Tag Archives: Melbourne



In a couple of weeks I’m embarking on a three-month trip and I’ve finally got the semblance of an itinerary! Still plenty of gaps to be filled along the way. Recommendations most welcome!

Melbourne → India (Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi) → Zurich → Frankfurt→ Italy (Rome, Via Francigena) → US (Portland – World Domination Summit, Chicago, NYC, San Francisco) → Melbourne

My kind of Sunday morning


My days in Carlton are numbered so I’m making the most of weekends to do my favourite things.

Going out to cafes and restaurants is great but it’s hard to beat the satisfaction (and economics) of a delicious loaf of bread and some peanut butter (I discovered this morning that I don’t own any Vegemite. Quelle horreur!)

Bread from Baker D. Chirico, Faraday St, Carlton

Coffee from new Market Lane pop up right next door

Baker D. Chirico and Market Lane Coffee, Carlton

Baker D. Chirico and Market Lane Coffee, Carlton

Russ Harris @ School of Life Melbourne

image: Broadsheet.com.au

image: Broadsheet.com.au

“If beating yourself up was an effective way of changing your bad habits, wouldn’t you be perfect by now?” – Russ Harris

I took in my first event at The School of Life Melbourne last night (after sleeping through John Safran’s 6.30am Sunday Sermon).

The Self-Esteem Trap with Russ Harris

I’ve been a fan of Russ Harris’s work after reading The Happiness Trap about a year ago. He cuts through the confusing and contradictory messages of positive psychology by describing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in a very compelling way (I think Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a terrible name for what is essentially a very useful approach to everyday functioning). He used the term “psychological flexibility” – a concept I find fascinating.

The School of Life is great. Enter through a rickety bright yellow wooden gate to the backyard of what was probably a factory. A retro chrome caravan stands in as a cafe and wrought iron tables and chairs are laid with cheese and biscuits for guests.

You can’t help but sit down and talk to strangers. Anything else would be even more intolerable than approaching a stranger and engaging in small talk. Conveniently, each table had a “Conversation Menu” with tips on how to start and keep a conversation going. Fortunately, I find that saying hello is the hardest part. Once you’ve overcome that truly horrific prospect the words can flow.

Russ Harris’s event was more like a workshop/group therapy session than a lecture. I shared a moment with a fellow audience member in which we took turns telling each other what we’re bad at for 30 seconds. It was a strangely liberating and fun exercise.

The School of Life Melbourne Summer Term is a temporary concern, but hopefully the fact that almost every event is sold out will mean that The School of Life in Melbourne is here to stay.


I’m housesitting for my friends in Brighton this week and next. Brighton is that beachside suburb, where wealth (either very old or very new) is only worth anything if it’s conspicuous.

Fortunately, I find myself on the Felicity Kendal side of The Good Life fence. It’s all watering the permaculture garden and collecting eggs from the chooks where I’m staying.


Women hold up…

I moved to a new apartment on Monday but didn’t get electricity until Thursday. As a consequence I maintained a schedule this week of:

  • moving,
  • unpacking,
  • finding somewhere to sleep once it got too dark to unpack any more (thank you to guardian angels who took me in),
  • getting up and going home early each morning to get ready for work,
  • going to work, then
  • doing it all over again.

On Wednesday I was still in high spirits, if miffed at the state of electricity companies in Victoria (tell ANYONE you know you’re having trouble with your electricity and they will tell you an even more harrowing tale).

By Thursday I was exhaaaausted.  Zombiedom kicked in in a big way. So I muddled my way through work that day, traipsing back and forth between the office and home to check whether the electricity had been turned on.

I’d like to think it was my zombie state that caused me to follow a few more links on the internet than usual. I am pleased I did because I found the breathtaking preview (what we Australians call movie trailers) for Half the Sky.

I’m already on the look out for when it will be screening in Australia so I can arrange for everyone I know to see it. If you know anything about a planned Australian release, let me know.

This film follows the book of the same name by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Learn more about the Half the Sky movement here.