Little Wattle Bird in the garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Little Wattle Bird in the garden. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley

G’Day from down-under where the Beach Boys headed the line up at the Inaugural Bondi Beachfest, with supports from The Whitlams, Busby Marou, Kim Churchill, and Sahara Beck. A surf lifesaving parade by the Bondi Life Savers including the March Past, Beach Flag Event, Board Race Demonstrations. A Miss Beachfest Competition, surfing and skating exhibitions, plus markets and food stalls. A great day was had by all.

South Australia is in crisis with bush fires out of control, eighty five hectares have been affected so far and more is expected. The fire which started at Pinery, travelled in a south-easterly direction towards Mallala , where the iconic Chateau Tanunda Winery is based, which celebrates 125 years in the Barossa Valley in 2015. With a wind change it moved towards Kapunda, affecting dozens of communities along the way including Wasley where one of the state’s largest pig farms lost 2,000 sows, 100,000 birds at a chicken farm and many stock, with houses burnt to the ground. Power was cut off to 20,000 properties. So far two lives have been lost and farmers complete crops banished.

Lorikeet in the garden eating breakfast. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Lorikeet in the garden eating breakfast. Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Australian teenager Bindi Irwin and dance partner Derek Hough have been crowned champions of the U.S. version of “Dancing with the Stars”. With a perfect score the couple took home the coveted mirror ball trophy. The 17 year old made a tribute to her father Steve Irwin “The Crocodile Hunter” who was killed after being struck by a stingray Barb while snorkelling at Batt Reef in Queensland in 2006. Bindi and her family mother and brother run the Australian Zoo in Beerwah Queensland.

In a social media first, P & O Cruise’s latest ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden were officially named by singer Jessica Mauboy and actress Kate Ritchie. The two Godmothers named the ships in a spectacular christening ceremony on Fort Denison as the two ships sailed either side of the Sydney Harbour landmark. The naming was a highlight of P & O’s history making five ships spectacular. Pacific Aria is based in Brisbane, Queensland and will spend eight-months sailing from the capital on a range of new cruises, such as eighteen-night voyage to Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa, and seven-night New Year’s cruise to Hamilton Island and Cairns. Also back by popular demand are P & O’s favourites Salt Grill by Luke Mangan and the exclusive Chef’s table in a private wine room.

Kylie Minogue serves up style at the 2015 ARIA Awards, stars sizzled and sweltered as they walked the red carpet as the mercury reached 39 degrees celcius at “The Star” in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Stunning in a dusty pink embroidered gown, the 47 year old posed for photographers and waved to fans as she was escorted into the arena. The Album of the Year was “Currents” by Tame Impala, and Song of the Year “Start Again” by Conrad Sewell. Regardless of the heat a great night was had by all with much glitz and glamour.

Yachts on the Lake

Yachts on the Lake

Oprah Winfrey is in Oz for a week touring and is wowing the crowds everywhere she goes. With her glorious mane of curls bouncing and her bright personality, 61 year- old Winfrey tells her story of rags to riches, from grinding poverty and terrible sexual assaults as a child. It is certainly a tale to tell and an inspiration to all. Now a billionaire three times over this talented entrepreneur tells how to turn the volume up in self-help, self-improvement, and self awareness. Touring Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney to full houses, her ability to inspire others “To Live Their Best Lives” is her goal.

The drama of Johnny Depp’s dogs “Pistol and Boo”, two Yorkshire Terriers who were illegally smuggled into Australia on a private jet continues. A five day trial is to be heard on the Gold Coastnext year, with actor Amber Heard “Looking Forward” to fighting the charges.

Taylor Swift had 76,000 besotted fans and their parents at “Hello Sydney” when she opened her ‘1989 World Tour’. Swift is the Queen of the Pops with her young girl fans with their glowing wristbands and a plethora of glowing sticks and blinking signs. She became a human disco ball with the twinkling pink lights on her bra and skirt gleaming like a fluorescent rainbow. It was one of the biggest crowds she had played to and she produced one of the best productions executed by the 25-year old superstar.   Holidaying on Hamilton Island with 125 members of her crew she performed an exclusive concert for 40 fans on the luxurious holiday island before her Brisbane tour. She spent her 26th birthday celebrating on the Island before going on to Melbourne.

Australia’s Marc Leishman used his driving game to hold off Henrik Stenson of Sweden and pull away for a six-stroke victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in South Africa. The 32year-old claimed the first prize of $US1.25 million.

Shelly Beach is buzzing with visitors and happy surfers. I lunched at the Surf Club on Sunday admiring the view whilst sipping on pink champagne, and deciding whether to have a seafood platter or Atlantic salmon. With Christmas just around the corner everyone is madly shopping and filling up the cupboards with hordes of goodies. I have an extra large bag of seed for the birds, and bought some turkey slices for Pixie as a treat. Some blue Agapanthus is waving in the garden, these glorious flowers of the Gods and some bright orange zinneas. My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, and The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain”, are available on my website

Cheers. Patricia.

Foxglove in the garden  Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Foxglove in the garden Taken by Reginald J. Dunkley