Wednesday, March 31, 2021



We have been in lockdown for three days.

I know, compared to much of the world, that is nothing.

We have been very lucky here in Australia, keeping The Virus largely at bay.

For various reasons, there has been a surge in cases here in Brisbane and The Virus escaped into the community.

To be honest, I enjoy the peace and quiet:

no buzz of traffic in the distance all day long, no need to rush out of the house to appointments, work or play...

One hour of exercise in the open air permitted.

This is the path where I enjoy my walk in the Autumn sunshine..

Masks mandatory but not outdoors - except when unable to social distance.

It was announced a few hours ago that lockdown will end at noon today (Thursday) but masks will be worn for two weeks.

There was great concern about the huge numbers of people with accommodation arranged for Easter at the beach etc.  and already many cancellations.

Our Tourism industry has all but collapsed over the past year of no international visitors.

This week while only permitted to leave home to buy rations, we decided to visit the local Produce Store.  As you may know, we live on the edge of the city in an area of acreages, small farms and lots of horses.

Fun sightings at the store...bee hotels and fresh honeycomb...

Dear little toy tractors, mowers, trucks etc.

A small child's delight - are the twins too young to have them yet?

I guess seven months is a bit early...

Old-fashioned white mice - blue treadmill for boys, pink for girls..

Aussie kids love guinea pigs - I think they are called hamsters in other countries.

Endless supplies of cute stuff for cats and dogs...

I thought about bringing this big bird home, but really, where could I put such an imposing sculpture???

The cockatoos broke the bird feeder and it fell down.. 

Look at Mr. Innocent there on the railing...

The lorikeets had to sit on a table for breakfast for a few days.

Peace is now restored.

May your Easter be Blessed.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021



Those blue skies have disappeared this week...

We are in the middle of a Significant Weather Event:

drenching rains and floods along the East coast of New South Wales and Southern Queensland.

Fortunately, we Red Cardinals are safe and sound in our house on the hill...

Google image: we did not go to see it!

However, look at Curtis Falls, Tamborine Mountain, where the cafe has been inundated yet again.  Here is the same place from the other side of the road:

This is where we used to take my late father for Sunday drives.

In two days, South East Queensland has received about 200 mm of rain, or 8 inches in the old measure...

Sadly, many people have been filmed driving in flood waters, only to have to be rescued when their vehicles lose control.  


The Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney.

Hundreds of people have been rescued from flooded homes, and many have lost everything.  Our hearts go out to all of them.

Natural disasters have lasting impacts on our communities.

It is a year today since Australia went into its first lock-down due to the newly arrived Covid19 virus.  

I feel sad because it was also the day we bid goodbye to our visiting daughter as she flew back to Canada with her boys, and into home-quarantine in Ottawa.

We had enjoyed having our Canadian grandsons here for a Summer holiday so much...and during those weeks, we had all learned to be Covid-safe.  

Hand washing and sanitising, not touching random surfaces, social distancing...all this and more we learnt fast, and we still need to practice.

Over at their home in Ontario, the pandemic has its grip as they endure a third wave.  I pray for their safety, and wonder when we will ever meet again.

The strangeness of it all takes its toll on everyone.  Working from home, zoom calls, home schooling, all are new ways of being.  

Many of us experience sleep disturbance, Covid nightmares, and other problems.

Australia has banned international tourist travel for a year now, and this has had a catastrophic effect on the economy.  JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments have kept people going, but will be finishing soon.  Many businesses have ceased trading, as has happened all over the world.

We are fortunate that the virus has been contained, and we are relatively safe.  Returning Australians in the Quarantine Hotels bring the virus here on a daily basis, but the system is working to keep it out of the community to a large degree.

The Cardinals have not been to a movie for a year, although cinemas are now open.  We are cautious, as we are too old to catch the virus at random!

Gardening keeps us occupied and interested.

Our Jacaranda tree in our front garden...

Six months out of season, last week I saw this on the ground:

A scattering of Jacaranda blossom!!

I looked up and saw this...

and this!  One big frond of Jacaranda loveliness...

R. Godfrey Rivers 'Under the Jacaranda' 1903.
 Qld. Art Gallery.

Even the trees are confused in this season of strange times and crazy weather!

Please drive safely, and take care.


Sunday, March 14, 2021



Hello dear readers

After years of dry seasons, we are enjoying a hot, humid Summer with frequent storms.  The roses are loving it, and producing flush after flush of short-lived blooms.

The storms are often violent, and we have had roof damage (now fixed), internal wall damage (have found a man to do that) and a lightning strike which destroyed Mr. Cardinal's computer.  Not a happy event.

All is well, and insurance gave him a new computer and he spent three weeks re-installing his entire electronic life.

The new stove is still waiting to be installed, but fingers crossed, a tentative date has been set.

Queensland Ballet, back in the day

I went with my sister to the 60th Anniversary Gala of our beloved Queensland Ballet.  The programme began with a video tribute about the previous Artistic Directors and former stars of the Ballet, including interviews with many of them.

Happy memories...

We sat two seats behind the wonderful current Artistic Director, Li Cunxin, of Mao's Last Dancer fame (she says, name-dropping).

During his tenure, the Ballet has risen to world-class excellence.

Some highlights of the evening (google images):

Chopin Pas de Deux (Charles Lisner OBE)

Don Quixote - wedding Pas de Deux, Act III
(Marius Petipa)
Carmina Burana - Tavern Scene (Jacqui Carroll)

Cloudland - pas de Deux, (Francois Klaus)

Etudes - (Harald Lander)

It was all tremendously exciting - I could hardly sleep that night...

The company is much bigger these days, with many international dancers and guests artists. 

 Happy claps for Queensland!

To round off the week of International Women's Day, here is a sculpture from the collection of the Qld Art Gallery:

Daphne Mayo, Australia [1895-1982] 'Olympian' c. 1946, cast after 1958

Daphne Mayo was a significant 20th-century Australian artist, born in Sydney and educated in Brisbane, receiving a Diploma in Art Craftsmanship from Brisbane Central Technical College in 1913.  In 1919 she received an art scholarship to go to London provided by Queensland Wattle League.  She was accepted into the Scupture School of the Royal Academy, and on graduation in 1923 she was awarded the school's gold medal for sculpture, and with it a Travelling Studentship to Italy.

She considered the human body 'a superlative piece of sculpture' and 'Olympian' illustrates this view.  There is speculation linking the casting of 'Olympian' with the 1956 Olympic Games held in Melbourne.

Back in Brisbane, Mayo became prominently known for her work, particularly the tympanum of Brisbane City Hall and the Women's War Memorial in ANZAC Square, Brisbane.

These works are seen daily by workers in our City as they go about their business.

Brisbane City Hall

The Tympanum, by Daphne Mayo

Here is Daphne Mayo in 1932 in front of her work, The Anzac War Memorial and Fountain.

Mayo devoted her life to the pursuit of her artistic profession, receiving many public commissions.  With her friend, artist Vida Lahey, she founded the Queensland Art Fund to purchase works for the Queensland Art Gallery.  In the 1960s she became a Trustee of the Gallery.  Daphne Mayo's work is represented in Art Galleries throughout Australia.  She was appointed an MBE in 1959 for services to the arts.  Daphne Mayo passed away in 1982.

Daphne Mayo in her studio.

 Did you know Brisbane is now a preferred venue to host the 2032 Olympic Games?

Have a wonderful week.


PS This post has been edited to correct the date for the probably Brisbane Olympic Games. It is of course 2032.  

Sunday, March 7, 2021


Hello dear friends,The blue skies of March herald the arrival of Autumn at the Red Cardinal nest.It is a few degrees cooler, and it is very welcome.

We went off to Sydney last week to visit the our twin grandsons, who are six months old already...

We loved being with the little boys... Can you spot the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the above photo?Just a little of the span in between the trees of the park...

I made them some old-fashioned rompers...fiddly sewing, but fun to do.

Tomorrow, March 8th, is International Women's Day:

One of the great joys of blogging is making friends all over the world.International friendships can be very real, as you share details of your lives over the years.Perhaps you have noticed a blog always listed on my sidebar: 'Woke up, got out of bed' by Linda K.  We have followed each other on our blogs and Instagram for many years.It is with great sadness I have to tell you that Linda passed away last week after a very long illness.   Linda was loved by all, a talented and creative lady whose photos brightened our days, and whose tales of her cottage, gardens, cooking, and beautiful grandchildren charmed and delighted us all.She lived in Ontario, Canada, which long-term readers will know we visit regularly ourselves to see our Canadian grandchildren.  I had always hoped one day we could meet but as Ontario is a vast province, the opportunity had never presented itself.  We bonded over such shared interests as Ontario barns, milk glass, and thrifting.  Linda did not want to make her illness public and I was honored that she chose to share it with me privately.  She was brave and giving right to the end, continuing to post photos on Instagram until a few weeks ago.

Yesterday I made a very rustic version of Linda's Sour Cream coffee cake, a recipe she generously shared with me.  Rest in Peace, dear Linda.  You will never be forgotten.

Take care, and treasure your friends