Wednesday, January 29, 2014


We have rain!
and Cooler Temperatures!!
The roses give thanks by bursting into bloom...

only a few showers, over a couple of days, but we are so grateful..

On the hottest day of last week's heatwave, I went to the movies, solo..
It's been years since I did that.

Saw the Book Thief, which was excellent -
set in Germany during World War II.

It stars Brisbane's own Geoffrey Rush
and is adapted from the book by young Australian author Markus Zusak.
Today I heard him interviewed on radio and learnt that his parents lived through the war as children, meeting as adults after emigrating, separately, to Australia.  Their stories helped Zusak develop ideas and the theme of his novel.

I see The Book Thief has an Oscar nomination for the music, which was very effective.

Do you ever go to the movies alone?  

The University of Queensland

(Gossip Dept:  Geoffrey Rush was a graduate of the University of Queensland - just like the Red Cardinals)

Now it is a bit cooler, I am able to do a bit of sewing.
Finished a pair of black linen, lined, pants, made from McCalls M6361.

How does one take a picture of straight black pants - it's harder than you'd think..

I've almost finished this dress, a very popular Vogue V1250 Donna Karan design.  Might attempt a selfie for this one..

An unusual pair of birds greeted me today; I did not recognise them at all.
I searched through the pictures in our Field Guide to Birds of Australia, and think they are the White-headed Pidgeon.  They are quite large, 38-41cm, and their habitat is described as rainforest, scrub, or gardens.  

Thank you for visiting..

Keep dry, and either warm or cool depending on your latitude..


Saturday, January 25, 2014


G'Day, It's Australia Day today!

As usual, I began the morning joining with my Ladies Choir to sing at a joyful Citizenship Ceremony for new arrivals to our fair land.

It is a delight to see the pleasure on those faces, from many different lands, as they happily take the Oath, and receive their Certificate of Citizenship and all that goes with it.
We sang a selection of appropriate songs, ending of course with the National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair...

Later today, we will attend a street party outside our house.
The barbeque will sizzle, and we will indulge in some of our favourite Australian fare:

We love our salads in the summer heat:

Lamingtons: named for an early Governor of Queensland..

Somebody always brings a pavlova..

and there could be Tim Tams, our favourite decadent chocolate biscuit treat.

Meantime, in honour of the occasion, a little excitement happened in our garden:

Snake goes up,

Snake comes down.
I took these photos with a zoom lens, from an upstairs window.
There is no way I would ever deliberately go this close to a snake.
The snake disappeared into the plumbago hedge below the palm tree.
It is probably a non-venomous tree snake, but as it is the same colour, size, and has the same small head as the deadly Eastern Brown, we keep our distance and never, ever, approach them.
I hope it had a drink and left our property...

Happy Australia Day to my Aussie readers,
 and may you have a great day.


Monday, January 20, 2014


Congratulations to Princess Anne's daughter, Zara and her husband Mike Tindall, on the birth of their daughter.

As I calculate it, the score is now even:

Princess Anne has three (3) grand-daughters...
The Red Cardinals have three (3) grand-sons..

Whose move next?

and Michelle Obama turned a radiant 50!
Michelle has been rather quieter on the fashion front over the past year...

However, her lovely red ballgown from the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, has just been put on show at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

Defying the continuing insane heatwave, Mr Cardinal and I sallied forth to visit my Dad at the Old Folks Home.  Dad loves shopping, and the kind carers regularly take him to a local flea market.

This is how he is decorating his room..

Every time we go there is another little birdie..

So that's where she gets it from, you might be thinking.

And you would be right!

Dad's favourite treat..  Cappuccino!!

The Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect has all but given up.
However, I found a few of these old stalwarts bravely putting on a little show.
Mother Nature perseveres..

Expecting 39 deg.C hereabouts tomorrow..
I may spend most of the day in a cool Shopping Mall.

Have a good week


Thursday, January 16, 2014



The January heat continues ...

and I have finished reading Tish Jett's Forever Chic - very inspirational and French.
I liked the cover illustration ... and amused myself retrieving my red poppy dress of 2012 from the bag destined for the charity bin and turning it into a pencil skirt.  Added a striped tee and red bag:

and went off to the movies with my girlfriends.

We thought Judi Dench wonderful in Philomena, a brilliant funny/sad film.
It will be an Oscar stand-off between Judi and Our Cate..

A heart-warming moment between Judi and the real Philomena.
I give this movie 4 Stars ****

Salmon crepes for lunch, followed by shopping at a nearby Boutique..

Discovered I can now fit into size 10 jeans, which - surprise! - just happen to be pink .. mmmmm...
I blame the other girls entirely for the fact that I bought these two half-priced sale items..

Today we delivered a clutch of bags to the local St Vincent de Paul collection bin - all my old fat clothes which were beyond altering or had associations I no longer wish to confront.  There is no going back now.

I have been thinking of other years when we travelled somewhere cool to escape the New Year heat - In 2008, I was under grey skies in Paris and London.

January 2009, snow in Essex..

and a trip to the War Graves around Ypres, Belgium.

January 2010 - in Ottawa..

more snow

outside our accommodation - even Mr C took a turn shovelling the snow on the steps -

Quebec City was even colder ...

In 2011, we went over to New Zealand's South Island, just before the big earthquake in Christchurch.
It was nice and cool too.

A couple of weeks later, the Cathedral was largely destroyed..
We were lucky to have escaped being there for the disaster.

The gentle River Avon was cool and sweet, winding through Christchurch.

Dunedin was nice and cold too.  We spent a night in Lanarch Castle.

Saw snow on the way to Milford Sound..

Before we flew home, we visited the Antarctic Centre near Christchurch airport

and tried the artificial Storm.
It was not as cold as Quebec!

January 2012 saw us in Sydney - no snow, but nice cool weather..

2013, we stayed in Brisbane, working on urgent business.
However, the summer was moderate, it rained a lot to cool things down, and we had a little flood at the bottom of our street:

2014 has brought record-breaking heatwaves.
Mr C, if you are reading this, let's retreat to cooler climes in early 2015!

How has the January weather been at your place?