After dodging COVID-19 for over two years, it finally caught up with us two weeks ago. One by one, three out of four members of my family came down with the virus with me the last card to topple and fall the hardest. I’m very glad to have been triple vaxxed as my ‘mild’ symptoms last weekend felt anything but from pounding headache, to fever, fatigue, chills, body aches, sore throat and stuffed up nose. It’s not been pretty – I’ve missed a whole week of work but also other events I was too sick to attend.
I think if you were lucky enough to evade the first Omicron variant, this second one unfortunately has found its way to most people. I have my fingers crossed you don’t come down with worse symptoms than me as it was something I won’t forget in a hurry. I feel quite depleted and it’s going to take time to build myself up again. You do need to take it seriously if you test positive for COVID and you’re symptomatic. While I’ve kept my sense of taste and smell, I can’t eat salt and vinegar chips at the moment as they taste quite strange. We will see if I have any longer term issues with the passage of time…
Speaking of smells, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show opened this week at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and if you’re into not only roses but house plants and balcony gardens as well, then this year’s event has you covered. I’ve amassed quite the collection of house plants over the past two years and they’ve been a constant source of joy and comfort – nature as therapy.
There is also a lot happening locally with Banyule Open Studios on this weekend – a chance to step into an artist’s world and see their private, creative spaces. A reminder too if you’re a local business that COVID-19 Banyule Business grant applications close on 7 April. There are two types of grants available and whether you’re an existing or new business, it’s always worth checking to see if you meet the eligibility criteria.
I’ve noticed the Ivanhoe Traders are currently offering discounted mid-week dining as per CBD businesses, which is an excellent idea. It means you can claim 25% (up to $125) of your bill when you spend $40 or more by submitting your receipt (until funds run out). It’s also been great to find out about a few new local businesses like the cute looking Chinese & Vietnamese diner Mr Chu’s Kitchen located just around the corner from Cinch Training in Heidelberg Heights.
Easter is fast approaching and I discovered there are not one but two local chocolate businesses with Birdsnake Chocolate in Fairfield and Good Boy Chocolate in Ivanhoe. I also love ethical stationery business Earth Greetings which has teamed up with Loving Earth chocolate to create a bamboo bilby/choccy promo with $1 donated to the Save the Bilby Fund.
Lastly, it has now sold out but the Star Gazing with astronomers event (with volunteers from the Astronomical Society of Victoria) is on next Saturday night at the Anthony Beale Reserve in Greensborough. I’ve long found the stars, planets and space in general fascinating and lucky you if you’ve managed to book a spot at this free event where you may catch glimpses of the moon, Jupiter and Mars dancing in the evening sky.