Play on

They’re Melbourne football club great Neale Daniher’s fighting words from the game and from life as he has so valiantly dealt with MND since leaving the world of AFL. He has been recognised with a Queen’s Birthday honour this weekend and it’s been great to see more women recognised as well as many other unsung heroes. We have no choice at the moment but to play on and keep going.

It’s been a hard week to be in Melbourne despite coming out of our fourth lockdown- it has taken its mental toll on the strongest of us with its cumulative effect and I hope you have taken it easy this weekend spending time outdoors or dining indoors and supporting local businesses. My plans for an extended family dinner party went out the door, as may end up my upcoming plans for a birthday celebration of some kind. In the end, all that matters is that we are safe and my first world problems are not the end of the world. I’ve joked to Mr Rosanna that we might have a joint party together in the summer of next year instead although I am feeling for friends and family who’ve booked holidays in Queensland and hope to go once term 2 ends. My fingers are crossed!

It may be safer to go regional and I’ve also heard the snowfields are looking good this year if you’re feeling up to it. We’re yet to take our kids skiing given it’s not an inexpensive sport – friends have taken advantage of buying ski clothes from Aldi and a number of retailers also sell ex-rental and second hand kids snow gear if you need to keep costs down.

I’ve heard retail sales are actually up this weekend with the 25km rule and no house visitors still in place. I’ve indulged in some retail therapy buying some coloured pots from Plantsmith in Preston filling them with succulents being sold in one of my neighbouring streets (pictured below), which has made me happy. I’ve also fallen in love with these whimsical limited edition prints (above) from Annie Davidson, which have captured my imagination.

My win this weekend was rocking up to the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton yesterday for a walk-in Pfizer jab after hearing from a friend it had been quiet on Saturday. There was no queue outside but the process inside took a good 90 minutes not including the 15 minute observation time after vaccination. It was very peaceful staring up at the angels painted on the ceiling of the world heritage listed building where our fellow Melburnians quarantined 100 years ago during the Spanish flu. Being the small world that it is, my uni friend Kato turned up in the queue just ahead of me and recognised me even with our masks on and I ended up making friends too with the random female stranger in front of me only to discover we had a mutual friend in common. Six degrees of separation…

I barely felt the Pfizer shot going in (unlike the flu shot) but I did have some pain at the site a couple of hours later when the full force hit – it feels like being punched in the arm so I took panadol last night to sleep. I went for a run yesterday and walk this morning and feel fine but Kato said she’s felt nauseous (despite being active too), which is a more unusual symptom. Side effects aside, I feel very lucky to have been able to get vaccinated. My besties and I went for a walk today however our plans to meet for a takeaway coffee at Matilda cafe in Mont Albert were thwarted when we discovered it was closed however there is always a next time – for everything. While Melbourne is no longer Australia’s most liveable city (congratulations Adelaide!), I have no doubt we will bounce back in time. This article about the great north and south divide here made me laugh – I think I will always be a northsider through and through! Stay strong Melbourne – our time in the sun will come again.


Blue skies for Christmas

The December birthdays kill me every year and this year was no exception. Mr Rosanna and I hosted half a dozen teenagers here at home today after going out for dinner in the city for Mr R’s birthday last night. We’ve actually had Japanese twice this week -once locally at the relatively new Issho in East Ivanhoe and last night at Sake Restaurant and Bar at Hamer Hall on the banks of the Yarra. Issho was good and Sake was great – Mr R and I lashed out on the $99 set menu, which was well worth the splurge and we had very full bellies by the end of the night.

It had threatened to rain so I’d moved our table inside but the dry weather prevailed, which meant some happy snaps could be taken riverside and in front of an almost empty National Gallery of Victoria. While Melbourne is not what she used to be – it does make me sad to see so many ‘For Lease’ signs up on buildings everywhere – there were still lots of people out and about enjoying the Yarra and walking around. COVID-19 has been a 1 in 100 year event and it will take time to recover but we are ahead of the game compared with so many other cities in the world. I feel very lucky to be living in Australia at this time and the freedoms we are now enjoying after so many months in lockdown.

Mr is hard notoriously hard to buy for but I did well this year with a number of small things all from local retailers including a print of Pellegrini’s cafe (where we originally met) from Melbournalia, a miniature plum plate from Cibi, a handmade whisky glass from Denver & Liely (just in time for Christmas!) and a Lene Kuhl Jakobsen plant pot and brass hanger from Plantsmith.

Time is running out to order things online in time for Christmas delivery so experiences and gift vouchers are always a good go-to if you are doing presents this year if not braving the shops. I’ve not yet been to a shopping centre but good luck to you if you have and I know Westfield Doncaster has a newly launched rooftop dining area.

La vida local

Have you been discovering any hidden local secrets while in your neighbourhood? It’s been interesting looking at where the 5km border lies around your home and how far you can go. If you’re interested, Mr Yum gives you a snapshot of local takeaway service in your 5km radius and my friends have been using it since we went into stage 4 restrictions. If you have a special occasion you might want to consider lashing out and ordering something from Providoor – I hope all my friends and family who have had birthdays over this period get to celebrate at some future point especially those who’ve had a milestone event.


Providoor also does online cooking classses and I know Zoom gardening classes have been popular at Bulleen Art and Garden. It’s been a beautifully sunny winter weekend and it’s made me happy to see blossom on my trees at home knowing that Spring is coming. If you have citrus trees now is the time to treat gall wasps in your garden and Mr Rosanna and I will be tackling our weedy, derelict veggie patch in our back yard. Even if you don’t have a backyard but a courtyard, balcony or even a sunny indoor spot where you live then you may be as inspired as I was looking at some of the plants and pots sold by Plantsmith in Preston, especially with Father’s Day coming up.


Here you’ll find handmade pots by local artists including my friend Lene Kuhl Jakobsen whose pots look amazing in Plantsmith’s brass hanging planter below – I also love some of the beautiful pot and plant pairings that are available and finding out about plants I’ve not previously seen. Plantsmith also run classes, workshops and more on plant health and it’s good to focus on something living right here and now. I’ve found myself immersed in all things home beautiful this weekend and it’s been a great antidote to the collective anxiety we’re all feeling in this city at the moment. The countdown continues and I hope the news gets even better as we march through the next four weeks here in Melbourne.


I’ve been running at Rosanna parklands throughout both lockdowns and I saw an older gentleman with a kite the other day – there’s nothing like a bit of wonder in the wind to make you feel alive enjoying the present. If you’re getting sick of the view from your window, you might like Window Swap for a bit of online fun – windows to the world in other places far, far away from our current 5km borders.