Sunday, July 27, 2014


Our grandson, Little Aussie, has been to visit - always a delight!

On Day 1, Aussie brought up the subject of caves.
How long ago cavemen lived in caves,
And who lived in caves now?
And that Aussie has never seen a cave.
And when can we go and see a cave??

Saturday found us here, at the Tamborine Mountain Glow-worm caves,
artificial, man-made caves, created to provide a home for a declining population of these fascinating little sparklers.

Photography was not allowed, but I found these pictures on their web-site.

It was incredibly dark in there, until we got to the glow-worms, but Little Aussie was brave and did not complain.
He appeared to be most impressed by the whole experience.

Near the caves was this pretty lake with fountain and ducks..

And here are the three guys: 
Mr Cardinal, our Sydneysider Son, and Little Aussie:

Back home, we made the usual rustic cake..

and looked around our garden for caves ...

Alas, no satisfactory caves were to be had, 
but Aussie enjoyed playing with the lavender.

My new Peace rose has had its first bloom.
I hope it turns out to be symbolic.

Happy Sunday


Sunday, July 20, 2014


Whoever thought the humble pineapple would enjoy some sort of
 Design Renaissance?

When the Red Cardinals were married, we were gifted such 70s curiosities as a pineapple shaped serving bowl.
It came with tiny holes in its wooden leaves, for the display of cocktail toothpicks bearing a tiny cube of cheese, a pickled onion...perhaps even a pineapple wedge..

Here, displayed in all their retro glory, is a veritable cornucopia of pineapple creativity... part of "Harvest", the latest exhibition at our GoMA..

Without further comment, I give you:

Pineapple Fairy!!

Remember those gothic fairytales by Hans Christian Anderson?
This is an illustration from my childhood storybook, a book I read and re-read, loving the pretty heroines, and shivering at their tragedies...

Then there was the 1948 movie, starring ballerina Moira Shearer, with Australia's own Sir Robert Helpmann:

Occasionally turns up on cable, and I have a little look at its creepiness..

The other night I went to the world premiere season of new version of The Red Shoes by Queensland's Expressions Dance Company..

A modern, adult ballet version of the old fairytale, it draws out the gothic sub-texts of obsession, ambition and lust...

As the heroine, possessed by the magical red shoes, dances to her death, she is transported through the dark forest - cleverly constructed by layers of film footage projected across the stage.  Brilliant..

On Friday, the Wild Westerly Winds blew down this large tree, across the path where I walk.
It is still there, a symbol of that awful tragedy in the Ukraine, where a Malaysian civilian plane was brought down in unspeakable horror.
Thirty-six Australians lost their lives, along with hundred from other nations.
Seven of them were Queenslanders.
It breaks our collective heart. 
 May they rest in peace, and the perpetrators be brought to justice.

At my choir rehearsal Friday morning, we deviated from our schedule to sing this American Spiritual: Down by the Riverside - [Ain't gonna study war no more]

It seemed right.

Blessings  xxx

Monday, July 14, 2014


A short post today, as I have just heard the news of the Guilty verdict in the high-profile murder case of Alison Baden-Clay.
Beautiful wife and mother of three little girls, Alison disappeared one night, two years ago, to the shock of our local community.

Today her husband, Gerard Baden-Clay, was sentenced to life imprisonment for her murder.  He has brought shame to the memory of his great-grandfather, Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement.

Like many others, I feel tears of relief and sadness that justice has now been done.  The victim impact statements by her family are heart-breaking.

I have never commented on this before, because this happened in my neighbourhood.  We live in a gentle, idyllic, semi-rural area, on the edge of the city.  Nothing bad happens here.  Not until that night.

For the 10 days until Alison's body was found, 13km away, our homes were buzzed by searching helicopters all day, every day.  
The creek where I walk was dragged and searched, people were questioned,  we saw the hundreds of police combing their property and our area.  It was eerie and frightening.  There could be a murderer in our midst.  
Well, there was, but it was her own husband.

I did not know her personally, but Alison was a member of the same parish, community and neighbourhood.  Her favourite colour was sunny yellow.

My heart goes out to her little girls, her parents and family.

May she rest in peace.


Today I dug out my Moulin Rouge scarf (Paris, tourist outlet, 2004)..

and my Paris tote (2008)...

called into the bakery for these,

plus an escargot...

and went to meet my latest grand-nephew:

Baby H, 10 days old, slept peacefully throughout our visit.
There really is nothing as sweet as a brand-new babe.
Welcome to the world, Baby boy.

In other small-fry news, I made these shorts for the Little Bebe in Canada,

and these Batman shorts for his Big Brother, who is heavily into Superheros these days.
They are going to Cape Cod for a summer holiday in August.
Lucky Ducks...

And I did eventually finish the Faux Fur jacket, just in time for the latest round of freezing cold Winter nights.  
Which is why my hands are in the pockets.
No, your spectacles are not fogged, there is a blur in the centre of the photo.
The camera is going off for repairs this week, prior to our trip OS.

On Sunday we took my Dad for a picnic in the sunshine...

out in the country he loves so much.

We usually end up discussing cows..

how there used to be lots of small dairies, and now there are only a few large holdings..

Dad will be 94 in a few months, and these days he is not sure who I am.
He asks my name.
But he still knows about land and farming.

We enjoyed seeing this loved up pair of galahs.
These pretty birds, also known as rose-breasted Cockatoo, are found all over Australia.  The term galah is derived from gilaa, a word found in Yuwaalaraay and other Aboriginal languages.

They are not shy, and were there for ages, despite our talking and taking many photos of them.

Galahs are easily tamed.
 Mr C had one as a pet in a large cage when he was a child.

Our friend and business associate G gave us a beautiful potted gerbera.
I hope it doesn't die in the Garden of Neglect while we are on hols.

It is a gorgeous glowing orange.

Bonsoir, and have a good week.


Friday, July 11, 2014


The last two weeks have slipped by, and The Blog has been neglected..

We have been to Canberra, the Australian National Capital..
This is me, standing outside Parliament House in the freezing cold and wind.

Mr C had a business meeting, but we added on a few days to explore the city and think about Democracy in Action.
On the plane we saw a certain very well-known Aussie politician....

This cartoon is part of a display at the Museum of Democracy, situated in Old Parliament House, which the Government vacated in 1988 to move to the new modern building above.

The old Senate Chamber, looks small and shabby today...

but we heard all about the new young Queen Elizabeth II opening Parliament there in 1954, wearing her Coronation gown.

On display was this yellow coat worn by our recently retired, first female Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce.  

Nearby, we found the National Portrait Gallery.
I liked this portrait of our late, much-loved Operatic star, Dame Joan Sutherland.

The Australian National Gallery was a priority for me, and they have a wonderful collection of international and Australian art.
In the foyer is this installation of 200 Indigenous Australian burial poles, commissioned in 1988 for the Bi-Centennial of European settlement.
It is a very moving piece, very significant in terms of national identity.

It was essential to visit today's Parliament House, and as it was not a sitting day, we could inspect the chamber of the Legislative Assembly, the Lower House.
Of course, I found more art to look at, and loved the portraits of former Prime Ministers:

The Honourable Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister 1972-1975,

and the Right Honourable Sir John Gorton, Prime Minister 1968-1971,
(and the only P.M. I have ever actually met).

I have written before about this portrait of the Queen in her Wattle dress, and enjoyed seeing the original painting from 1954, by Sir William Dargie.
He captured her youth and beauty in quite a delicate way, which is not so evident in reproductions..

This view of Canberra and Lake Burley Griffin, is taken from a hill at the National Arboretum, home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world.  It was built on land devastated by bushfires a few years ago.

Bird art..

Cones from the Aleppo pine were collected at the site of the ANZAC battle of Gallipoli, after World War 1, and trees planted at the War Memorial in Canberra, and at the Arboretum.  They are beautiful trees.

On my last day, I had lunch with an old friend at Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurant, another first for me.  My salmon with crisp and unusual vegetables was absolutely delicious.

Over the past fortnight, the travel agent and I have re-configured and enlarged our original itinerary for Europe, researched and chosen flights, trains, hotels and transfers, and made the reservations.
I have written several large cheques, swiped the Visa Card a little more than usual, and I think we are done.
Have now booked new tickets for the lovely Giotto Chapel in Padua - bliss...

Now, what else do I need to think about

Versailles, Giverny, Sistine, Duomo, Gondola, Trevi, Bargello...
and so it goes..

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend