Mum’s the word

How are you faring self isolation-wise? The whiff of freedom is tantalisingly close this Mother’s Day weekend if you can continue to hang in there and I am looking forward to what our State Premier has to say on Monday in terms of loosening restrictions in Victoria. It has been a long haul for many of us but I think there’s been a lot of silver linings as well reducing the busy-ness of daily life and commuting, more time spent with family and friends virtually or in real life and perhaps some real innovation that remains post-pandemic.

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Ridge jacket by Nancybird

I’ve mused aloud in the past about staggered start and finish times work-wise to reduce public transport and vehicle traffic on our roads and the need for large-scale structural change. It’s taken COVID-19 for this to be realised in a matter of weeks and months as businesses and organisations now look at how staff return to offices and workplaces (a likely staged approach), children returning to school, ongoing flexibility to work from home, greater pedestrian and cycling paths in the city and other innovation that may actually benefit us and the environment in times to come.

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Online workshops image by Nicola Cerini

It’s also been great to see the prominence given to experts – doctors, scientists, academics and traditional news media outlets (albeit in different online mediums) instead of celebrities as we look to evidence-based research and science for facts. Interesting too to see which jobs have been considered essential and I hope that people will treat supermarket staff, teaching, nursing and other staff with newfound respect. Scientists may yet become the new sexy! I hope a vaccine or drugs to counteract the pandemic is developed in the next 18 months.

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Artist print by Earth Greetings

I’ve been doing a lot more cooking and baking at home – I ran out of eggs last night and was pleasantly surprised to find that Four Leaves cafe (below) in Rosanna had pivoted to groceries on top of still doing pizza and takeaway food. It was previously a grocery store cum cafe so has completed the circle in its current iteration.

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There are a number of local retailers selling lovely things for mums – online gift vouchers from Pretty Intense in Rosanna, click and collect gifts from Heide in Bulleen, bouquets from French Blue Flowers in Heidelberg (if you’d ordered early enough) and sold out high tea packages from Second Home Eltham. I’ve also seen pretty pastel things via some of the Australian retailers I receive e-newsletters from including Nancybird, Nicola Cerini and Earth Greetings.

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Sabina Musayev Diamond top and skirt image by Husk

 

At the moment I am wearing loungewear brought to you by the House of Uniqlo and Ugg on my beer budget (I have requested a Chinese money plant from Mr Rosanna for Mother’s Day) but dreaming of glittering times in the future. For the glam mum with champagne tastes, Husk Clothing continues to stock some beautiful clothes for evening adventures in another time and place.

 

 

 

 

Kapow!

Luxury may be hard to come by these days but it’s still nice to dream. Tiffany and Co has launched its T1 range of rose gold (with silver to come) jewellery (pictured below) and I’m loving the bold design representing courage, strength and optimism – tres bling! I’ve also loved their more modern HardWear collection launched a couple of years ago, which symbolises New York – a place that is doing it hard at the moment but one I still hope to visit at some future point when life returns to normal.

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Like many people, I’m now staring down the barrel of reduced pay or hours (or both), which is better than losing my job altogether. Many people are struggling financially and otherwise and I’ve been making hard choices regarding which individuals and businesses to support with the money I have as I’m sure is the case with many of you too. International students are doing it particularly hard given the situation they now find themselves in with the government putting Australians first – it’s pretty dire for those missing out on any kind of support. Beyond the health crisis, the government and big business in particular will need to lead the way out economically on the other side. We are lucky to be thinking along these lines given how well we’ve been able to contain the coronavirus, buying ourselves time to prepare and plan. Interesting to see some of the opposition’s comments this week criticising the Chief Health Officer (which they’re fully entitled to do) but I do think now is a time for solidarity and political bi-partisanship and it’s not going to win them any favours. We all need to be playing for #TeamAustralia regardless of which way we normally swing.

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I’ve spent this week on leave de-cluttering my house. After 12 years in Rosanna, it’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate. It’s been good to distract myself and show something for my time off although there are no judgements here if you are spending your time just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s been challenging for many people who have children supervising their home schooling on top of working this first week of term 2. I still have more de-cluttering to do but I think the physical act of creating more space has been good mentally for me – it’s good to live light.

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I love linen bedset

I’ve also had a number of catch ups with friends and family – this week having a special Zoom session with over a dozen of my University friends – some of who are based interstate and overseas in Asia and Europe. It was like The Brady Bunch on steroids with each of us getting floor time to talk about ourselves – what we are doing now and how we are coping at this time. It was quite cathartic to share how we were feeling over two hours and as one friend commented, it almost felt like an outing. We will catch up again soon and it’s an incredible privilege to be in a position to do this.

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Mother’s Day is coming up and while I’m on the topic of indulgences, I am going to put linen sheets on my wish list – something I’ve never had but always wanted. I love linen do some beautiful sets and you can order free samples to check what colours look like in real life prior to making a purchase. I also bought some of Endota Spa’s Signature Blend hand and body lotion (pictured above) last year after having a treatment while on holiday and it’s been a great reminder of the spa experience using it daily at home.

A number of Melbourne’s fine dining restaurants have pivoted to takeaway including Di Stasio and Shane Delia’s Maha Go and if you have the budget, it’s a great opportunity to order delivery meals from places you wouldn’t ordinarily visit. Locally, Mercers in Eltham is also offering takeaway if you have a special occasion that you now have to celebrate at home.

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While I bought some hairdressing scissors this week and had a go at my fringe (with limited success!), my friend Jonno from Valiant Barbers in Heidelberg Heights has cautiously re-opened if you have big or little men who need a haircut and you’re prepared to risk it. Local florist French Blue Flowers on Burgundy Street has also re-opened and selling beautiful bouquets and tulip bunches. These beautiful dahlias from Club Creek Bulb Farm are also being sold for $12 a bunch (pictured above) at the Alphington Farmers Market if you’re looking for a pop of colour to cheer you up.

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For us, our luxury living in this part of the world is regular ‘forest bathing’ as a family in the secluded Banyule Flats (above) where you can still find yourself largely alone despite the number of people now visiting parks. Bliss…

Victory Lap

The Brunswick Music Festival starts on 9th March and while Mr Rosanna and I don’t get to many gigs these days, both of us have a number of multi-talented muso mates including my friend Sez (below) who played keys and sang at the Victory Lap album launch we went to at The Old Bar on Johnston Street Fitzroy last Thursday. It’s always a fun night when you end your evening dancing on sticky carpet…

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Both Mr R and I are fully back in work mode and trying to keep up with exercise, our children and seeing our friends and family outside of that. I think we’re still yet to feel the full effects of the bushfire, coronavirus and an already sluggish economy in Australia, let alone the rest of the world, which has given everyone pause for thought.

I’ve been so busy back in the thick of things that I missed buying a ticket to the now sold out Banyule Women in Business 2020 event at the Rosanna Golf Club featuring guest speaker Nicole Eckels from Glasshouse Candles (now Glasshouse Fragrances). Hers is an inspiring story as an ex-pat single mother originally from the US who took a big punt and backed herself with her business idea in Australia.

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Candles and flowers are always a big hit for Valentine’s Day and while I wasn’t expecting anything this year given how long Mr R and I have been together, he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet (above) that he’d handpicked from French Blue Flowers on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.

If you live or work in Heidelberg, a liveability survey is now open regarding the Heidelberg Activity Centre and is a chance to have your say and contribute to a new structure plan.

Getting down to business

VOTING NOW OPEN BBThe blossoms are on the trees and it’s been warmer and windier today but it’s nice to feel that Spring is on its way.  There’s actually a lot going on around in Melbourne as we close out Winter – the ninth Craft Cubed Festival is currently on and their recent newsletter featured local ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen who has clocked up 40 years of being a potter!  The related HOMEmade Makers Market in Thornbury is also taking place tomorrow.  The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is currently on and the Melbourne Writers Festival will start at the end of this month.  Before that, the Bendigo Writers Festival will be on up north and there are a number of La Trobe academics who will be part of this year’s festival as well as local writer, editor and publisher Blaise Van Hecke.IMG_8380

It’s not in the north-east but The Melbourne Fair is on at the Caulfield Race Course and there are some beautiful vintage and antique wares for sale this year if you get a chance to go.  There’s also a special clearance sale (including some of their rugs) at Metroscope Moroccan Furniture and Homewares in Wellington Street Collingwood if you are a lover of all things Middle Eastern.  Speaking of which, the Old England Hotel in Heidelberg currently has a special Middle Eastern menu (above) on offer and I can recommend the slow cooked lamb tagine as well as the harissa spiced King Dory fillet which we ate last night for dinner.

As for me, I’ve been hanging out in the ‘hood today and popped my head into stylish local florist and gift shop French Blue Flowers on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg where I did buy a beautiful pink Robert Gordon ceramic takeaway coffee cup as a gift, these have only just come in but are apparently flying off the shelves.  The store is taking part in the Banyule Bestbiz Awards 2018 – nominations of which are currently open until 23 September.  This year there’s a new category – The Newcomer (sounds like a good name for a cafe!) – which celebrates businesses less than 12 months old.  You can vote online at www.banyule.vic.gov.au/Business/Bestbiz-Awards or in person at any Australia Post office in the Banyule City Council area.  Better still, you can also win $1000 in a prize draw with the winners announced at a special presentation evening on October 24 at Cellini’s in Heidelberg.  I’ve definitely got a few faves and I’m sure you do as well – it’s the great thing about living locally and supporting local businesses, particularly those you want to stay in the area long term.