Tuesday, November 12, 2019


After our artistic adventures in France, we returned to London and boarded our first ever flight across the Atlantic Ocean..

Our destination, of course, was Ottawa, Canada, to visit our daughter and her family....

It had been almost two years since we visited them, at Christmas, 2017.

Our daughter later provided me with this amusing checklist.
Did we do all of this?  I think we did...

In sub-tropical Australia, Autumn/Fall is quite undefined, simply a matter of slightly cooler and very welcome weather, and bright blue skies.

Our grandsons were keen to share the season in all its golden glories...

Falling apples..

The trees begin to turn...

A rare (for us) Grandparent treat, watching our grandson play football for his school..

Our daughter embraces Seasonal decor..

We went apple picking, the first time I have done this.  In fact, I have rarely seen apples growing on a tree.  That belongs to much colder climates than we have here.

I made apple crumble for the family several times that week...

While the boys were at school, we enjoyed driving in the countryside around Ottawa, visiting charming little villages with swift flowing streams..

I love the Ontario barns

My favourite.  I last photographed this one in the snow of 2017:

The pumpkin picking excursion - first choose your pumpkin...

Walk through the corn maze

Then play hockey in the big barn

We even bought a bale of hay for the porch..

Did we have a Great Fall?

Like Humpty Dumpty, we sure did...


Monday, October 28, 2019


Greetings from the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect...
which has performed admirably during our long absence and a torrid heatwave, with the help of kind neighbours and Mr Mower Man...

When I studied Art History, an artist who really appealed to me was Paul Cezanne [1836-1906], Post-Impressionist and forerunner of Cubism.  
One of my lecturers was particularly fond of the breakthrough painting 'Still Life with Plaster Cast' 1895.  You can read about it here  http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/stories/cumming_cezanne/cumming_cezanne04.html    

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Google Image 'Still Life with Plaster Cast', Paul Cezanne

Just north of the Old Town in Aix-en-Provence is his former home with upstairs studio, which remain much as Cezanne left them.   His coat hangs on the wall, along with his easel, an unfinished picture still in position, and simple objects that featured in his portraits: the ginger jar, fruit bowl, and of course the cupid.

Cezanne frequently walked a short distance up the hill to his vantage point for the spectacular views of Montagne Saint-Victoire, one of his favourite painting subjects.   

To keep us well-informed there were copies of the most famous of these paintings, which are held in Art Museums in many parts of the world.

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Paul Cezanne 'Mont Sainte-Victoire'
Dear Reader, I was unbelievably thrilled by this particular Art Pilgrimage...

By way of an intermission, our agapanthus have begun to bloom...

In the countryside surrounding Aix-en-Provence we enjoyed a day at the Chateau La Coste winery.  This estate combines fine food and wine, contemporary art and architecture, and beautiful vineyards.

Image result for la coste winery france

In addition to the vineyards, a central pavilion designed by architect Tadao Ando contains an Art Centre, restaurant, and bookshop, with adjacent vast infinity pool of water..

Alexander Calder: 'Small Crinkly' 1976

Louise Bourgeois 'Crouching Spider' 2003

Larry Neufeld 'Donegal' 2013

Tom Shannon 'Drop' 2009

Sean Scully 'Wall of Light Cubed' 2007

Lunch was a delicious and elegant affair..

The many sculptures were displayed among the vineyards, making a beautiful walking tour before lunch and wine tasting a must...
It was another of the major highlights of our tour in Provence..

In other news, Jacaranda season arrived while we were away, and our tree has finally gotten the message and begun to bloom...

Our Sunday treat this week was the Ron Howard documentary movie 'Pavarotti' about the legendary Italian tenor.
If you love opera, you will probably love it... as we did.  

One of the greatest tenor voices of the 20th century, he appears to have been a lovely, generous, hard-working and charismatic man.
Sadly, he passed away at the early age of 71.

It was wonderful to see and hear those magical arias once again...