Saturday, October 27, 2018

Rain, Art, and fashion for a Duchess

And so it came to pass that it rained for eight days and eight nights..
bringing relief to our parched gardens.

The birds were astonished...

Some of them had rarely seen rain..

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are visiting Australia:

Last night she stepped out in the Best Ever Birdie Dress..
Tulle with laser cut seagulls, by Oscar de la Renta.

I liked this dress she wore last week too.
There should be more secret red linings in our frocks...

In a week of mostly neutrals, this stripe maxi dress stood out -
worn on a visit to Bondi Beach, Sydney.

And they came to Queensland as well, but alas not to Brisbane.
Here is another beach outfit on Fraser Island, where they spent 24 hours in peaceful luxury, before jetting off to Fiji.

Then the bright colours emerged, on their first formal night of the tour.
The elegant blue gown matches the colour of the Fijian flag.

On to the Kingdom of Tonga -
and a bright red number.  I think the Duchess looks gorgeous in red.

She wore Diana's aquamarine ring with a formal white gown.
What a special gift from her new husband.
Australia was chuffed when they chose to announce their impending parenthood right here on our shores.

The primary reason for their visit has been to attend the Invictus Games in Sydney.
The Games were launched by Prince Harry in 2014.
Back in Sydney, ahead of tonight's Closing Ceremony, they attended the wheelchair basketball finals.

Only four months ago we were in beautiful Vienna, so it was with great anticipation I went to see this movie:
'Klimt & Schiele: Eros and Psyche'.

This is a must for art lovers.
It delves into that magical period in Vienna, leading up to WW1, a golden age for art, literature and music.
 Klimt and Schiele changed the feeling of art through their new way of painting, addressing the restlessness, fears and desires of mankind.
The movie ties their stories in with the music of the greats, Beethoven, Mozart, Mahler,  who lived and worked here.
And the contemporaneous work of Freud, who is seen in archival film footage.

I loved 'walking through the streets' of the Vienna of the past, where we so recently stood.

The camera caressed the Klimt mural room..
it was just like being back there again.

Gustav Klimt 'Judith'
Gustav Klimt 'The Kiss'

Ah, Vienna, I really did love it so much.

Happy weekend everybody


Sunday, October 14, 2018


Did I enjoy the Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank?
You know I did...

It was charming, heart-warming, and beautifully organised.

Here's a run-down in case it was not broadcast in your neck of the woods:

Official Royal Wedding photo, Windsor Castle

The bride arrives..
in a gown of stunning simplicity, and startles us all by wearing
no veil.
And the reason was so interesting - she wanted to show her back, and the scar from eight-hour surgery for scoliosis when she was twelve.
The Princess is a keen supporter of the hospital and charities for this condition.

The Greville emerald tiara, on loan from her grandmother, the Queen, looked magnificent..
perfect for her, and the Autumnal themed decor..

So special to see the Duke of York help his daughter with her train..

The sewist in me loved the sculptural bustle and waterfall flounce at the back..

They look like a lovely couple, very much at ease together.

Most Royal weddings seem to take place during Spring.
It was beautiful to see the deep russet tones of Autumn this time.

How amazing were the steps of St. George's Chapel?

The Duchess of York in emerald green, Princess Beatrice in deep blue, and Mrs Brooksbank in Fall Floral.
Many of the guests wore Autumn hues...

The children were adorable, as always.
Can you spot Prince George, who seems to have become very confident, and Princess Charlotte, her own sweet self?

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal..

I don't know who these ladies are, but they are true to the seasonal spirit.

Kate, Sophie, Beatrice

It is widely reported that the Queen usually wears bright colours so that people can spot her in a crowd..
This time, the crowd were wearing the strong Autumn colours...

and Her Majesty wore an elegant and subtle pale blue and peach outfit.
In perfect contrast...

And for the evening party, another chic and stylish gown in rose gold by Zac Posen.

Harry and Meghan arrived in Sydney this morning for their two-week tour of Australia and the Pacific, and of course the Invictus Games.

I hope they had a chance for a good sleep on the 22 hour journey!


Thursday, October 11, 2018


Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post -
I do appreciate and love every one of my Readers: 
you bring joy to my life.

Qld Art Gallery has recently opened 
'A fleeting bloom: Japanese art from the Collection'.
The exhibition focuses on moments of distinct and transient beauty found in portrayals of nature, history and spirituality in Japanese art.

Folding screens (byobu), a painting format at its peak during the Edo period (1603-1868) allowed artists to create ambitious landscapes of changing seasons and literary scenes across a series of panels:

Pair of six‑fold screens with pine trees c.1650

A wonderful pair of screens is consistent with the yamato-e tradition of showing change of seasons.  A depiction of Winter changing to Spring includes symbolic elements: the evergreen pine, associated with New Year, bamboo, and a blooming plum tree, seen late in the winter season, signalling Spring.
Birdlife includes pheasants, and behind the largest pin a silver moon, now black with age, can be seen.  How stunning it must have looked in its original silver state.

Six‑fold screen with nobleman's cart under a flowering cherry tree c.1650
This image of a cart under cherry blossoms against a gold background, may be an abstracted reference to a scene in a novel, play or poem set in the Heian period (794-1185), often referred to as Japan's 'Golden Age'.  
The cart, called a goshoguruma, was reserved for members of the imperial court, and would have been pulled by an ox, with attendants walking alongside.
The cart also became a textile motif often paired with flowers and streams.

This young lady will be going for a very special carriage ride later today.
Best wishes to Princess Eugenie of York, as she marries Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Richard Buckner: Portrait of Princess Eugenie.
Eugenie was named after Princess Victoria Eugenie (1887-1969), a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who became Queen consort of Spain.

After her maternity leave following the birth of Prince Louis, Duchess Kate is back on the royal circuit, stepping out at the Victoria and Albert Museum this week.
Love the long, swishy skirt, wide shoulder line, and these fabulous earrings:

Some gratuitous shots of the V&A from our last visit in 2016....

Long-term readers of the blog will know we always celebrate Jacaranda Season as the purple carpet spreads its charm over Brisbane each October.

R Godfrey Rivers (1858-1925) 'Under the Jacaranda', 1903.

Key to this is our annual sighting of the public's favourite painting at QAGoMA,
'Under the Jacaranda', 1903.

This year the gallery has mounted a special installation in the Children's Art Centre, with interactive activities designed around our purple patch..

And here one can pose for family photos ...

'Under the Jacaranda'