Sunday, October 14, 2018


Did I enjoy the Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank?
You know I did...

It was charming, heart-warming, and beautifully organised.

Here's a run-down in case it was not broadcast in your neck of the woods:

Official Royal Wedding photo, Windsor Castle

The bride arrives..
in a gown of stunning simplicity, and startles us all by wearing
no veil.
And the reason was so interesting - she wanted to show her back, and the scar from eight-hour surgery for scoliosis when she was twelve.
The Princess is a keen supporter of the hospital and charities for this condition.

The Greville emerald tiara, on loan from her grandmother, the Queen, looked magnificent..
perfect for her, and the Autumnal themed decor..

So special to see the Duke of York help his daughter with her train..

The sewist in me loved the sculptural bustle and waterfall flounce at the back..

They look like a lovely couple, very much at ease together.

Most Royal weddings seem to take place during Spring.
It was beautiful to see the deep russet tones of Autumn this time.

How amazing were the steps of St. George's Chapel?

The Duchess of York in emerald green, Princess Beatrice in deep blue, and Mrs Brooksbank in Fall Floral.
Many of the guests wore Autumn hues...

The children were adorable, as always.
Can you spot Prince George, who seems to have become very confident, and Princess Charlotte, her own sweet self?

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal..

I don't know who these ladies are, but they are true to the seasonal spirit.

Kate, Sophie, Beatrice

It is widely reported that the Queen usually wears bright colours so that people can spot her in a crowd..
This time, the crowd were wearing the strong Autumn colours...

and Her Majesty wore an elegant and subtle pale blue and peach outfit.
In perfect contrast...

And for the evening party, another chic and stylish gown in rose gold by Zac Posen.

Harry and Meghan arrived in Sydney this morning for their two-week tour of Australia and the Pacific, and of course the Invictus Games.

I hope they had a chance for a good sleep on the 22 hour journey!


Thursday, October 11, 2018


Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post -
I do appreciate and love every one of my Readers: 
you bring joy to my life.

Qld Art Gallery has recently opened 
'A fleeting bloom: Japanese art from the Collection'.
The exhibition focuses on moments of distinct and transient beauty found in portrayals of nature, history and spirituality in Japanese art.

Folding screens (byobu), a painting format at its peak during the Edo period (1603-1868) allowed artists to create ambitious landscapes of changing seasons and literary scenes across a series of panels:

Pair of six‑fold screens with pine trees c.1650

A wonderful pair of screens is consistent with the yamato-e tradition of showing change of seasons.  A depiction of Winter changing to Spring includes symbolic elements: the evergreen pine, associated with New Year, bamboo, and a blooming plum tree, seen late in the winter season, signalling Spring.
Birdlife includes pheasants, and behind the largest pin a silver moon, now black with age, can be seen.  How stunning it must have looked in its original silver state.

Six‑fold screen with nobleman's cart under a flowering cherry tree c.1650
This image of a cart under cherry blossoms against a gold background, may be an abstracted reference to a scene in a novel, play or poem set in the Heian period (794-1185), often referred to as Japan's 'Golden Age'.  
The cart, called a goshoguruma, was reserved for members of the imperial court, and would have been pulled by an ox, with attendants walking alongside.
The cart also became a textile motif often paired with flowers and streams.

This young lady will be going for a very special carriage ride later today.
Best wishes to Princess Eugenie of York, as she marries Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Richard Buckner: Portrait of Princess Eugenie.
Eugenie was named after Princess Victoria Eugenie (1887-1969), a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who became Queen consort of Spain.

After her maternity leave following the birth of Prince Louis, Duchess Kate is back on the royal circuit, stepping out at the Victoria and Albert Museum this week.
Love the long, swishy skirt, wide shoulder line, and these fabulous earrings:

Some gratuitous shots of the V&A from our last visit in 2016....

Long-term readers of the blog will know we always celebrate Jacaranda Season as the purple carpet spreads its charm over Brisbane each October.

R Godfrey Rivers (1858-1925) 'Under the Jacaranda', 1903.

Key to this is our annual sighting of the public's favourite painting at QAGoMA,
'Under the Jacaranda', 1903.

This year the gallery has mounted a special installation in the Children's Art Centre, with interactive activities designed around our purple patch..

And here one can pose for family photos ...

'Under the Jacaranda'


Tuesday, October 9, 2018


To Blog or not to Blog:
That is the question...

Why have I been unable to write a blog this past month?
Is it called Loss of Blog Mojo?

2018 has been a strange year for us, one of highs and lows.
We were in Canada for our exciting White Christmas and New Year,
and came home to some business difficulties which made preparation for our European cruise difficult.  
But we made it, and it was wonderful.

Then, as you know, Mr Cardinal had the misfortune of a broken hip and prolonged recovery without any weight bearing ...
meaning we have spent waaaaay more time at home than we would regard as normal.

I think we both know that retirement is not our preferred way of life right now.
Mr Cardinal has this week returned to full-time business, and looks much the happier for it.  Having not had a day to myself for many months, I am happier too, and can catch up on some neglected chores and pastimes.

Toowoomba prize winning Cottage Garden

At last we were able to go driving in the country, and went to the Toowoomba Flower Festival.  I have never seen it before, and enjoyed a day exploring about ten prize-winning gardens.

Here are a few glimpses:

Pansies, pansies, everywhere...

This gardener made a map of Australia -
complete with a little orange Tasmania..

Love sweet-peas...hardly anyone grows them anymore

We ended the day at historic Spring Bluff railway station, which is only used for passenger trains during the annual festival.
The train arrived to take a large crowd back to Toowoomba..

The station won a prize for its volunteer Community Garden..

Meanwhile, the Brisbane Festival was happening..
including the Qld Opera concert performance of Benjamin Britten's 'Peter Grimes'.

It has been 60 years since it has played in Brisbane, and we had never seen it.  I thoroughly enjoyed its spectacular and at times sinister and dramatic music..

The orchestra in the middle of the stage represented the roaring ocean.
A large chorus dressed in a drab grey/white of fishing villagers, surrounded the orchestra, moving and swaying like the ocean in the storm.

The Craft Show came to town, and with it a display of Australia's Best Quilts -
this yellow one appealed...

and this one of sweet little animals.
I'd love to make it if I can find the pattern.

And I bought a project.
This snowy quilt scene comes complete with tiny lights and a battery pack to be inserted from the back.  The panel is printed, but you add white paint, and glitter, as well as the lights.
Will it be done for Christmas?
Perhaps with help from Little Aussie....

In the bird-watching section of the blog, cockatoos and ducks playing nicely, after a recent storm..

a rare King Parrot sighting, pictured through the security screen because they are very skittish...

A young Kookaburra, an infrequent visitor to our tree.

Because they eat snakes, reminds me that we have already had our first Brown Snake sighting for the Summer. 

New makeup and free samples arrived by Carrier Post today.

I hope all goes well in your part of the world.

Cheers from the Red Cardinal nest