My kingdom for a horse

Hot Halloweens make it harder for parents and I hope you survived the shenanigans last night if you were one of those good people out there shepherding children in local streets or doling out treats from home. My eldest son got a ‘trick’ from one household who gave the ghoulish hordes frozen peas instead of sweets! A clever idea – wasabi peas would have taken it one step further – heh heh!

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It’s also a warm start to Spring Racing Carnival and while I have mixed feelings about horse racing, I do love horses. I commented a while ago on this blog about the beautiful horses I’d seen at Kryal Castle (above) near Ballarat 18 months ago when visiting. I was listening to the radio yesterday and they are holding a special Australia vs England jousting tournament this weekend. Yes, jousting as in knights on horses with lances trying to push each other off…all very medieval. Locally, you can see horses at the North Eastern Horse and Pony Club or RDA Viewbank – another one of the beautiful surprises in that leafy green Viewbank to Lower Plenty pocket.

Retailers have already started spruiking Christmas and I love the Buy Regional Christmas campaign by the NSW government to support drought-stricken farmers – it’s better to mindfully consume locally made or owned products to benefit local people and I’m also glad to see that single use plastic bags are slowly being phased out.

If you are out and about locally, Music in the Park is being held in Were Street Montmorency which will help get you into the weekend vibe. My current work colleagues have been wearing beautiful shirts from Mojo on Main in Montmorency if you are in the area. Youth Arts Showcase Express also opens at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe next Wednesday night and if you’re not thinking about Millennials and post-Millennials, you probably should be in coming years as their generation becomes a force in the business world and society in general.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

The guilty feminist

It’s the hugely popular comedy podcast that a number of my friends and colleagues listen to and it’s being recorded live at The Thornbury Theatre on Saturday night if you’re interested in going. They’ve had some big names in the past and for a media and marketing person like me – it’s been interesting to witness the exponential rise of podcasts in Australia and globally over the past few years. In many ways, I think they’ve taken the place of live radio and are a more intimate channel for communication given it’s voices you are listening to.

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Speaking of women, tickets are on sale for the Banyule Women in Business lunch (above) with KeepCup co-founder Abigail Forsyth at the Rosanna Golf Club on Friday 22 March and they were down to their last 24 tickets when I booked yesterday! There are still tables of 10 available if you’re interested in hosting a group and it’s a great networking opportunity if you are a local business owner. Mr Rosanna and I both know Abigail’s brother and co-owner Jamie whom we last ran into, of all places, at the airport on our return flight home from Athens last year. I believe they are now looking into takeaway plastic containers with a similar eye and I applaud them for tackling the issue from an environmental perspective – single use plastic items are a scourge.

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If you are a home-based business, Banyule Council is actually running a business networking survey if you’ve got a spare 5 – 10 minutes to submit your response (and go into the draw to win a gift voucher or iPad mini). It can get lonely working on your own and as a past freelancer, I used to look forward to my client visits for that very reason as well as the opportunity to meet other like-minded people in small businesses who are often the lifeblood of local communities like ours.

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A few other things to mention today – Mr Rosanna and I are now on the hunt for a mid-century armchair and if you’ve got a piece you’re interested in re-upholstering, then Carlo’s Upholstery in Thornbury was recommended to us by Philip Syber from Contemporary Vintage. I’ve not bought any clothes for a while but I’ve been enjoying looking at some of Kloke’s new season arrivals (images pictured above and below from Kloke website) and they are having a studio sample sale tomorrow in Collingwood.

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Finally, This is not a drill sustainable furniture show featuring pieces from some of the Banyule Art Collection opened at Hatch Contemporary Art Space yesterday and would be a good one to visit if you’re in Ivanhoe. I did take my new team in for lunch at Pinkie on Tuesday but didn’t get a chance to pop my head in.

Jimmy Diamond

I’m really hoping it’s Friday – I think shorter weeks can sometimes be more intense than normal ones.  Given I had to work Cup Day, my highlight was winning ‘Fashions on the Field’ (make that campus) in our Marketing and Recruitment Division (below) although the odds were in my favour with reduced staff numbers working and not that many choosing to dress up!  You can take the girl out of fashion….

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I did have a number of friends attend Derby Day and Oaks Day and have liked the boater style hats as well as floral and other headbands, oversized head bows (like mine) and other departures from the ubiquitous fascinator in terms of headwear this year.  I was briefly in at David Jones today and am a fan of Australian brand Aje. if you’re looking for a special outfit for Christmas.

It’s takeaway night and if you’re local you might want to try Diamond Chinese Restaurant at 122 Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.  It had been recommended to me before but it’s taken 10 years for Mr Rosanna and I to venture in and I’m glad we did.  I met Jimmy last Friday night who’s been there 44 years and plays table tennis against my Uncle George!  If you’re a fan of old school Cantonese food, I think it’s also a good place to go for a quiet Friday night meal and it was starting to fill up when I left.  My Media & Communications team and I also had lunch at Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna (below) during the week which was a lot of fun – it’s good to get off campus sometimes given we spend most of our working week there.

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I did want to mention a few local happenings.  The Banyule Art Salon opened earlier this month and Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe is one of my favourite places to visit.  If you’re into local arts and culture – check out Banyule Arts and Culture‘s Facebook page. If markets are more your thing, the Heide Makers Market is on in Bulleen tomorrow as well as the Melbourne Ceramics Market in Collingwood.

On Sunday, which is also Remembrance Day, the Heidelberg Primary School fete is on.  It was nice to see poppies being sold at Westfield Doncaster today – I can’t help but feel how lucky people are in this part of the world to be buying shiny, pretty new things at these big shopping complexes when things were very different earlier this century.  I’m hanging out to see a grown up’s movie (can’t call them ‘adult’ movies!) and it’s a toss-up between A star is born or Bohemian Rhapsody – I am a fan of Queen and Freddy Mercury and his performance in his all white outfit at the Live Aid concert is still seared in my memory.

Disclosure: Miss Rosanna is sponsored by Hunter Lane Cafe

 

Find your clever

It’s beautiful today and if you’re a fan of the great outdoors, Twilight tours have started at the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary including one this Wednesday night and you do need to book.  You can also do tours during the day as well as private tours. It’s also an interesting place to hold an outdoor birthday party if you’re more adventurous.  La Trobe is actually part of a major eco-corridor in the north-east and there’s been an Indigenous naming competition going on at the University the past few weeks.

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Image via Banyule City Council

I was at Rosanna Library very briefly today and the Seniors Festival is currently on with an Engaging with Ageing art exhibition launching at Hatch Contemporary Art Space in Ivanhoe this Wednesday night.  As a young person, you don’t think about getting older but all of a sudden it happens and I have to say I’ve been very inspired by the many older people in my life who have remained very young at heart and youthful (but not immature) in their outlook.  Age is a state of mind and hopefully some hard-earned wisdom and experience accompanies ageing as we grow older.

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Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

It’s History Week as well next week and the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is holding a special program of events to celebrate as well as having recently launched seven different exhibitions last week including photographic exhibition The family mantle.

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Image via La Trobe University

Finally, for those of you who are contemplating any form of post-graduate study, La Trobe University is holding its inaugural PG Expo at the Melbourne (Bundoora) campus next Tuesday 9 October including keynote speaker Todd Sampson (pictured above) as part of the evening program.  I’ve attended a number of Masters information sessions in recent years and while I still haven’t quite landed on my course of choice, education is the key to a better life and I’m not sure if you can ever put a dollar value on that.

I’ll be back later this week with a new local profile on someone quite fitting for Spring.

Reading between the lines

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.

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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.

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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.

Design for Life

Grant and Mary Featherston’s aptly titled exhibition will open on 30 June at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen and it will be great to have some local inspiration in the depths of Winter to go and visit.  If you’re a fan of Australian modernist furniture design, this one will be good to see over the coldest months of the year – if you ever find a vintage piece yourself – they look fabulous in many of the 50s, 60s and 70s houses in Melbourne’s north-east as well as many of the Alistair Knox mudbrick homes commonly found in Eltham and its environs.

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Image via Heide

It’s quite the cultural month in that artist-in-residence John Brooks’ exhibition has opened at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre this week (with entries also being open for the upcoming A1 Darebin Art Salon) as well as the 2018 Banyule Arts and Culture Program launch and Telling Stories exhibition opening (with works from the Banyule art collection) at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.

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Image via The Fitzroy Naturopath

As for me, I subsequently got sicker this week after dragging myself to work last week and have succumbed to a chest infection and now on antibiotics which has been no fun at all.  Needless to say, I will be taking myself back to regular classes at Cinch Training in Macleod next term in an effort to develop some strength and stamina, which has been missing from my life these past few months, and has culminated in me being the most ill I’ve been in the past five years.

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Image via Bestow Beauty

On a brighter note, I have been indulging in different cups of specialty tea the past few months instead of having coffee in the afternoon.  Two lovely brands if you can find them around which have turmeric in them include The Fitzroy Naturopath and Bestow.  If you like chai which I find particularly nice with Bonsoy milk and honey, there’s a great local brand made in Templestowe called Chai Walli, that is available from Leo’s in Heidelberg.  Stay warm and stay well my friends…I think I need a holiday!

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Image via Chai Walli

Go fly a kite

March and April are events season in Melbourne and I love the cool crisp mornings and warm days, and the more stable weather (perfect for painting!).  The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show at the Exhibition Building in Carlton opens this Wednesday and I could do with some advice as my back yard is in quite the state with a six month old puppy intent on destruction.

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Image via Hatch Contemporary Arts Space Facebook page

It’s also Harmony Day on Wednesday and locally, A Taste of Harmony community lunch is being held in the Bell Street Mall – tickets are $10.  The mall in general will be celebrating Cultural Diversity week and it’s a good opportunity to also check out the  Urban Light Box Galleries on display.  Continuing the cultural diversity theme is Hatch Contemporary Art Space’s In conTEXT exhibition showcasing the work of five different artists, which opens on Wednesday 21 March.

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Image via Eltham Twilight Market Facebook page

It’s a bit early but the Eltham Easter Twilight Market from 4 – 8 pm is being held this Thursday night while the Darebin Kite Festival is being held this Sunday and as someone who saw the recent Rosebud Kite Festival – it’s a spectacular sight.  I’ll be back later this week with the first local profile of the year.

Good Tidings

It’s the name of the book being launched at the Eltham Library on 10 December on the power of good people and I think it’s an important thing to remember when we’re bombarded with media images of violence and terror happening on the international stage.  There are more good people in the world than bad and I wish the world more peace in the lead up to Christmas.  Hosted by the Eltham Bookshop and published by Wild Dingo Press, the book is a story of courage, resilience, hope and hearts filled with compassionate friendship between Sri Lankan refugee Para Paheer and local penfriend Alison Corke – things which are greater things to meditate and ruminate on.

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Image via Wild Dingo Press

There’s also some interesting performing arts events on around the place including local heats at Deadly Funny at the Darebin Arts Centre on the 10 December if you’re cheeky and loud, black and proud.  If you’re a fan of Tim Winton’s books, a sprawling stage adaptation of Cloudstreet is being held at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre from 5 – 16 December, tickets of which are now on sale at TryBooking.

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Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

It is a cultural week in that Banyule Arts and Culture also announces its 2018 plans on 8 December at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.

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Image via Marmoset Found

If you’ve started getting your house in order for Christmas celebrations, it’s worth noting that local homewares store Marmoset Found is having a warehouse sale, along with neighbouring outlet Sage and Clare on this coming Friday and Saturday at 21 Albert Street in Northcote.

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Image via Kara Baker

If you’re a fan of bespoke fashion, local maven Kara Baker is launching her Beach collection on Wednesday 6 December from 5 – 9 pm at 1/414 Bourke Street although I prefer some of her latest Spring Summer range including this beautifully tailored dress above.  You’ll need to book a private appointment if you wish to attend at kara@karabaker.com

On stage

It’s been a while!  I’ve been in Noosa the past 10 days spending some time in the sun and the heat.  And while I’ve been there a number of times, this was the first time since having children.  I will post about my trip later this week.

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Image via Melbourne Festival

I posted about the Banyule Performing Arts Festival at Hatch in Ivanhoe before I went away and I hope it was a big success – while the Heidelberg Theatre Company has long had a presence in Rosanna, there is a need to share the love with other performing artists in the area.  Speaking of performing arts, the Melbourne Festival has opened and if you get a chance to see a show, it really is a great experience – one that defines Melbourne as the arts capital of Australia.  My picks would be Chinese contemporary dance performance Under Siege, the House of Mirrors installation and Terence Malick’s Voyage of Time narrated by Cate Blanchett and set to music by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

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Image via Banyule City Council

But back to all things local, the Banyule Award for Works on Paper exhibition launch is this Wednesday and always a fantastic show to see if you manage to fit inside Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.  The Victorian Seniors Festival is also on at the moment and there is a morning tea being held at the Ivanhoe Centre this Wednesday (or Thursday).  I also love that there is an associated Evergreen horticulture therapy program being held on 12 October – as I’ve got older, I’ve started to appreciate the seasons, the outdoors and spending time in nature – gardening is a very life affirming and calming past-time.

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Image via Hunter Lane Cafe

Finally, Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna is holding ‘A barber and a BBQ’ fundraising event for brain cancer research, in partnership with Valiant Barbers from Heidelberg Heights this Sunday 8 October from 2.30pm if you find yourself in the area – it sounds like Mr Rosanna’s idea of heaven!  Have a good week and enjoy the school holidays if you are lucky enough to be at home not work.