centre in the media (as well as more sportswomen in general) – she is a real inspiration as an elite athlete, midwife and mother of twins.
This beautiful Art Deco house at 318 The Boulevard in East Ivanhoe has caught my eye and is on the market again – built by Australian architect Arthur Edgar Pretty in 1940 it has definitely captured my imagination with its glamorous curves and beautiful features. I’ll always be a sucker for that era and mid-century modern – there’s a lot to be said for simple and bold at the same time. If you’re a fellow Art Deco lover you might want to go and see Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears which opens later this month at the movies.
Speaking of glamorous, Artea at the Westin Hotel – a high tea and fashion illustration workshop with Estelle Michaelides (pictured above) is being held every Sunday in March. As someone who has previously done a similar workshop with a group of girlfriends – I can vouch for how fun they are to do as an individual and with friends.
Also opening soon northside is Maha Bar in Collingwood. Mr Rosanna and I loved our dinner at Maha last year so it’s great there’ll be an outpost on this side of town.
It’s been an interesting start to the year with people I know coming and going – I guess change is inevitable and there’s always a lot of movement with the start of a new year, and a new decade at that. Here’s to being agile, nimble and flexible in this new age.
Greece is a hard act to follow and Melbourne in the winter time is far from inspiring. It’s lucky I’ve been busy at work promoting my next Bold Thinking Series lecture – Smashed avo: is there a war on youth? continuing the conversation that demographer Bernard Salt started in terms of the intergenerational wars between millenials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers and whether jobs and housing are harder opportunities for younger people to come by. On the panel from La Trobe are cultural sociologist Dr Sara James (who reminds me of actress Katie Holmes!) and alumnus David de Garis who is a regular media commentator on all things economic for the NAB. We’ve matched them up with GetUp’s Chief of Staff Natalie O’Brien and Fairfax finance columnist and entrepreneur Melissa Browne who has recently written the rather naughty sounding book called Unf*ck your finances. We also tried to get Mr Barefoot Investor Scott Pape himself for this panel as he is a La Trobe alumnus but he was already engaged as many of the high-profile people I deal with in my job often are. It is Open Day at La Trobe this Sunday and if you are considering studying in any kind of capacity, it’s well worth a visit to find out more in terms of short courses, languages, undergraduate and post-graduate courses as well as some of the other University assets like the library, Wildlife Sanctuary or Sports centre. We’re lucky to have such a big campus so close to us in the north-east and there are exciting plans afoot for the University in the near future in terms of its development as a hub.
I’ve been driving through the suburbs since coming back from overseas and there’s been a lot of interesting new businesses I’ve noticed like Pilates Republic Ivanhoe at the back of the Centre Ivanhoe near The Foreigner cafe and Vinyasa Studio Yoga in Burgundy Street, Heidelberg. I’ve returned to Iyengar classes with Pamela Speldewinde at Action Yoga underneath Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe. I also noticed the cute sounding name of new organic cafe Mr Macleod while having my boots re-heeled at Chris the Cobbler who’s now also found at the Macleod Village group of shops in Aberdeen Road. They needed a crane to lift in Chris’ very heavy shoe repair machinery equipment and Chris himself has been a busy man renovating houses as well as opening his fancy new digs. My sponsor and trainer Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Macleod has also been a busy person – she’s launched a new holistic health and fitness program called Find your fierce which I’ll be finding out more about given my fierce seems to have gone missing in action plus the studio is moving somewhere close by in October so I’ll be following her there.
My former client Helen Webster is holding her once a year Raffal Wraps scarf sale tomorrow afternoon if you’re in Ivanhoe and I think it would be worth a visit to pick up a bargain before the end of winter. I also wanted to mention the Rosanna Station Community Fun Day on Saturday 11 August from 10 am to 2 pm taking place right in front of my other sponsor Hunter Lane Cafe and you will see me there in the middle of the day if you’re coming along to celebrate the opening of the new Rosanna station and level crossing which seems to have taken forever to finally finish. I’m reserving judgement about it until the big reveal happens but took a photo today (above) as I do love the new Rosanna station sign. There are a number of other launches taking place locally next week which I will post about in the coming days. Four weeks to go until Spring!
I hope you had a great Australia Day long weekend. While the date of its celebration is a vexed conversation at the moment and with great respect to the First Peoples of this land, I am a proud Australian and it was lovely to spend the day amongst friends. One of the highlights – as cheesy as it sounds – was singing Advance Australia Fair and as a patriotic Australian, it is the one song that always gets me choked up when I reflect on what it means to me in terms of its underlying themes about fairness and egalitarianism in what is still largely a very lucky country for most. As an Asian Australian whose great-grandparents came here with nothing, I feel nothing but gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had in my life in terms of education, a career, family and friends and I have wondered on occasion what would have become of me if they’d stayed living in abject poverty in rural China.The highlight of the day was going for an evening swim with my family and looking up into the pink sky to see a kookaburra in the enormous tree next door – a highlight only surpassed by seeing a koala (with a gum leaf stuck to its nose) on the road near the Korumburra general store on Australia Day a number of years ago while driving with Mr Rosanna on a regional road trip. There seems to be an influx of Australian animals at the moment as one of the best sights this summer break was Mr Rosanna and my eldest son seeing a large grey kangaroo hopping down Lower Plenty Road while picking up takeaway pizza from Pasquale M. I’m just glad the roads were quiet!
A few wonder women I wanted to mention today before the madness of the school year starts. My good friend and Iyengar Yoga teacher Nik Hills is taking a special yoga class ‘Yoga For The Girls’ to raise funds for girls’ education in Sri Lanka next Sunday afternoon at Laburnum Primary School in Blackburn. It’s a $20 entry fee and you will see me there if you go – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and BYO mat and shawl/blanket. I am also returning to regular weekly yoga classes with Pamela Speldewinde at Action Yoga in Ivanhoe as well as training classes with Nikki Ellis at Cinch PT in Macleod and looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. They are both good indoor disciplines to take up given the heat of summer at the moment. Stay cool!