Friday, October 31, 2014


Australians don't tend to decorate their houses for Halloween...

perhaps understandable, as it is Springtime here...

the jacarandas are in sumptuous purple bloom all over the city,
and there is nary an Autumn leaf to be seen.

Here are some photos I took a few years ago in Canada:

My daughter and her little boy, trick or treating..

DD made these little ghosts from strawberries, dipped in white chocolate..

and this old Australian favourite, chocolate Freddo Frogs in green jelly..

So, for something spooky, I give you the Australian Redback Spider.
 These spiders tend to live in untidy webs, in dusty corners, close to human habitation. 
They are highly venomous, but you get used to them being around. 
Australians are taught to beware of the webs, shake out shoes which have been left in accessible areas, and leave the spider alone.
 There have been no deaths since the development of an antivenin in 1956.

Happy, Spooky, Halloween!

Have fun...


Monday, October 27, 2014


When I was growing up, my mother always said 
'October is the Month of Storms'...
and back then it was.

After weeks of extreme dry and a day of record-breaking heat (41C in our area)
we had a storm this afternoon.  
 The flowers I bought yesterday will get a good start in life:

Halloween this week, so today I put up some Canadian decor sent by my daughter..

I also took my courage in both hands, went to the Mall, and bought my first mastectomy swimsuit.
It's taken me over two years, there was a psychological resistance, and it was hard to walk past many lovely costumes which could not be mine.

I had a choice of two styles, and this fitted me best.  
Unexciting, but eminently suitable for a grannie with a prosthesis!

Pleased I've crashed through another barrier...

In other news, the first of the yellow cosmos plants my friend J. gave me before we went travelling burst into bloom:

Pretty little thing, isn't it?

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarrnda Sally Gabori 'Dibirdibi Country' 2012
This is my current favourite painting, on display at QAGOMA.
Mirdidingkingathi Juwarrnda Sally Gabori is an indigenous Queensland artist.
She was born around 1924 on Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the far north Queensland Coast.  
Bentinck was inhabited for thousands of years by the Kaiadilt people, and officially 'discovered' in 1623 by the Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz.

Gabori began painting in only 2005, already in her 80s, and quickly gained recognition for her vibrant works, apparently abstract, but in fact landscapes of her country through her mind's eye.  
Earlier works are a riot of gorgeous colour, but this more restrained recent work in dark navy blue and white, is astonishingly powerful.
Gabori says 'This is a big saltpan on my husband's country on Bentinck Island'.

Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam passed away last week.
He was 98, and was PM in the early 70s.  
They were exciting times, and during his term many profound changes to Australian culture swept us into the modern age.
When we visited Parliament House in July, I liked his portrait, by Clifton Pugh, best of all the line-up of former Prime Ministers.

And speaking of people in their 90s, my Dad turns 94 this week.

Wherever you are, I hope the weather is kind.

And have a good week


Friday, October 24, 2014


Today we share the sorrow of Canada,
a fellow member, with Australia, of the British Commonwealth.

Sadly, brutal terrorism has visited upon the Capital, Ottawa...

Regular readers of the blog know that my daughter lives there with her family;
I took the first two pictures in Autumn, 2011, and the Winter pictures of the Parliament buildings in 2010.
That day we visited the beautiful Gothic hall,

decorated for the Christmas season..

Yesterday my daughter was caught for three hours in a locked-down building,
the Little Bebe was safe in day care, and his Big Brother told me by phone that he had to 'hide in the bibliotheque, behind a table'. 
 He knew something scary had happened in Ottawa.
Everybody is safe, and they all got home at the usual time.
As a mother on the other side of the world, my protective instincts make me wish I could be over there with them.

Hopefully next year..

Princess Anne visited Brisbane this week.
There was no advance publicity, and I was surprised when she suddenly appeared in the media.
Anne is one of the hardest-working royals, and I do admire the low-key way she works for dozens of charities and causes.  Here she inspects Australian Defence Forces in Brisbane.
Also on the agenda was a visit to the Riding for the Disabled - I hoped she was coming to one in our vicinity, but unfortunately she was on the other side of the city.

From cute little Princess,

to beautiful young woman, and now a grandmother, several times over.
I hope she enjoyed her visit.

Wish it would rain - apparently this October looks set to be our driest on record.
Climate change again.

This week I happened to open my Dashboard at just the right moment -
in time to see exactly 68000 pageviews.
Thank you all for visiting over the past few years.
I love your comments and the friendly interaction;
I treasure each and every one of my blogging friends.

I hope you have a very safe and happy weekend.


Sunday, October 19, 2014


I've been feeling poorly with this and that -
but a visit by the King Parrots is very cheering...

Hello Pretty Parrot..

Another visitor on Saturday morning, much less welcome:

The biggest Eastern Brown snake I have seen on our property, 
about 1.5 metres long -
last seen going under the house...

Quite frankly, it gave me the Heebie Jeebies...

Meantime, I've been into the City,

and dined on lamb with lavender..
a delicious combination I can't wait to try at home..

Look at those empty parsley stems - 
while we are sleeping a possum visits and has quite the feast.
The parsley tries hard to keep up, but I think possum is winning the battle.

Also while we were sleeping, 'someone' broke a terracotta bird.
Snake, possum, bandicoot, cockatoo, cat, turkey, water dragon, crow?
I have no idea, but everyone's a suspect..

It's a jungle!

I have been reading Robert Hughes' History of Art in America -
and enjoying it immensely...
especially when he talks about places we have been, and art we have seen:

Altar decorated in gold leaf,
Santuario de Chimayo, New Mexico

I haven't been doing much, but started decluttering the toys.
And ended up playing lego with Mr C...

A couple of weeks ago I made another version of Burda 7646,
in grey linen for a cool summer option.

I used purchased satin piping around the neck, something I have never done before, and am very pleased with the result.
It will work well with my rainbow of coloured sandals, beads, bangles...

Sorry I have not been visiting and commenting much, but hope for more energy this week...and more time reading all your news..

Wishing you a wonderful week
Keep well