Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Hello, Dear Readers, and Fellow Bloggers...
After a week spent de-briefing myself from my legal experience,
Red Cardinal is Back to Business...

which is writing a blog about Absolutely Nothing, really...

Found a new piece for the milk glass collection, while we were out adventuring with my Dad, the 92 year old Superstar!

He found a friendly dog in the cafe, and had the best time petting it..

Dad likes nothing better than a Cappuccino and a scone & jam.
Easily pleased, is Dad.

Mr C, on the other hand, is partial to these, and makes quite a welter of it during Lent.
Ha, they'll be gone next week.

Nameless Yellow bush is putting on an Easter Show, and attracting the lorikeets.
Crazy birds not the least bit disturbed by the loss of a family member to that snake the other week.

Snake has not been seen again, although there have been a few odd thuds in the roof space.. hmmm

Swatting up on my Fractured French...

Adios, Amigos!!

Oops, Non, that would be Spanish, it would ..

Bonsoir! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013


My guardian attorney has been looking after me this week.
Long-time readers of the blog may know that Mr C and I were involved in a serious head-on motor vehicle accident two years ago.
We were not at fault and the insurers acknowledged that from the start.
However, it is a long and complicated progression to the awarding of compensation.

Yesterday we reached the point of Settlement and it went amazingly well, especially considering the many horror insurance stories are going around.
We each received a fair and honest sum representing damage, loss of incomes and future medical costs.

To say we are relieved would be an understatement.
Our legal team were brilliant, advised us well, and brought us safely 'home'.

I cannot thank them enough.
We could never have made this legal journey without them.

Today at my Choir for Ladies of a Certain Age, we sang Schubert's beautiful Mille Cherubini in Coro (thousands of angels in chorus!)
(I tried to do a U-tube link for you, but failed in my many attempts)

I am surrounded by angels!

For when we wing our way across to Canada -
a new wool pashmina with faux fur along one side.
I like to use the airline blanket under me for softness and warmth, wear a pashmina as a scarf when boarding, and use it as my blanket.
This should work well, and be useful in the Spring weather when we arrive.

Two little cherubs who await us over there:
The Petit Garcon is taking quite an interest in creative cake-making.
Here is his latest effort, quietly observed by the Little Bebe.
My daughter is a wonderful and dedicated Mum!

Have a lovely weekend and may the angels watch over you too!


Saturday, March 16, 2013


My given name is Patricia, and I was educated by Irish nuns ...
so of course St Patrick's Day was quite the festive occasion in my youth.

Each year I sang in the local St Patrick's Day concert -
the Irish/Australians like a celebration here, just as in the Old Country.

My mother bought me these treasures on a visit to Ireland 30 years ago ..

and I found this shamrock cookie cutter in Ottawa in 2010.

Made shamrocks today

Some people think green is unlucky,

but not me; I love it!

I'm wearing this emerald green top, recently found in a Mall about town.

St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland.

and here's an Irish Blessing for you.

Whether you have a glass or two of Guinness, an Irish coffee, dance a jig or sing the old ballads...

A very Happy St Patrick's Day to ye all!


Thursday, March 14, 2013


And so it came to pass we have a new Pope, Francis I.
He looks like a bright and kindly man, who will lead the church into the future.

I for one am pleased to see the first pope from the Americas; it has been a long time in coming.
Furthermore, his humble life-style in Argentina, and care of the poor, are excellent attributes for the modern-day leader.

The Red Cardinal blog cannot miss the opportunity to admire the red cardinals;
Imagine trying to concentrate in the Sistine Chapel surrounded by the frescos of Michaelangelo...

The throne of St Peter..

Our one Australian Cardinal, George Pell, was there to vote, of course.
I don't think we will see an Australian pope in my lifetime.

The white smoke: a quaint traditional way to spread the news.

We are told the new pope takes his name from St Francis of Assisi ..

St Francis lived a life of poverty and founded the Franciscan order of friars.
He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment, and created the first Nativity Scene.
He died in 1226.

And if you are easily horrified look away now -

Amid a chorus of lorikeets shrieking,
this little scene occurred just outside our window during breakfast this week:

Quite put me off, it did...

(Subsequent photos are too gruesome for publication)

It is a jungle here at the Red Cardinal nest.

Have a lovely weekend


Saturday, March 9, 2013


Been busy this week, dealing with lawyers and legal matters on two issues affecting my life...

Pray-Way, 2012, Slavs and Tatars, Eurasia.

So let's go on a magic carpet ride of distraction..
Do you like this contemporary art installation, currently on display as part of 'The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT7) at our local Qld Art Gallery?

Pray-Way combines two forms: the Rahle, a stand used for holy books like the Koran, and the Takht, a communal seat found in the tea salons of central Asia and Iran.  It is a staged combination of the sacred and the profane by Slavs and Tatars, an artist collective devoted to the area of West Asia. They seek to challenge the perceptions of East and West.
The piece is interactive - the public are invited to sit or lie on the carpet!

Artist/photographer Hrair Sarkissian presents a series of photos of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
Beautiful Mt Ararat, just across the border in Turkey, a symbolic site for Armenian National identity.
Armenia has a long and difficult history.  Millions were killed and displaced in the 1915 genocide, creating one of the world's largest diasporas.  Now there are 8 million Armenians living throughout the world, and only 3 million in the country itself.
The images include the ruins of Soviet-era hotel complexes, now abandoned.  Yerevan was once a mecca for Russian tourists, but post independence, the tourists have vanished and economic hardship has followed.

Sad and haunting, yet also nostalgic, the snow-dusted images are a combination of the beauty and calm of the environment and the lingering memory of terrible events.

From Kazakhstan:

Seasons in the Hindu Kush: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. 2009, Erbossyn Meldibekov.

I love this quirky installation!
From left to right, four mountain tops represent the seasons in the Hindu Kush, a rugged mountainous region stretching from Afghanistan to Kazakstan.
Artist Meldibekov, of Kazakstan, another former part of the Soviet Union, uses sturdy enamel cooking pots from the Soviet era to create his 'mountains'.
The word 'kush' from the Persian verb kushtan, means kill or commit carnage.
Historically, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and other warriors used the passes and frontiers for battle.  During the cold war it divided the soviets from the British in Afghanistan, and after 9/11 it became the site of the US campaign against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Meldibekov was a radio engineer for the Soviet armed forces during the 1979 war in Afghanistan.  He acquired lots of classified information, and as an artist, these days his work draws attention to competing political powers, border disputes and the social effects of transition from socialism to capitalism.

Ressort 2012, Huang Yong Ping.
Commissioned especially for the Water Mall, Ressort 2012 is an enormous aluminium snake skeleton sculpture.
Spiralling from ceiling to floor it metaphorically links sky and water.
Ressort was made by Chinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping who now lives and works in Paris.  
He has made other snake skeleton sculptures, including Serpent d'ocean, permanently installed on the beach in Nantes in France.

Snakes are a central symbol in Chinese culture,
 and 2013 is the Year of the Snake.  
Local school children are visiting in huge numbers, enjoying the thrill of being horrified by such a huge creature!

And in stark contrast, here is the lovely Keira Knightly as Anna Karenina ..

Reader, I absolutely loved this movie.
My greedy eyes devoured every moment of its beautiful images.  
I'd go again in a heartbeat.

Apart from the charming theatrical device, the ballet-like movements, the tragic story which we all know and love, and the fabulous costumes ....

Keira Knightly wears the Best Collection of diamond and pearl earrings you will see all year!

This one is for beauty lovers.

Have a great week


Sunday, March 3, 2013


'I wish that I had Duck Feet' by Theo Le Sieg. 1965. Random House.

I wish
that I had duck feet.
And I can tell you why.
You can splash around in duck feet.
You don't have to keep them dry..

We have had half of our average annual rainfall, 
in the first two months of 2013!
And this, after five months with absolutely no rain prior to the end of 2012.

Our local creek has flooded several times this week, and is far wider than its usual self.  We can hear the rushing water from up here on the hill.
  What is the world of weather coming to?

The garden, of course, is loving it, for the most part.

The Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect prize for Best Performing Rose of the Week, goes to:
Big Red Rose, with thirteen buds and blooms at last count!
For us, gardening in the tropics, and with no skills in rose horticulture, that is quite a record...

Passing visitor, surveying the soggy garden from our highest tree.

This week I made a jacket from a piece of floral linen which has languished in the stash for at least ten years.  The pattern, an oldie, McCalls M4385 is called a "Jean Jacket".  Looks good with my pink jeans, or over a pale green linen dress which occasionally makes a re-appearance...

As rainy days just cry out for digging up old projects,
I collected these quilt blocks together to begin assembling them into a friendship quilt.
They were all made individually by members of my monthly sewing group, and many have the creator's name embroidered on them. 
I'll show and tell when the quilt is finished.

Because a woman can change her mind, I bought a different tote for my trip to Canada.  Cheap and Cheerful, from Colette, it is lighter and slightly larger than the blue bag I originally planned to take.
I think this one will work really well with all my in-flight necessities.

Meantime, over in Canada, darling daughter had a birthday, and made this cake:

Chosen from the kids cake book by our sweet grandson, the Petit Garcon, for his Mum.  I don't know how she found the time to hand roll all that fondant into those pretty stripes, with a baby and a toddler underfoot, but she did!
What a Star...

Have a great week everybody ...