Snow Flurries and Life at Home

Despite the winter months, cold winds and snow flurries,
tiny viola flowers still bloom in a sheltered spot on my balcony near the kitchen.
I occasionally pick a few to enjoy within my home.

I did go out for a walk one day after a light snowfall and loved the powdering of snow
on the leaves.

A short burst of swirling flakes looked so pretty.
I took this photo from my balcony.

One shopper walked home briskly with her red umbrella.
To see a real snowstorm, go back to 2016
when we had an amazing amount of snow

The blue fairy didn't get put away with the other Christmas decorations.
She's a graceful presence on my little round table.

Potted plants bloom in my living room.
This lovely hyacinth which is still part of the New Year's arrangement that
I showed in my first blog post of the year.

a new Amaryllis bud started to open

... and today all the petals have unfolded.

I've been inventing new and delicious salads
This one is a mixture of lamb's lettuce (rampon in French).
avocado, crunchy Topaz apples, Cheddar cheese and red bell pepper.
Sprinkled on the top are a mixture of ground seeds:
flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, chia and sesame seeds.
I like my dressing simple: Rapeseed or olive oil, a little mustard and lemon juice.

This is also the perfect time of the year to enjoy colourful crochet patterns,
like these popcorn flowers in happy colours.

In these winter months, there are plenty of lovely things to enjoy.
Colour is very important when it's grey outside
and trying out new, healthy recipes.

I hope that you're also finding some joyful colour in your life!

2019: A New Year is Here

Starting the year with an explosion of colour!

The fairy on the Christmas tree spreads her magic over my home.

This charming globe and Christmas decoration
contains a personalized message:
'Joyeux Noël Maman'
(Happy Christmas Mummy)
from my daughter this year.

In the deliciously calm days after Christmas,
I love to create a corner of comfort for myself.
The Christmas garland is still on the wall,
Two beautiful cards from my children sit on the little table.
A new crochet project has been started,
that's always so exciting.
A new book and a cup of Rooibos tea!
What a perfect way to spend the first day of the new year!

A new candle, from my son, was lit for the first time on Christmas Day.
It's a warm and welcoming flickering flame which I can see from my couch.
Pretty dried flowers have been incorporated into the candle's shell which are protected
from the flame.

My December Amaryllis plant is still blooming beautifully and is giving me
so much pleasure.

I love taking macro shots of the wonderful details.

This sweet arrangement came home with me when out shopping.
I love the little clock decoration to celebrate the New Year
and the pale pink hyacinth opens a little more each day!

There have been brisk walks every day.
I captured this early sunset from the little park very near where I live.

I love this setting sun which reminds me of the return of the light
and how our days are slowly getting longer
by about a minute each day.

These beautiful bare trees, taken in my neighbourhood, charm me
with the simplicity and beauty of their shapes against a pastel sky.
I love the nest too!
I chose this photo to make for my January blog header.

A tiny crystal snowflake hanging in front of my window,
reminds me that winter is still here and perhaps we shall see some snow very soon!
The natural lighting of pale lilac tells me also that spring will come soon enough
and all the flowers are merely preparing their apparition for warmer days.

It is so easy to lose sight and forget a previous blog header,
so I would like to add the December one here
as a reminder of the days when the warming glow of candles is so welcome and nurturing!

I hope that you are enjoying this first day of the New Year!
I wish you good health and contentment and much gratitude for all those things
that we are fortunate enough to enjoy.
Simple things like a roof over our head, a comfortable bed and a heated home.

Midwinter 2018

On Friday 21 December
it was the Winter Soltice, also known as Midwinter.
The next day was a full moon although the sky was not clear enough for me to see it.

It's also the time of the year when candlelight brings in a warming cosy atmosphere
and there is a wish to decorate with delicate seasonal things.
This tiny crystal snowflake is perfect!

This festive red candle represents the return of light which has just begun
with each day increasing by a few seconds!
The reflection can be seen in my window against the night sky!

The same window in the daytime brings in softness created by the winter's sky.

There have been rainy days and sunny ones and even snow flurries which didn't settle for long.
A few leaves hang on and make pretty silhouettes against the sky.

Like fingers which hold
fuzzy balls against the sky
touching tenderness.

Whenever the weather is dry and not too blustery, I go walking to be
amazed by nature in this wintry season.
These catkins tell me that spring will follow in good time.

I take one of the dried hydrangea flowers from my plant on the balcony.
It remains beautiful even as in this state of maturity.

Now we're leading up to Christmas which can be a little overwhelming
with the stores pushing us to buy and then buy some more
with lights that are a little over the top and a bit too bright!

I do love to keep things rather simple and really liked this elegant balsam wood
hanging decoration with a shiny crystal ball.
The night sky shows up the details the best.
I saw them at the Christmas Market in Lucerne when I visited at the beginning of  December.
You can see it here

A Christmas tree bauble speaks of Christmas which will be in two days' time.
It's a time when families like to be all together.

This year, I made a Christmas garland to hang up in my living room!
It looks very festive!

You can see them better here.
The different patterns have been collected over time from different sources.
The four blue snowflakes on the bottom row are a smaller version of the one here:
The yellow stars are from here:

whatever this present moment holds for you, embrace it,
enjoy it or learn from it.
As often as you can, keep smiling - it can make someone's day
and it embellishes our whole attitude to life
and the world around us!

Please click on each photo to enlarge them so they fill the screen!

Lucerne in December: Part 2

Let's look through the glass door to discover more of Lucerne's
lovely festive atmosphere in December in the Hotel Wilden Mann.
This double doorway is the entrance to the hotel's breakfast room
It's so welcoming!

So is the decorated tree next to the breakfast buffet.

As soon as you get out of the lift to go and have breakfast,
you walk past these beautifully decorated rooms
like these little 'salons' (sitting rooms).

This one has another lovely Christmas tree.

The warm lighting and attention to detail
makes it a joy to walk through every morning.

Being an early bird, I can take a photo of the breakfast room 
before other guests arrive.

But now it's time to go outside again and enjoy the town itself,
especially as we were blessed with blue skies on this particular day.
The jagged edge on the upper left is the overhanging roof
of the Chapel Bridge from where I took this photo.

The immense charm of Lucerne is the River Reuss which is a beautiful setting
whatever the weather.
Though I have to admit that blue skies and night-time shots are  especially beautiful.
Two buildings seem to stand out among all others.
One of them is the City Hall with clock tower
and the other is the Jesuit Church with twin spires on the preceding photo.

On the hill against the horizon,
there is a rather grand looking light-coloured building called
Château Gütsch which is another well-known landmark of Lucerne.
This is a luxury hotel and has a spectacular view over the historic city of Lucerne,
the Vierwaldstätter Lake and the mountains.

It would be nice to go up there on the hill just for the view,
but that can be for another visit!

The River Reusse running all through the town creates gorgeous reflections
even when the sky is grey.
The bridges join one part of the old town to the next.
Many of the trees are cobbled so I was glad of my comfortable walking shoes.

I especially loved this beautifully decorated house.

This view shows the bottom half of the church on the left
and a small pedestrian continues on the left which leads to our hotel.

In the late afternoon.
the atmosphere changes and the reflections deepen.

Lucerne is a town that I am planning on visiting again in the warmer months of the year,
it will look very different without all the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations,
but there will be further afield to discover and a cruise on the lake to look forward to!