A May Birthday

I've always loved having my birthday in the month of May
It's in the springtime which is my favourite time of the year.
Rituals are created
and the main one consists of having breakfast out!
If the weather is warm and sunny, an outside terrace down by the lake
is the very best place to be!
A basket of assorted breads and croissants,
a freshly squeezed juice and a good coffee.
If a pretty birthday card is presented, it is put on show like this one.

Here is my favourite birthday breakfast outside terrace under white parasols.
It's at the Hôtel d'Angleterre.

After a leisurely breakfast,
a long walk along the lake in Ouchy
admiring water reflections on the way.

The weather-vane shows that a light north-easterly wind is blowing
and that's just perfect to keep the clouds at bay and the weather fine.

A beautiful steam-boat glides by on tranquil waters.
I laughed to see the formation of fluffy white clouds
 as if they were escaping from the boat's chimney!

We walk past sandy beaches and see the outline of the mountains
on the French side of the lake.

Just the right amount of breeze for this little sailing boat.

The furthermost tip of the coastline is where we're going to have lunch
in the village of St-Sulpice.
The walk from Lausanne takes about two hours at a leisurely pace.

This is the view from above the village
before taking a bus and metro back home again.

A special birthday cake that was waiting for me:
Chocolate Truffle with fresh raspberries within the mousse-like filling!

It wouldn't be the month of May without my favourite flowers:

Lily of the Valley

Hydrangeas

and  gorgeous peonies.

If your birthday is also in the month of May
perhaps you love these flowers too.

If not, I'm sure you have favourite things from your month of birth!


In the Palm of My Hand - Scene & Story April 2017

What are you thinking with that serious little face as you look at the photographer?
Can't you see that it's your daddy holding a black box?
He's sure to be making silly faces to make you smile!
But you look back gravely, wondering what all the fuss is about!

Ah! Little girl, if I could be your Fairy Godmother 
and bestow upon you only love and laughter in your life,
I would do so.

There are so many years ahead, so many things to learn.
That is what it's all about really. Learning.

Life is unexpected and it meanders where it will and we follow as best we can.
There will be laughter, there will be love and that is what keeps us going
when the times are tough.
You believe me, don't you?
You see, I know these things for I have lived them.
My years have often been filled with laughter and I have loved and been loved.
There have been tears, but the joy for life has always returned.
This is the resilience we learn through our life experiences.

I look at you with emotion and tenderness, holding you protectively.
Accepting, for the most part, what has been
 and doing my best to live each new moment
with an open mind.
No one knows what lies ahead, ever.
But we continue our journey - taking just one day at a time.

I hold you in my heart, little child, looking at me in the palm of my hand.
Don't be afraid, it will all turn out just as it should.

Here we are, little you and grown-up me. 
One and the same for all eternity.

***
Baby photo taken by my dad and mounted on a cut-out piece of aluminium.
I was told that this photo was always on his desk when I was little.

***

Joining the monthly Scene and Story link-up
with  Lee at Sea Blue Lens
and Sarah at

The Lausanne Walking Event 2017

Doesn't this look exciting?
A flash tee-shirt, a medal and a number bib with my name on it!

It all started with this poster!
What about if I took part in this sports' event?
I've already done this quarter marathon, which is 10.54 km (6.55 miles) twice,
but that was ten years' ago!
Why not again this year?
The sheer thought made me want to do it and I started training right away,
doing a minimum of 10.000 steps a day and mostly doing much more!
The spring weather was perfect: dry, sunny, not too hot.
I walked just everywhere!

I mentioned my intentions to my daughter, who is a regular runner
who usually does running events.
She thought about my participation this year and said that she would join me!
Great!
We've never done this together before!

The morning of the big day, I prepared a homemade Birchermuesli
which I made by mixing organic oats, almonds and raisins, 
soaked overnight in almond or rice milk.
At the last minute, I added sliced banana and fresh raspberries.
A good energy-giving preparation for our power walking!

Here we are
fresh and full of energy before the quarter marathon!

Here is the walking group at the starting point waiting to get into our stride.

On the downhill part we could even chat!

Coming in over the arrival line!
I did it!
It was great!
I can feel all the little bones in my feet!
Timing: 1 hour 41 minutes!
I wanted to do it in less than 1hr45!
Better timing than I imagined.
The last time I did this walking event I did it in 1hr32.
The route was a slightly different one this time with more uphill parts
and I'm also ten years older with less time spent training!
Here we both are after finishing, wearing our medals and feeling elated and happy!

We had a special healthy, late lunch at one of the restaurants
special dishes had been prepared for the day.
A detox smoothie and a vegetarian platter.
Delicious!

Here is the outside terrace of the restaurant, empty when we left.

We all know the benefits of walking. 
Have you ever tried Power Walking?
It's invigorating and mood-enhancing and great for our health.
I'm going to continue getting out, even when it's raining!

We are finally getting some rain after an early spring and I just love
using my colourful umbrellas, like the one you see above.
In fact, I love umbrellas!

I'm enclosing the link to a short video below


from the official Lausanne Sports' Event.
It's really worth watching to get a feel of the fun and exciting atmosphere.
My daughter and I can be seen coming in towards the finishing line
in the second video clip and also the third one right after the advertisement!
Turn up your sound for the accompanying uplifting music
and lovely scenes of the city in which I live!

***



Easter 2017

An Easter poem

Golden daffodils

Pastel blossom

Tiny parasols opening on the chestnut tree

A lovely Narcissus bathing in the sun

Tiny eggs

and more blossom
one can never have enough blossom!

Spring green pleated leaves just unfurling

and a field of cheerful daffodils

A nest of feathers, new this year

and blue ones too from other years


Wishing you all a wonderful Easter with sunshine and flowers
and chocolate bunnies too!

Red Blinds and Pink Blossom. Scene & Story: March 2017

This colourful scene totally captured my attention when I was out at the end of March practicing for a new challenge - and it has nothing to do with photography! 

The red blinds were eye-catching all alone, but with that gorgeous bright pink blossom with the branches spreading right across them, it was irresistible!
I even got a window reflections of the flowers and a hint of the beautiful blue sky!
Did you ever think that red and pink looked so good together?

So what is this new challenge all about?
It's one that I haven't done in too long a time!
Now the warmer, and mostly drier, weather is here,
I decided that I would walk 10.000 steps a day. To encourage me further,
 I invested in an activity tracker which measures more than just steps.
When I reach the 10.000 mark each day, I get stars and rockets and fireworks
on my Fitbit tracker screen! That's so encouraging and makes me laugh!

The next part of my challenge is to walk the quarter-marathon (10.54 km/6.55 miles)
that will be taking part on Sunday 23 April in the city of Lausanne where I live!
The last time I did it was in 2007 and I managed a timing of 1hr32!
This year the route is different and there seems to be more uphill parts
which makes it more challenging!

I have been out training and working on improving my stamina and practicing uphill walking around my city, down by the lake and in the parks. This is a very hilly city!

The photograph of the blinds and the blossom was taken when I was out practicing
after a tough climb uphill. So I was happy to pause in my training and catch my breath.
So lucky too, that I'd managed to fit my pocket camera into my waist pouch!

As I reluctantly left this beautiful scene to continue my rapid walking,
I looked back one more time and caught the upper part of the blossoming tree
 against the blue of the sky!

I knew you wanted to see that as well!

All we need now is dry weather to make our Walking Event the best ever 
and a cooling breeze wouldn't go amiss either!

***

Joining our Scene and Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots

***

Taking a blogging break.
I seem to be busy with so many other things right now.
See you all again soon!


The Spring Equinox - 2017

Equinox
meaning "equal night".
It happens when the sun shines directly on the Earth's equator,
providing equal amounts of day and night time 
to both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

From March onward, the days will get longer until the summer soltice in June.

At this time of the year, there are many beautiful flowers which could represent
the first day of spring.
Down by the lake recently, I saw the first Magnolia tree starting to bloom.

These particular flowers are particularly vibrant in colour
they quite take my breath away!

As the petals open to reveal the stamens, the petals become paler
and have this wonderful transparency about them.

These opening buds were on the lakeside and got more sun.
On the other side, the buds were still quite closed.

I hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are.

Happy first day of spring to everyone who comes my way!


I just learned, from a fellow photographer, that the lovely yellow blossom above
is called Spiked Winterhazel or Corylopsis spicata!

***
I have been very busy with a new project during this last half of March
which meant that I didn't do a new blog entry.
I will be posting again at the beginning of April!

Awakening

With these warmer and longer days, Nature awakens from her winter's sleep.
That's what I love about the seasons, there is always something new to enjoy.

Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to appear,
real harbingers of spring getting ready underneath the nurturing soil.

Wild anemone emerging from the depths of last year's fallen leaves.

Primroses are also early spring flowers. I found these growing out of a very tiny crack in a wall.
I love it when plants find a place to grow when there is seemingly no visible earth.

Sweet violets that I remember picking as a child and putting them into the smallest
thimble-sized vases!


Last year's fern has developed new green leaves, perfect for yet another crack in a wall.

Crocus are just everywhere. I saw these in the park.

Many little pale purple heads hiding an astonishing orange centre.

The buds are positively swelling and some young leaves are bursting forth

It's a little early for blossom still, but these were growing in a sunny spot.

At last!
The golden daffodil
just starting to open down in the park.

Crossing the foot bridge near me at the start of one of my outings, 
this beautiful Siamese cat. He was sitting on a pile of branches looking up at the people
passing on the bridge.

Among all these colourful and cheerful spring blooms,
 I noticed these dried hydrangea flowers and thought how beautiful they looked
against the pale blue sky.

***

A few words on awakening:
"Since ancient times, the term awakening has been used as a kind of metaphor
that points to the transformation of human consciousness,
The word Buddha comes from the Sanskrit word Budh,
meaning 'to be awake'.
So Buddha is not a name and ultimately not a person,
but a state of consciousness"


words by Eckhart Tolle