Monday, January 18, 2021


This is the view from my computer/guest room. Yes, those bare trunks are Palm trees, whose fronds wave above the rooftop.

And this is the other side of the house, looking from the dining room.

It has been sunny and warm, perhaps a little too warm last week, and it is looking like our State's measures to combat the new Covid19 strain are working.

There were about 6 cases connected to the original case, but no community transmission now for 14 days.  We are all wearing masks - to be honest it is still something of a novelty hereabouts...

If all goes well, on Friday we will be back to arrangements as we were for the past six months, which is OK compared to what most of the world is enduring.

From my sewing room:

A tree fern attempts to look in the window...

and a solitary agapanthus, surrounded by more low-light plants.

I made some masks to go with the few new Summer dresses I have made:

At the local garden centre, trying to blend in with the bromeliads...

Bought a pink geranium, some Summer colour and lots of parsley.
It is hard to keep the plants going in 35c. heat ...

Yellow Rose has finally decided to bloom again - we had nearly given up.
Which is just as well, because I looked at the 2021 Pantone Colour/s of the year, and, Tadah:  Yellow...with grey...

Remember when there was only one Colour of the Year?
Those were simple times.

I think I will wheel out my old bright yellow linen dress for an excursion next week.  Perhaps a matching mask is called for??

A friend gave me this Crucifix Orchid, and we have propagated it in a few places.
Its cheery yellow is right on trend...

In other trivia, why can I not find a prettier bottle of hand sanitiser?
The bottles are all very sturdy and plain, and I like to encourage visitors to use it on arrival.  

The new dishwasher has been installed, and I have to commend the tradesman who delivered it for his careful attention to the detail of avoiding any unnecessary touching of surfaces in our home.  Well done.

I have just read 'Lioness' by Sue Brierley.
Sue is the adoptive mother of Saroo Brierley, the little lost boy from a village in India  who became famous a few years ago as an adult, when with the help of Google Earth he relocated his home village.
His book 'A Long way Home' was an international best seller, quickly followed by the major movie LION.

Sue's story is the very interesting postscript to Saroo's story, from her traumatic childhood and early marriage, to her decision to adopt two needy children from India.  Sue was portrayed in the movie by Nicole Kidman, another adoptive mother.  I did not want this book to end!

What are you reading in the holiday season?

Did I mention it is our Golden Wedding Anniversary later this year?

Stay well and keep safe


Our Bee Hotel has a few tenants - so cute to watch

Thursday, January 7, 2021



Hello dear friends

Epiphany has passed, and life goes on in 2021...

Then suddenly, today, Brisbane is back in lockdown for three days.

A case of the dreaded UK strain of Covid19 has entered our community.

It is 70% more infectious than the other strains, and containment measures have been swift.  It is hoped to trace all who have been in possible areas of infection, and quarantine them immediately.

We have had a dream run in Queensland, with over 100 days without community transmission in our State and our first lockdown but a memory from last April/May.
 But today, long queues of people wait for testing, and although it is to be a short lockdown, everyone wants food supplies for the weekend.

It is a little taste of what has been endured by our friends interstate and across the globe these past eleven months.

A planned hair cut has been postponed, there will be no return to the Art Gallery next week, and shops and restaurants will be closed.

I went to our local shopping village at 9.00 am and the lines of traffic meant I could not get within two blocks of the entrance.

Gave up, went home.

Later tried going in the other direction to a smaller, local supermarket.

Bread and meat had sold out, I got the last piece of chicken, the second last milk, and so on.

A little bit of comfort baking may have occurred.

Some little Scottish Terrier dogs for New Year..

Some sultana cakes for Afternoon Tea...

Google image

As the world waits for their vaccinations, I am remembering scenes like this from my childhood.  During the early twentieth century, repeated epidemics of Polio swept the world, the worst in the 1940s and 1950s when about 500,000 people per year died worldwide from the disease.

In the mid-1950s the first vaccine, the Salk Vaccine, was developed and the above picture shows children lining up in school uniform for their 'jab'.

I was in early primary school and have hazy memories of lining up like these children, marching past a doctor and holding up our sleeves for the injection.

Google image

Times were different then.  I have no memory of our names being taken or recorded, and I suspect they were not.   The Government decided for us, and we lined up as we were told.

Later the Sabin oral vaccine was introduced and used for my younger siblings and our children.

Australia was declared Polio-free in 2000.

Even in the 50s, celebrity endorsement was useful.

Who else but Elvis Presley was shown getting his Polio vaccination..

I wonder who will be featured in this way in 2021??

If you are an oldie like me, do you have memories of polio or childhood immunisations?

Be safe and take care.


Looks so inviting, but yesterday a dastardly Eastern Brown snake was lying right there by our pool. It slithered away fast when it heard Mr. Cardinal coming out with his camera :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020



Christmas was a simple but joyous occasion at the Red Cardinal house, after our sudden change of plan.
Sadly, the pandemic is continuing to spread in Sydney...

We celebrated with the tiny twins and their parents...

and also with a new grand-puppy who has arrived at the home of our younger son in Brisbane:

Of course, I watched the Queen's Christmas message, a rather solemn one -  
the United Kingdom has seen great loss and sadness this year, and our thoughts are with you all.

Her Majesty looked very chic in purple crepe, set off by the stunning Queen Mother's Shell brooch.

I also like to follow the Royal Christmas cards, and my pick this year is the one chosen by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their adorable little family (I admit a soft spot for a family of three, just like mine, two boys and one girl).

We went out to the post-Christmas sales today, and finally bought a new cook-top and a new dishwasher.

Both our existing ones are literally on their last legs...

Now to await the delivery man...

And the installation man...

And the man who will safely remove the unsafe old stove...

And the man who will put in new benchtops to accommodate the new, modern, differently sized cooktop...

And the Electrician who will then connect the new stove...

Which should bring us up to Easter....

In the meantime, I am reading a gift book, 'Mary's Last Dance'.

Mary McKendry, wife of Li Cunxin, known as Mao's Last Dancer in book and film.

Former stars of the Houston Ballet, they are now based in Brisbane where Li is Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet.

Their first child, Sophie, was born profoundly deaf, and received a Cochlear Implant as a toddler.  The book follows Mary's career as an Australian ballerina, dancing in London and Houston and her early retirement to help her daughter.  She is now Ballet Mistress at the Queensland Ballet.

It is a beautifully written and inspirational book.
Perfect for Summer reading.

Take care wherever you are in this holiday season.
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. 

Thank you all for your support and beautiful comments throughout the year.
I value your friendship more than I can say, and especially so during the past weird and challenging year of 2020.

Here is a little shot of my Canadian grandsons, which should help we Australians to feel a bit cooler in the current high humidity.

My daughter tells me they are already rolling out the Covid19 vaccine in their area...
It will start in Australia in a month or two.

Let us hope a vaccine brings us some safety, peace of mind, and the beginnings of a return to normality in the coming year.