There’s no I in team…

What would Jesus say? I think maybe he’d like this.

Sal Cooper’s observations on life, although out of the ordinary, do reveal an appreciation of life and fun and the little things that make us stop. And think. If you are someone who stops and thinks. Which clearly Sal is.
 Her exhibition, Breakfast for Heathens is, quite appropriately, showing in all its glory at the Abbotsford Convent. The Foosball table is only just the start…there are also works on paper; variations on a little plaster man in a spam can and an end-of-room mosaic-like piece featuring large and small, gold and plain framed illustrations and thoughts.

Listen to: Interview


What do you get if you combine sibling bands, indie folk, R & B and country?

…First Aid Kitty, Daisy and Lewis….
…ok, ok, so clearly I won’t be giving up my day job to do stand up comedy…
Swedish folk duo, First Aid Kit, played at The Corner Hotel last night. They’re sisters. From Stockholm. Amazing voices. Lovely presence. Sparkly tops. Meaningful lyrics. And they are young. 
I loved hearing their music live with an ardour far exceeding moderation. 
And then some.


The term, superfoods, gets bandied around a lot. You could be forgiven for thinking that superfoods is a fancy pants name for a new fad…the latest celebrity diet. The underwear-on-the-outside name is a bold one, and yet, there are early references to superfoods as a term. However, these references are tenuous and not entirely relevant. I include them because…well, basically they are funny and not everything that is rewarding need necessarily be relevant.

1915 Daily Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica) 24 June 18/2 He had changed the tenor of his mood, And wisely written wine as superfood

1949 Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald 3 Feb. 14/3 Mr. LeBourdais extolled their [sc. the muffins’s] worth as a superfood that contained all the known vitamins and some that had not been discovered.

Not a month goes by where some other food isn’t added or removed from the superfood list, but generally speaking, a superfood is one that is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. It is an unprocessed, or minimally processed fruit, vegetable, grain and/or protein that is known to improve well-being and longevity.

Why wouldn’t you want to embrace the superfoods way?

In the midst of my melodramatic juggling of being Jacqueline by night and shaping young minds à la francaise during the day and, generally, flouncing all over the place tiring myself out, a wise man quite simply said, get into the superfoods. So I did.

Then, quite by chance, while searching for a relatively cheap and accessible event during the Melbourne Wine and Food Festival, the superfoods had their way and embracing them was the only choice. Superfood cocktail and canape match. How could I say no?

Three tasters, three cocktails and three savoury/sweet canape matches. I am hazy on the absolute consensus as to the winner…but as the reporter, I’m going to go with my winner-at-the-end-of-the-day as being the Apple Crisp Martini. Beautifully combined with the duck and then the certain je ne sais quoi of the macaron on its bed of persian fairy floss. There was also something fairly marvelous about the combination of the chilli in the cherry tomato and chilli padi martini and the valrhona tart, although not all of our party were won over by the savoury/sweet mixing of this tasting.

So with a multitude of superfoods coursing through our veins, we went off into the Melbourne night, happy in the knowledge that we had consumed many of  ‘all the known vitamins and some that had not been discovered’, assured of longevity and alive with hope and an innate sense of well-being.

Vodka, green apples, cinnamon, mint & lemon

Served with: 
Crispy duck salad with baby herbs, fried shallots and orange caramel
Apple pie & cinnamon custard macaron


Chili padi infused vodka, cherry tomatoes, lemon & Angostura bitters


Bacardi Superior Rum, pineapple, ginger, mint & lime juice

Served with:

Blue swimmer crab burger with lime, ginger & pineapple relish

Yogurt & coconut panna cotta with gingerbread & caramelized pineapples

You are the music

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
T.S. Eliot

Scandal in a book-lined room

Heide…no, not a variant spelling of a blonde-haired girl in the alps (although pronounced that way) but a unique indoor and outdoor space for showcasing modern and contemporary art and design in Bulleen (near the suburb of Heidelburg) in Melbourne.

John and Sunday Reed bought the property which they would affectionately refer to as Heide two years after they married in 1932. During revolutionary years in Australian art – the 1930s, 40s and 50s – the Reeds created an idyllic refuge of inspiration for artists and intellectuals. Heide and the Reeds became synonymous with the creative friends they attracted, most notably, the leading exponents of Australian modernism, Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker and Joy Hester. Nolan’s famous Ned Kelly series were painted in the dining room of Heide. 

Sunday, in particular, was very taken with Nolan’s work…and the man, himself. When Nolan finally left Heide after a long stay, she built a heart-shaped garden in celebration of their love affair.

The Reeds lived to see their vision fulfilled for Heide to become a public museum when Heide Park & Art Gallery opened in November 1981. They both died shortly afterwards in December 1981, ten days apart. 

Being Jacqueline

“Having lived in the south of France, gained a PhD in medieval French literature, been Head of Languages at a private girls’ school in Christchurch, New Zealand and now teaching French at Melbourne’s Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar, it is fairly safe to say that Jo est amoureuse de tout ce qui est français.
It is this passion for ‘all things French’ and Jo’s sense of adventure that has found her in her acting debut in the role of Jacqueline. ‘Dr’ Rittey sees this as an opportunity for her to entertain others with all the melodramatic fervour she can muster, speak French, gesticulate wildly, and channel the Parisian she knows lives inside her.”
A little show-offy, perhaps, but such is the actor’s bio…and unbelievably I AM currently an actor…actress…treading the boards…all the world is a stage…and other such thespian-type quotes…
Having attended a surreal audition night where I was convinced that everyone would see me for the fraud that I am…not French…haven’t acted since I played myself in my brother’s short film and he told me I was ‘too big for the screen’, by which I believe he meant I over-acted and was not actually a comment on my physical stature…I was chosen for the role of Jacqueline. The Melbourne French Theatre is putting on Pyjama pour Six or Don’t Dress for Dinner, a French farce involving a country house and six completely loopy people who seem to involve themselves in ridiculous dialogue and a multitude of misunderstanding. Given that my life is often reminiscent of a French farce, this should be a walk in the park. 
I am immersing myself fully in the role of Jacqueline to the point where I no longer know where Jo ends and Jacqueline begins. I believe they call that method acting.

The concern is, of course, that I spread myself too thinly over the multi-faceted Melburnian life I am leading…teacher…aunty…blogger and now actor. It’s a challenge, I tell you. Not, of course, that I am worried that I spread the frenchiness too thinly…oh no, I am all for spreading frenchiness like a thick slab of roquefort on a crusty piece of baguette…it is just that the intense rehearsal schedule and the full Jacqueline immersion process…not to mention actually having to learn lines…well, you know, it is pretty immense.

This is a hideous photo…but there we go…

Going bush…

…well, not really. Outdoor Ed. camp with 130 Year 8 students in the Lake Eildon National Park in the Murrindindi Shire. Murrindindi means ‘living in the mountains’, and while I don’t believe that Australia actually has mountains, it was very very beautiful there.I was telling people that I was going to Lake Eildon and they quite rightly asked, but where on Lake Eildon? The Lake is huge. We were in an Outdoor Education Cam by the Goulburn River, just past Eildon, itself. 

 Rafting, hiking, biking, tenting and boomerang throwing. I loved it! Even the twelve hours straight of heavy rain on our first night did not dampen my enthusiasm for being out in nature, listening to the wind, taking in the water, trees, hills and wide sky.