Mountain District Radio Episode first aired on 24 July 2017 at 3:00 pm
This has been something of a fractured week with a day of power outage, another having to sort out my poor old car before it retires (change number plates etc etc.) and other bits and pieces! (Which is a feeble apology for the lateness of this waffle!)
As I always dread, I "lost" a guest last Monday.. and we can't work out how!
I spent half an hour trying to contact Jaye Ford (Janette Paul) to speak about her book but received only the engaged signal for the entire time.
I phoned on the same number immediately I arrived home, and she assured me she had been beside the phone for the whole time I was trying to call!
Another one of technology's mysteries! However, we have agreed to try again next Monday.. So fingers crossed!!
However, I WAS successful in contacting Gabriel Gate, whose latest recipe book So French, So Sweet has just been released. Certainly one of Melbourne's most popular food personalities over many years, Gabriel is always welcomed in person, on TV, or in print and I have no doubt this book will be hugely successful.
There was an enthusiastic response when I mentioned last week that he would be our guest and a number of readers spoke warmly of the occasions when he had been the star of events here at our property "Innisfree".
Recently returned from his travels to cover the route of the Tour de France, which he subsequently presents on SBS, Gabriel's book celebrates the reputation France has for it superb patisserie, cakes and desserts.
He grew up in the Loire Valley in a family where his grandmother did the cooking and the huge orchard and garden supplied many of the ingredients for family meals. No surprise then that both Gabriel and his brother became professional cooks.
This beautifully presented hardcover book covers a wide range of delectable sweet dishes including cakes, pastries, chocolate desserts and, in fact, everything else a 'sweet tooth' could desire! Highly recommended!
SO SWEET, SO FRENCH by GABRIEL GATE
My friendship and professional association with Gabriel goes back a long way, and so does my affection and fond memories of Brunswick Street in its somewhat Bohemian heyday! A magnificent book reliving these glory days has been produced by Anne Rittmann and Maz Wilson, who lived and worked in the area back then. Anne, with a group of other women, owned a feminist gallery called Pigtale and were close neighbours of Troubadour.
Titled Brunswick Street, Art & Revolution it is lavishly illustrated with nostalgic photos and brimming with stories of the colourful personalities who lived and worked there.
My principal memories of it revolve around The Troubadour music venue and the original restaurants owned by Stephanie Alexander and Mietta O'Donnell.
Mario's Restaurant was a 'special occasion' venue and it is from the original owners that Anne Rittman acquired a huge volume of photos and printed material used in this book.
It is a very large book and provides an invaluable history of a significant part of the Melbourne social scene of that era. Activism was rife and I was involved in my fair share of protests and marches!
My fond memories of nights at The Troubadour have brought me back in contact with Kevin Johnson (still one of my "pin-ups") and we have been exchanging musical memories of that era. Thanks too to friend and musicologist Peter Tibbles, who has been providing me with downloads musical tracks from that era.
I do recommend this book, published by the independent publishing house Black Pepper. My copy has a soft cover but there is also a hard cover version available. It would be a brilliant Father's Day gift for a Dad who had shared those halcyon days!
BRUNSWICK STREET, ART & REVOLUTION by ANNE RITTMANN & MAZ WILSON ..........................
Don't forget the Wm. Dobell exhibition at Tarrawarra ends on 13th August!
The brilliant exhibition featuring both art and photography by Paul Gallant is currently on show at Arvy's Gallery, Olinda, and is well worth a visit.
Many local identities are featured and I am sure you will find familiar faces on display!
A new exhibition opens Saturday 29th July at Burrinja Gallery and features the creative art of Rain White in a series of works titled EARTHBOUND.
Check the web for details of musical happenings at Skylark Café, Sooki's Lounge, Kelly's Bar & Kitchen, Oscar's Ale House, The Acorn and and and...
Too many to list, but they are all there somewhere!
I HOPE we'll be talking about Janette Paul's new book, and wine, and whatever else pops up on next week's Good Life!
At the moment I am reading a most enthralling and chilling novel titled See You In September (by Charity Norman), which is the story of a young British woman seduced into visiting and then becoming ensnared in a cult which is based in a peaceful and remote New Zealand valley. It paints a vivid and believable picture of how an intelligent but vulnerable person is lured into following a so-called Messiah and becoming part of a bizarre religious lifestyle. A great read!
Thanks to John Weeks for all he contributes to the Good Life, also to John and friend TJ who make it possible for you to read all this on the website!
And thank YOU for listening and reading!
The Good Life on 3MDR (97.1FM, streaming on