Thursday, September 21, 2023



Ooh, la la, doesn't Queen Camilla look incredible, on Their Majesties first official visit to France since the Coronation...

Pictured outside the Palace of Versailles, with Prime Minister Macron and Madame Macron before the official dinner...

Camilla looks regal and glamorous in navy Dior, with the fabulous King George VI Sapphire Suite of jewels.   Her hair looks different, and I think it suits her well.

On arrival in Paris, Camilla was chic in pastel pink, with a sweet beret-style matching hat..

I think every woman feels a desire to be chic when in Paris...

Springtime bees among the flowers outside the Red Cardinal Chateau...

It was 36C here this afternoon, a record breaking all-time high temperature for a September Spring..

Fortunately, a cool wind has blown up tonight....

I went looking for old pictures of myself in Paris.
This was in 2008.  I no longer recognize this woman...

2014: With Mona Lisa.
Clearly having a Bad Hair day...

Maybe having a thing for French stripes...

Buying hats in Nice, 2019.  We did not see Paris on that trip.

Dinner on the beach, Nice.

It seems unlikely we will ever travel to France again, but you never know.  Airfares from Australia to anywhere are now astronomical, and we are planning to close our family business and retire completely next year.  It is both exciting and a bit daunting.  Mr. Red Cardinal is already decluttering his office....

Keep cool, wherever you are.  
It seems the world is quite the hot place these days.


Monday, September 11, 2023



Bright blue skies continue every day, then purple rain clouds begin to gather.

Day after day they tease us, then blow away.

Last week we had an evening of thunder and lightning -

and still no more than a sprinkle of fairy rain...

The grass, green through the Winter, has become brown and crunches underfoot with the increasing temperatures of Spring.

Already we are being told in the media to take precautions for bushfires.

The big question is: When will it rain?

The Garden of Neglect bravely continues with its Springtime schedule, though with fewer blooms..


I W Jenner: HMS Victory at Portsmouth c. 1881.

I am back working hard and writing tours to guide at the Queensland Art Gallery.  A new exhibition, 'Isaac Walter Jenner: A feeling for light' explores the paintings of the English born artist, who was a self-taught marine and landscape painter.

His inspiration lay with old world romantic English landscapes in the Picturesque style, with soft light, rugged coastlines, ships and the sea.  He had an early career in the Navy, leaving after 20 years.  He arrived in Brisbane in 1883, aged 47, bringing the above painting with him.  The famous ship Victory, still on display at Portsmouth, was of course commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.  In later years, Jenner served on the ship.

Jenner spent the rest of his days here in Brisbane, was instrumental in the organisation of the QAG which opened in 1895, became well known as a teacher, and painted his new homeland.  Some fascinating works give an insight into early Colonial Queensland.

'Brisbane from Bowen Terrace, New Farm' 1888, shows the port of Brisbane, busy with shipping to and from the young colony. (Brisbane became a colony separate from New South Wales in 1859).  The ship to centre left is Quetta, the mail ship which went to and from between Brisbane and London.  It was later wrecked in Torres Strait, with great loss of life of many Queenslanders. 

'Queensland natives, the Currigee Oyster Company's Station, Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay' 1897.  Stradbroke Island is in Moreton Bay, just off the coast from Brisbane.  In the 19th century it had a high profile for the exporting oysters throughout Australia by the Currigee Oyster Company.  Here we see the group on the right bagging oysters, and an Indigenous family, far left, looking on.  This was a common trope for Australian painters at that time.  The Oyster company was disbanded in the 1950s.

Jenner brought his wife and seven children to Queensland, and remained here all his life.  His descendants still live in Brisbane and have donated works for this exhibition.  Jenner was prolific in sketching subjects for later works, and he continued to paint subjects from his early Navy career, and English coastal scenes, as well as many pictures of early Brisbane and Queensland.  The exhibition will continue to the end of January, 2024.

In other news, a Kookaburra looked on as our darling twin grandsons celebrated their third Birthday.  Great fun was had by all, with a few little friends from kindy, friends, neighbours and relatives.  This old Grannie had a few glasses of champagne and a very nice time too. 


Can you guess the theme?

The uninvited guest is called Banjo by the neighbourhood.

We rather hope he is keeping the snakes away.  They emerge during the hot weather.

Have a great week