Get up! Stand up! Show up!

It has been another historic week in terms of local and international affairs with NAIDOC week here in Australia but lots of change overseas. I think the plates are still shifting and with the surge in COVID-19 infections, I have booked my second booster and fourth vaccination for COVID. After going down hard in March, I will do everything I can not to get it again.

Above: Gimlet at Cavendish House interior

Culture-wise, it was wonderful to see Melbourne restaurant Gimlet in the top 100 longlist for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 – the only Aussie contender to make it. I feel grateful to have dined there shortly after it first opened. If you’re venturing out to the eastern suburbs, I also drove past authentic looking Italian wine bar Mister Sandrino on Riversdale Road in Hawthorn and my aunty who is a local has given it kudos as a dining destination.

Not every restaurant or person is lucky enough to have fared so well over this time – I was sad to hear the Morrocan Soup Bar in Fitzroy is closing its doors after 24 years although it will still trade for takeaway and catering. With the rising cost of living, Foodbank Victoria is also providing food for 50,000 people every day and it is a difficult time for people in more vulnerable situations.

I missed the Finders Keepers market at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and the So Frenchy So Chic Bastille Day discotheque at the Melbourne Meat Market also looked like a lot of fun but there are lots of activities happening around the place including the Winter Night Market every Wednesday night at the Queen Victoria Market and the Scandinavian Film Festival at Palace Cinemas.

I’m in the middle of doing some minor renovations at home and have had a setback after discovering borer (luckily not termite) in our bedroom flooring delaying the wardrobe installation – I’m hoping there’s not a knock on effect as we’ve also had to wait months to have carpets laid in the bedrooms. The unplanned events you don’t budget for…renovating or building is also a lesson in patience and acceptance. I’ll be ‘camping’ in my lounge room for the next couple of weeks.

It’s the dead of winter and I’ve found myself eating a lot of baked goods so it’s just as well I’m back at yoga this week and went for a long run (for me) today. Mr Rosanna and I have been enjoying the delights of Bread Wise bakery in Ivanhoe including its cinnamon donuts and substantial roasted pork bahn mi. This weekend I tried their date and orange scones which were delicious and I’ll be back to sample their passionfruit icing topped vanilla slice! A competitor, An Bahn Mi, has just opened across the other side of the road so no doubt I’ll be giving them a go as well.

We visited Rita, Michael and Fidel for a yummy brunch at Picket Fence cafe in Ivanhoe East as well over the weekend given we know them from our days in Rosanna when they owned the Greville Road Fish and Chip Shop. I also drove Mr R and his friends to Vinoshis for drinks at East Ivanhoe Village a few weeks ago which looks lovely but be warned it closes early at 9pm if you go. Apparently there is a new bakery going in at East Ivanhoe to replace Brumby’s – which is also going to offer ramen – so that will be an interesting combination if it happens! Only in Melbourne…

Good luck for the start of Term 3 this week if you have school-aged kids.


Gather Everybody

Welcome to Spring!  The day has finally arrived and while it will still be cold, I’m loving seeing all the blossom on the trees while at work, the baby kangaroo joeys greeted me at the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary this week.  I also had an interesting journey home the other night at the Lower Plenty and Rosanna Roads intersection watching as a mother duck and her ducklings were trying to cross the road at peak hour.

Image via

There is a need for calm in the world at the moment and I do wonder what things would be like if there were more female heads of state.  Do we need such aggression and chest beating to prove how strong we are or is there more strength in being prepared to back down, keep the peace and talk to each other rather than displays of military might…there are no simple answers sometimes.IMG_6126

On a brighter note, I went out earlier this week with my work colleagues for a communal meal at the Moroccan Soup Bar on St Georges Road in North Fitzroy – a place I hadn’t been to in years.  There was a queue spilling out into the street when I arrived as they were turning over the tables for the 7.15pm session.  Had I been more prepared like my friends, I would have brought some tupperware containers with me as there’s so much food!  We opted for the $30 banquet over the $25 which gives you a bit of everything and includes mint tea and sweet treats at the end, if you can fit them in.  One of my friends was regretful about going too hard at the start with the dips and bread.IMG_6128

It was lovely to see the Bargoonga Nganjin purpose-built community space all lit up when I left the restaurant.  It opened in April this year and I commend Yarra City Council for being able to get this project up and running – it includes a library, maternal child health service, playgroup spaces, Council customer service area, community meeting rooms, exhibition space and a rooftop garden.  Having worked closely with staff and councillors at Banyule and Darebin Councils now, I appreciate the difficult job they have in meeting the needs of residents and determining their role and the recent furore over Australia Day has left our household in disagreement.  As I said, there are no easy answers sometimes.  I am looking forward to the proposed Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub where community consultation is still taking place if you’re interested in attending an information session.  I’ve got friends involved with the Resolve Rosanna Road/North East Link project and I know that there have been some pretty fiery meetings regarding this controversial project as well.

Image via Macauley Community Services for Women

Speaking of local events, the Fairfield Spring Art Fair by iArt Studios is on tomorrow at the Backspace venue at 14 Montefiore Street Fairfield from 11am – 4 pm.  OLMC in Heidelberg is hosting a high tea on Sunday 10 September while Banyule Primary School is holding its Green Day at Heidelberg Golf Club on Friday 29 September – a golf day, lawn bowls, high tea and cocktail party (they’re covering all bases!).  I noticed too when ducking into Leo’s Food and Wine the other week, that Hahndorf ‘s Fine Chocolates has opened on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg and I hope they do well.  Have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend.

Image via Eventbrite