Monday, January 25, 2021



Happy Australia Day to all my Australian readers...

Today we celebrate all that is good about living in our wonderful country,

and enjoy our National holiday.

What makes Australia unique?

We are an island continent, and for this we are particularly grateful, as it has contributed to our success in containing the Corona19 virus, albeit with considerable restrictions on local and international travel.

We have unusual wildlife:

Our friendly lorikeets, which visit the Red Cardinal garden every day..

The Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, always ready for a joke..

and occasionally, beautiful Red King Parrots..

Our unique wildlife includes some very cute marsupials:

A koala mother and joey; we used to see them regularly at our previous home...

But alas, they are declining in numbers, especially since last year's terrible bush fires.

Then there is the Platypus, a most peculiar water-dwelling mammal:

They are very shy, but are sometimes seen swimming in the waterhole I pass on my walk...

We have kangaroos and wallabies, which occasionally appear in our vicinity.

See Canadian grandchildren feeding them at the local zoo, on a visit a few years back.

The emu, a very large bird which I prefer to keep at a distance...

They appear together on the Australian Coat of Arms...

along with our Floral Emblem, the Golden Wattle:

Of course, we have great beaches:

Our favourite, Burleigh Heads..

Many people like to spend today at the beach -

but we are heading out our front door to our annual neighborhood street party -

and barbeque...

Happy Australia Day to us!


Friday, January 22, 2021



In 1998, we ventured off on our first big overseas trip...

to meet up with our travelling daughter in New York, visit New England, Pennsylvania, and then on to Washington DC.

We played tourist outside the White House, and loved the Smithsonian museums.

I must have done my homework, because I contrived to find our way to the National Museum of American History, and The First Ladies inauguration gowns exhibition.  As a lover of both history and fashion, I enjoyed this immensely.

(Google image) Inauguration Ball gowns: Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush

Cameras were forbidden back in the pre-iPhone camera days, alas...

I know I saw every First Lady's Inauguration Ball gown from Mamie Eisenhower (above left) through to Hillary Clinton (currently First Lady when we visited)

Always an avid Jackie fan, I loved seeing her exquisite cream gown with chiffon overlay, so chic and understated...

Leaving politics aside, it was interesting to see the fashions worn at this week's Inauguration of President Joe Biden - and to see that fashion and politics are never far apart...

I thought Dr Jill Biden's Ocean Blue coat was beautiful in cut and detail, and the matching blue leather gloves added an elegant touch..

Vice-President Kamala Harris wore a plain and stylish purple dress and coat....

I found out later that purple is now a Bipartisan colour: red and blue combined.

Former First Ladies Hillary Clinton in Violet, and Michelle Obama in Plum..

I was thinking it was disappointing that Dr Biden could not have a fabulous Ball Gown, as this year the Balls were cancelled.  

Here are the Bidens at the second Obama Inauguration..

However, today I find that Dr Biden did indeed have a special evening outfit, when the First Family attended the concert at the Lincoln Memorial:

This lovely dress and coat, by New York designed Gabriela  Hearst featured the embroidered floral emblems of all the States of America..

As an Australian, I only happen to recognise one of them, the Texas bluebonnet, to which I was introduced by our friends when we visited Texas the following year... in fact, I still have a piece of quilting fabric featuring them in my stash.

Quilters will understand...

The matching mask, a sign of the times, and really very pretty as well.

In a Bipartisan spirit, here are a few more purple flowers found in our Garden of Neglect this afternoon..

Have a good, and relaxed weekend, and here's to a safer year in 2021.


PS - haven't times changed?

Monday, January 18, 2021


This is the view from my computer/guest room. Yes, those bare trunks are Palm trees, whose fronds wave above the rooftop.

And this is the other side of the house, looking from the dining room.

It has been sunny and warm, perhaps a little too warm last week, and it is looking like our State's measures to combat the new Covid19 strain are working.

There were about 6 cases connected to the original case, but no community transmission now for 14 days.  We are all wearing masks - to be honest it is still something of a novelty hereabouts...

If all goes well, on Friday we will be back to arrangements as we were for the past six months, which is OK compared to what most of the world is enduring.

From my sewing room:

A tree fern attempts to look in the window...

and a solitary agapanthus, surrounded by more low-light plants.

I made some masks to go with the few new Summer dresses I have made:

At the local garden centre, trying to blend in with the bromeliads...

Bought a pink geranium, some Summer colour and lots of parsley.
It is hard to keep the plants going in 35c. heat ...

Yellow Rose has finally decided to bloom again - we had nearly given up.
Which is just as well, because I looked at the 2021 Pantone Colour/s of the year, and, Tadah:  Yellow...with grey...

Remember when there was only one Colour of the Year?
Those were simple times.

I think I will wheel out my old bright yellow linen dress for an excursion next week.  Perhaps a matching mask is called for??

A friend gave me this Crucifix Orchid, and we have propagated it in a few places.
Its cheery yellow is right on trend...

In other trivia, why can I not find a prettier bottle of hand sanitiser?
The bottles are all very sturdy and plain, and I like to encourage visitors to use it on arrival.  

The new dishwasher has been installed, and I have to commend the tradesman who delivered it for his careful attention to the detail of avoiding any unnecessary touching of surfaces in our home.  Well done.

I have just read 'Lioness' by Sue Brierley.
Sue is the adoptive mother of Saroo Brierley, the little lost boy from a village in India  who became famous a few years ago as an adult, when with the help of Google Earth he relocated his home village.
His book 'A Long way Home' was an international best seller, quickly followed by the major movie LION.

Sue's story is the very interesting postscript to Saroo's story, from her traumatic childhood and early marriage, to her decision to adopt two needy children from India.  Sue was portrayed in the movie by Nicole Kidman, another adoptive mother.  I did not want this book to end!

What are you reading in the holiday season?

Did I mention it is our Golden Wedding Anniversary later this year?

Stay well and keep safe


Our Bee Hotel has a few tenants - so cute to watch