My Balcony in June 2017

These are the last of my pansies which I picked mid-June
so that I could plant the dahlias!

Every season has its flowers
and after pansies come all sorts of beauties
like these orange and yellow dahlias with a fine red line around each petal.

Refreshing pink

and luminous red

and a mixture of warm colours.
Two window boxes of dahlias are planted in front of the garden table
where I eat every day.

A hydrangea heart.
This plant hadn't flowered for three whole years
and I was about to give up on it
and told it so!
It must have heard me because it suddenly started growing
beautiful light pink flower clusters!
This is my oldest hydrangea.

Last year, I bought a new hydrangea to compensate for the 
older plant which had remained dormant for so long.
I'm thrilled with the deep raspberry pink of these new flowers

which can be seen even better here.

but the hydrangea star of the show this year has been this beauty
in tones of  pink lilac, developing into deeper tones of blue.
This one was a beautiful birthday and Mother's Day gift
from my son this year!

The final colour.
Though as I speak, the flowers are changing yet again
to more muted pastel shades with touches of pale green.
Beautiful at every stage!

The Physalis, or Chinese Lantern
is doing so well.
I love to watch the tiny white flower transform into tiny bud
which then develops in to a little green lantern.
They will look so pretty when they all turn orange.

The different stages can be seen here in the collage.

Pink anthemis flower the whole summer through
these are a welcome splash of colour next to my kitchen door.

My small olive tree is laden with tiny flowers which will become olives!

New this year is an oleander plant with beautiful coral blooms.

Two kinds of bell-flowers or Campanula.
The ones above which have grown back from last year

and these smaller ones in a big tub which come back every year.

All these wonderful colours make life living in the town more bearable.
My flowers are my joy and I love to sit outside
for all my meals and read surrounded by all these manifestations of nature.


Sometimes,
I like to pick just a few flowers to enjoy inside.

If you have a balcony or a terrace, or if you're fortunate enough to have a garden,
I hope you are enjoying all the wonders of nature.
Just like me!


IRIS: Scene & Story May 2017

Iris ran a B&B on the outskirts of London.
I met her many years ago when I was looking for somewhere to stay.

Iris loved to chat and recount stories and I loved listening to them!
One day, we got around to talking about the meaning of Christian names
and how the personality of the person is influenced by them!

Iris was born at the end of the month of May and her mother had chosen the name
because that is the time of the year when irises were blooming in her garden
and they were her favourite flower.

Iris made the best coffee I'd ever tasted in those days,
I asked her what her secret was.
She invited me into her kitchen to show me the incredibly simple method she used.
First, pre-heat a tall porcelaine coffee pot with boiling water.
After emptying the water, put a measure of freshly ground coffee for each person
add 1.5dl (5fl oz or 3/4 U.S. cup) of boiling water for each measure of coffee.
Stir with a long-handled spoon, cover the pot and allow to brew
 for the flavour to develop.
It's a good idea to preheat the cups with boiling water.
Pour the coffee through a small sieve to catch any grounds.
The coffee was served with pouring cream, of course!

There were delicious homemade ginger biscuits served at coffee time
and whenever I eat ginger biscuits, I immediately think of Iris
and her excellent coffee and of all our lovely chats together!

***
Name meanings:

IRIS:
In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and the messenger
of the Olympian Gods.
Iris was a goddess of sea and sky. 
Her father Thaumas, "the wondrous" was a marine-god,
her mother Elektra, "the amber", a cloud nymph.
It is said that purple irises were planted over the graves of women,
to summon the Goddess Iris to guide them in their journey to Heaven!

What a wonderful name to carry through life!

SANDRA:
The original Greek name comes from Alexandros.
Alexander or Alexandra for the feminine form
This name means Helper or Protector of Mankind.
People who carry this name are usually happy-go-lucky,
upbeat and creative.
They are also friendly and generally live life to the fullest without
too much concern on what is going to happen in the future.
They tend to live in the present moment.

***


What if My Marble Were the Moon?

Today
I want to offer you something poetic.

Walking along the lake on Saturday 27 May,
I noticed this charming statue of a little boy
standing on the top of a ladder with his arm stretched to the sky
holding a marble.

There is quite a long poem written. in French, between the rungs of the ladder.
Here is an extract:

"... And if my marble were the moon?"

"On his ladder in the mist,
he is as light as a feather,

He looks towards the sky
which has lost its honey-coloured planet,

He offers his only possession
as if ... his marble were the moon."

DeLa Perouze


Statue by artist: Sara.H
It was erected in 2015.


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