It’s the name of the book by Natalie Walton, which has recently been published, considering the art of simple living and what makes some houses feel more like homes than others. I’m really looking forward to reading it and it makes a beautiful coffee table book or gift for someone with an interest in houses and design. I have friends like me, who love watching Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud and it remains one of my enduring favourites – that and watching a lot of Nordic Noir! Mr Rosanna and I have just finished bingeing on the last season of The Bridge. The other book I want to read is Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie which was long listed for the Man Booker prize and is a modern-day version of the Greek story of Antigone.
I was out last night for dinner with some ex-work colleagues at Ocha Japanese Restaurant in Church Street Hawthorn – a place I hadn’t visited since it opened many years ago originally in Kew. The food was good and not surprisingly, it was an older, more sophisticated and monied crowd dining inside. Dishes are for sharing and with drinks, it was on the pricier side at over $80 a head – it’s not somewhere I would go to regularly but worth a visit.
It’s been a warm Autumn and Mr Rosanna and I are still working on our house wondering whether to paint it or not before Winter is upon us. We’ve been trialling different paint colours and still haven’t landed on the right shade. We live in an open plan house with floor boards and I’ve discovered that as much as open plan is fantastic for living areas, I do prefer zoned bedrooms and other spaces. We’ve already put on a door to the kitchen for noise reasons and now considering a Crittall-style steel and glass panelled internal door for our formal living room. I love the look of these steel windows and doors prevalent in the 1930s and still produced by Crittall in the UK but suspect the price will blow us out of the water.
Speaking of artisan, the Eaglemont Artisans market is on tomorrow if you are a lover of all things creative. I had a brief drink at Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna today having a chat with the owner Dennis, where I got a bird’s-eye view of the final stages of the Level Crossing, which still feels like a massive construction zone. They’re now talking about it being ready by Monday 7 May instead of this coming Monday but I am dubious about it being complete, and safe, by then. I am hoping it looks a lot nicer than the current behemoth that it appears to be now when looking at it from ground level.
Amok is the name of the modern Cambodian restaurant I went to on the weekend for a catch up with my PR friends from University and we are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year in terms of years since we graduated with plans afoot to catch up later in the year down at the beach.
The restaurant isn’t in the north-east but if you are venturing out south of the Yarra – it’s highly recommended and the chef is ex-Coda and Tonka. Dishes are designed for sharing and we had a number of different salads with squid and salmon, slow roasted pork ribs, wagyu beef and popcorn fish along with lamb cutlet starters and shared desserts. With drinks, we all ended up chipping in $50 each which included a tip.
It’s the second weekend in a row I’ve taken the Eastern freeway and while I will say now they are first world problems – the roads are a nightmare at the moment. Last weekend, when heading to the city for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I found myself in the middle lane of the freeway (which usually becomes a right turning lane into Hoddle Street) where it splits between Alexandra Parade and Punt Road. To my horror, the lane proceeded to disappear with barriers suddenly appearing right in front of me while I was driving at least 80 km per hour. I had to veer into the left lane and it was only pure luck that no-one was driving alongside me in my blind spot.
Last night was even worse in that while I remembered to get over to the extreme left this time – again there were barriers in lanes coming off the freeway where you could only turn left onto Hoddle Street and only two lanes to actually drive down – one of which was the bus lane. Returning from Windsor to Rosanna I got stuck in the detour on Burke Road as they are currently asphalting the Heidelberg Road roundabout. Aargh!
And don’t even mention the new P-turn to go right on to Hoddle Street! I have an English friend who has only just come to terms with hook turns in Melbourne and I must admit even as an experienced driver, P-turns are a whole new level of surprise.
I did have a look at the new Rosanna Level Crossing today while getting petrol and I am really hoping it’s ready at the end of the month – it looms pretty large if you’re turning left on to Turnham Avenue from Lower Plenty Road so I’m looking forward to the finished product (as most locals are) given it’s all pretty unsightly at the moment. The price of progress…