Tuesday, November 27, 2018


'Tis the Season to be busy...
So we added in a little Cultural Trip to Melbourne, Victoria

Our hotel was located along the Yarra River, close to the Arts Precinct..

Loved this Art Deco chandelier, based on the Flinders Street Station, seen in the photo above with the green dome

Went to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at Hamer Hall -
Dvorak's 'The Noon Witch' brought back memories of our recent trip to Prague, and a lively performance of Beethoven's Symphony No 5, conducted by Karina Canellakis was enthusiastically received.

Our group travelled to the Heide Museum of Modern Art, which I have long wanted to visit.  The sculpture garden was good.

Geoffrey Bartlett, Australia, 'Circus by the Sea' 1982

Mirka Mora

The current exhibition is 'Mirka Mora: Pas de Deux - Drawings and Dolls'. 
Recently deceased, French-born Mirka Mora (1928-August 2018) was a Melbourne artist and cultural identity since arriving in Australia in 1951.
With her husband Georges, Mora owned several cafes and French restaurants, introducing French cuisine to Melbourne.  Georges became an influential art dealer, and Mirka found time for her painting and textile art, while also raising three little boys.

The dolls were fascinating..

Here is a late photo of Mirka, wearing one of her designs translated into fabric.

I bought the book - the story of their lives together, with the addition of many of their French recipes.

The original 'Heide', now called Heide 1, was this farmhouse owned by John and Sunday Reed, famous art benefactors from the early Twentieth Century.
From 1934 it became a gathering place for young Modernist painters including Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, and Albert Tucker, some of Australia's best-known artists.

Now part of the exhibition spaces, the house has a permanent collection of works from that time.
Sidney Nolan, 'Head, Dimboola' 1943
Sidney Nolan 'Ned Kelly: "Nobody knows anything about my case but myself' 1945
Nolan's Ned Kelly series, about a famous bushranger of the Nineteenth century Colonial era, was painted on the large dining table at Heide.

We moved on to Coombe Estate, once the home of the famous Australian operatic soprano Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931).
The property is still owned by her descendants, and has been beautifully preserved.  The garden is stunning.

Our trip to Melbourne was completed with the Australian Opera's production of
Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger' .

Our Pre-performance talk by Prof. Heath Lees was very enjoyable and greatly enhanced our first experience of Wagnerian Opera. 
 The performance lasted six hours!  

No visit to Melbourne is complete without a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria.  They have a fun exhibition of the work of British visual artist Julian Opie:

Back to Brisbane, and another heat wave.  
Spare a thought for the many Queenslanders who are facing awful bushfires today.  Tomorrow will be another scorcher, 37C and higher in many places.

Stay cool and be well.


Saturday, November 10, 2018


And after the rain, came a heatwave.
Mid to high 30s C.
Not to my liking, but the Summer garden seems to like it.

Our one Hippeastrum lily flowered again, after taking a break in 2017.
Sadly, there was a white blemish on each flower - how strange...

The La Scala Ballet came to Brisbane.
Don Quixote was exhilarating!

The Nureyev version, as we saw years ago with the Australian Ballet -
great memories...

The sets were wonderful, we were right there in the Spanish village...

and Mr Cardinal had a birthday.
Here he is testing his new grill plate.

We had a small soiree for Australia famous 'Race which Stops a Nation', the Melbourne Cup.

Hats were worn..
Prizes were won...
Lunch was served...
with champagne, of course....
And I drew the Winner in the Sweepstakes: Twice!!

My red glass cardinal and little snowshoes from Canada...
The early Red Cardinal Christmas effort was duly noted.

Yes, The Tree is up.
Little Aussie came and offered help and advice.

In other news, the tardy Red Cardinal Jacaranda tree has finally begun to bloom.  Long after all the other trees in town.

I am giving it an A+ for effort with this big frond of gorgeous purple..

Eventually we will get a whole tree full of blooms.
But not yet.

 Peace bloomed, on just the right day.

Lest We Forget.