Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A state of grace

It's only early December but a succession of late nights has already caught up with me - I can't party like I used to!  Looking at my calendar, I think it's going to be just as mad right up until Christmas and I am looking forward to some downtime.

I've not yet had a chance to reflect much on the year suffice to say that there have been tragedies in the world and here at home that have touched my heart quite deeply.  I'm not sure if having children has made me more sensitive to the amount of suffering in the world but for my friends and family and those in the larger community who have suffered some sort of loss this year in particular, and who continue to suffer, I am thinking of you this Christmas and wishing you a bigger, better and brighter 2015.  I will say that I believe the mark of someone's character is not how they are when things are going well, but how they are when things aren't going so well in their life.  The same applies to friendship and the mark of a true friend is the one who is there when the chips are down.

I did finish reading 'The Art of Belonging' by Hugh Mackay a little while ago and there is a sentence in the book which jumped out at me where he states that "social exclusion is a crime against humanity."  Strong words indeed but it's given me a lot to think about, and also made me consider my own behaviour.  It's always easy to get on with people who are similar to us but more challenging to get on with people who are different and a test of our tolerance as human beings.  And this is something I will continue to reflect upon this Christmas and beyond, given we are all connected to each other as people of, and in, the world.

A few local things to remember, the last Red Shoes Network event is on tomorrow night in Heidelberg and appropriately titled 'Reflect, Rejoice, Re-Focus' - a moment of reflection, self-acknowledgement and renewed direction.  Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the detail of life and I often think the most successful people in the world have taken time out to consider their lives and actually plan for their future and gain an insight into what truly makes them happy.
The Foreigner image via Shop in Ivanhoe
I was out on the road yesterday and came across The Foreigner - a new cafe in the little group of shops opposite Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe Parade, Ivanhoe while buying recycled print cartridges at Cartridge World.  Sadly it was closed but I will be back when I drop in my old cartridges and think it's in a great location.  The building next to Hatch is likely to become a residential development so I think there'll be a ready made market of customers there.
Twitter image via @maryanne_coffey
I also dropped into the Australian Chocolate Emporium in Eaglemont and bought some chocolates as Christmas presents - all the chocolates sold in the shop are Australian made and they also do a roaring trade as an online business.  I bought some beautifully boxed Hillier's chocolates as gifts.  Eaglemont Village is also holding its Annual Twilight Christmas Fair this Friday night from 4 - 8 pm.
Image via Urban Spoon
Finally, I had dinner at Woodfire Cafe Pizzeria in Ivanhoe last night with the family and it was good.  It's been a pizza restaurant in various forms for a number of years but the new incarnation has a really nice fit out - the young guys there were very professional - the service in particular was excellent, along with the food.

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