Wednesday, October 28, 2015


The Red Cardinal garden is looking particularly cheerful, what with a few downpours from tropical storms, combined with a mini heatwave of 'too hot' days.. 
Orchids have bloomed, after a two-year absence.

Please themselves, they do..

This is my father, aged six months.
This week he turns 95.
He says he thinks this is marvellous.

Dad is living proof that loving cake and coffee, not to mention chocolate, is the recipe for a long life.
He celebrated, surrounded by a large number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Meanwhile, I made another cushion..

while my cousin is making this beautiful embroidered sampler.
Look at the cross-stitched lorikeets!
You can tell we are related.

I went to see the Queensland Ballet's 'Sleeping Beauty'.
It was exquisite.

There were fairies, good and bad.

The artistic director Li Cunxin, of 'Mao's Last Dancer' fame, has brought our local company to International status these days.

The Prince was danced by the Birmingham Royal Ballet principal Chi Cao, who play Li Cunxin in the Last Dancer movie.  A thrilling dancer.

Aurora, the sleeping beauty, was danced by prima ballerina Alina Cojocaru from the English National Ballet.  She is technically astonishing, as well as wonderfully expressive and delicate.  We couldn't take our eyes off her.

And the Bluebirds were sweet and fun, swooping and spinning about, as pretty birdies do.  Loved their gilded cage.

It rained all day today:

Our Hippiastrums loved it.  
They have produced the best crop ever this year.

And it is agapanthus time again, too.

Prince William and Kate have been out and about in London this week.
At the premiere of the latest James Bond film, Kate wore an unusual, pale blue, Jenny Packham gown with a sparkling belt.

I love her beautiful up-do.  
Do you like her dress?

Oh, and I got something sparkling too.
The Irish Lass gave me a sweet little shiny bronze Christmas tree.

It's time for a change of decor round here....

Keep warm, cool, or dry, depending on your season.

Happy week.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Summer has arrived, the cover has come off our pool, and at last I launched my Canadian Decoy Duck!

I bought him in May, inspired by our weekend at the Lake in Ontario, a highlight of our visit to our daughter and grandchildren in Canada.

Mr C worked hard last week, cleaning and sorting the pool, so that it newly sparkled for a visit from Little Aussie, who happily joined the duck...

His devotion to Star Wars knows no bounds, and he sported a new pair of Havianas.  
Left foot, Yoda = Good
Right foot, Darth Vader = Bad

Never too young to start thinking Philosophy...

It is October, and the Jacarandas have bloomed, casting their beautiful purpleness all over Brisbane.

Regular readers might remember that I usually show the most popular painting at the Queensland Art Gallery, 'Under the Jacaranda', 1903, by Godfrey Rivers.

Every year during the flowering season, people bring blooms into the gallery and place them before the painting, emulating the carpet of purple these trees cast on the ground below.

This year, the painting is shown in a different context.
As part of the up-coming Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, the Colonial Australian galleries have been given an amazing makeover.

Indigenous Australian artist Brook Andrew, of the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales, has applied a rendition of the chevron pattern that Wiradjuri people painted on their skin or carved into trees.  Painted in black over the existing wall colours of three of the Galleries, this work has an amazing, almost over-powering effect.

The historical European/Australian art was then re-hung in the usual way, but the context has suddenly changed.  Intermixed with this art, are six of Andrew's images comprising 'Time', an assemblage of historical imagery from diverse points of origin around the world.

The blown up image of an Indigenous Australian boy from the nineteenth century, with a Union Jack painted upon his chest, is very sobering.

One culture, laid upon another, earlier culture.  
How wonderful that our Art Institutions now consider these themes, which a few years ago were unthinkable, and when Indigenous work was consigned to the Anthropological museums.

And while we think about that one, it seems that we have also displaced rather a lot of native wildlife.  Some of it adapts - like our friendly lorikeets.

Other creatures stray into our backyard, to both their consternation and ours.
Yesterday I was (rather noisily) dragging a garbage bin back up our driveway after collection.  I was startled by a sudden movement about two metres before me, as a large Eastern Brown snake appeared by the path, clearly irritated by the vibration I was causing, leaping and coiling about then diving into a nearby rockery.  I was shaken with fright - this is the second most deadly snake in the world, and this year they are apparently more than usually active.
There have been news reports for the past few days warning people to take care.
The Eastern Brown is a very quick, nervous, snake with a short fuse. 
I was going to show you an image of one, but looking at the pictures made me too nervous - eewwwww!

At the moment I am refusing to go outside to the clothesline, or to take the garbage out to the bin. I'll get over it after a while...

Ah, that's better.

Have a happy, and snake-free, week..


Sunday, October 11, 2015


Happy Sunday, fellow Bloggers..
This beautiful old door was found in a courtyard, part of an interesting shop in Bangalow, New South Wales.

We have been South of the Border...

Our destination: Australia's most Easterley point...

Byron Bay.

Up to the Lighthouse - it's mandatory..

and look out to sea for whales..unsuccessfully...

We were there for a wedding, under a rustic arch,

and a giant fig tree.  Drinks were served from this cute vintage van..

Like all weddings, it was beautiful..

Later, we dined under the stars, and a grapevine..

There were sparklers..

and when we came home, my favourite rose bush had burst into bloom!

Have a lovely week.