The 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.
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.