Wednesday, October 28, 2015

FESTIVE THINGS


The Red Cardinal garden is looking particularly cheerful, what with a few downpours from tropical storms, combined with a mini heatwave of 'too hot' days.. 
Orchids have bloomed, after a two-year absence.


Please themselves, they do..



This is my father, aged six months.
This week he turns 95.
He says he thinks this is marvellous.


Dad is living proof that loving cake and coffee, not to mention chocolate, is the recipe for a long life.
He celebrated, surrounded by a large number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.




Meanwhile, I made another cushion..


while my cousin is making this beautiful embroidered sampler.
Look at the cross-stitched lorikeets!
You can tell we are related.


I went to see the Queensland Ballet's 'Sleeping Beauty'.
It was exquisite.


There were fairies, good and bad.


The artistic director Li Cunxin, of 'Mao's Last Dancer' fame, has brought our local company to International status these days.

The Prince was danced by the Birmingham Royal Ballet principal Chi Cao, who play Li Cunxin in the Last Dancer movie.  A thrilling dancer.


Aurora, the sleeping beauty, was danced by prima ballerina Alina Cojocaru from the English National Ballet.  She is technically astonishing, as well as wonderfully expressive and delicate.  We couldn't take our eyes off her.


And the Bluebirds were sweet and fun, swooping and spinning about, as pretty birdies do.  Loved their gilded cage.


It rained all day today:


Our Hippiastrums loved it.  
They have produced the best crop ever this year.




And it is agapanthus time again, too.


Prince William and Kate have been out and about in London this week.
At the premiere of the latest James Bond film, Kate wore an unusual, pale blue, Jenny Packham gown with a sparkling belt.


I love her beautiful up-do.  
Do you like her dress?


Oh, and I got something sparkling too.
The Irish Lass gave me a sweet little shiny bronze Christmas tree.

It's time for a change of decor round here....

Keep warm, cool, or dry, depending on your season.

Happy week.

XXXXX


42 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to your Dad!!! The ballet sounds wonderful, I have never been to one, one day I will get there! Beautiful flowers and plants too, so lovely to see all that is growing on your side of the world right now. Thank you! xx

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    1. It was a very Romantic ballet, Amy - I do hope you go to one some day. You would love the beauty of it.
      Early Summer is a pretty time in our garden, before the heat of January brings us to the point where there are no flowers at all. We are enjoying it all at the moment, and hope to have a Christmas party here.

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  2. Gorgeous flowers. You can't call it the garden of neglect any more when it looks like that!

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    1. Ha, yes, some of the garden is looking quite good, although other sections are full of weeds. It is never all good at the one time, but we do what we can. Some things are flowering very well this year.

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  3. Enjoyed reading this ´sparkling´post. I love Kate´s dress, it´s looking very natural, but it is not simple at all, she also wears my favorite colour pale blue. Then congratulations with your 95 years old father, my father is almost 96 but I wonder if he reaches the 96 because he is very bad at the moment. The orchids in your garden look wonderful, much better outside then in our glasshouses, more natural.
    Enjoy your beautiful spring time!
    Regards, Jnneke

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    1. I rather liked Kate's dress too, and I am sure she felt beautiful wearing it. Our fathers are almost twins! All the best to yours, and I am sorry he is not doing well just now. No glasshouses in our city, as far as I know. Plants are either in the sun or in the shade, but usually outside. A possum ate all the other buds off the first orchid!

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  4. Congratulations and belated Happy Birthday to your father - what an amazing age he has reached.
    All of the flowers in your garden I love but especially Agapanthas - I also like your cushion and favour the long ones myself too. I have a couple with a similar pattern to yours but made from tapestry.

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    1. Thank you Rosemary. We never really imagined my father would live to such an advanced age, so are quite charmed by it all. He has had serious health issues in the past, but is going really well now, apart from the dementia. I like the rectangular cushions, which look good juxtaposed with square ones. Tapestry ones are lovely!

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  5. Happy Birthday to your dad! I wish we could grow orchids in the garden... mine sit on the windowsill year round. Kate's dress looked lovely, she wears it very well, too. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Hi Christina, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for the birthday wishes - Dad had a great day. Orchids are a bit temperamental - I have to choose carefully where I put them. They don't seem to like too much of anything!

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  6. How wonderful that you Dad celebrated his 95th birthday with family and friends. Your orchids are beautiful as are the other flowers you showed us. I like Kate's blue dress best.

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    1. Thank you Darla. Dad loved his celebration. Orchids are great when they decide to cooperate. The blooms last for weeks and weeks. I think Kate's blue dress would look really pretty in reality, a gentle colour and sheer fabric which floats as she walks.

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  7. First, congrats to your dad for reaching 95! That is awesome. I do like Kate's dress, but she could wear a gunny sack and still look fabulous!

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    1. Thank you Linda, I wonder if Dad will make it to 100? So true, Kate chooses well, and always looks like a star!

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  8. 95 years is a great achievement...I've read a lot lately about the benefits of coffee. It is so nice that you were all gathered together to enjoy the celebration.
    I love that pink rose and those blue agapanthus in your garden...keep those pictures coming as they will help cheer us here in the rainy Pacific Northwest!

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    1. Great news re the benefits of coffee - I am very fond of a daily cup myself - like father like daughter. The celebration was very special, as he never believed he would live this long and is quite astonished by it!

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  9. This is a nice cheerful post! And your dad was a wonderfully cheerful looking baby. Congratulations to him on reaching 95! Those flowers, also, are lovely. And the sewing. And the ballet! :D

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    1. Thank you Jenny. I love that photo of Dad, and I agree, he looks very cheery, and much more relaxed that the usual photo portraits of that era. Nothing like a week of party plus ballet to life the spirits!
      btw, finished reading your book and really enjoyed it. Your research is incredible, and I was full of admiration :D

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  10. 95? Gosh...I better eat more cake! Hahaha!
    Your blooms are glorious...never seen anything like it!
    Your climate must be perfect for Orchids!
    You sound very cheery....good for you!
    Enjoy your evening Patricia!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. It has been a cheery week Linda. Party, cake, ballet...
      The orchids seem to do well, but have not chosen to explain themselves regarding not flowering in 2014 :)
      Hope you have a cosy weekend at the cottage. It looks like winter is closing in over there. Maybe I can look forward to pics of grandchildren playing in snow??

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    2. Ha!!!
      We are having above seasonal temps!!
      20*c today!
      Yippee!!

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  11. Happy birthday to your Dad. I have to say that I agree with his philosophy lol! Lucky you to see Queensland Ballet...Lin Cunxin is a magician. Your garden is a vision. Lovely cushion also x

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    1. Thank you Michelle, all nice things this week. Yes, a magician indeed has cast a spell over Qld Ballet. Long may he reign. Isn't the rain great for the gardens? x

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  12. A belated birthday to your Father! This cake was made by you? mmm.
    Gasping at theamount of beautiful flowers.
    And the pictures from the ballet. Are ballerinas allowed to retire at age 42 in Australia too? Just wondering.. The remaining years might often be painful,due to the profession..
    Thank you for your great post!

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    1. Thank you Mette. Yes, another of my crazy cakes, which was so enormous it took me hours. Interesting question about the ballerinas retirement. Some do dance into their 40s, but I don't think they get any early pension when retiring. Most seem to move on to teach or other careers. Hope all goes well at your place!

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  13. Happy Birthday to that wonderful Father of yours, Patricia. Now, you mentioned that he loves cake and coffee, and I'm wondering does he drink coffee every day? The reason why I'm asking is because I love coffee, but only drink it three times a week, but if your dad is living at 95 and has it daily, then I must reconsider having it every day hehehe. That red flower is beautiful and looks a lot like our lily. Your garden flowers are so exquisite. I really like that pillow that you made with all the different colors. And this is a precious picture of your father at 6 months old. I would frame that for sure.

    Enjoy your rain. I hear we are getting some great storms in California this winter, and we really need the rain.

    love, ~Sheri

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    1. Hi Sheri, the red flower is the same one which is called Amaryllis in America. You might know it by that name. I think Dad has a coffee most days, and certainly every time he goes out. He drinks a lot of tea the rest of the day. Of course, it probably has nothing to do with his longevity, which is good luck as much as anything. He had two heart-bypasses about twenty years ago and takes statins. His dementia is vascular. He is well cared for and could go on for a few more years yet. I love that photo of him as a baby - such a funny little thing! xx

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  14. What a beautiful show in your garden - it must look quite lovely at the moment. And as far as coffee is concerned, as yet there is no evidence it does harm, although people keep pointing the finger at the sinful stuff - same as chocolate - everything in moderation, we used to say. And the dress is very pretty - not for our more ordinary lives though :)

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    1. Hello Sarah Liz, we are very happy with the garden at the moment - maybe we should have a party? That is a relief about the coffee - no harm at least, and we can enjoy our daily tipple.
      Yes, not a dress for most of us, and it must feel lovely to swish along in such a gown!

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  15. Such a lovely post and your photos are beautiful! Happy Birthday to your father!

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    1. Thank you Linda, Dad had a wonderful birthday, and enjoyed his day very much.

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  16. Happy Birthday to your father. He was an adorable baby, curling his little toes up! And so sweet to see the younger generation around his birthday table.

    Always love your lovely, colorful flowers. You also sue beautiful things, Patricia.

    The ballet is always great to attend. I go to see the New York City Ballet. I'd love to catch the Royal Ballet!

    As for Kate's dress: She received mixed reviews for both her hair and dress in the press. Some in the American press thought the hairstyle was too old for her. Some favored the dress, others said it was her 1st fashion mistake. Personally, I like the front, don't care much for the flaps in the back. IMO, the flaps make the dress look unfinished and don't really fall in anyway to flatter the back. They just flap or actually, just hang there. But from the front, the dress looks nice and falls to showoff Kate's slim statue.

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    1. opps, meant to type: "sew" above!. Nobody should go around suing beautiful things. :)

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    2. Lucky you Debra, to go to the New York City Ballet - they are excellent! Interesting about the mixed reviews on Kate's dress. She has become the modern day 'style icon', so this will happen. It was a brave move to try something different. Glad you like my sewing - have a great weekend!

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  17. Happy Birthday to your Dad Patricia! My dad also had a healthy diet of chocolate through his 92 years ;) The ballet sounds & looks wonderful. I had a teacher who would take our class to see ballets, but my family is not interested in seeing them. Your gardens are bringing forth some wonderful flowers ... Australia has the most exotic flowers I've seen, lucky you!! Have a wonderful week ahead :)
    Wendy

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    1. That settles it, Wendy: chocolate for a long life, with smiles :)
      What a wonderful teacher to take you all to the ballet, although it is not for all. Mr C is not interested!

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  18. A lovely post as always, Patricia! Your flowers and needle work put me to shame. Just lovely! Congratulations to your father. He's right! He is amazing :) And yes, I love Kate's dress. She looks very pretty in it…well, she looks pretty in most things, but this is lovely and soft!

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    1. Hi Val, The flowers like the hot moist Spring weather, but after Christmas, it will be a flower drought around here :)
      Lovely and soft, the perfect description of Kate's pretty dress. It is good to see her trying different looks.

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  19. 95, that's fabulous. Happy birthday to him. Love the flowers you grow. Some of those can only be grown indoors here and I leave that to the experts. Thanks for comment on my blog. Sorry you missed the Painted Hall. I have to admit I've lived nearby for 20 years & only just got round to seeing it.

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    1. Hello Katharine. That Painted Hall is amazing! Maybe we will return to Greenwhich one day... The flowers are very happy right now, what with summer storms giving a drenching, and hot sun afterwards. I can't grow anything indoors!

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  20. Hello Patricia
    Birthday wishes to your dear father - 95 years is a great age and I love that he is still enjoying life. Wasn't he a beautiful baby!
    Your garden is full of amazing blooms - those orchids are so exotic!
    Mao's Last Dancer was a great read and you are so lucky to have Li Cunxin directing - I remember he married an Australian dancer. My friend Angela told me the Queensland Ballet is just getting better and better under his guidance.
    I think Kate does justice to whatever she wears though this isn't my favourite dress! What do you think Patricia - you have such great dress sense!
    Thank you for your kind comments on my post!
    Hugs
    Shane x

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    1. Good afternoon Shane, Yes, Dad was a good-looker as a baby - I only found this photo in the last couple of years so it was a good surprise. Yes, we all love Mao's Last Dancer and Angela is right, the Qld Ballet gets better all the time. We now buy season tickets to be sure to get in, as their popularity is so high we have missed out a few times. The whisperers say that he will be sourced by some other bigger, better company, so I am trying to be sure to see his work as much as possible before that happens!
      Was not sure about Kate's dress, but on balance I think I do like it, especially the delicate colour. Hugs and have a good week (and enjoy the Royal visit) xx

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