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Welcome back to the Isolation Diaries, our weekly round-up of the things that bring us joy, keep us creatively motivated and help us unwind. What have you been up to?

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Sometimes we can get far too caught up in materialism. Issue 25 of Apartamento Magazine explores being happy at home, without the need to covet things you don’t need or can’t have. But what we do have (finally) is an openly ‘Out’ Pixar lead character! Part of the Spark Shorts series, Out is a classic body swap film about the leading character becoming comfortable with who he is. If you are in need of a laugh this week, please enjoy this hilarious collection of vintage paperbacks, titled Vegan Problems—you’ll thank the stars for that perfectly ripe avocado.

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Films galore this week—The Sydney Film Festival has gone virtual this year! Twelve days and nights of on-demand premieres, talks and parties. ACMI’s online programme has also been next level throughout their closure period, from the Virtual Cinémathèque to gamers’ clubs and online workshops for screen industry professionals, up-and-comers and enthusiasts. Check out the Running Free series, which covers everything from presentation skills, to lighting, to budget management. We haven’t been missing out on live shows either, thanks to Melbourne Digital Concert Hall.

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Winter has seen us making mostly comfort foods to keep warm, including some serious toastie orders from Aphro & Wolfe, a cosy coffee spot on Brunswick Street that was formerly a fish-and-chip shop and now offers the most giant of sandwiches. We love our sweets, so we’ve also tried and tested this banana pancake recipe—And it was very much approved. But the most important staple at the moment is lots and lots of soup. This Thai Spicy Pumpkin Coconut (what a mouthful) number is a delicious and hearty soup, full of flavour. And it sure has a kick! Try it out, let us know.

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You’ve seen the movie, but probably never read the book (or listened to it). We’re loving The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Audible. Surprisingly no, it is not based on a true story, but it’s pretty interesting. Music-wise, we’ve been getting funky during the day on our latest playlist. Featuring classics and contemporaries, you will probably find something completely new here. And later on, we’ve been revisiting Late Night Tales Presents After Dark, a compilation that captures “the end of this journey, but not the night”. Our favourites are this 2013 release and 2015’s Nocturne.

Related Project — Isolation Diaries, Volume 10