Thursday, December 28, 2023



Midnight on Christmas Eve, near the Red Cardinal Nest..

A strange sky indeed, forecasting a series of violent storms we have had over the holidays.

Fortunately, Christmas Day was hot and pleasant and we loved having family here for an exuberant Christmas Lunch..

For the amusement of three small children, I put little animal salt-and-peppers down the table centre.  

Here we are tucking into ham and chicken, with beautiful vegetable accompaniments prepared by my two talented daughters-in-law.

Later we sampled their extraordinary Trifle and Pavlova desserts:

Meanwhile, over in Canada, our daughter carries on our family tradition of making a steamed plum pudding to her Grandmother's recipe:

Better than mine ever looked!

In difficult times, world-wide, from pandemics to tragic wars, we are so very grateful to have our beautiful family, here and in Canada, and to celebrate with our presents under the tree and a Christmas feast...

I was very spoilt on Christmas morning:

Thank you, Mr Red Cardinal, well done...

For a number of reasons, I have done less sewing during the past year than ever since I began dressmaking as a teen.

However, I did manage to finish a linen dress which had been sitting about half-done for months:

Natural fibres are the only way to go in our hot humid Summer..

I wore my new dress to church on Christmas Eve, and it felt just right....

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year..

Stay safe this weekend


Friday, December 22, 2023


 Merry Christmas from the Red Cardinal Blog
 (if there are still some readers out there!)

Apologies for my absence, as I have been ill for quite a long time.

At last I have the Christmas tree set up, although the grandchildren are having a superb time re-arranging it from a three-year-old's perspective...

I love this silver Irish angel...

There was a time when the tree was up mid-October, and I was decorating the whole house.
And loved every minute of it.

This year, I only have a few child-friendly pieces on display...

The three little ones love this Lego Gingerbread house -
bought last year from K Mart..

In early November, we set out on an eight-day holiday, a bus trip beginning in Australia's National Capital, Canberra, in southern New South Wales...

It was an art and garden tour, with a visit high into the Australian Alps to see snow-covered Mt. Kosciusko, Australia's highest peak.

Unfortunately, on the day we flew home, I developed symptoms and tested positive to Covid 19, for the first time.
I had managed to avoid it for three years and nine months since the pandemic began, not by chance, but by being extremely careful and aware of my surroundings, and using masks in unsafe places and crowds.

But I dropped my guard when enjoying our tour among lovely fellow guests..

Covid 19 has not been kind to me, and it took a full two weeks before I tested negative.   Apart from the usual cold/flu symptoms, I experienced a frightening mental befuddlement, and extraordinary fatigue. My doctor advises sleeping when exhausted, with naps during the day.  She thinks it will be January before I feel back to my old self.

Christmas at the Red Cardinal nest is being rather thrown together at the last minute this year, but we really look forward to the arrival of our Australian families on the day...

The highest point in Australia - looking across a valley to Mt. Kosciusko.
This is in mid-Summer..

This area is snow covered many months of the year, and there are lots of ski resorts nearby.

Beautiful, stunted, snow gums which grow up in the snow country.e

Well, I am relieved that I have managed to get this far, because numerous attempts to do a blog have proved too difficult.  What a Very Strange Virus this is!

After Christmas, I hope to show more pictures of the beautiful gardens we saw on our tour.

Wishing you and your loved ones all the Blessings of the Christmas season, a beautiful Christmas Day, and a great New Year.

With love from the
Red Cardinal