Finals fever

Despite growing up in a family of girls, I now seem to have made up for it as the sole female (bar my dog) in a family of boys.  It’s finals season in my household not only in terms of the AFL but also with kids’ sports.  I’ve been one of the many team managers for the Banyule Hawks this season and it’s been a lot of fun.

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Spring has arrived and it was glorious standing outside bathed in the morning light today – the weather is going to heat up this week and it’s about time!  I’ve desperately needed some motivation although I did go out for a very brisk run yesterday afternoon and I hope you all had a great Father’s Day – or Mother’s Day to those single parents out there doing double duty.  It’s not always an easy day for those without a father in their life and I have a number of friends and family where this is the case.

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On another note, local artist Rona Green is selling two of her whimsical designs Fritz and Lionel (above) on antique white cotton/linen blend tea towels, which would look great framed and hung on your wall if not used in the kitchen!  Tickets are currently on sale for the Montsalvat Arts Festival in two weeks’ time being held on 16 September.  Their family-friendly HallowSCREAM event on 31 October also looks like a lot of fun if you’re a Nillumbik local.  My children have just celebrated Book Week at school, as most primary school children have, and their costumes will be getting a second airing for Halloween.  It was barely celebrated when I was a child but seems to have become such a big event with the baby boom that’s been going on the past 10 years or so.  Have a great week  and enjoy some of that sunshine.

Over the rainbow

Given we had a staycation this Christmas, it’s been good to do a bit more exploring locally.  There are a couple of cafes I’ve only recently discovered and am yet to visit but they include Silas Coffee in Watsonia and The Chairman Cafe & Foodstore in Heidelberg Heights.  We’ve also been looking more at local coffee roasters including DC Coffee (formerly Ducale Coffee) in Preston and Dimattina’s in Reservoir now that we’ve got a Rancilio coffee machine.

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Image via DC Coffee

If you’re after some pretty summer fashion then you may be interested in ili (I love it) in Station Street Fairfield which stocks a number of different Australian labels including Elk Accessories, Viktoria and Woods, Skin and Threads and Cable Melbourne.  As for me, I’ve got my eye on a tan handbag by Status Anxiety and a leather jacket by Luxe Fashion Studio so may be saving my bickies for a while this year.

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Didier biker jacket image via Luxe Fashion Studio

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre currently has a couple of jobs on offer if you have an arts marketing, hospitality, retail or curatorial background and are interested in working for Darebin Council.  And if it’s arts you love, Puesta del Sol is being held poolside at Montsalvat in Eltham tomorrow night with Art by Twilight at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen on 27 January.

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Image via Monty Village Facebook page

Summer Vibes on QWere Street in Montmorency is being held on Saturday 3 February and there’s a fantastic lineup of acts while if romance is on your mind, Date Night at Heide is being held on Sunday 4 February and a Valentine’s Day/Rainbow High Tea at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre overlooking the heritage gardens on Saturday 17 February.

Where’s Kevin?

That was the question we were all asking our poor Events manager yesterday at the Kevin Rudd: On China’s Rise and a New World Order sold out public lecture for over 600 people held in the Grand Ballroom at The Sofitel.  Apparently our ex-PM is known for often running a bit late and yesterday was no exception.  There was a private VIP lunch held beforehand, while general attendees got to mill around in the foyer having a stand up light lunch which was included in the ticket price.  So there were a number of us sweating and hoping Kevin would actually turn up to the venue in time!

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Kevin Rudd

Turn up he did, and irrespective of what side of politics you’re from – Kevin Rudd is an extremely intelligent man who was quite relaxed and funny yesterday with an outrageously extensive vocabulary.  I often find my brain hurts at the end of the day working at a University and mixing with such clever people who all have many letters after their names.  Linda Jakobson, the CEO of China Matters was just as impressive and it was always going to be a hard act to follow a former Prime Minister.  That she speaks Finnish, English and Mandarin fluently is an amazing feat in itself.  The lecture was facilitated by Professor Nick Bisley, the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and it was a packed house with me taking one of the few last spots in the media seats at the back.

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Image via Black Inc. Books

My mum ended up surprising me by turning up to the lecture and she bought herself a copy of Linda’s book China Matters published by Black Inc. Books and La Trobe University Press and Kevin’s new book Not for the Faint-Hearted was also on sale.  After the last-minute flurry of activity including a fire drill held before the lecture, it was great to come home yesterday after the big event to de-compress.

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Linda Jakobson

It’s all about the art this weekend with Bundoora Homestead Art Centre’s biggest show opening tonight – the Darebin Art Prize.  This major multi-medium award for contemporary visual art includes a $10,000 acquisitive prize and $1000 People’s Choice Award.  It’s held only every two years so enjoy if you go to the exhibition.

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Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

If portraits are more your thing, the Rick Amor Portrait Prize – a $20,000 acquisitive prize winning exhibition at Montsalvat has also opened and would be well-worth seeing.  There is a lovely house for sale at 29 Edwin Road in Templestowe known as the Thompson House built in a similar era to Montsalvat if you’re a fan of things of stone and wood.

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Finally, Nancybird is turning 15 with a big sale on this weekend at the Northcote Town Hall with up to 70% off.  I’ve got a number of Nancybird leather goods and I have to say I love the artistic aesthetic of this beautiful brand – there will also be other things for sale including chocolate, jewellery, candles and plants by other artisans so this would make a great start to your Christmas shopping.

Work it

I made it to my first training session this morning with Nikki Ellis at Cinch PT, after having had to deal with some niggling minor health issues to start my year.  I was lucky to get the last spot as classes have been very busy since the New Year.  I expect to be in all sorts of pain tomorrow!  Although Nikki tells me that her word for the year is ‘sore’ while my word for the year is ‘expansion’ (although I didn’t mean this in the physical sense!).

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Nikki Ellis – Cinch PT

Apparently Nikki was reading about words for the year on Mamamia and if you are a fan of Mia Freedman she is going to be the guest speaker at this year’s Banyule Women in Business Lunch being held on Thursday 9 March (the day after International Women’s Day) in the Great Hall at The Centre Ivanhoe.  I had dealings with Mia’s agent last year as we actually invited Mia to be on one of my lecture panels but unfortunately the stars didn’t align as Mia was going to be overseas.  I think this event is likely to sell out so I would book now if you’re interested in seeing Mia.

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Image via Banyule Business

Speaking of inspirational women, I discovered 98 year old yoga teacher Tao Porchon-Lynch online a little while ago as she’s currently featured in ads for activewear brand Athleta.  I’m also looking forward to returning to yoga classes soon, which I’ve missed as my teacher is currently away in India.

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Heather Davies: Bella Italia exhibition image via Montsalvat

I just wanted to mention some local art exhibitions that are launching next week including Atmospheres & Environments at Hatch Contemporary Space in Ivanhoe as well as My Melbourne, Here and Now by Hans Schiebold and Bella Italia by photographer Heather Davies at Montsalvat in Eltham.  Puesta del Sol is also on poolside at Montsalvat next Thursday night if you’re after some food, drinks, music and art.  Have a great weekend!

Nb. Miss Rosanna is sponsored by Cinch PT