Sunday, June 1, 2014

"No Dawdling Please"

I probably only have one or two school excursions left in me.
The kids are growing up, The Stylist is off to high school next year and school day trips where parents round up strays and tie droopy shoe laces while filthy dishes congeal in the sink at home, will drop off.
So I jumped at the chance to take in a bit of local history with The Stylist's class.

The front entrance of Queensland Parliament House, a magnificent building nestled between the Botanic Gardens and the Brisbane River.  The House was occupied from 1864, yet construction wasn't finished until 1889.
We're lucky this beautiful part of Brisbane's heritage is still standing.  During the 1980s, the scandal-ridden state government of the day decided to pull it down after the discovery of a serious West Indian termite infestation.
Heritage groups kicked up a fuss and five years of work to treat the building and restore its interior saved it for us to enjoy today.

Back of the House, the wee nippers are getting ready to go in for a tour of the grand staircase and the Upper House before taking our seats in the Lower House public gallery, just in time for some playground hijinks by the politicians.
The kids thought their behaviour rather amusing.

"Watching the Grass Grow" - seriously.

Prince Albert died while this magnificent 4.5-metre stained glass piece was being commissioned.  Thereafter, Queen Victoria was never officially portrayed wearing anything other than black and white, so this was the last piece of her wearing colour.

Even though these two stained glass portraits of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of Denmark stand over two metres high, they are rather conservative in size and colour compared to the magnificent piece of Edward's mother, Victoria.
It must have been extremely challenging for Edward and his siblings to live in the shadow of their powerful mother.

I could barely snap a clear pic of this enormous crystal chandelier, it was so big.
It was wonderful to watch the children's faces as they enjoyed some of Brisbane's most magnificent architecture.
They were damned well behaved too, not that I expect kids to be seen and not heard, far from it in fact.

Fuchsia and orange carpet in the Upper House and original tiles in the foyer.  That's style!

Then it was down to the Botanic Gardens for lunch and hi-jinks.  This is a peepul tree and I would have needed to stand about 70 metres back to get it all in the frame.
The gardens have been there since around 1864 and are home to rare and valuable flora.  We suffered a 10-year drought starting in 2001 and it was terrible to see the suffering of such a beautiful park and gardens. 
So many of the plants which thrived in our sub-tropical climate had to be removed and replaced with drought-tolerant species.
To me, the Gardens are valiantly recovering, but I can see evidence of the past stress.
Still very beautiful and peaceful though.

That's a water dragon.  They're everywhere and they love to bask on the rocks then dive into the ponds for a feast.

This, I don't know what it is and it's vaguely disturbing.
The council have created a beautiful new playground and there were six of these strange pods at different angles. Eeeek!

I didn't wear this outfit on the excursion, these pics were taken a couple of days later when I *gasp* wore my Franken-Frock two days in a row.
I've given up hope of getting any winter this year so I'll stop moaning and get on with enjoying my light frocks.
I wore vertical striped leggings the previous day, I so enjoyed extending the Franken-Frock theme to my legs for two days in a row.

 Frock and bag - handmade by me
Necklace - gift from Helgalicious
Shoes - Melissa
Leggings - Black Milk
Zip hair clip - gift from Erica 
Earrings - Bones Couture

I hope you've all enjoyed a wonderful weekend.
D x


  1. What a lovely way to explore a piece of Brissy that we rarely see. Nice to know we have a bit of history in our wee city! LOVE the franken frock. I'd wear that every day of the week if it was mine! Who would think we've actually hit winter!!! Xx

  2. Enjoyed seeing Brissy from rainy Canberra today! I adore your frankenfrock/stripes combo. You brightened my day. Thanks.

  3. I totally love Franken frock, especially with the striped leggings! I remember a school trip to our Parliament when I was about 12, and it seems politians are still behaving badly!

  4. Grandeur and glamour -- so few public buildings possess such magic now, and even few public figures. Slipping "Watching the Grass Grow" into the mix provides a giggle to balance the ah! of your Parliament's awesomeness!

    Always loved field trips when in school, and this seems a particularly nice one. Thanks!

  5. Those wet roses are marvelous!
    Love your pink hair <3

  6. We didn't have many school excursions when I was young, and I don't remember them being to anywhere memorable. I'm glad they were able to save Parliament House - it is a gorgeous building. The Queen Victoria window is lovely, and I like the carpet colours. What could they have been thinking by putting those very-obvious sex toys out in the gardens? Truly Bizarre!

    There's your Franken-dress again, it always makes me smile ;)

  7. I love visiting old buildings! It just blows my mind what our ancestors managed to build back before we had modern machinery and tools. I wouldn't know how to do that now, much less back then. That tree looks like it'd be perfect for climbing and finding a good crook for reading. And I still love that dress, it' s cool with all those different fabrics.

  8. love botanic gardens!, so pretty trees and flowers!, and so amazing tour!
    And love so much your frankenfrock, with those fabulous striped leggings, you're Gorgeous!!
    besos & leggings!

  9. goodness, keep Helga away from those pod things!

  10. What a fun trip! I love the stained glass windows. We have a little dream of getting to replace the small windows in our doors with stained glass pieces. The huge tree is beautiful!!

  11. I love your frankenfrock ... and your leggings ... you just wear it for as many days in a row as you'd like ... we won't complain :0)

  12. Loads of loveliness! I'm glad the building was saved as it is quite impressive. The park looks lovely and wow that tree! I am in awe of trees and that one is a goddess among trees. I am also in awe of your striped leggings. The vertical ones made me think of Beetlejuice. I love your frankendress too. I'm glad you are happy with it and love to wear it.
    I took more school trips as the teacher than a parent, but was always so very grateful for the parents who came and wre truly helpful. It can be very stressful keeping the kids rounded up and in sight. I was always counting heads. Like you, I am not a proponent of the seen and not heard concept, though I do believe in good manners and think we do children a disservice if we don't teach them. There is a difference between being an exuberant and enthusiastic child and simply behaving rudely and inconsiderately of others. I hope your weekend was lovely!

  13. What a stunning building, I can't believe that it could have been pulled down!! But I feel like the 80's was a bad time for heritage preservation in this part of the world! I love the frakendress - if I could send you some winter, I would. We have plenty to share!

  14. I'll bet the kids love having you for a chaperone. As students, we always had our favourite mothers that would make the trips memorable. I can remember one mother who decided eating our lunches in the basement of the museum was wrong when there was a perfectly good park with a mosaic mural down the street. The teacher just gave up, and we marched down the street to eat by the mural-in January. In Chicago. Freezing, but great fun I remember forty years later. I suspect many children will remember their school trips with you.

    I love that dress more each time I see it.

  15. Looks like you had a great time. The playground thing was a bit weird, haha. But, the building is quite lovely. I love the stripy leggings, those are marvellous :)) xx

  16. It's a gorgeous building, the stained glass windows and chandeliers are just fabulous! my youngest starts high school in September, wtf! Frankenfrock, striped leggings and you are all gorgeous, and they are some bizarre looking playground things, it's like a giant maraca x x x

  17. I always loved going to school trips with my younger siblings. But then life, work and school got in the way and I couldn't go anymore.

    The parliament building is amazing. SO many great photos.

  18. What a lovely building, I'm so pleased it was saved. The stained glass and chandelier are stunning.
    Ahh, school trips! Yes, been on a fair few myself - it's fun, but quite tiring, I find, especially with younger ones (it's the strain of needing eyes in the back of your head, I think!) I bet the kids love having you along for the ride, Desiree, and of course, you look spectacular! Your me-made frock is so wonderful, I'd wear it all the time if it was mine! xxx

  19. What a gorgeous building, thank goodness it was able to be saved from the dreaded termite attack. Love the stained glass and the Minton tiles.
    That dress is fabulous, I'd wear it all the time if it were mine.
    School trips? Not since i was a school girl. I've got to camp in the kid's field at Glasto this year and I'm already having nightmares. xxxxx

  20. Ooh what a lovely tour. That building is so beautiful and it's lovely to hear the history. Even though I know Australia has been a colony, it still feels odd to see Victoria et al in the stained glass windows. Did the Stylist enjoy her trip? Cor, once I find an outfit I like, i get stuck on it. Nothing wrong with that ducky! The Frankenfrock deserves plenty of outings! Xxxxxx

  21. See..... Now that is what I call an artist... You are so much more daring and imaginative than I am. Great outfit. Lovely photos, magnificent building and indeed disturbing pods. I can cheer for the people who have protested against bringing down this building.

  22. Winter is majorly overrated. Gorgeous roses and a botanical garden outing, my fave! :)

  23. Frankenfrock strikes again! Love it!! And that green and silver "sculpture".... ummmm... yeah.... no.

  24. Reading this makes me realize I am going to do that all over again, the school lunches, the school trips. Can't wait to be the crazy tuckshop lady again

  25. I want a Frankenfrock and I want one now. You look fabulous. I would like to go on a school trip with the Stylist and you, I think it would be splendid fun.


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