A laugh and a half

After having a few fairly intense past weeks on both home and work fronts (this year continues to surprise me), it was nice to let my hair down this weekend celebrating one of my uni friend’s birthdays at the The Comic’s Lounge in North Melbourne last night. Ten of us met there queuing on the stairs to get in where we had a booked table (thankfully in the middle not at the front) and where they do a good pub line up of fish and chips, pizza and chicken parmigiana etc. which most of us ordered before the fun began.

Kloke oversized shirt

We were treated to a warm up act by the host and then three sets of performances by six different comics which had us laughing at our tables. It’s been a long time between drinks for performers and the venue itself came close to shutting for good over the pandemic. Gold passes to see unlimited shows for a year are $70 each and some of the comedians were spruiking their wares at the end – if you can support them, I can highly recommend for a great night out.

Saarde natural/nutmeg towels

It’s been super cold and lucky you if you have headed to the mountains this long weekend to enjoy the bumper snow that’s fallen. Our house is our holiday, beach house and investment property all wrapped into one at the moment so we won’t be going anywhere for a while! Given the dark, it’s been great to see a number of inspiring-sounding indoor experiences including Bruce Monro’s light installation From Sunrise Road from 25 June at Heide in Bulleen, The Picasso Century at the NGV and Light: Works from Tate’s Collection at ACMI which both started last Thursday and Vincent van Gogh currently showing at digital art gallery The Lume Melbourne.

Frankie4 sneakers

While we’ve now found our forever home, I still enjoying looking at houses and this showstopper in Merton Street Ivanhoe has caught my eye as well as the quiet charm of these two houses in Valentine and Green Streets in Ivanhoe. The former looks like the home of a creative couple and I love the parkland access of the latter. Not all houses have to be obvious to be attractive in much the same way as people.

Bared ballet flats

If you’re a fan of Angus and Celeste, their sale is currently on and while I’ve not had the budget to indulge – I love this oversized shirt with green detailing from Kloke (above first image) as well as some of the middle eastern-inspired homewares from Saarde. While I have returned to wearing platform or block heeled shoes (no higher than 6cm), most women in the city are still wearing flats and they are a lot more comfy! I’ve got my eye on these Frankie 4 sneakers and Bared work flats for summer. Stay warm peeps.

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Going with the flow

Christmas feels like ages ago now since returning to work.  I was very spoilt in that I received a lovely Angus and Celeste hanging planter from Mr Rosanna which is now taking pride of place on the deck and gives me great pleasure whenever I look out of my kitchen window, but that after almost 10 years of being here – we finally had the money to upgrade our coffee machine.  Our Breville machine has been great but after having had it once repaired, it sprang another more recent leak and has finally been retired.  So we found ourselves at Coffee-A-Roma in Camberwell over the holiday break and brought home a Rancilio Syliva coffee machine.  We weren’t the only ones upgrading to an Italian coffee machine – there were a number of people all lined up inside trying out the coffee (which was an experience in itself) and many of them were buying ‘lifetime’ machines – the Rancilio Sylvia seems to be the base model for those who can afford to upgrade to a Rocket – another Italian maker whose machines look like a million dollars (and so they should given their price!).IMG_6766

We’re now taking our time learning how to use the machine properly as it can be finicky and more involved than an automatic machine.  I’ve always been a bit old school when it comes to machinery in general so have been very happy to finally have one.IMG_6857

We did spend New Year’s Eve day in Melbourne’s CBD before the crowds descended for evening fireworks and it was great to feel like a tourist in our own town visiting the Eureka Skydeck (it’s cheaper and faster to buy online tickets beforehand and it’s over an hour’s wait if you choose to do The Edge (glass bottomed experience) instead of just the Observation Deck.  We were too late to get a table on the very chic Arbory Afloat pop up floating bar on the Yarra as they’d started NYE preparations (which would have been my pick for New Year’s Eve) but did get late afternoon coffee and cake at the newly opened Brunetti’s at 250 Flinders Lane almost opposite the CAE and Journal Cafe.  Our New Year’s Eve was actually spent at Coburg Drive-In as our children didn’t realise there was one in Melbourne and while it was pretty tame – we had a great night out under the stars seeing in the New Year from twilight to midnight.

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Me overlooking the Yarra (Arbory Afloat to my right)

We’ve been parents of a fur baby, Gypsy, now for over three months and that’s changed the way we holiday so for the first time ever, we booked a pet-friendly place last-minute down at Ocean Grove and luckily discovered that Barwon Coast on the Bellarine Peninsula has a large dog beach given you can’t take your dog to the main beach.  We wisely invested in a beach sun tent on sale from Anaconda and spent a number of mornings at the dog beach where both the children and the dogs could all frolic – it was a very funny sight.

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Our fur baby Gypsy

It did limit what we could do so I had to look longingly at Uncle Jack’s Cafe on the corner and next door Florence & Threads shop off the main drag while we were there and it was an action packed weekend in that the Rip to River Classic and Tranquility@Twilight Fair were both meant to be staged but were postponed due to the extreme heat.  The Wonderland Spiegeltent is currently on in Barwon Heads and if you’re interested in something local, the Ringwood Spiegeltent opens on January 18th here in Melbourne.IMG_3898

We spent our last morning at the monthly Rotary Summer Sunday Market at Ocean Grove where we could take our furry friend on leash and indulge in coffee, mini donuts and fresh free range eggs.  I also ended up buying this hand-made ceramic utensil holder (similar to my vintage salt pig) from a local potter based in Queenscliff.IMG_6854

Summer is here and it’s nice to be spending time more outdoors.  There is a pop up Skate Park currently on in Watsonia but if something more leisurely takes your fancy, weekly casual Tai Chi classes outside in the sculpture garden at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen have also started.  The Coburg Summer Sunday Sessions with live music at the Coburg Olympic Swimming Pool are also on every Sunday in January from 3 – 5 pm.  Enjoy!