Heaven and hell

What a week it’s been. From a pandemic to protests, an earthquake and everything in between – the strangest of weeks in Melbourne ended on a high note for our family with the Melbourne Demons winning the AFL Grand Final giving the gallant Western Bulldogs hell and ending a 57-year drought and the Norm Smith curse (a story for another time for the uninitiated) at the same time. The irony of the game being played in Perth rather than at the MCG hasn’t been lost on long-suffering Demons fans but regardless, the joy of winning has outweighed any negatives including not being able to be there in person.

Dees donut box by t.withcake

We celebrated with some special donuts from t.withcake in Doncaster – my friend Jules has previously bought other baked goods from owner Tanya and had sent me an Instagram pic of their donut boxes. I have to say the donuts were spectacular with the right combination of cinnamon and sweet icing being absolutely dee-licious (!) – I would order them again as they were heavenly. Pelligra Cakes in Greensborough also did their own range of Grand Final cupcakes and cookies (below).

Grand Final cupcake/cookie range by Pelligra Cakes

I’ve not yet visited Gotham Doughnuts in Ivanhoe but will have to give them a go and I am curious to know if their vegan doughnuts taste any different from normal ones. My other recent discovery was Brazen Brownies in Fairfield as we have a family birthday coming up and a special request for a brownie cake (who knew?) which I discussed with owner Caroline over the phone this week. It was interesting to read about Tanya from t.withcake and Caroline from Brazen Brownies and how they both came to run their own businesses – both women have have worked respectively in veterinary science and law but in the end hospitality and food have won out – it’s inspiring to see especially when things have been so hard for many small business owners.

Melbourne Demons Premiers Alex Liddy Cheese Board by Demons Shop

Going back to the footy, there are a few cliches about Melbourne supporters and their love of Range Rovers, skiing and cheese boards – I did laugh looking at some of the premiership merchandise available for sale online including amongst the usual suspects of T-shirts, jerseys and caps… a branded cheese board (above)! Only in Melbourne (or should that be for Melbourne?).

Matilda Mont Albert

I’ve spent a good part of the past few days catching up outdoors with friends and family walking off all the calories including a walk with Jules to Matilda cafe in Mont Albert on Friday – there was a queue of people waiting outdoors for coffees and other food and drink and we’d chosen to walk there as Heide cafe in Bulleen wasn’t open on the Grand Final public holiday (but will be re-opening on 26 October subject to COVID guidelines).

People in my circle are suffering at the moment – some are coping better than others and I’m feeling for anyone who is languishing for whatever reason (and there are many reasons) given the duration of this pandemic and the economic, social, health and other impacts it’s had. It’s important to exercise, spend time in nature and other immersive activities, talk things over with friends and family or seek help from health professionals if you need. This time will eventually come to an end and while it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees – we are now entering the last stages of the longest (mainly mental) marathon of our lives – hang in there.