Wednesday, January 26, 2022


 Happy Australia Day
Today we celebrate our wide, brown land, in all its diversity and splendor...

Our unique birdlife - with a greeting from the naughty Sulphur Crested Cockatoo...

and the cheeky lorikeets..

Our beautiful sub-tropical City of Brisbane..

View from GoMA..
The Old Treasury Building on the lower left, is where we Red Cardinals met, at work, all those years ago.
Today, the beautiful old building is a Casino...

From our beautiful beaches...

and tropical rain forests....

to the dramatic deserts of our Red Centre ..

Australia we salute you.

Like many Aussies, we celebrated with a Summer barbeque at our son's place..

followed by a traditional Australian Pavlova dessert...

Happy Australia Day to us


Monday, January 17, 2022


Life in self-imposed isolation goes on...
there is more time to observe the lorikeets, and respond to their cheeky requests for food..

It has rained a lot, hot tropical storms and showers.. 
Roses are in bloom once more...

Given to me as a gift ten years ago, the Mary MacKillop rose honours Australia's first saint, who was canonised in 2010.  Mary MacKillop was born in 1842, and founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, a teaching order of nuns in Australia.  She is known as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.  The rose has a deep pink bud which gradually opens out to a pale shell pink. 

As Omicron cases rise, and with no attempt to lockdown, we have joined many of our friends in the 'stay home' group.  It seems that maybe 50% of people are doing this, while the others continue to go out and socialise, and in many cases get the virus.  For the first time since the pandemic began, I now know people who have had Covid19 in the past few weeks.  
We are getting home delivered groceries.... and notice the grocery delivery vans going up and down our street every day.  This never happens in 'normal' times.

We have made a 'family bubble' with our son and his family, and visit to mind the little boys for a few hours each week.  Little ones are such a joy.

There are a few lemons on our new lemon tree.  I hope they ripen for us - our first crop.

I have been doing what normally get left undone -  going through cupboards, sorting out photographs and putting them in albums, and have been given a chance to read a very precious diary:

A small, pocket size book, very thin paper and very fragile, it is over 100 years old.  The diary was written by my grandfather while serving in France and Flanders during World War 1.  His experiences in that awful, bloody conflict, were shocking and he was very lucky to have survived.  
Back in 2009 we visited the area around Ypres, where he spent many months.
Here are a few photos of the preserved trenches, and war cemeteries:

After a busy week working on the house and garden, we had a Netflix weekend and watched three movies!
This is unheard of for me, as I like to keep on the move.
But we were tired.

A new release, 'Don't Look Up' - have you seen it?
A vast comet is headed towards earth, and the scientists who discover it struggle to get the world to listen.  A satirical look at today's world, with quite a few home truths to be observed.  Meryl Streep as an unhinged President of the USA, and Aussie Cate Blanchett as a morning TV host, give superb cameos.  

Also enjoyed 'The Two Popes', a fictionalised look at the relationship between our present Pope Francis and his still-living predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
We learn quite a lot about the Argentinian Francis and his life experiences.  He has lived a life very much in the world, rather than as an enclosed, monastic priest.
He loves football, The Beatles, pizza and a glass of wine.  Good for him.

My last choice was an old movie, remembered from when I was a girl.  'Come September' made in 1961, starred teen pin-ups Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin who married in 1960 when she was about 17.  This rather silly comedy gives quite a good look at the social mores of that time, a world which has changed so much that it must be incomprehensible to today's youth.
I enjoyed the scenes shot in Paris and Italy back in the day, recalling our much more recent trips to these places.

Responding to Mr Red Cardinal's recent gardening efforts, the Peace rose blessed us with one beautiful bloom.

Wishing you all a Peaceful and safe week.


Friday, January 7, 2022



Lunch in the fresh air at our local Garden Centre was our personal New Year's celebration...

On my plate, a pretty pink snapdragon flower.

A few metres from the tables, there is an edible garden to supply the cafe..

Herbs and lots of outdoor art pieces to tempt us...

Three weeks ago, our State of Queensland was experiencing many Covid-free days...but those days are now gone.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have wondered if our mild climate kept Covid19 at bay - but it seems that it was our State's method of closing borders and strict quarantine that was keeping us safe.  We have had lockdowns whenever there was a flare up, sometimes only for a few days. Until this week there have only been about six deaths since the pandemic began.  And we wear our masks.

It had been planned to open the borders when we reached 80% vaccination, and with a push, this happened the week before Christmas.  Despite the arrival of Omicron in our country, this plan went ahead and hundreds of thousands of returning residents, tourists and visitors, have come into our beautiful State, no longer required to Quarantine.

The virus has now enveloped our State and city.  Case numbers have risen to over 10,000 per day over the past two days.  The testing centres have become overwhelmed and most have shut down;  The Government admits the actual numbers are much higher, but testing has become impossible for ill people. Those who must test wait for many hours at the few remaining places. Many are turned away. The RAT self-administered tests have sold out, and only small amounts are expected to come - some time.

We are being told there will be thousands upon thousands of cases in the next few weeks, and that we are all probably going to get the virus.  The previous mantra of looking after the elderly has vanished - it seems to be up to us to make our own choices.

The hospital systems are already in trouble - so many staff are absent with Covid, and medical professionals are at breaking point.  We are now told if we develop symptoms, to stay home and rest, do not go seeking a test or go searching for a doctor.  We are now looking at food shortages, with deliveries to major supermarkets compromised by lack of staff, so many are at home ill. 

Strangely, we are not in lockdown.

It seems that lockdown has gone out of favour as a strategy.

Our Premier has asked people to stay home unless they really need to go out, but that is all.   We are doing what so many of you have done for a very long time - stay home, go out carefully for necessities, and otherwise occupy ourselves as creatively as possible at home.  We are both double vaxed, and have appointments for our Booster but know that many vaccinated people still catch Omicron.

We are very grateful for our Red Cardinal nest, high on a hill with plenty of breeze, and a large garden to enjoy.  At the moment we have made our own rules, seeing only family members and avoiding crowds.

We had one final little celebration of our 50th Anniversary, meeting with my two sisters who were bridesmaids at our wedding.  

Now the pretty cards have been tied with a ribbon and gone into a memory box.

Where have all those years gone?

We are also enjoying time with our one-year-old twin grandsons, and to our delight they are getting to know and trust us.  What fun times we have together!
I have reorganized the house after taking down the Christmas decorations, putting precious pieces up high or away for a year or two, and amusing myself putting interesting things down low where they can find them. 

Have a good, and safe, week.