Jazzed up

Having not one but two Sagittarians in my family kills me every year before Christmas and this week has been no exception. I took Mr R for a surprise live music treat watching The Meltdown perform at The JazzLab (the new Bennett’s Lane jazz club below) in our old stomping ground of Brunswick on Friday night. Given end of year fatigue has already set in, we only lasted a set before we called it a night but it was good to go back and visit the area.

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We completed a bit of a square walk around to the venue past Black Hearts & Sparrows wine shop (owned by a girl who does yoga with me), opposite the cavernous and rockin’ Brunswick Mess Hall which was fully booked for dinner and found the venue just behind the very cool looking Wick Studios. We probably should have had dinner at nearby Los Hermanos had we known how close it was to the JazzLab – next time!

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For the other Sagittarian in my family, we chose to go somewhere closer to home this weekend and considering the sign is that of the archer – we visited Glenn Ambrose at Ambrose Archery at 25 Orr Street in Heidelberg Heights (indoor targets above) which was heaps of fun! Mr Rosanna had never done archery before and hit the bullseye in his first round while I got my Katniss Everdeen on and also had a great time playing indoors. There were a number of serious archers there but it’s a great venue if you have older children – something where they compete against themselves but all together at the same time. You do have to self-cater but the assistants included an outdoor education teacher and they run a tight ship of three different sessions over the course of the two hours keeping things moving along. It was also quiet and surprisingly relaxing so I can highly recommend.

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I am hoping to now turn my head to Christmas and there are some lovely handmade things around the place that have caught my eye including these beautiful glass sculptures by Amanda Dziedzic being sold by The Design Files (above) and the latest ceramics by Sophie Moran (below).

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I’m also loving the handmade native floral wreaths (see below) by Barouche Flowers which can be picked up at the Alphington, University of Melbourne, Collingwood and Coburg Farmers Markets in time for Christmas. They come in 3 sizes for $35 (25cm diameter), $45 (30cm) and $60 (40cm). You can text Matilda on 0434 824 168 or email: matilda.simpson19@gmail.com It’s all about the feels now leading up to the big day!

Get up

Happy Friday people. It’s been a long week for me. I flew home from Sydney on Wednesday night and then was in the city first thing yesterday for an all day team planning workshop. It was a great exercise for the entire division looking at where we’ve come from in the past two years to now and from now looking forward to the next 5 years. We often do this professionally, I’m not sure if we do this as well personally unless we’re outsourcing to planning professionals and coaches, which not everyone can afford. That old saying about failing to plan has been ringing in my ears on a number of fronts and as I’ve got older, I’ve become better at thinking strategically although it’s been a learnt skill and I still trip up. We can all benefit from stepping back and asking why we’re doing certain things in a certain way, if we need to do them at all and if we do, how they all fit together and benefit us as a whole. Big pictures not little ones need to be drawn.

I didn’t get to see a lot of Sydney while I was there which is generally the case for work trips – it’s more the inside of your hotel room (note to self: throw in your bathers next time!) and the four walls of the conference room. I did go for a walk around Hyde Park (above) when I arrived taking in the sights including the Australian Life outdoor photography exhibition and the Night Noodle Markets set up on one side. And I wish I could say I spent time enjoying Darling Harbour – I did enjoy glimpses of the view while at networking drinks on Monday night. And while room service is often the easy option, I did venture out two different nights on my own as I was near Regent Place, which was a lot of fun and I’m sure made some of the Asia-Pacific conference goers happy.

Closer to home, my team and I had lunch at Touchstone Cafe in Macleod the other week and it’s recommended. It’s had a write up on Broadsheet and the food and coffee were great. My only criticism – and I’m not sure whether it’s a suburban or cost thing again – is the use of fake indoor plants! A pity, as someone who enjoys nature and the benefits that indoor plants bring and indeed what this whole part of the world is about.

Lots going on this weekend and I’m glad the weather looks like it is starting to warm up. The Finders Keepers Melbourne market is on this weekend if you’re wanting to start your Christmas shopping early (I already have) and I did want to mention the Marysville Jazz & Blues Festival Weekend which is also on from today. I’ve been listening to both The Teskey Brothers and The Meltdown and love that both bands are from Melbourne, and the Teskey Brothers are from Warrandyte. The north-east taking over the world…

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