Let's go to England!

At the end of June, the beautiful clematis was in full bloom

We stayed out in The Cotswolds in a village, now apparently a small town,
called Charlbury where my dad lived as a child.

After a day or two in London, I'm really happy to get out into the country
and to a place where I feel I have some roots
even though I have never actually lived here
I feel great affinity each time I visit, almost every year.

Don't you just love the atmosphere?
The stonework is so lovely and typical of the area
thanks to the beautiful Cotswold stone.

As the stones age, they take on a more greyish hue which hides
their original honey-colour.

I travelled with my son this year and we were not blessed with sunny, dry weather
However, early mornings were always dry and sunny and that is when I went
on my long walks.

Don't you love this very early morning deep blue sky when the birds,
I think they may have been starlings, flew across the sky in noisy excited flocks!

Sometimes they settled on the rooftops and that was my cue to get dressed
and outside to breathe in some country air and go for long walks with my camera.

We stayed at the very lovely Bull Inn.
It's a place I've stayed in many times, but now there is new
ownership of a young, dynamic and friendly team.
There have been many transformations and we stayed in beautiful
new refurbished rooms decorated comfortably and creatively.
I can recommend the very good meals served there as well.

Looking through the bathroom area of my room onto a terrace
where drinks and food are served.

The same window seen from outside

My open bedroom window.
The bed was huge and so comfortable.

The vines growing in front of the window
provided a beautiful spectacle after the rain.

but let's go for a walk

past a red door with matching geraniums

through the churchyard

and beyond

I even passed the house where my dad used to live with his parents and sister.
I love how the poppies grow randomly between the house and the path.

I'm going the long way round to the cemetery
where I can take some flowers to the family grave of
my grandparents and my dad.

Here's the entrance

and the graveyard has such  a peaceful atmosphere
as the first rays of sunlight caress the tombstones on my early morning visit.

If you're not tired yet, we can walk another way back.
The lavender is in full bloom and the bees are waking up.

A row of houses and climbing roses.

A red letter box in a wall of the corner house next to the church

Milk bottles delivered at home.
Now that reminds me of my childhood!

We'll turn back at the crossroads

and admire hollyhocks against blue painted doors

A five-bar gate leading to green pastures

We're nearly there...

Here's the clematis again - looking fresh and vibrant after the rain.

***
I wanted to make a collage which represents the very essence of England as I know it


I hope you enjoyed this very long walk,
I think it's time to stop and have breakfast now.
Don't you?
How about brioche French toast with bacon and maple syrup?
Coffee made in a cafetiere
served by friendly and smiling staff.
That's what I had at the inn
and mighty tasty it was too!

***

Link to The Bull Inn



Noticing the Moments

The orange-pink hues filtered their luminous colour through my blinds when I got up at my usual early hour. On opening my blinds, I was greeted by this wonderful sunrise sky.


Savouring the moment in my kitchen at coffee time. My favourite time of the day when I watch the early morning light give me a moving show of light and shadows 
and a lesson in awareness.

I opened the kitchen door and saw how a golden crown of florets had opened on my pink zinnia. What a marvel to observe such detail.

After a couple of weeks of heatwave, the thunder grumbled towards the evening
and I went for a walk with my umbrella.
I started off alongside some gardens
and loved listening to the pitter-patter of rain on the umbrella.

Noticing the reflections in the puddles
and smiling at the umbrella reflected in the wet pavement.

On one side of the sky, the crescent moon rose in the deepening purple hues

I prolonged my walk and was rewarded by this view as I came over the hill
 I could see the mountain tops, appearing blue in the disappearing light.
 Generous clouds in a luminous shade of pink rolled across the horizon.

Noticing the moments is one of the nicest things we can offer ourselves every single day.
Do you notice yours?

***

After taking a blog break, I felt the need to simplify and not overthink what I share here during the months of July and August. So I'm leaning towards something spontaneous and intuitive
and hope you will join me along the way.




Let's go to Geneva

Here we are in the city of Geneva
with a view of the well-known landmark of the Jet d'eau (water-jet)
which rises to 140 metres (460 ft).
Wonderful to see and to feel the energy.

Crossing the Rhone River which flows into the lake,
called Lac Léman, towards the old part of town.

We could sit down at an outside terrace and have lunch
Let's do it!

Then a stroll through the Jardin Anglais (English Gardens)
and sit awhile on a bench.
The long-legged cyclist got that idea at the same time as I did!

What about a bike ride?
There's even a basket for a bottle of water and a bar of the best Swiss chocolate!

A boat pulls in
proudly flying the Swiss flag

Strong ropes are attached so that travellers can climb aboard.

The queue of waiting passengers starts to move

which gives me an excuse to leave the hustle and bustle
and concentrate on that lovely big boat chimney
and the captain's cabin.
That water-jet gets in all the captures!

...and off they go.
Bon voyage!


I'll be taking a little trip of my own
but I'll be back sometime in July.
Be good while I'm gone...
See you soon!




The Last of the Violas

My balcony garden loves to be full of flowers
and the first ones I plant are always pansies and violas.

But at some point in time, they start to grow very leggy
and it's time for me to pick them in profusion
and fill my pots and tiny vases with these
delicate blooms.

I love the variety of their colours

and the watercolour reflection of these on the glass surface

Playing with reflections

and on the kitchen table
the tiniest yellow jug you could ever imagine!


These flowers make me happy...
I think it's those little pansy faces that seem to be looking at me
to say hello!