Wednesday, December 29, 2021


The Wise Men (1900)
by JC Leyendecker (1874-1951

I trust everyone had a blessed and happy Christmas Day.

On Christmas morning, I was greeted by our favourite feathered friends, the lorikeets, waiting for breakfast in our big gum tree..

We sang the old carols at church, and enjoyed a very special family lunch at the home of our younger son.

It was lovely to have three of our grandsons to share the day, and a Lot of Lego changed hands...

We were spoilt by our children, with gifts of champagne, books, and many useful items for everyday life...

Our host even gave us a beautiful banana loaf, wrapped in a brown paper package, tied up with string... Delicious!

Do you know what this is?

A case for my sunglasses, which folds flat in my purse.  Nifty...

It opens up like a piece of origami...

Our daughter sent a new book to read, The Promise by Damon Galgut, a winner of the Booker Prize.  I am sure I will devour it very soon - when I finish the biographies of Dame Nellie Melba and The Emperor Charles I....

Do you read several books at the same time too?

There are few flowers in the Garden of Neglect these days - it is the height of Summer, humid and frequently raining...

Mr Red Cardinal is spending the holidays weeding and pruning...

Did you watch Her Majesty's Christmas broadcast?
As always, she reads beautifully and her words are well-chosen, a sad time following the passing of her husband Prince Philip, after 73 years of marriage.
I thought her red dress was stunning...

Kate the Great gave us a lovely surprise, playing the piano in concert.
So accomplished.  And in red.

(I wish I had made myself a red dress for Christmas.  Maybe next year...)

The last of the pansies. 
I have an annual competition with myself, to keep pansies going into the Summer until my birthday (November) and even better, until Christmas.
This little one made it on Christmas Day.
Pansy season is, alas, now over until next Autumn.

Thank goodness for geraniums, such stalwarts, even in Summer.

Happy New Year to you and yours


Wednesday, December 22, 2021



Bernardo Daddi (d.1348) 'Nativity'

As we look forward to celebrating the birth of the Christ Child, we have been enjoying time with our one-year-old grandsons.

Christmas will be very special this year.

Presents have been wrapped, and piled around the tree...

I have been to see the Queensland Ballet perform 'The Nutcracker', a traditional Christmas event in our city..

A joyful and festive ballet, it delighted an audience including many young children..

I loved the snowflake scene..

We are having a heatwave - temperatures around 34c/35c and high humidity.

And tropical, afternoon storms.

Tomorrow I will make our traditional boiled Christmas pudding..
The fruit is marinating in rum as we speak...

Decorations at the Mall - a group of talented teens were singing carols there today, which lifted my spirits to Christmas levels...

At my final pre-Christmas workout at the gym...

From our house to yours,  wishing all my dear readers a very safe and Merry Christmas, and a healthy and happy New Year for 2022.


'Nativity', Giotto, 1304

Monday, December 13, 2021



Fifty years ago, on December 11, 1971, we were married...

two young people, looking forward to establishing a life and family together.

And we did.

Over the weekend we celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary.

There were roses, and Golden Gifts..

Our daughter sent champagne..

Alas, due to Covid, she is unable to visit from Canada.

We hope to have a party when the day comes that she can fly here once more.

Our sons arranged an exquisite celebratory cake, and lunch at a restaurant..

The toddler twins were there too, our first such event since they came to live here.

Fifty years on, and still smiling..

Would we do it all again?
Of course we would...

We loved our golden day, and we love that we are still working and active, and able to enjoy this special anniversary.

I'd love to hear about any other Golden Wedding Anniversaries out there...


Wednesday, December 1, 2021



Christmas is coming, and much has been happening at the Red Cardinal nest.

It has been the wettest Spring in about 100 years...

and the garden loves it.

There have been some Christmas parties:

A gathering on the high deck of GoMA, overlooking the river and the city..

Lunch with the Sewing Sisters...

and a family Christmas party in the Red Cardinal garden when I also had a 'significant' birthday..

I am the eldest of six children, and it is so enjoyable when we all get together occasionally, and this was no exception.

I received a beautiful creamy yellow orchid..

By the magic of the internet, a pretty posy and baking recipe book from our daughter in Canada:

It has rained so much the creeks are up - under this torrent is a walking bridge on my daily route..

Lovely weather for ducks...

The tree is up..

and the little tiny pink tree...

Memories of our trips around the world..

I have some special news:
Following the Government easing of border restrictions, our older son has been able to relocate his family (including our tiny grandsons, the dear little twin boys) and move to Brisbane, where they are now in home quarantine.
We are eagerly looking forward to more special times with the little ones, especially at Christmas. 
And are very thankful that this was achieved prior to the arrival of the new Covid variant, Omicron.

Are you engrossed in Christmas preparation?
Tell me everything...