I read Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie while I was away – it’s loosely based on the ancient Greek story of Antigone which I thought was a fitting read in Greece. It’s relatively short but breathtaking – I won’t reveal the end but it was a cracking read. I’ve since moved on to one of Mr Rosanna’s books by Gail Honeyman called Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, which is by turns hilarious and tragic at the same time. I’m not yet sure what has happened to poor Eleanor in her short life but the beauty salon incident in the early chapters had me laughing out loud while I was at swimming lessons last week.
I also wanted to mention that local writer, editor and publisher Blaise van Hecke from Busybird Publishing is having her book launch this week – a whimsical memoir of short stories based on her unconventional childhood called The road to Tralfamadore is Bathed in River Water. Also launching this week is the A1 Darebin Art Salon at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre showcasing the work of local artists and For I have learned to look on nature at Hatch Contemporary Art Space in Ivanhoe – an exhibition of tree portraits by local artist Fran Lee using the words of William Wordsworth’s poem.
Despite the cold and wanting to hibernate instead, I dragged myself out on Saturday night as I had a friend in town from Brisbane but ended up having a great night out at Garden State Hotel in Flinders Lane which was going off inside despite it being the middle of winter, having dinner in a cosy booth seat for four at the Garden Grill. The whole place is very noisy and half of Melbourne was there enjoying the footy on TV in the pub section at the front through to counter meals in the middle and underneath, so I was glad to have booked somewhere quieter at the back where we didn’t have to yell at each other. The food was excellent – I had the roasted fish special and shared a coconut sorbet dessert with my bestie Jules. It also helped we had a handsome French waiter called Carlito but besides his looks (!), the service was excellent and it is a place for more serious dining and drinking by the looks of many of the all male tables of diners around us. I was also spoilt by Jules who gave me a belated birthday present – a handmade bowl (she is a woman after my own heart) by Byron Bay based homewares company Kinfolk & Co. which is now housing my fruit on my kitchen bench.