A Garden State

It’s been a really busy start to the year and I can’t believe my next Bold Thinking Series lecture – Michael Kirby on Health, Law & Sexuality is on next week at the NGV Great Hall, which holds 600 people and we are almost at capacity.  La Trobe University has been bringing out the big guns in terms of names with former PM Paul Keating being the keynote speaker at the Ideas & Society lecture on our role in Asia the Trump era, run by Emeritus Professor and public intellectual Robert Manne, at the Melbourne Recital Centre this Friday.  This event sold out within the first week or so of being advertised.

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Image via Speakeasy HQ

I also out went out on Sunday night with my workmates to see my Irish friend Colum perform in his show Improv Against Humanity (based on the naughty card game) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  Before the show, we tried for a table at Supernormal in Flinders Lane, which was super crowded and so decided to go to the Garden State Hotel (on the former Rosati’s site), which was also going off when we entered.  The resident DJ was spinning some pretty groovy tunes so it was a shame we couldn’t stay for a dance – we opted for a basement booth table away from the noise and ordered counter meals after walking into the restaurant, which was more pricey.

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Image via Speakeasy HQ

Colum’s gig had been shifted to Speakeasy HQ past the Waterside Hotel in Flinders Street – it’s Melbourne’s only dedicated vaudeville venue (and art gallery) located upstairs with a lounge bar outside the stage area and is housed in a former gold-rush era bank building – I was admiring the beautiful patterned ceiling while I was there.  And the gig?  It was very funny and improv performers are brave souls indeed – so quick off the mark….let’s just say that the words ‘semen’ and ‘dolphin’ were put to good use over the course of the evening.  Colum is not my only talented work friend, I discovered another friend Michelle used to be a high school teacher by day and a salsa dancer by night!  Next time out there will definitely be a bit of boogie-ing on down.

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Image via Garden State Hotel

If you attended a Dawn Service this morning, I hope you managed to have a restful afternoon this Anzac Day.  It’s been nice to pause and reflect.

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Image via Garden State Hotel
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Let the festivals begin

While the cooler weather may put a dampener on things – the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival all start in the next week.  A couple of my work colleagues take improvisation or ‘improv’ classes on a regular basis and I’m looking forward to seeing one of them in action at the Comedy Festival.

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Immerse Your Senses image via Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

There are also a number of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival events that all sound interesting including the Coburg Food Race and Sagra al Veneto (at Bulleen’s Veneto Club turning 50 this year) starting this Friday 31 March while the Master Hellenic Cooking (Hellenic Republic Kew), High Tea at the State Library and A Day At The Club (Merricote pops up at Thornbury Bowls with 70s menu classics) events taking place on 1 and 2 April also sound great.

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Image via Ticketek

There’s also a related La Trobe 50th Anniversary event The culinary journey of Greek Australians dinner taking place at Elryos in Camberwell on Monday 3 April, featuring Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, Head of School of Allied Health and author of The Mediterranean Diet cookbook who will also be speaking at one of my Bold Thinking Series scheduled later this year.  If I wasn’t going out this weekend I would have booked into this one!

I’ll be back with more later this week.  Stay dry…

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Image via 50years.latrobe
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Image via Booktopia