Sunday, October 23, 2016


The festival of Summer flowers has begun at the Red Cardinal Nest..

Hippeastrums are radiant on a hot day..

Close by, the indestructible Agapanthus raise their buds and burst forth in blue and white:

There will be dozens of them in a week or two..

Jacarandas are casting their purple spell across Brisbane...

Time for a glimpse of the Art Gallery's most popular work:

R. Godfrey Rivers 1859-1925, Under the Jacaranda, 1903.
I took this photo last November to show you how person or persons unknown bring Jacaranda flowers in to place beneath the painting, imitating the purple carpet of fallen blooms which add to a Jacaranda's charm.

Here is an interesting painting which is back on display, one I enjoy:

Christopher Pease, Australia, 1969-, 'Minang Boodjar - Surveying King George Sound (after Louis de Sainson's 'Le Havre aux Huitres dans le Port du Roi Georges' 1833) 2007
Christopher Pease is a Western Australian Aboriginal painter whose work is informed by his own family history, and that of his W.A. State.
The painting is based on a lithograph, 'Le Havre aux Huitres dans le Port du Roi Georges (Oyster Bay in King George III Sound), 1833, by Louis de Sainson:

de Sainson was draughtsman aboard the Astrolabe, on one of the voyages of discovery of French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, in the early 1800s.
On 7 October 1826, the Astrolabe anchored in King George Sound on the southern coast of Western Australia, where it remained for 18 days.
Dumont d'Urville thought it suitable for a port, and an excellent place to establish a colony.  During this visit members of the crew including de Sainsons, met and spent time with the Minang (Pease's) people, the artist's ancestors.

Louis de Sainson created many images of their friendly encounters with the Aborigines.

And why did Christopher Pease add Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit to his version of the story?  Because the White Rabbit, clutching his watch, is always too late.  The British claimed the land, the Australian continent became a British colony, and the French were 'too late'.  If things had been a little different, perhaps I would be writing my blog in French!

Did you see Kate went to an exhibition at The Hague, and admires 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' (Johannes Vermeer, c.1665).  
Wearing pearl earrings, naturally, and a very chic suit.

And while we are on the subject, Kate's eye for colour comes to the fore in the Goodbye to Canada pose.  To salute the Canadian flag, the children wear the red, and Kate a classic white coat.  Beautiful.

Have an excellent week.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016


We've been home for two weeks now, so time to forget the jet-lag and have an update...

The lorikeets forgave us for going away, and return each day.

Enjoying the sunrise...

The Garden of Neglect surprised us with a Spring outburst..

Both weeds and flowers in abundance, so there must have been rain...

I am still thinking about what to make with these fabrics sourced in London at Shaukat, South Kensington... 
Beautiful Liberty and other fabrics at excellent prices.

Remember how I want to RepliKate a certain blue poppy dress....

Loved the way the signs in Ireland were in Gaelic as well as English.
Try as I might, I never advanced beyond Cead Mile Failt - which I learned as a child from Irish nuns..

We were on our way to Glendalough, the ancient holy place founded by St Kevin (498-618AD) - yes, he lived to 120 years of age.

St Kevin was a hermit here for seven years, in a prehistoric, man-made cave:

Later, followers came and St Kevin became founder and first abbot of a monastery and seminary at this place.

I loved wandering around these ancient ruins...

St Kevin had a great affinity with animals.
It is said that at this spot he milked a doe, to feed the son of a local King, entrusted to Kevin for the child's safety and upbringing.

Usually I have the Christmas tree up by now, but it will be a little later this year.

See the lace shamrocks?  
So pretty..

Back to reality here, and the looming Summer.
We have replaced the ceiling fan which gave up under the strain last Autumn.
And are getting quotes to replace a 20 year old air-conditioning system, which has also called time.

Then there is the clothes dryer which decided to follow the other guys...

I think we are in the midst of a white goods rebellion.

Enjoy the Spring/Autumn, wherever you be..


Wednesday, October 12, 2016


We arrived in Dublin, capital of Ireland on a bright sunny day.
Even the mail boxes are green in the Emerald Isle...

A stately, Georgian, city with attractive doorways..

To my delight, our hotel was in the vicinity of Merrion Square, and the childhood home of that wonderfully amusing Irish playwright, poet and author Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

His memorial statue, suitably irreverent..

surrounded by some of his amusing epigrams.

That night we dined at Oscar's, and amused ourselves reading more of them:

High on our list was a visit to Trinity College Library, and the Book of Kells:

Google Image
Written over 1,000 years ago, the lavishly decorated book contains the four gospels of the New Testament, written in Latin.
It is thought to have been produced in the early 9th century by monks on the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, who later moved to County Meath in Ireland when Iona was attacked in a Viking raid.

The main chamber of the Old Library of Trinity College, built between 1712 and 1732, is the Long Room:

Here are shelved around 200,000 of the Library's oldest books.

It is spectacular...

Experts work constantly on conservation of the ancient texts..

Marble busts of famous writers line each side of the room, and in the centre is the oldest surviving Irish harp, probably from the 15th century:

It is made from oak and willow with brass strings, and is truly beautiful.
The harp is a National Symbol and is used on the Irish coinage.

The gallery shop is excellent, and in the spirit of excitement, I purchased not one, but two silk scarves.  Celtic designs in various shades of my favourite colour pink entranced me, and not until I returned to Australia and removed the packaging, did I notice that they are all snakes!!!  Look at all those nasty little faces.
Just in time for Snaking Season here in the tropics, hmmmm

Undeterred, I will wear my pink scarf when the occasion calls for a touch of pinkness...

Scarf No 2 features shamrocks, that humble little weed made famous by St. Patrick as an example of the Holy Trinity.

We made our way to St. Stephen's Green, a beautiful park in the city.

One hundred years ago, the 1916 Easter Rising began in this park, leading eventually to the establishment of the independent Irish Republic.

This summer house was used as a field kitchen for over 100 people who made up the garrison during the uprising, as well as overnight shelter on one night.

It is hard to imagine this peaceful and beautiful park being a location for gunfire and danger - but it was.

At an entrance to the park is a reminder of another tragic event in Ireland's past, the Great Famine of 1845-1852.  Approximately one million people died and another million emigrated from Ireland as a result of the failure of the potato crops due to a disease known as potato blight.

William Leech, Dublin 1881-1968, 'The Sunshade' c. 1913

I enjoyed a visit to the nearby National Gallery of Ireland, and this beautiful, post-impressionist style painting by Irish artist William Leech.  Lovely tones of green, just right for the Emerald Isle...

Till we meet again....