Elvis has left the building

It’s the appropriately titled final Avant Card postcard printed in July by my ex-client and friend Pat Mackle signifying the end of a 25 year era and over 20,000 postcards produced.  What a ride it’s been for her and her family and friends – many of whom have been involved in the business over this time across three separate states and all over Australia.  We caught up today for lunch at Japanese raw food cafe Shoku Iku on High Street in Northcote right next door to the Good Vibes Yoga studio (owned by artist Kirra Jamison) near the Westgarth Theatre.  There’s not many people I know who’ve had the courage of their convictions to follow their dreams and go out on their own so I take my hat off to Pat.  Many young people now will have a very different life journey with as many as 17 different jobs across 5 different industries so the times they are definitely a-changing.farewell

I had my sold out La Trobe Three Bold Thinking Series lecture last night at the State Library Theatrette which was a very big night for the three former student activists involved, who finally had their turn in the spotlight to tell their story and perhaps gain a sense of closure from the events of 1972 for which they were imprisoned in Pentridge Prison without sentencing. I was taken back in time to a very different era when the stakes were a lot higher with Anti-Vietnam war protests, conscription and the women’s and gay liberation movements taking place against the backdrop of global social, cultural and political change.  I can’t help but feel we now live in a very corporatised, sanitised and more vanilla era compared to those heady times where the struggle was very real.  What struck me was how all three men, despite their differences and the hardship and trauma they endured, were absolutely resolute in their belief about the right to protest and at no point in time were ever going to apologise to the University.  To this day, as as much as it has impacted their lives, they still stand by their principles united in solidarity – it was a pretty amazing thing to witness.  It was a bit ironic leaving the building last night to see the new La Trobe branding All kinds of clever splashed over a massive billboard opposite my old University RMIT on Swanston Street.IMG_6078

A few things on this weekend including the Eaglemont Village Artisan Market in Eaglemont tomorrow and the Wild about Melbourne pop up market at Thornbury Bowls on Sunday, which is the same day as the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival, which also includes a new Night Market.  There are also a heap of new exhibitions now on at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre with a special opening tomorrow afternoon from 2 – 4 pm, some exhibitions which are part of this year’s Radiant Pavilion Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial.IMG_6094


The Pioneer

It’s the name of the new cafe that’s yet to open at 2 Station Road in Rosanna.  From the signage and graphic design already up, it looks very promising.  I just hope they get the numbers given the lack of parking in that particular spot although lots of people walk past on their way to the train station.  I love the name – I was only still grumbling to Mr Rosanna last week that people seem to think culture is non-existent in the suburbs when there’s a big demand for more inner-city style cafes.  Just because I’ve moved a few kilometres out of the city doesn’t mean my sensibility and taste have changed…IMG_5876

I made it to the Van Gogh exhibition for my birthday earlier this week and I think we spent more time queuing up to see the show, than in the exhibition space itself!  I’d bought tickets online but it was still a wait as there were lots of people like us wanting to see the show before it closes this weekend.  I will say, Van Gogh’s later work is beautiful – the way he captured light in his paintings is amazing.  I’m also looking forward to the House of Dior  fashion exhibition at the NGV which will open late August.IMG_5864

The boys took me to upmarket Japanese restaurant Sake beforehand for lunch so it was lovely to spend time sitting in the sun beside the Yarra River.  I’m glad there’s been a lot more development by the river – I could see across to Riverland Bar and know that there’s also ice skating on at the moment at River Rink at Fed Square.  After the exhibition, we actually made it to a late afternoon screening of Wonder Woman at the Westgarth Theatre in Northcote so we loaded up on coffees and hot chips beforehand at Barry.IMG_5875

I got some lovely small things from my family for my birthday including some T2 green tea (with spinach!) and a Frank Green environmental coffee cup designed in Australia.  I’ve not seen the War on Waste TV program but I know there are far too many disposable coffee cups and plastic straws thrown away.  I recently met a senior staff member from T2 who informed me of their ‘Three Cs’ branding – no coffee, no coke and no colour!  Apparently all the staff wear black.  I’m not sure I’d survive a day in there without coffee…IMG_5852

Mr R also bought me some beautiful tulips that I’ve been admiring all week on our bench top – tulips along with orchids and lilies (which unfortunately make me sneeze) are one of my favourite flowers.  I’ve always wanted some Art Deco glass tulips which are collectors items if you ever see them.  Have a great weekend – one more week until we are officially halfway through winter.IMG_5856

More than this

I love that scene in the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation where Bill Murray’s character is singing Roxy Music’s song at a Japanese karaoke bar.  Mr Rosanna and I have been bunkering down for winter, which is not my favourite season and I must admit I’m not a very nice person to be around when I’m cold, tired or hungry and watch out if I’m all three. My work colleagues know I get ‘hangry’ so it’s probably no surprise that I’m the team lunch organiser.

Stuffed calamari starter
Sardine starter

While it’s cold and I am tired at the moment – I have been eating!  I’ve started celebrating my birthday early this year and Mr Rosanna took me to Camus on High Street Northcote on Saturday night, after having had my family over for lunch during the day.  Camus is relatively new – French Algerian – and very close to the Westgarth Theatre and Bar Nonno.  We were seated upstairs in the more modern formal, but more sterile-feeling, upstairs dining area which could do perhaps with some sound baffling (and I’m not a fan of the white floorboards) – it was full house but I think I’d go back and ask for a downstairs table next time which feels more cosy, particularly in the winter time.

Slow cooked goat with apricots
Baked snapper

The food was great although we’d probably eaten a bit too much at lunch given the plates are designed for sharing.  Mr Rosanna and I shared two starters of calamari stuffed with prawns and the sardines – I preferred the calamari to the sardines while our two shared mains included the slow cooked goat with apricots, which was delicious (sorry any vegetarian readers out there!) and the baked snapper which was also very good.

Turkish delight souffle


I stopped eating a bit earlier so only just had room for a shared dessert of Turkish delight souffle with halva icecream, which was delicious, and Algerian mint tea, which was sweet but also very nice.  I don’t know who has done the fit out and design for Camus but particularly love the graphic design – their business card has no other details except for just the name – as well as some of the finer details like the Glenn Tebble tableware made by Bendigo Pottery.  Glenn Tebble himself has a very inspiring life story of his own – he’s originally from Eltham and a cystic fibrosis sufferer who has now had a double lung transplant and building his ceramic business on a global scale making bowls and plates for the likes of Brae, Ezard and Movida.



While we headed home after dinner – on previous nights out in Northcote, Mr R and I have gone out for drinks at Joe’s Shoe Store, there is also the new Irish whisky bar and bookshop Buck Mulligans (love the turquoise pressed metal bar), the Wesley Anne if you want to see a band or the Black Waffle if you want dessert.  Next time!  I hope you’re hanging in there if you’re not feeling it, like me.  Go away winter blues…

Buck Mulligans image via Pressed Tin Panels