Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ORIENTAL OR ARABIAN: or just the Global Village

At last the Red Cardinal adventure has begun -
with a quick visit to Hong Kong: our first...
Across the magnificent harbour on the Star Ferry - obligatory..
A visit to the Ladies Markets - I bought a 'jade' bangle...
And learned I am hopeless at haggling..
Off to Dubai, flying across India for the first time:
Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building.
See it in the distance, below:
Our room overlooks the Dubai Creek, bustling with beautiful dhows...
Blogging on my husband's notebook is a little difficult...
I will save the fascinating detail of Dubai for blogs when I get back to Australia.
But for now, over and out and onward bound....
to Paris!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Sometimes we feel we live in a zoo here at the Red Cardinal nest...

I took this photo in 2012 when a bold sulphur crested cockatoo was eating my carefully nurtured pink petunias.

I wouldn't mind so much if they actually wanted to eat the flowers, but no, it is simply destruction on a grand scale, for their own amusement.

This is what I found on the deck yesterday:

Pink petunias scarred about, on the table and over the floor.
The guilty culprit was no-where to be seen,
but I know who you are, naughty cocky...

What with cockatoos, the bandicoots, and the possum which is regularly eating the parsley as fast as it grows, I do wonder if we are the caged ones, and they are out there having a laugh at our expense...

Whatever will we find when we come back from holidays?

This week we are looking at our suitcases.
Times change, and over the years since we began international travel, luggage has lightened in weight while airlines tighten their rules and requirements.

My ten-years-old, and favourite, cabin bag weighs over 5 kgs empty...
Alas, it is no longer suitable, unless as a check-in, because often a 7kg limit is all that is allowed as hand luggage.

Packing my broomstick to wing it away across the world, 
I must remember that we are using three different airlines, and to fit in with all of them.  Of course, the lightest weight limit is the one we'll have to stick with all the way: 23kg, in one only check-in bag plus one only cabin bag, total weight not exceeding 12kg.  To achieve this, the purse must go inside the pull-along, along with any and everything else I want en route.

If nothing else, it is good discipline for the long-distance trains of Italy, when, it seems, we'll have to leap on the train in a single bound, during its one-minute stop at the station.  
(Or was the travel agent having a little joke?)
Will we make it from Venice to Padua, complete with baggage?

I found this inspirational picture on the Advanced Style blog, and immediately thought it would be the perfect one-only dress for travel.

I began with a Style Arc pattern the Meg raglan tee, first making it in a navy cotton knit, and deciding I like the fit.

I moved on to a nice back jersey, lengthened it by 20",
 and am really pleased with the result. 
Of course, a photo does not show it very well, but you get the idea.
The yellow earrings could make an occasional appearance to liven it up, but I think this dress will work for day or night, and warm or cooler weather.

I bought these Naot sandals for the hot spots, like Hong Kong or Dubai,
but looking at current Paris temperatures, it appears much cooler than the 'hot weather' I have been told to expect.

Also made this pink shell top, Tamara by Style Arc:

(yes, left off the sleeves)
which will work with these cool palazzo pants:

And possibly with a black blazer over it all if the weather is cool.

You all know that I love colour, but whenever I travel I find myself with a compact wardrobe of neutrals:

Pants:  2 black, 1 navy jeans
Tees: 2 black, 1 navy, b/w stripe
Skirt:  1 b/w stripe
Dress: 1 black
Shirts: White linen, black cotton, b/w spots, 
Sweaters: 1 white cardigan
1 navy jumper
Jackets:  black blazer

This looks altogether too neutral, so I'm throwing in:

the yellow jacket I bought in 2013 to take to Canada,

and might take these scarves and a pink bag:

The buzz word for travel packing these days is always 'Layering'..
but really, you still need to think about expected temperatures, which is tricky at change of season.
Layering in a Canadian winter with thermals, shirts, jumpers, under the heaviest coat, is a big contrast to the light layers of a Queensland summer.

Watching the temps in Paris over the past week, I'm thinking my light cardigan might be insufficient on a cool rainy night, so I'm adding this:

Faux leather jacket, Canada, 2011..

Gustave Caillebotte 'Paris Street, Rainy Day', 1877
I can dream that I am here...


Sunday, August 17, 2014


Sunday Drive with Dad day...

Love the Scenic Rim area - especially on a clear blue day...

 There has been wonderful welcome rain for a day or so, 
 now followed by a blue and cloudless sky..

We had fish and chips at this country pub.
It was Rustic -
Very Rustic...

But good on a crisp winter's day..

See how brown it is - there has been very little rain all winter..

Dad always enjoys a laugh at this eccentricity - it's been there for years..

And we finished the day with an icecream, 


I told Dad we are going on holidays to Europe, but it didn't make much of an impression...I wonder what I can bring back for him that he would enjoy..

Happy Sunday!


Edited to add a close-up of the above eccentricity: It is an old car!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


It is getting close to countdown time - 
in a few days we will collect our tickets and itinerary, 
and begin the final packing and preparation for our trip.

My friend D made me another block for my French-themed Friendship quilt -
isn't it beautiful?
and perfectly timed...

En Route to Paris, however, we will visit Hong Kong..

and Dubai...

Have you visited either of these cities?
What was your favourite tourist activity or destination?

Of course, we have more ideas for Paris than we could possibly carry out..
but I'd love to know the best place to buy a Hermes scarf without mortgaging the house...
Any tips?

What did you enjoy the most in Venice, Padua, Florence or Rome?
I'd love to know...

You might remember that we had organised to go on our trip back in May, but medical problems intervened, forcing cancellation of flights, trains and hotel reservations.

Well, we have received good news... 
The travel insurance company has approved our claim and reimbursed our out-of-pocket costs - which amounted to several thousands of dollars.  
Thank goodness we never pay out large sums for holiday bookings, without immediately insuring against unforeseen cancellations - it pays to be cautious!
And we are smiling..

Isn't it sad news about Robin Williams?
He made us laugh until we cried, but, it seems, he was the sad clown beneath that joyful exterior...

May he Rest in Peace