Sunday, August 26, 2012


We returned from the airport to find a weary Ted face down on the stove.
Like we Red Cardinals, he was tired and emotional after the wondrous visit of
our Dear Daughter, her husband, and our Canadian grandson, the fabulous Petite Garcon...

It all went much too fast, but the memories are wonderful:

PG is mighty fond of an engine - any engine -
and loved the Ipswich Railway Workshop Museum ..

where he tried his hand as the Man in Charge of a train.

At the local Zoo, he fed the lorikeets.
Yes, we do it at home, but we don't have this fancy schmanzy feed holder.
Excellent fun.

Then there was the Koala holding experience.
He's not unhappy, just being Very, Very, Careful!
And very proud of himself afterwards ..

He loved the bird visits every morning, eating his breakfast on the deck and chatting to them.
He named this one Rocky Cocky - that name will stick.

Underwater World, to see a Shark!
Likes his monsters, does PG ..

And - ta dum - first ever sight of the beach by the ocean.
Ottawa is a long way from the sea.

Gosh it's quiet round here today..

Have a great week


Thursday, August 23, 2012


It's Daffodil Day today.
I've bought bunches of the gorgeous blooms -
they make my heart sing!

Daffodil Day is the Australian Cancer Council's largest fundraising event.
Thousands are today wearing yellow, purchasing their daffodils,
helping to raise funds for cancer research.

As 2012 is the year Cancer entered my life, today has more than the usual significance.

Daffodil Day was initiated in 1957, in Toronto, Canada -
coincidentally the city where my daughter met her husband years ago.
And now they are back here visiting with our delightful grandson,
the Petite Garcon.

I will miss them desperately when they leave ...

However, there are many happy memories to be shared ..

Think I'll wear the yellow shirt out to dinner tonight!

Have a great and sunny weekend xxx

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Our two grandsons, Little Aussie and the Petite Garcon from Canada met up this week.
After an initial 10 seconds to size one another up, they became friends in chasing round the backyard ...

teaching the Canadian all about Australian backyard cricket ...

and climbing into their superhero costumes, Spiderman and Fire Chief..

They dined together ...
and later banged on the piano and created a Wild Ruckus in our lounge .. er .. playroom!

Eventually, we had two very overtired and overemotional little boys,
who required soothing and long naps ..

as did the Grandparents ..

Have a lovely weekend, and a good week!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


They have arrived!
Regular readers of the Red Cardinal blog will know we have a daughter who lives in Canada,
with her husband and little boy, the Petite Garcon.
Happily, the nest is now full of toys and excitement,
 as they arrived for a vacation with us a few days ago!

That's him, in the red shirt, running away at Brisbane Airport,
still bursting with energy after a 30 hour journey and 3 flights!

They brought some sunshine with them, and are enjoying meals on the deck,
 sitting in the sun watching the birds in the treetops.
The little one is most impressed with our lorikeets who come to feed each morning.

It is wonderful to have our dear daughter with us. 
Mr Cardinal has not seen her for two years.
She came bearing gifts, like these mighty delicious Maple Cookies ...

and an embroidered linen towel ..

He has been drawing me pictures of monsters!
But he is the sweetest of little boys...

After a few days to overcome the jetlag,
we will be out and about seeing the sights.

Dear fellow bloggers, I might be missing in action with the comments for a while, but I love and read all your lovely blogs, and really appreciate that you take the time to read and comment on my musings.

Love to All,

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Well, Australia is finally going to be happy with a few more Olympic Gold Medals coming in today.
As I do not have a sporty bone in my body, I have precious little idea who won what,
but have been dismayed by the earlier moans about Lack of Gold and the Inadequacy of Silver, let alone Bronze.  Be happy to win anything, I would think.

Enjoying the fun in my own little way, I have been amusing myself with Olympic Royal Watching.
Princess Anne looks relaxed and happy at the games.  In fact it is rare to see a photo of her looking so merry - I know she is hard-working and all, but she often seems a bit dour, and Unamused! 
Bet she is proud of daughter Zara.

Our own Australian Princess Mary has been there nearly every day,
and this week brought her two older children over from Denmark to join in.
Little Isabella is quite a droll character.  A definite touch of the Aussie there.

I thought it was nice to see Sarah Ferguson there with her Princess daughters.
We recently watched her TV series Finding Sarah, filmed for the Oprah network in 2011.
She seems to be such a lost soul, unable to find peace or a meaningful role in life.
It is quite sad if reports are true that Princess Eugenie has publicly said that she dreads her mother's calls because they are always cries for help. 
Perhaps Fergie now sees her daughters as living the Princess life she rejected but now craves.

And here is a picture of the Spanish royals, not at the Olympics.
The King and Queen, and Crown Princess and Princess, 
with a classic tapestry backdrop.

Which brings me around to the wonderful
Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado
currently in town, and I am totally loving it.

Have bought the T-shirt, featuring a detail from one of my favourites,
the exquisite
Two fruit bowls on a table, 1642, by Tomas Hiepes.
In the painting the fruit bowls sit on a tablecloth of the most delicate painted lace you could imagine.

In fact there is a whole room full of these wonderful Still-Life masterpieces.

Don't miss this amazing exhibition!

We have fairy wrens flitting about our garden these days.
These tiny, pretty little creatures with their upright tails, come knocking at the window.
They are so quick it is difficult to capture a photo, hence the blurred image.
However, I am pleased to have captured one at all.
Mr Cardinal has been trying without success all week!

When you are on to a good thing department:
I have finished another pair of Size 3 pyjamas, this time for Little Aussie our local grandchild.  He is a little monkey :)

Trust your week has been fun ...


Monday, August 6, 2012


Greetings from Brisbane, capital of the tropical state of Queensland, aka The Sunshine State.
This was our car over the weekend, totally encased in a thick layer of ice!
Yes, we are having the Winter of all Winters around here...

Here is a close-up of the grass on our normally green front garden.
White with frosty icicles!

It has been -1 deg for the last four mornings, and the same predicted tomorrow.  Not so cold if you live in, say, Canada.
But very cold in a house built for tropical heatwaves.

Thank goodness for warm sheets, doonas, and flannelette!

I suppose this grass will be all brown and dead by weeks end.

We had an unusual family gathering at the Red Cardinal nest this weekend.
Regular readers might remember that I have been involved in sorting out my parents Old Family Home.
My father, at 91, is now happily ensconced in a nursing home and considers his room to be the best one in the entire complex.  He is content to live with a few favourite books and photos, a bookcase from his old home, and the little ornaments he is adding at an alarming rate.

A few weeks back we six of his children amicably divided up the furniture in the house - a piano here, a table or china cabinet there, and it was done.
Since then large boxes of ornaments, linen, glassware, souvenirs, and family history and memorabilia have made their way to our place.

Yesterday we had a gathering to sort, discard, or find new homes for everything.  It was a mammoth task, but fulfilling at the same time.

None of us have ever seen these medals which were hidden away with many other artefacts.
They are from World War 1 and are the service medals of my grandfather (Dad's father) who served in Flanders with the AIF.

With the medals were found his diary written in the trenches in ink!
It goes on for many pages, telling of his war experiences.
There is also a large bundle of postcards from various places in Flanders, and in Paris, which he appears to have bought as souvenirs, and a few letters and cards he received at the front.
Luckily my grandfather survived the war to return to Australia with my grandmother who he met and married in London after the war.
He certainly did not return empty-handed!

We enjoyed a barbeque lunch and an afternoon of looking through all this family history.  Everyone went home with something they liked, and my car is packed with leftovers to go to charity.

It set me to wondering: Do other families do this?
We have tried very hard to be fair to all, and hopefully we have succeeded.
My parents were great travellers, involved in many community interests, great collectors, and good at documenting what they did.
But they never let anything go,
which has meant an enormous task in sorting, deciding, disposing or preserving the substance of their lives.

I would love to hear of others experiences.

Have a good week, everybody ... xx