Winter Walks and Crochet

The beautiful snow came - and I took my little red star for a walk!

The snow-plough pushed the snow to the side of the paths
It was firm and crunchy underfoot.

A few brave leaves still clung onto to the otherwise bare branches
and we got a blue sky that day.
Hurray!

I go for walks every day and was happy to see these baubles and garlands
still decorated a tree in someone's garden.

I finished my Temperature Blanket.
Each two-row square represents the coldest and the warmest temperature of each day.
There are 361 squares and five rows of the border
which make up the 366 days of 2020.
A Leap Year!

A few extra shots to show different aspects.
On the left we can see the colder days of the year,
they corresponded to December 2020.

The way this one is folded, we can see the warmer days.

Here we can see the winter, spring and summer.
I've never crocheted anything over a whole year before.
Sometimes, I didn't feel like doing it, especially during the summer,
but I'm glad I saw it through until the end.
It tells a colour story!

What I love about the month of January is that spring flowers can be found in the florist's shops.
Tulips are a great favourite and these deep pink ones with green stripes
were really beautiful.

Down to the park Mon Repos
to enjoy the tall trees and nature.
The fountain had icicles around it.

They were shining in the sunlight.

Some of them had broken off.

The red berries on the holly are always a welcome sight

Tall trees in the park against a sky of blue.

My little box of Hyacinths will soon be coming into flower

I've taken down the Christmas decorations to create a feeling of spring in my home.
A fresh dark pink cloth and a crocheted Mandala which I made sometime ago.
Tender pink tulips to complete a new look
and my Kindle e-reader which I've decided to use much more
as I already have far too many books and all my bookshelves are overloaded.

Let's keep our spirits up in going for regular walks, good reading
and uplifting films and documentaries.
Flowers in the home bring in some colour and beauty too.

 

Bringing Colour into the New Year!

I thought a swirl of luminous colours might do us all good today!
Now the days are getting longer, one minute at a time.
You would never guess that this abstract was created
from a crocheted piece in warm colours and yellow Christmas lights!

Here are the same lights with my red candle
I do love candles and lights to brighten my home at this time of the year.

This was a pretty sunrise from my balcony one morning

and later on that same day we had blue skies and dappled clouds.

Snug afternoons at home with a cup of tea and a new book to read.
The two lovely packets of tea were given to me by my grandson for Chrisltmas.

A mug of soup 
in a new mug from my daughter,
I'm trying out different recipes from the accompanying recipe book.
I love eating on my Christmas tablecloth too!

I promised myself to do daily walks, whatever the weather.
These tiny cyclamen growing under a big oak tree were a delight to discover.

I rather like early evening walks
and loved these fairy lights along the railings.

Even if the day has been grey, the evenings seem to develop into a lovely
shade of blue if you catch them just at the right moment
after sunset in what is known as the Blue Hour.

These pine branches were particularly lovely.

Back home again to enjoy some candlelight.
This pretty jam-jar lantern was made by my grandson when he was little.
We always used to do crafting together and had pressed some leaves
in my flower press to use them with coloured tissue paper. 
The photo of my grandson was in my nearby park when he was a baby.
I have left my scintillating Christmas cloth on the small table because it makes me happy!

On January 1st, I baked some Florentine biscuits with flaked almonds
brushed with chocolate and flavoured with grated orange rind.
I also opened a bottle of Clairette de Die
which is made from Muscat grapes and very bubbly, like champagne.


 My second Amaryllis plant came into bloom.
There were five huge blooms which lasted over a week.

I protected my plants on the balcony with pine branches
and this tiny yellow viola popped out through a little space one morning.

We did have a light snowfall in the night leading up to the first day of January.
So I took my little gnome and red mug for a walk to add some colour.

I rather liked this snowman which some children had built.
He's sitting on the very same table where we had our Christmas Eve
get-together to exchange Christmas gifts.
See us HERE

The snow started to melt quite quickly, but it looked perfect on the branches
with red berries.

One week ago, I bought some red tulips
and today I took a photo of them looking very beautiful still.

So despite the rather grey days we've been having
and cold temperatures too, around 1-2C  (33.8 Fahrenheit),
I've been enjoying lots of colour in my home.

One last swirl of colour, this time in blue.

Colour is so therapeutic, don't you agree?


Christmas Day


It all started with early morning breakfast and it wasn't quite light outside.
I set up my fold-up table with a Christmas cloth and lit some candles
and my tiny Christmas tree
all to wish you a very
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

The Christmas elves came to the party

The Christmas Garland is in place
A little gnome joined me this year -
he just walked in and settled himself on the 2020 Temperature Blanket
which isn't quite finished.

A beautiful bauble arrived from England from a kind and generous
photography friend.
The little house lights up inside. 
Isn't it beautiful?

Here is the second lovely bauble: a forest scene which I set among 
pine branches and added some fairy lights.

We've had some beautiful sunsets
This one was taken in my neighbourhood.

One day, we even had a sprinkling of snow - followed by rain!

I prepared the Christmas stockings for my daughter and my grandson!

We met up in my nearby park to have some family time
and open our presents!
Quite a special Christmas this year
but fun all the same - just different!

A lovely touch to our little gathering, a lady appeared out of nowhere
bringing with her some cookies, lychees and a mandarin orange.
She said that we looked 'adorable' sitting there exchanging gifts in the open air!
Wasn't that a touching gesture?
We're guessing that she lives in one of the apartments overlooking the park!

This year, Swarovski came out with a beautiful crystal star
with an Aurora Borealis colour effect.
It's to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.

The first flower on my Amaryllis named Aphrodite started to open

The next day, two flowers opened up completely and they're still blooming now
one week later.

It wouldn't be Christmas without the cookies. 
These are everyone's favourites: Viennese Crescents.

So if your alone or with family
may your Christmas be merry!

I've been having a beautiful relaxing time:
watching classical old films,
listening to Christmas Carols
cooking a traditional roast chicken with cranberry sauce and my daughter's  stuffing!
and I haven't felt alone for one minute!

At 4 pm, I'm going to enjoy a Zoom meeting with my family!

See you all again very soon!

I'll leave you to listen this joyful Sussex Carol:


Lausanne Lights Festival 2020

The traditional Christmas tree is always erected in
the pedestrian square called Place de la Palud.

Just behind the tree is the well-know fountain with a statue
called La Fontaine de la Justice.
The column and the statue were sculpted in 1584-85 
by Laurent Perroud and his son Jacques. 

Notre Dame Cathedral
It was constructed during the twelth and thirteenth centuries
and consecrated in 1275.
It became a protestant cathedal in1536.
The illuminated cathedral tower is a striking sight when night falls.

The period  going from November 24th to December 24th
is showing many magnificent projected illuminations downtown.

Detail of the arched window

Now we come to the Place de la Riponne.
This building used to be Lausanne's University,
but these days it houses several museums.

The coloured paving stones were very impressive

The Main Entrance.
People caught in the projectors became part of the colourful pattern.

Like this couple

Or my daughter and me when we met downtown at nightfall!

I did enjoy seeing the illuminated horse and carriage which I nearly missed capturing.
 
I did like this golden archway leading into a shopping centre
called Portes St.- Francois
which is the name of the church and central part of the city
where all the buses from all directions seem to stop.

The facade of the well-known UBS bank
wishes us all Happy Festive Days!

This building called Maison Mercier
was built between 1893 and 1900. The original building consisted of stores with mezzanine
and three floors of magnificent apartments fitted with marble fireplaces.
The meticulous design of its facades in the Viollet-le-Duc Gothic Revival,
the terrace and the roof angles topped with gables, the Maison Mercier
was acclaimed one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

The projected and colourful designs changed constantly.

The Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall)
was built between 1673 - 1675.
The halls of its ground floor housed the wheat market.
The bells of its belfry warned of danger.
Greatly admired since its creation, the Town Hall is the most interesting example of 
17th century Vaud architecture.
I've always admired this beautiful building.

You can see the arcades below where the wheat market used to be held.

The big double doors.

The darkening sky shows the changing illuminations.
On the left is the projected image of the Justice Statue that we saw on the fountain
near the big Christmas tree above.

The town of Lausanne wishes us all
very Joyful Festive Days!

I have lived in Lausanne for over twenty years now and have learned to love many
aspects of this city, especially the old part of town steeped in interesting history.
I live above the centre and appreciate the somewhat calmer area.
I can easily walk into town in fifteen to twenty minutes,
but on bad weather days there is an excellent and frequent bus service.

Next time,  I'll be showing things closer to home and in my direct neighbourhood
and within my own home!

Stay safe!