Monday, June 27, 2016


Hello, and welcome to Winter, Queensland style.
After approximately 10 months of very hot Summer,
we are now enjoying those short, sharp, very cold days of brief Winter weather.
And Loving It.

Mr C took me to the Wild Canary Garden Centre, for a bit of R&R.
I have had the flu again, twice in one year, most unusual for moi.
That passionfruit strawberry sponge cake was the business...

as was the spiced pumpkin loaf, with curd and nasturtium..

We thought about the chocolate rose cake, but it was a bit early in the day...

They have a little bee hive in the garden, for little native Australian bees.

Sculpture for sale..

Meanwhile, back in the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect,
the runaway nasturtium has had a flower:

I give it an A for effort - remember this is high above the ground, wandering about without soil or proper feeding..

In other soothing activity, I am spending a few minutes each day stitching teeny tiny pearls, pink sequins, and crystals onto my lace dress for The Wedding in Ireland.

Over the past weeks I have learnt a new word:
It sounds quite Olde English to me, but is alive and well in the business of Execution of Wills.
As one of the Executors of my father's estate, I am feeling a wee bit stressed by it all.  So much to learn, so many strong feelings.

Mr C would like his distracted wife back now, thank you.
He suggested a concert, and we went off to hear one of my all-time favourites, Aaron Copland's 'Appalachian Spring' Suite (1944), with the QSO Chamber Players. 
Here is a taste of the most popular theme, an old Shaker melody 'Simple Gifts', which we sometimes sing at my Choir of Ladies of a Certain Age.

Enjoy the lovely pictures of America by the great Ansell Adams.

And have a beautiful week.


Monday, June 20, 2016


It rained mightily here over the weekend - 
wonderful for the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect.

Undeterred by flooding streets, we ventured to a movie:

A movie for art-lovers: a 3D tour of the great basilicas of Rome.

I prepared for the experience by going through my photos of our Roman holiday in 2014:

The beautiful Ara Pacis...

In the courtyard of the Vatican..

The Vatican museums..
a treasure trove of ancient marble statuary..

Raphael: The School of Athens - difficult to photograph in the crowd, but breathtaking indeed..

This is a floor - see my toes...

Michelangelo's exquisite 'Pieta', lovingly explored by the camera in the film.
On our visit, I could get no closer because of the crowds.
The detail, the lush drapery, the beautiful faces, wonderful to behold.
And he was only 24 when he sculpted it!

I love this St Veronica statue shown in the film - and I missed it when we went! 
How brilliant to sculpt her swirling like that...

The movie used helicopter cameras to give great aerial views of the basilicas, and of the great city of Rome.

Here are a few more things we loved in Rome, unrelated to the movie:

Marbles in our favourite coffee house..

Coffee break near Piazza Navona..

with its fascinating fountains,

and nearby, an ancient archaeological site,

where I bought my Roman coin earrings:

On our last day:

I think you know what this is..

still standing, after all these years.

It was Summer, and red geraniums bloomed in every sunny spot...

I would love to return one day -
Arrivederci Roma


Thursday, June 16, 2016


Deer and Red Cardinal by Miss V.


The talented V, aka 'Lovely V in Paris' these days,
painted some woodland creatures.
Are they not gorgeous?

We cardinals meantime flew away for a mountain-top weekend in Toowoomba, 
Queen City of the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane.

The public art was imaginative...

and the climate cool enough to produce Autumnal glory...

Their Japanese Garden is stunning:

So poetic...

Toowoomba's floral emblem is the violet...

and therein lies justification for a small souvenir...

We over-nighted in an Historic House B&B..

with historic swans...

and lots of antiques, including:

A print of my very favourite portrait of Her Majesty in her Australian Wattle Dress and brooch....much shared on this blog.

And here is the birthday girl, still smiling in yellow after a week of celebrations for her 90th birthday, going out every day to Ascot.
Her stamina is absolutely amazing.  Well done Your Majesty.

I liked Kate's Ascot hat too..

and her perfection in Mother/Daughter pretty in pink combination;

Oh, and the sweetness of pale blue with white lace...

and over in Northern Ireland for the day, a Wild Irish Rose hat...
(Did I mention I will have a new Irish daughter-in-law soon?)

And this one for the little girl in every one of us who ever wished for a pair of stunning red shoes:


Wear red and be joyful.