The land of the living

Is where I’m planning on spending my time after being knocked down and completely out by the mother of all flus two weeks ago. Let’s just say I understand why people end up being hospitalised or come down with a secondary infection when they catch the flu – I reckon it’s one of the worst communicable illnesses you can get besides gastro. At one stage I felt like dying and this is from someone who’s been through two natural childbirths. Still, it could have been a lot worse and it was a lesson in acceptance and grace for me – something the Buddhist in me is still working on.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to returning to work and re-joining society but will be taking it easy – Spring sometimes has a sting in its tail as I’ve found out this year.


Before I got sick, we did manage to have a lovely Father’s Day lunch at Cafe Heide in Bulleen enjoying the sunny weather and the cafe does picnic basket lunches if you fancy a day spent outdoors. The Heide Makers Market also re-started yesterday and this dog-friendly market is a fun one if you’re looking for something to do with the warmer weather upon us.

School holidays are fast approaching or already here for some and I recently discovered Longridge Park – a local campsite in Warrandyte perfect for a local weekend camping adventure and an introduction to the great outdoors if you’re not wanting to venture too far from home.


I love a good rooftop bar once it’s hot enough to sit outside and I spent one Sunday afternoon late last year enjoying The Provincial’s rooftop bar (above via The Provincial). The hotel has been there since I was a teenager (I had one memorable birthday there where I was the first person to leave my own party…let’s just leave that one in the past) and it’s still a popular Brunswick St destination in Fitzroy.


Closer to home I was reading about the transformation of the former Paladaar Thai restaurant now becoming The Alphington Social (pictured above via Alphington Social) something a bit more hip for the times and for the demographic that will shortly be moving into the enormous YarraBend development located on the former Amcor Paper Mill site.

Finally, the Fringe Festival has started in Melbourne as well as the Tesselaar Tulip Festival if you feel like stopping to smell the flowers before we launch into the final months of the year and the lead up to Christmas. Enjoy the week ahead – I’m definitely going to!

New Hope

Millennials and Centennials have been on my mind since starting my new job in late January and I will reveal my cunning plan to a number of very senior people at La Trobe University in the coming weeks and months. Technology has been a game changer for Gen Y and Z and their way to connect not only with each other, but the world at large.


Speaking of youth, I did want to mention the New Hope exhibition which opened last Wednesday night at Hatch in Ivanhoe – a mash up show if you like of audio and visual artists all coming together in the name of hip hop. You’ll see work from beat makers, rappers and performers developed at arts youth facility Jets Studio backdropped by street artists’ original works. Music and artwork will be available for sale with a percentage of profits donated to Berry Street Youth Housing. I was lucky enough to work with Tom Civil a number of years ago promoting his mural on the external wall of Crisalida Family Therapy Centre in Thornbury and missed the recent pop up show Empire by Rone – Burnham Beeches out in the Dandenongs but find street art fascinating.


It’s been chilly and I’ve been eating my way through winter to keep my mind off the gloom (as well as running when I can). Mr Rosanna took me out for a belated birthday dinner (above) to Melbourne institution Ezard at the Adelphi Hotel in Flinders Lane last weekend which was a special night. I found it very ‘Melbourne’ in that it’s understated and sophisticated (white tablecloths) at the same time. The focus is very much on the outstanding food and service, your company and conversation rather than a more showy type of dining experience and environment. There is an eight course sharing menu but Mr R and I opted for the three course a la carte option. Highly recommended.


I’ve complemented that this week with a more casual dinner with friends at vegetarian pub Green Man’s Arms in Carlton (note to self: remember to book a table next time!) where we sat at a bar table perched on stools. It’s got a great atmosphere and I loved the interior with my observant friends noting the cotton plants instead of flowers (apparently a current trend) in the vases.

I’m also on an internal ‘cultural’ committee at work and we organised a Christmas in July lunch at Cafe Heide in Bulleen this week for our entire department, which was a lot of fun. The team that plays together stays together! It was the first Christmas in July that I’ve ever attended and we will make this an ongoing event. We chose mains from the existing menu but I noted the chilli hot chocolate and mulled wine available and the cafe were good enough to create a special Christmas pudding dessert for us. It was busy at Heide and I parked at Banksia Park but it was lovely to walk up through the gardens including past the big holly bush, which got me into the spirit! If you are feeling it like me, there is also a German Christmas Market at Macleod College from 5 – 8pm on Friday 26 July.

Finally, if you are a craft fan or want to get ahead with early Christmas shopping, the Finders Keepers Market is on this weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and a good indoors activity given how cold it’s going to be.


Last drinks

Christmas celebrations are the order of the day and I had a rollicking dinner at Smith and Daughters on Tuesday night catching up with the fabulous Mo Wyse in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy where she treated us to a couple of special things including their vegan take on an arancini ball as well as a bombe Alaska dessert. It was great to see her again after the sell out Bold Thinking Series veganism lecture held in April.

Mirka retail display – Heide Store

I’ve also had the pleasure of twice visiting Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen this week. Cafe Heide replaced Cafe Vue a while ago – the food there is still very good, and the service much better. There was one occasion I waited an hour for my lunch which was the last time I visited the cafe in its previous incarnation. Despite being fully booked inside, the meals for the dozen or so in my team came out quickly this week and I am thankful that I was able to get a booking so close to Christmas for that amount of people.

I was there again today and despite the rain, it was bustling with people in the cafe, people there to take in the Mirka Mora show and people like me buying gifts in the Heide Store (pictured above)  I hadn’t been there for a while but did not come out empty-handed! It was great to get some small things for family that have more of an artistic bent.

Heide is also holding carols there tomorrow night in the sculpture park outside with the Australian Girls Choir while the Banyule Carols by Candlelight (and Boulevard Lights) is on as well in Ivanhoe. Montsalvat in Eltham is holding its carols event on Sunday.  The Rose Street Christmas Night Market is on tonight, the Ivanhoe Makers Market is on tomorrow and the Kris Kringle Night Markets have also started at the Northcote Town Hall. Deck those halls…