Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Time flies by, and before I know it May is nearly over, and Winter begins on the 1st June...

On Mother's Day, all our children were in other cities or overseas...

We decided to visit The Mountain, where we took my father for so many excursions in his final years.

The Palm Grove is still lovely in the dappled sunlight:

and guess what I saw, climbing a tree as we entered the park:

Yes, a good old scrub python, about three metres long, sliding its way up into the tree canopy...

As a more genteel adventure, we moved along to my favourite plant nursery.
Loved the swans, but resisted purchase (they were awfully expensive)..

Our Peace rose has been prettily performing..

and Australia had a Federal Election.
Living on the edge of the city, we go to vote at a small country school nearby..
Not queues or crowds, and always the traditional fund-raising Sausage Sizzle, which has now become known colloquially as the Democracy Sausage.

It seemed wrong not to indulge...

In other news, I have spent a lot of time at the hardware store buying knobs and fittings, and Mr Handyman has been here for a 10 hour marathon of restoring, mending, replacing, and generally refreshing the Cardinal Nest.
It feels so satisfying to smarten things up again...

With the cooler weather, I am growing violas and pansies like the flower tragic I remain..

Winter heralds the season of the Country Shows, and we took Little Aussie to our local event..  

He loved it, and went on three turbulent show rides in succession -
before lunch!

Horseshoe sculpture, and the Show Bag stand
After much consideration, a Show Bag was bought for the lad to take home..

On to inspect the work of local artists:

Lorikeet Art!!

The gardening competitions..

and the Cooking:

Watching the Axe-men..

and the riding..

Loved the well-dressed judges in the Ring...

Meanwhile, over in Canada, our grandsons have been visiting the Tulip Festival:

Boy draws tulip..

and the National Gallery of Canada, being watched by Maman, 1999(Louise Bourgeois).  I like to visit the giant spider every time we go to Ottawa..

This is me on our last visit in December, 2017.  It was sooooo cold, about -23C.

We are looking forward to another visit later this year....

and hope to see some excellent Autumnal action:

Gatineau National Park, 2011 (Red Cardinal)

And as the first snows fall in the Australian Southern states, the Snow Bush has burst into bloom in the Red Cardinal garden:

Be good and take care


Friday, May 3, 2019


Autumn has come, and with it the return of the Lorikeets...

They sulked for three weeks, refusing to come to the bird feeder...

 returning two days ago as if nothing had happened...

And all because I put a fake baby owl nearby.

Don't say these guys can't hold a grudge!

The Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect is coming back to life, with interesting fungi and lots of fresh blooms:

 Sewing Sisters came for a day of stitching...

I love to decorate a cake with one of my tiny viola blooms..

We had a good sugar fix...
and yes, did lots of stitching...

May the Fourth be with you...

'Let the Wookie in'


Thursday, April 25, 2019



Today is ANZAC Day, when we remember the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, established in World War I.
My grandfather like so many Australians, served on the front line in Flanders, and two great-uncles of Mr Cardinal lost their lives there, young men far from their homes in Queensland.

I made some Anzac biscuits, as is my tradition...
Containing oats, butter, golden syrup, coconut and flour, this recipe was developed around the time of WW1.  The biscuits were sent to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily, and the they lasted well on long sea voyages.
The recipe contains no eggs, apparently due to a shortage of eggs (many farmers joined the war effort) as well as the fact that eggs would shorten the life of the sweet and healthy treat.

This is my recipe:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
4 oz. butter
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 tablespoons hot water

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut.  Melt butter and syrup in saucepan until combined.  Mix bicarb with boiling water and add to butter/syrup.  This will froth up very quickly so use a medium size saucepan.
Immediately while frothing add to dry ingredients and mix together.
Place teaspoons of mixture on greased tray or on baking paper, allowing space for the biscuits to spread.  I cook at 160C for 15 minutes, but I have a hot oven.  Yours might take longer, or need a slightly higher heat.
Cook until golden brown but not burnt!
They are quite soft when cooked, but harden a little as they cool.

Did you make Anzac biscuits today?
Tell me your preferred recipe/method..

We stayed home this was Family time.
My younger sister had a birthday and we gathered a few of the clan for a celebration at the Red Cardinal nest...

When your birthday falls at Easter, you get an Easter Birthday cake from your big sister...

as well as Hot Cross Buns...

Easter Sunday saw us singing and celebrating in church, followed by brunch with our younger son and his wife.

They really know how to set out a beautiful spread...
So healthy, we felt no guilt re our chocolate Easter eggs...

Her Majesty stepped out wearing her Australian Wattle Brooch - to my delight, and it loos perfect with yellow.
Long-time readers might remember I acquired a replica of this brooch when we toured Buckingham Palace in 2016.

I rarely get a chance to wear it, but I do love having it...

Reminds me of when I was a little girl who was captivated by the arrival of the young Queen to our shores, and by the idea of the wattle brooch presented by the Australian people.

And Happy 93rd birthday to Her Majesty this week.

She was a little fashion plate even 90 years ago, aged about three!

It was also lovely to see Catherine of Cambridge on Easter Sunday in this lovely chic hat and coat first worn at Easter in Australia a few years ago.

In other family news, Little Aussie now has pet chickens..
I think his smile says it all....

A bit from left field, but a great Easter present..

The owl is working very well, and the cockatoos have not been near the herb garden which is now flourishing ...
Sadly, it has also frightened off the lorikeets whose feeder is about 4-5 metres away.
They have not been here for days.

I need to move the herbs and owl a bit further off, and perhaps find extra rations of lorikeet treats...

Have a great week