Sunday, August 30, 2009


Duchess D'Orleans Rose

Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), botanical artist and royal flower painter. He recorded the roses, lilies and other flowers at Chateau de Malmaison for Empress Josephine.

Yellow Day Lily

The Chateau de Malmaison is a country house in the city of Rueil-Malmaison, about 12km from Paris.

Redoute gained international recognition and became a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion d'honneur in 1825. His beautiful works can be bought as prints today.

I, too, prepare a few posts in advance and last Thursday I had a choice of this post or the Misericord before I went away for the weekend. I posted the Misericord and came back to look at my favourite blogs and there, three from the top, was BibliOdyssey's post, about REDOUTE! Now I do believe in coincidences. See more of Redoute's beautiful work on BibliOdyssey; it's a really fascinating blog.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Gloucester Cathedral

A Misericord (mercy seat) is a small wooden carved shelf, of
mostly grotesque design, underneath folding seats in churches.

St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

With the seat lifted the Misericord provides a ledge that
supports the user, standing for long periods of prayer.

Holy Trinity Church, Vendome France

They were installed in English churches from the
13th Century up to the 21st but in the 1600s anything
that followed were considered 'modern copies'!

St. Mary's Church, Buckinghamshire

Many were destroyed in the Reformation of the 1600s.
Happily there are many hundreds left.

Montbenoit, Franche-Comte, Eastern France

Here is a very comprehensive website
with a lot more about the Misericord -

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Vittore Carpaccio - c.1460-c.1526

This is no angel fallen in the noon,
But my sister asleep on the couch.
And don't mistake my stillness for awe.
It's just that I don't want to waken her,
Though I'd love to cup her chin in my palms,
Bend down to her, like a mirror, and kiss her face.
But I'll do nothing, just look a while, then leave
quietly. For this is noon,
Time of rest, hour of tenderness
And the sleeping loved ones.

From the book, 'Rose' by Li-Young Lee
'The Sleeping Loved Ones' - 1st stanza

Monday, August 24, 2009


WOMEN who want to lose weight can have their cake - as long as they don't eat it, scientists believe.

A Dutch study found that showing weight-conscious women pictures of sweet treats strengthened their resolve to eat healthily.

The finding suggests glossy adverts designed to make sweets irresistible may actually have the opposite effect. It also means the secret to losing weight could be a simple as decorating your fridge door with pictures of forbidden tasty treats.

Researcher Floor Kroese, of Utrecht University, said feelings of guilt may help fight temptation.

Source: Melbourne Herald Sun

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An Award? A Lovely Surprise!

Congratulations to Bonnie over at Original Heart Studio who has just received the Bella Sinclair Award. Bonnie, in turn, has passed it on to me and two others! Thank you, I love surprises! The award was originally created by Ces of Ces and Her Dishes for Bella of Bella Sinclair Doodlespot and this is how Ces describes it -

" I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honor the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she epitomizes all of these things. She is an inspiration to many of us."

Now, the procedure, I believe, is to pass the award on so I'd like to confer it upon Ruthie of 5 Precious Things in Scotland, Susan of Bearswamp Reflections in America and Aussie expat, Vicki of French Essence in France. These three ladies I met in my early days of blogging and they've been most gracious with visits and comments that have encouraged me to keep it up.

There are a handful of others I greatly admire who have been there too and I continue to be fascinated, inspired and motivated by reading their posts. I treasure your friendship.

Thanks again, Bonnie!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Is there at last a slight trend towards, or should I say, backwards, to classy dress and sophistication amongst young socialites and those in the entertainment industry? Some, it seems, have 'discovered' Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel and other classy women of the past. I don't know about you but browsing the social columns of late, I am seeing less crotch, boobs, bad hair, fingers raised, face pulling, too much makeup and seeing more stylishly dressed (less skin), elegantly coiffed, beautiful young females. Of course, some of them have inherited good taste from their Mothers and Grandmothers and will always be ladylike. I truly hope that this is an about-turn and we are seeing some of the old values revisited.

Audrey once said, "My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses and the little sleeveless dresses."

"Sabrina" lookalikes?
Hands off hips girls and smile!

A celebration of 80 years of Audrey was launched two days ago in Sydney with Rosemount Fashion Week. Fifty models were made up to look like Audrey Hepburn to celebrate what would have been Audrey's 80th Birthday and, clad in little black and white dresses, oversized sunglasses and dripping in pearls, they paraded in Sydney's business district. Their outfits were put together by designer, Jayson Brunsdon, who opened the show. There was also a release of Paramount Home Entertainment's upcoming "80 Years of Audrey" collection.

Audrey drove one of these -
1969 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda
There ain't nothing like the original!
Audrey, that is...

For information on the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund, click here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We walked through the caravan park alongside the Upper Pondage yesterday. I was taking a photo of this blossom when DMJ said, 'Look up slowly, above your head and see what's landed in the tree'. I turned around and took a few shots but, unfortunately, I still had Macro set and below is the only shot that wasn't all that blurred.

He wasn't at all fazed by our presence and put on quite a show for us, sucking on the blossoms. Most of these birds are so tame in this area as crumbs and seed are thrown to them on a daily basis.

Male King Parrot - Alisterus scapularis

The shots below are typical of their sense of fun when visiting.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Dewdrops, Ersa’s happy tears,

Morning jewels

Fall once more to earth.

Alaine '09

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,
seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Walt Whitman

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I remembered to take my camera last Saturday. It was a bleak morning, 3C at 8:30am when we started out. The pondage had been empty all week except for the old river bed but was slowly filling up after the water company had finished its annual maintenance.

This is the long walk along Riverside Drive

Fishful thinking?
Poor chap didn't know that the Pondage
had been empty for days and the fish
had escaped into the river.
We wished him luck.

On the other side of Riverside Drive, Kangaroos!

Isn't he/she magnificent!

They come down out of the bush and graze
in front of this house every morning.

Pelicans, waiting, waiting.

We came from over there.

It's a shady walk in Summer.

Further along the track.

What we call a 'drop toilet'
with a beautiful Acacia Cognata the Landcare group planted.

The car's over there.

The Pontoon
rises and falls with the Pondage level.

Track to Bridge

Fishing with Dad.

Rotunda and Ramp from Bridge.


The road home.

Four days later, looking South from Bridge.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



Callistemon buds ready to burst

The first Azalea, 'Inga'

Daffodils, I've picked most of them



Hellebores - Winter Rose

Manchurian Pear

Erigeron - Seaside Daisy


Native shrub - lovely perfume!

No idea

Grevillea - Canterbury Gold

Maple, I think


Hardenbergia - The Happy Wanderer
Named in honour of
Franziska, Countess von Hardenberg in 1937

Memorial to our darling Pug, 'Bruffy', buried in our "Grappa Grotto"

Grappa Grotto, April '06
This is how it looked again 4 months ago.