Monday, March 27, 2017


After a week of gentle rain, the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect is picking itself up and looking much more refreshed...

The birds are enjoying things too..

and we enjoyed a great night out at the new Australian production of My Fair Lady, always one of my favourite musicals.

To celebrate 60 years since its Broadway debut, the original leading lady Dame Julie Andrews, has come to Australia as Director.

Here she is with the stars of the Brisbane production.
Dame Julie is now 81 years young, and still gorgeous...

and here she is as Eliza Doolittle in the original stage production, back in the 1950s.

The show was absolutely 'loverley'...

and here's the secret from our great night at the theatre:
We were up near the front of the stalls, and near to the side aisle.
Just as the lights dimmed three people came and sat beside us, brought out clipboards, and made notes on the show, with whispered asides during the applause.  And guess what?  One of them was Dame Julie herself!
I could not help taking a peek over at her from time to time.  
She is very tall and slender with delicate features and very fine skin.  Just lovely.  There was no chance of conversation or an autograph - they timed their exit just before the lights came back on.

Meantime, I've also been enjoying 'Making Modernism' at QAG.
No photos are allowed, but here are a few of my favourites, shown in my catalogue:

Georgia O'Keeffe: 'Petunia No 2' 1924
Georgia O'Keeffe: 'Pelvis IV' 1944
O'Keeffe collected old weathered bones in the desert of New Mexico.  This beautifully painted picture gives a glimpse of the brilliant blue skies of the American West, with a daytime moon.

Margaret Preston 'Western Australian Gum Blossom' 1928
Margaret Preston 'Australian Coral Flowers' 1928
Margaret Preston 'Implement Blue' 1927
Grace Cossington Smith 'Things on an Iron Tray on the Floor' c 1928
Grace Cossington Smith 'The Window' 1956
Grace Cossington Smith 'The Lacquer Room' 1936
  These three early Twentieth Century women artists, two Australian and the American O'Keeffe, each forged their own personal and individual Modernist style of painting.  I hope you enjoyed a look at their work.

Spare a thought tonight for the people in tropical North Queensland as Cyclone Debbie edges closer and closer to our coastline between Mackay and Townsville.  The cyclone is expected to make landfall in about twelve hours from now, bringing extremely high winds and a possible four metre storm surge, escalating to at least category 4.
Today about 25,000 people were evacuated from low lying areas, and the authorities are doing everything possible to prepare for this weather event and prevent loss of life.

Australia is a large country, and as this event is 800km (500 miles) north of us,  we are safe and sound in our nest. 
 Thoughts and prayers for those in the affected areas.



  1. I'm thinking of you both along with my other Queensland friends and family Patricia!
    I clearly remember the cyclone warnings when we lived in South East Queensland almost 40 years ago now.
    Saying prayers for all those in the Mackay region.

    How luverly to have the original My Fair Lady sitting near you! She looks amazing!
    It is a great musical and the costumes look wonderful, especially the hats!
    I love the art - fingers crossed the exhibition might come to Auckland.
    You do these posts so well P, I'm always interested in what's happening in the world of the arts - anywhere.
    Shane ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    1. The cyclone has crossed the coast and it seems preparations have paid off and hopefully everybody will stay safe. It would be interesting if the Making Modernism exhibition made its way over to Auckland. It was put together as a joint project with QAG, AGNSW and Heide in Melbourne. So far, so popular! xx

  2. I heard about the storm hitting Queensland on the news this morning. Hopefully they have had enough warning to evacuate those at risk.

    I can't believe Julie Andrews was sitting next to you! I've long been a fan of hers, and to this day The Sound of Music remains my all time favourite movie.

    1. Wow, we have been mentioned in Canada! It seems much has been learnt over the years in managing cyclones, and many thousands were temporarily relocated, 'just in case'. Far better than having a tragedy like Katrina in New Orleans.
      You can imagine how distracted I was being so near to Julie Andrews! Loved her in everything she did :)

  3. I must go to that exhibition Patricia it looks really gorgeous but at the moment I am glued to the TV as my son is in a small windowless room in a house Airlie Beach. He lives in Airlie and works for Whitsunday Cruises so this means a lot for us re. safety but also for his future. I am living every moment of this awful event. I think the gardens will get quite a lot of rain out of this.

    1. Oh dear, Airlie Beach, and I do hope he is safe and well. A short while ago I heard the eye of the storm is currently at Airlie. You certainly will be feeling anxious until you know how the whole cyclone event progresses. Have you seen the map on TV showing the size of the cyclone superimposed over a map of France? It is nearly as big as France!

  4. Thanks for sharing that lovely art. How neat to catch a glimpse of dear Ms Andrews. My heart goes out to all our fellow Queenslanders experiencing this frightening weather event.

    1. I was so amazed to see Julie A. right next to us! Had one ear turned to hear what she was whispering to her colleagues :)
      Cyclones are scary indeed - let us hope all the careful preparations pay off for those caught in the storm.

  5. Ooo, what pretties today, Trish! What a lovely tree and the colorful birds. Love the art and Julie Andrews! I was invited to a hospital fundraiser years ago, and she was the special guest. It was such a treat to hear her speak after being a lifelong fan. I hope one of those beautiful birds leave you a feather! Let us know.

    1. What a treat it must have been to hear Dame Julie speak; I can imagine how lovely she would be. It was great to see her so busy and active at 81 - she fairly skipped off back stage (and I noticed she wore sneakers with her smart print top and blue pants - so sensible). The birds say Hi!

  6. Dame Julie really does look stunning for her age and she is obviously still very much involved in all things musical.
    Love the exhibition, three very talented women painters, and how nice that they are all being showcased together.
    Hope that Debbie did not cause any problems in North Queensland.

    1. I love working on Making Modernism, which get a great reception from women in Brisbane; perhaps a change from the usual dominance of the men in most exhibitions.
      Information is only now getting through about the cyclone. Emergency services seem to have protected the population very well, but what they will find on returning home is yet to be seen. Power and phones are out in many towns of course, and will be for a few days at least.

  7. How exciting to see Julie Andrews. My niece saw it too and she works in the industry and said it's a magnificent show and a tremendously complex show to stage. The rain has helped all the gardens, alas mine was in disarray before and it's not much better now... green disarray! Thank you for your lovely comment.

    1. Oh yes, it is a gorgeous show, absolute perfection. I hope you go see it - the dressmaking alone is sheer delight. We are in green disarray too, but it feels good!

  8. Oh my gosh, I can't believe these Lorikeets! Such an exotic bird. I'll have to show the girls, as these are so pretty. This is such a lovely black and white of Julie Andrews. How delightful that you saw the musical, My Fair Lady. Patricia, that first picture is stunning.

    It's nice to hear you are the first-born. They are quite exceptional in many ways.

    love, ~Sheri

    1. I have been thinking I must make a little video of the lorikeets and put on the blog so you all can see how funny they are. I was pleased with the first picture too; sometimes you just get the right light and direction with photography.

  9. Oh my - lots of excitement Down Under!! I love that musical too & how awesome you got to see Julie Andrews!! ((Swoon)) - love her!! I've seen Sound of Music a bazillion times. Lol

    And beautiful artwork too. The Australian Coral Flowers was my favorite. ;)

    And prayers & blessings sent that all was okay for those affected by the storm. Xoxi

    Blessings on the rest of your week dear Trish.

    1. Such a thrill to see Dame Julie, such a sweet lady.
      The Coral Flowers is a brilliant painting, I'd bring it home happily any day!
      It was a big cyclone, and there will be months of recovery. Luckily no loss of life due to good preparation but much distress in the north. The rain depression is coming to us today, and schools have been closed. Billions of dollars wiped out in agriculture and our prices of fruit/veg will go up. Lots of towns without power and flooding over a region the size of France. Every few years one of these will hit.

  10. You hit on two of my favorites - My Fair Lady and Georgia O'Keeffe. How wonderful the play must have been. O'Keeffe has long been one of my favorite artists. A number of years ago I was lucky enough to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico where she lived much of her life. There is a gallery devoted to her work and of course you are in the landscape she painted.

    1. Yes, two very talented and interesting ladies. I have also been to Santa Fe in 2006, and loved it; love that you have been there as well. Because of the exhibition I have been going through my old photos - the buildings are so beautiful, and I have one of myself standing outside that very art museum!

  11. Well, this post certainly covers both nature and culture. I hope the storm did not affect you too badly. From the news, it looks like Lismore has been badly affected. What a treat sitting next to Dame Julie. Directors often watch performances, and after discuss things with the cast - theatre is such a team effort. And I have always loved all the featured artists - must be quite a wonderful exhibition.

  12. We are lucky, and live high on a hill Sarah Liz. The creek below us flooded over night and cut the road, but apart from debris and damage to bridge railing, all is well. Massive flooding today in my father's old home town, and a few rescues. I think more stories will emerge yet. I did love seeing Dame Julie so close. A couple of years ago my friend and I sat behind Li Cunxin at the Qld Ballet, and enjoyed watching him take notes - I even took a sneaky photo but Dame Julie was too quick for me :)

  13. Cyclone Debbie sure spread her effect far and wide.There's a reason so many Queensland houses are up on stilts! Hope you and yours are all safe, I know of several households who are still cut off by flooded roads!

    1. We are quite safe on our hill Val, although the creek below us flooded and the road was cut. Fortunately we have another exit from our area. The floods were very bad south of Brisbane in the area where we used to take my father for his Sunday drives.

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  15. Dear Patricia
    I've just been looking on line and seeing the dreadful devastation from the flooding.
    I'm not sure what area you live in Patricia, but in your comment above I'm relieved to hear you live on a hill.
    The only place to be where flooding is an issue.
    I'm praying you are both still safe.

    I sent you an email - have you received it? I'm coming to Brisbane next week!
    Shane xxx

    1. Oh how exciting, you are coming here! No, did not receive the email, maybe it was the old address? Best use the one on the right sidebar in the 'about me' paragraph. The area south of Brisbane was by far the worst for flooding, higher than any previous recorded levels. We would be quite cut off from my father's town at the moment, and I know the levels of the Logan and Albert rivers were still rising last night. It will be a while before we know the full extent of damage, but sadly we now know there has been some loss of life. We were so concentrated on the cyclone in the north, but did not expect what happened in the South East.
      Do you have a spare moment in your schedule for a meeting? Love to see you again.

  16. So sad to hear of the devastation caused by the cyclone. They are called hurricanes here in the US and we've been impacted by several over the years in North Carolina despite living a couple of hours from the coast. Have experienced damage to our house, cars etc. but thankfully never injured!

    Hope all is well for you, your family and friends Patricia.
    Mary -

    1. Thank you Mary. Yes the cyclone is the same as a large hurricane and just as destruction. The flood continue and some rivers still rising. I have seen North Carolina in the news over the years - it must have the tropical climate as we have. All is well here, looking forward to visit from Little Aussie tomorrow!

  17. I love Julie Andrews! I love everything about her. And talk about aging gracefully...

  18. Well, this post certainly covers both nature and culture. I hope the storm did not affect you too badly. From the news, it looks like Lismore has been badly affected. What a treat sitting next to Dame Julie. Directors often watch performances, and after discuss things with the cast - theatre is such a team effort. And I have always loved all the featured artists - must be quite a wonderful exhibition.

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