Saturday, July 30, 2011


Zara was a happy bride (I'm still worried about Charlene here)
I love the elegant simplicity of her dress,
and the beautiful construction.
Look at the detailed seaming around the waist and the perfect pleating...
wish I could sew like that.

I like her Art Deco tiara, so went searching to find its origins.
The Greek Key tiara belonged to the mother of Zara's grandfather, Prince Philip.
She was Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Princess Alice gave it to the present Queen, as a wedding gift when she married Prince Philip.
The Queen passed it on to Princess Anne, Zara's mother, in 1972.
I guess Princess Anne has now gifted it to Zara -
have we ever seen her wearing a tiara before??

All the Royals frocked up well, and I don't think anyone wore tartan.
Kate can do no wrong these days.
Look at her wonderful hat:

It reminds me of another very famous and elegant hat from fashion history:

Who could forget the delightful Audrey Hepburn,
off to Ascot in the film version of My Fair Lady.
Not me, for one.

Time for some garden action today.


Source: My Royals
The Summer of Royal Weddings continues:
I see that Zara Phillips and Mark Tindall enjoyed their
Pre-Wedding (Highland) Fling on the
Royal Yacht Brittania in Edinburgh.
Not I don't know about you, but I thought the old Brittania was consigned
 to oblivion years and years ago. 
Remember that photo of the Queen shedding a tear,
the only time she has been publicly recorded as showing this level of emotion??
Well, it seems the old ship has settled in Edinburgh, and become
(shock-horror) a Tourist Attraction!!
And a lovely party venue as well, apparently.
Zara appears in fine form, in a flouncy mini party frock.
All the Royal Rellies seem to have been in attendance:

Source: My Royals
I like Kate's saucy back-buttoned dress, in brilliant green.
She looks good in strong colours.

Source: My Royals

The other night I went to the Theatre to see Piano Lessons: a captivating stage version of the best-selling autobiographical book by Australian concert pianist Anna Goldsworthy.
I loved the book, and seeing it come to life on the stage, starring the real Anna,
playing herself and playing the piano, was a wonderful experience.
I forgot to wear my piano brooch, but here it is anyway:

My little grandson visited today -
He is beautiful and a genius!!
Witness this:  playing the piano with great style and flair:

I hope you are doing something nice this weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Despite the cold mornings and Westerly winds,
little signs of Spring are appearing in the Red Cardinal garden.

It has been four months since our MVA -
[Suddenly Last Sunday - April blog]
we are still healing, and working on returning to our normal lives.

Here's hoping that as the garden bursts into new life,
we can too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This week I'm feeling all Versailles French,
because I went to see the movie Nannerl: Mozart's Sister.
Think gorgeous music, beautiful costumes,
fabulous settings including the Palace of Versailles
where the Mozarts met and played with the young Dauphin of France,
and lovely snowy scenery.

Poor Nannerl was always over-shadowed by her genius of a younger brother,
the prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
She was also musically gifted and talented,
but back in the 1700s, being a girl made recognition difficult,
if not downright impossible.

Nannerl tried to break away from the family, and live in Paris to compose and teach.
Perhaps she lived in a garrett in somewhere like this.

Ten Stars from me.

I know, this was not built for another century,
but I am On a Roll here.

Au Revoir

Sunday, July 17, 2011



It seems that most puzzling of bridegrooms, Prince Albert of Monaco,
does know a thing or two about
What Princesses Wear.
His wedding gift to Princess Charlene is this amazing
Convertible Necklace/Tiara in Diamonds and Sapphires - hundreds of them.
The Decisions:  Necklace .. Tiara .... Tiara .. Necklace ....
I do hope this is not some old-fashioned bribe,
and that despite the rumours and bad press,
they have a genuinely happy marriage,
and Charlene enjoys wearing this stunning piece.

Back in Britain, I wonder what Zara Phillips will wear for her wedding next week in Scotland.
The Queen's granddaughter has closen one of the Queen's favourite designers,
Stewart Parvin, to make her gown.  An Interesting Choice.
Could the gorgeous Zany Zara be turning all Conservative these days?

She is to be married at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh:

Probably followed by a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,
the Queen's Official residence in Scotland.
Hmmm, will they all wear tartan do you think??

Friday, July 15, 2011


The TV series was great, and now I am reading the book:
Charles Dickens' "Little Dorrit".

Dickens was inspired by his surroundings:
While living in Rochester, Kent, he came across this tombstone:

A change of spelling to Dorrit, and he had the bones to create a vast novel.
His heroine of course is Amy, but he utilised the name of Fanny from the tombstone for Amy's flighty sister.

Rochester is fun, if you know a smattering of Dickens trivia.
A few years ago we amused ourselves on the Dickens Walk round the streets of this ancient English town.

We found Restoration House, where Charles II spent the night in 1688. 
It became the model for Satis House in Great Expectations.
It is very imposing, and a bit sinister:  Cue the creepy black bird to fly into the picture ...

Here are a few samples of the Dickensian shops we found -

It's bleak and cold here, with rain expected.  Perfect reading weather for the weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The other day I was visited by two beautiful, shy, Eastern Pale-headed Rosellas.
The photo doesn't do the left one justice as they are the most gorgeous shade of delicate mauve-blue, with yellow heads and a red triangle beneath.
They are very hard to photograph as they fly away at the slightest sound or movement. 
 I had to hide behind the curtains and slowly move the camera into a good viewpoint. 
 One click and they were gone.

Here is another image of one, found on Wikipaedia.

Perhaps they live near this creek, where I like to go walking.

Ducks are marching about;
Make Way for Ducklings .... Spring is coming.

Country House Rescue is on tonight. 
Fearless Ruth Watson, attempting to convince reluctant owners of beautiful but crumbling British stately homes that ruin can be avoided by making astute business decisions, and marketing their assets.
I love this show - Go Ruth!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Aren't these yellow daisies cheerful? 
They grow like weeds, when every other plant is struggling against the wind and dry cold weather.

Despite these difficult conditions,
my favourite rose bush has presented the First Rose of the Season.
Behold this beauty, rescued and brought indoors:

Always a lover of bright colours,
I have mysteriously found myself drawn to animal prints and neutrals this year. 
Recently I made this zebra flavoured shirt:

The other day I met my sister at a handy local Mall, for the usual shopping, coffee, shopping, lunch, shopping routine.  While I was busy explaining I never buy anything at sales, all the good things are long gone, yada, yada, yada..................... I spotted this silky shirt in yes, neutrals. 
 It looked good, it felt good, and it was 70% off.  It has come to live with me.

I've been wearing these little beauties with my neutrals. 
Unfortunately I rattle delicately as I walk along :)

Enjoy the wintry ambience - it won't last long!

Friday, July 8, 2011


This week I spent a day with my Sewing Girlfriends. 
Naturally we began with cake, in this case the above superb Rhubarb Confection;
everyone accessorised with a dollop of heavy cream:  it was gastronomic heaven!

Some sewing also occurred, quilts were admired, embroidery encouraged,
and new work considered and planned.
Show and Tell is key:

Look at this beautiful antique chatelaine put together by one of our clever girls,
and the delightful Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady found by someone else.

We touched upon all the big issues of the week:

Kate and Wills have now left the country, and headed off to Hollywood.
For this happy farewell salute, Catherine shone in a beautiful wool coat of Canadian Red,
and gave the Queen's Diamond Maple Leaf brooch another outing. 
It seems a shame Catherine has been criticised by some for her first Royal Tour wardrobe. 
I think she has done really well, with just the right amount of formality, suitably appropriate gestures such as the brooch, and perfect grooming.

When in Calgary, you join the Wild West culture, and go to the Stampede.

Isn't this lacy shirt pretty?
 Very Grace Kelly in High Noon, as a dainty bride in the Old West.

  The West Wind is blowing here, too,
 bringing with it the dry cold from the Inland.
It was about 1 degree this morning,
the roses are looking a little desperate for some love and care,
and the pool is evaporating rapidly. 

I for one need to get outside for some garden maintenance.

Do something fun this weekend.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I see William and Catherine are going all sporty in Canada. 
Dragonboating on Prince Edward Island, no less. 

Our Sydneysider Son also indulges in this shoulder-toning sport:

Every little girl wants to visit Prince Edward Island, the home of Anne of Green Gables (L.M.Montgomery).
I would go in a flash if I had the chance.

Catherine arrived in this sweet pink check Chanel-style jacket:

Totally loving her navy and cream wardrobe - a Royal Tour Triumph.
My goodness, she is thin!

Another stunner in Yellowknife....

Here is casual Catherine, flying off by seaplane into the Arctic Sky.

Cute little moccasin-style shoes - very appropriate.

My pansies are going well on the deck, but are failing to inspire the sweetpeas nearby,
 who are Seriously Underperforming.
At this nest, we do Plant Performance Monitoring!

I see that Charlene and Albert have popped up at an IOC affair in Durban.
Come on Albert, that's not a Honeymoon!!
Even more scary, he looks more animated at this function than he did throughout the entire Wedding.

Fascinating stuff...