Spirited away

Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you have done something to celebrate the women in your life today. I’ve been out and about doing chores and catching up with two female friends this morning for coffee. The coolest thing I’ve seen today is a Wonder Woman wrist tattoo on one of the girls who works at Petbarn in Preston, while Mr Rosanna and I were washing our dog.

The weeks have felt very long at the moment because everyone has hit the ground at work running wanting to make their mark in the first few months of the year when energy and resolution to do things are the strongest. I think it’s also important to stay calm with everything else that’s going on in the wider community – I’ve been aghast at all the panic buying and think people have started to lose the plot. I keep coming back to the Buddhist concept of equanimity for all sorts of reasons – the unshakeable mind – to be able to see, without being caught by what we see. If you can stand in the middle of all that is going on and remain centred, then that is a super power. It takes time to condition your mind in this way but it can definitely happen with practise and awareness.


As mentioned, we’ve still been going out as a family but being very mindful of hygiene especially in public places and when visiting grandparents. We spent last Sunday morning at Camberwell Market – still a great place for second hand clothes and retro wares at bargain prices. I picked up a Buddha head and cast iron teapot at one stage but ended up leaving them after some consideration. My kids walked away with a book and a comic and we all enjoyed a jam donut at the end.


We had a special Sunday night last week at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl sitting on the lawn watching Music from the Studio Ghibli films of Hayao Miyazaki with pianist Joe Hisaishi conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra along to scenes from the different Studio Ghibli animated films including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro. It had been advertised on Broadsheet so it was a surprisingly young crowd we found ourselves sitting with and the performances were mesmerising. Particularly beautiful were the special appearances by opera singer Antoinette Halloran and Hisaishi’s daughter Mai Fujisawa who sang the theme song One Summer’s Day from Spirited Away. We made a quick getaway before the crowds through the gardens during the encore after the standing ovation, listening to the haunting sounds of the orchestra as we left.

If you have a budding pianist in the family like we do, you may be interested in visiting Hunter’s Piano Works in St Hellier Street Heidelberg Heights. Laurence Hunter buys, sells and restores pianos (and is a pretty mean player himself) and there are some second hand beauties on display, including a baby grand Steinway, if you get a chance to visit next time you’re visiting Valiant Barbers or Sunnyside cafe.