Sunday, July 23, 2017


Good evening everyone, and yes, Long Time No Blog...

Who would have thought the replacement of a rustic wooden staircase through the tangled Garden of Neglect would take so long...
and go on..
and on...

First remove old staircase.
Followed by all the builders rubbish found beneath it from a previous generation...

Draw string lines and experiment as to where 'the lady' wants her stairs to float...

Destroy a few more plants, and trample on the agapanthus...

Foggy mornings, followed by frosty mornings.
Ice on the windscreens,
 and shivering tradesmen on the doorstep soon after 6.30am. 

Made them muffins...

Maybe this will work out ... ?

Sort of coming together..

The Overseer...

Meanwhile, they also built us a handrail down to the pool area.
Mr C has had enough of walking down those rough stone steps with nothing to hold onto.  We have to take care of the new bionic knee now.

Things are looking brighter...

and we approve.

I made the workers scones for Friday afternoon, but forgot to take a pic before they had demolished the lot.

Meantime, this iris could not wait to return to the garden, and bloomed in the holding pen temporary pot.  What a stalwart.

I have been home much more than usual.
Because they come with questions and requests all day long.
There is other work going on as well, including a new laundry tub and cupboard.

But I did step out one day and buy some new bedroom curtains.
French blue, birds and flowers.
Of course.

This is where we are at - 
Not quite finished, but definitely promising...

We have enjoyed a weekend to ourselves, including the movies.

They will be back tomorrow, bright and early.

Might make them a chocolate cake this time.

How do you feel about having tradesmen in the house for a couple of weeks?

I find they certainly seem to take over our lives, as well as our facilities, for the duration.  These men are well-mannered, try their best, and quite obliging.
But they still miss things, forget things, get mixed up etc.

I suspect this will be enough home improvement malarkey for 2017.

Have a good week everybody.


Monday, July 10, 2017


We love it when the Red Cardinal garden celebrates Iris Season...

This year, however, it will be a short event.
They have been growing adjacent to an old wooden staircase in the garden, and it is about to be re-built.

Yesterday I had to dig up most of the iris -
 to protect them from earth moving equipment, men with tools, and possibly concrete spills.

Their remains are now divided and waiting in a couple of big pots for a re-plant in a week or two.

Weekend sunrise - and morning temps down to a brisk 2C around here..

Lorikeets send a cheerful greeting..

They will not like it when the workmen arrive, invading 'their' territory...

I have been to my sewing group - Note: This is not my work, but that of a very talented friend.  It became a ring cushion at a Wedding.

Can't claim credit for these either - I was stitching a secret project..

Meantime, Britain's Royal Ballet have been paying Brisbane a visit.
I went with my friend A to see 'Woolf Works'.
We are both fans of Virginia Woolf, and enjoyed this so very much.

Google Image - 'Virginia Woolf'
The ballet is a triptych, based around three Woolf novels, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves as well as aspects of Woolf's own life.

The dancers portraying Mrs Dalloway, both young and older, were costumed to look very like Woolf herself...

It was mesmerising, especially to those familiar with the novels and the Bloomsbury set.


'The Waves'
Google image

I was soon thinking about my visit to Woolf's country home, 'Monk's House' in Rodmell, East Sussex, in 2004.  I loved her green interior so much.

At the end of the garden is her little writing lodge, preserved to this day.

Vanessa Bell 'Portrait of Virginia Woolf' 1912
Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell painted this portrait.

Stay warm, and have a great week.


Monday, July 3, 2017


Happy July, dear readers..
My Birds of Canada calendar makes it easy for me this month -
Mr and Mrs Cardinal, Blue Jay and Chickadees, if I am not mistaken.

Happy 150th Birthday and Canada Day to our Canadian friends,
 and DD and her little family.

Our grandsons have been decorating cakes with a maple leaf, a school holiday activity.  They are having a fun Summer.

Lots of activity this weekend on Ottawa's Capital Hill..

The impossibly cute Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire -
love his sox and her shoes...very celebratory!

Prince Charles falls for the Trudeau charm...

Meanwhile, back in the Cardinal Nest we have had a touch of real Winter.
Mr C is going well with his knee rehabilitation, and uses his vintage crotchet rug made by his Aunt to keep warm in the evenings.
He has started to drive the car, and walk short distances without sticks.
Life is beginning to return to normal.

Last week I bought a new washing machine, suddenly deciding I could no longer tolerate the old one and its crazy ideas regarding fabrics...

Never thought I'd find an appliance so attractive.
 I am actually finding reasons to wash things, just to try out all the various functions.
Ah, technology...

The delivery guys gave me a refrigerator box for Little Aussie -
because they are bigger.  He made this interesting construction for himself.
You crawl in the lower door, then poke yourself through an internal hole into the upper section.  Not recommended for the claustrophobic...

Stay out?  
No problem conforming to that request...

We watched the original Ghostbusters movie - our kids loved it back in the day.
It is not at all scary, only quaint and funny now.
Aussie was keen to see the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.

My lovely friend M gave me this gorgeous set of applique napkins, absolutely beautifully made by her own fair hands, back in the day.
Thank you so much, and I will treasure them always.
Don't they look wonderful with my fruity tablecloth from Florence?

Whatever do you think my red coleus is up to?

I am thinking of making a red dress using my old Catherine pattern, from a length of wool flannel in the stash.  Seems wrong not to...

Have a good week