Banyule Modern

It was a beautiful balmy night last night for Twilight Sounds at Heidelberg Park Oval – we can usually hear the music from our house but I think the stage may have shifted location this year. I hope you enjoyed it if you went!

Images credit (above and below):

This modernist house at 56 Buckingham Drive in Heidelberg has caught my eye and while it may not have views, I love the design integrity (and the pool!) and the fact that it backs onto the Banyule Flats. It will be close to the proposed North East Link but if it stays underground as is currently planned then hopefully the impacts will be minimal. The flats have long been a source of inspiration to artists including The Heidelberg School and associated artists trail that you can walk, run or cycle.

My friend local interior designer Renae Barrass is a lover of all things mid-century modern including the name of the blog she used to write and which I’ve appropriated for my post today. Hello Renae if you’re reading this.

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow but if you’re on your own please take heart. Most loved up couples I know don’t celebrate it and I now have friends who have separated from their longterm partners both before this pandemic and during. It’s interesting to read about governments in Japan and Britain who’ve created Minister for Loneliness roles there as so many people now live on their own. I think social connectedness and a sense of community are incredibly important no matter where you are in the world.

Image credit: Arthur C. Brooks

Mr Rosanna sent me this interesting Atlantic article How to want less written by Harvard University Professor and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks who has just released his new book From Strength to Strength. In many ways, we are all starting over again this year and it can feel overwhelming as an older person, particularly if you’ve previously defined yourself as a partner within a relationship. I am the child of divorce and while it’s never easy, it’s something that has shaped who I am and I think it’s far better to be on your own than to stay with someone who doesn’t make you happy. Many people never find the right partner in life and some people also sadly lose partners along the way – life does go on and it’s important to live the best life you can whether you are partnered up or not.

Full Moon Design Co Heart kit image credit: The Finders Keepers

There’s a full moon this week and for some self-love – these handmade gifts from Full Moon Design Co (above) have caught my eye as well as these Goddess Threads (below) from Tasmanian designer Emily Eliza Arlotte who I discovered on my recent trip to Hobart. I think I will always be a bit of a hippie at heart. Wishing you love not just for tomorrow but the rest of this year – the year has only just begun and anything is possible.

Image credit: Emily Eliza Arlotte

Lost in Yonkers

The stage play by Neil Simon about the story of two brothers in Brooklyn opens tonight at the Heidelberg Theatre Company in Turnham Street Rosanna. I’ve not yet made it to the theatre in all the time I’ve lived in Rosanna although I will be going to see Into the Woods which opens at Ivanhoe Grammar School next month. New York is still a dream destination of mine and I will be forever regretful I never made it there for work when I was in my mid-twenties working for beauty company Aveda whose headquarters were in Minneapolis but PR done out of New York. Different times and the world has changed since then to become a lot more globalised.

I’ve had to learn at least four different types of online platforms and databases since starting my new job which has involved zoom meetings (similar to Skype and FaceTime) and live webinars with people based in the US. Welcome to the new age of working. Mr Rosanna meanwhile is working on a large-scale IT project with Indian nationals based here and in Pune, India. I can’t quite keep up…


While we’ve entered a new chapter in our lives and it’s been busy, we have continued to play house and bought a vintage Danish mid-century chair (above) for the TV room at Grandfather’s Axe in Northcote last weekend. If we ever renovate or move to a larger house I can see myself going back there for more living room furniture! It’s also been good to speak to builder friends about different ways to come at the same issue – instead of a skylight, we’ve been advised to add a new window instead (for more natural light) which makes more sense but sometimes gets lost in the detail. I did drive past a brand new Bunnings store about to open on Darebin Road in Fairfield and I seem to spend a lot of time at Bunnings. I’m sure that many of you in this area do too judging from all the activity I see on the street and in my neighbourhood. My fellow mid-century lover and local interior designer friend Renae Barrass was also commenting that she tends to get busier whenever there’s a downturn in the real estate market as more people decide to stay put and renovate.

I’m still celebrating Lunar New Year with my family and there are events on at Greensborough Town Square and the Bell Street Mall in Heidelberg West tonight and tomorrow if you’d like to welcome in the Year of the Pig. Have a good one.

A blaze of glory

The lady in red, aka Shaynna Blaze didn’t disappoint at today’s sold out Banyule Women in Business Lunch at The Centre Ivanhoe.  I missed last year’s lunch with keynote speaker Mia Freedman due to La Trobe University celebrating its 50th Anniversary that same day but was glad to make it to today’s event.  It was different in style to previous events I’ve been to in that it was a more casual conversation on the couch with a host instead of a more formal solo address from a lectern.

L-R: Jane Lindsay-Waschl, Renae Barrass, Shaynna Blaze and me

After some minor technical hitches which Shaynna handled with aplomb, the discussion was a good one giving us insights into her professional journey from having run successful businesses with her then husband in her twenties along with raising two children, becoming a single parent and working as a jazz singer (and band booking agent/PR) to supplement her interior design income to being tapped on the shoulder and asked to audition for Selling Houses Australia, before having Channel 9 approach her to be a judge on The Block.  Selling Houses Australia is Foxtel’s number one show and has run for 11 years, which is a huge amount of time in media land.  It’s nice to see someone so down to earth and likeable enjoy such success.

L-R: Nikki Ellis, me and Dani Ahimastos

I’d assembled a table including my two blog sponsors, Dani Ahimastos from Hunter Lane Cafe and Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training and other friends including interior designer Renae Barrass, Jane Lindsay-Waschl from Admonter Floors and ceramic artist Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen.  Banyule Business run some great events if you are a small business owner and I was asked to do a filmed vox pop after the event which will appear sometime soon on their Facebook page.  It’s already been a long week for me so I hope I managed to cobble something half way decent to say!

Shaynna on stage – The Centre Ivanhoe

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the local area over the past week including grabbing takeaway coffee from SixtyFive Espresso (who sell Brunetti pastries and cakes) at Greensborough Plaza to a bowling party at Oz Tenpin in nearby Bundoora.  There’s also a bit happening locally with Andrew Potocnik’s #urbansalvage #zero waste exhibition opening at Bulleen Art & Garden’s Bolin Bolin gallery tonight and the Heide Makers Market in Bulleen on Saturday.

Oz Tenpin Bowling – Bundoora

I also picked up a brochure for the Holi Festival of Colours which is taking place at Bundoora Park this Saturday if you are staying in Melbourne for the Labour Day weekend.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had my foot to the floor since returning to work in early January and am definitely looking forward to a break this weekend.  Enjoy.img_7012.jpg