Summer in the city

Happy New Year my friends – I hope you had a great NYE and if you didn’t, you get the chance to start all over again on January 22 when the Year of the Black Water Rabbit officially begins.

Speaking of water, my family and I spent NYE watching Avatar: The Way of Water at IMAX Melbourne before heading to Treasury Gardens to catch the early fireworks – I think half of Melbourne was there! And the city herself looked magnificent walking from the Royal Exhibition Building (below) past the all lit up Her Majesty’s and Princess Theatres – Melbourne has never looked better.

I even managed to squeeze in a day trip to the beach on Monday to the Mornington peninsula to catch up with my friend Dan in town from Amsterdam, before returning to work on Tuesday – which was a shock to the system! My girlfriends are planning a trip to France this year so I’m a little envious especially as I’ve just binged on Season 3 of Emily in Paris – the City of Light has never looked so amazing.

While I am back at work, Mr R and I are enjoying our Melbourne staycation over summer and if you’re entertaining visitors you might be interested in this article Eat, play holiday which includes 12 of the best places to visit in Melbourne. Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen has a new cafe and new retail store and Mr Rosanna has gift cards he’s received but yet to use at Urbnsurf in Tullamarine and The Keys in Preston.

We went to Camberwell Sunday Market today – make sure you go early, wear a hat and some sunscreen and take a water bottle if you visit on a hot day. It’s also gold coin donation to Rotary but volunteers are now carrying mobile EFTPOS machines at the entry gates and stall holders use Pay ID on their mobiles if you haven’t brought cash. It’s all open air and shade can be hard to come by (as well as cold drinks!). With our post-Christmas budget, we’ve been happy shopping at markets and thrifting at op shops and I came away with a new miniature elephant to add to my ever growing herd.

I also had a mid-week catch up with my cousin at the newly renovated Box Hill Central having a cheap and cheerful (and very hot!) Thai noodle soup at Dodee Paidang – note to self – order something with less than three chilis in terms of heat factor next time. I can’t imagine how hot the seven chili option must be. If you are visiting Box Hill you might be interested in Etta chef Rosheen Kaul’s recommended places to eat – it does feel like you could be somewhere in Asia if you do visit Box Hill and I drove past Vietnamese restaurant Indochine which is still there and one of the first places to open in that strip.

Speaking of all things Asian, you might be interested in Screen Presence 2023 at the restored heritage-listed Capitol Theatre – a series of in-conversation events accompanying movies included the first Asian movie star Anna May Wong in the 1932 film Shanghai Express. You can also see her featured again in the upcoming Goddess exhibition at ACMI opening in April.

Make the most of the next two or three weeks even if you are returning to work – I’ve been enjoying having friends over, the quiet time on the streets of Ivanhoe (and in the parklands) and the thinking and planning time in the office. No doubt things will pick up once school returns and I will be heading up north for work in the first quarter of this year with February to May already looking pretty busy. Stay cool…

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To be continued

I hope you made merry this Christmas because what else can we do? In this strangest of years, it is a choice to be happy. The past week for me has been a riot of food, family and fun times spent eating way too much. It’s been great to have seen both sides of our family on Christmas day and night as well as extended family and my besties. As tiring as it can sometimes be hosting events, it’s been a privilege to bring people together and given what is still unfolding in Greater Sydney, I’ve not taken gatherings for granted. I also got to spend Christmas night cuddling a puppy so it doesn’t get much better than that!

Mr R and me on Christmas day

There is a saying about the difference between a flower and a weed being a judgement and I did laugh watching the Margaret and David Review 2020 that was doing the rounds on social media before Christmas. It has been an incredibly surreal year on so many levels – no-one could have predicted a global pandemic stopping the world in its tracks and the ensuing disruption and chaos it has wrought both good and bad. With the losses all too evident, I have tried to focus on the silver linings and lessons learnt in this extraordinary year and like Margaret, to see life through the lens of 5 stars not zero. Life goes on and it’s important to enjoy what we can even if things are far from perfect.

Puppy love ­čÖé

Speaking of movies, Mr Rosanna and I took the kids to see Wonder Woman 1984 at IMAX on the weekend, where everyone was masked up inside. While not in the same league as the first movie, it was still good to go to Carlton where we ducked into Readings afterwards and enjoyed an impromptu al fresco dinner at Tiamo 2 followed by gelato from Pidapipo next door. It almost felt like old times.

Gimlet dining room

I was in the city last night with my two best friends celebrating an early milestone birthday for one of them at Andrew McConnell’s new cocktail bar and dining room Gimlet at Cavendish House for some old world glamour in a renovated Art Deco building on the corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane. It was buzzing with beautiful people and felt like we could have been in London or New York if not for the more subdued streets of Melbourne outside. While we passed on the lobster bisque at $150 a pop (!) – we shared a couple of entrees and I had a beautifully cooked John Dory main followed by house made gelato served in antique silver footed dessert bowls, which did feel very special.

It was a real treat in what’s been a pretty gloomy year and it may be my last fine dining experience for a while given I now need to find myself a job and bring home some bacon! In that regard, given the uncertainty of next year in terms of a vaccine and the greater economy, I see 2021 as being part two – the sequel to this year and I’m still unsure about how things will end as much as it’s also a new beginning.

I was long-listed for a fundraising role just before Christmas so while I’m not getting my hopes up just yet, the job is with an interesting organisation doing interesting, and valuable, work on a global scale which would be very rewarding. You have to move forward and be prepared to try new and different things. I’ve been at a similar crossroads before and there is always light on the other side once you go through your own journey of self-discovery. It is a process and it does take time. If you are one of the million Australians like me who lost their job this year, or simply want to change jobs or land a new job, I hope you might take some comfort from that knowing it’s possible to reinvent yourself and start again with newfound strength and hard won resilience. I’ll be interested to see how the story ends but in the words of Joe Hockey – 2021 can’t come soon enough! I look forward to farewelling 2020 and I wish you a truly wonderful new year and new beginnings in 2021.

Go the girls

Indeed. It’s International Women’s Day and from my privileged position being an educated woman lucky enough to be born in a first world country, it’s a very easy thing to pay lip service to. My thoughts are for women in other parts of the world where life is still lived as a second class citizen or worse. In terms of Australia, the one in three domestic violence statistic is still deeply disturbing to me as a female but equally there can be no change without the men in our lives to support us – their mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and friends on our journey for equality. So simple in theory, so convoluted in the real world. I’ve been encouraged by my increasing dealings with the next generation of young men and women where the gender lines are not so fraught.

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I’m also incredibly lucky to now be working in an extremely tight-knit and very strong all-female Alumni Relations team supported by a very enlightened male Director and it’s been a nurturing place to land. The word alumni actually means ‘nourish’ in Latin and I find myself both on the the giving and receiving end of that in my current role. The downside to working in a University environment is that we don’t get the Labour Day public holiday so spare a thought for us this weekend!

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I daresay it’s quite deliberate in that the Australian movie release of Captain Marvel with a female superhero is today and my highlight will be seeing the movie at IMAX Melbourne this weekend. If you are having a staycation, don’t forget the Heide Autumn Makers Market is on tomorrow in Bulleen as well as a number of Farmers Markets including Coburg, Collingwood and Alphington and the Autumn Harvest Festival is still on at Bulleen Art & Garden. If you’re at Heide don’t forget too that the Gorman: Ten Years of Collaborating two week pop-up exhibition is on at Heide II while the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival also opens tomorrow. Lots to see and do – enjoy your long weekend.

Like tears in the rain

Bladerunner is my all-time favourite movie so I’m both excited and dubious about the forthcoming Bladerunner 2049 with Ryan Gosling that’s about to hit the screens, tickets which can now be booked at IMAX Melbourne if you’re interested in seeing it on the biggest screen of all.

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Image via Palace Cinemas

The Italian Film Festival at Palace Cinemas started last week and is currently on if you’re wanting to see something more international.

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Image via The Thornbury Theatre

Tickets also go on sale this Thursday for the inaugural Australian Americana Honours Night at the Thornbury Theatre on 2 October with musicians like Bernard Fanning and Kasey Chambers in the mix.

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Image via Banyule City Council

Closer to home, there will be a three day Performing Arts Festival at Hatch Community Space in Ivanhoe kicking off on Wednesdsay. ┬áIf you’re into music, theatre, dance, spoken word, cabaret or comedy, then this is the one for you. ┬áI hope you’re enjoying the warmth in the air and the sunshine – it’s nice to know Spring has sprung at last.