A Breakfast Invitation

How about a glass of cooled orange juice on a hot morning?
The croissants and crunchy buns are still warm just out of the oven.
Don't they smell good?

Breakfast is my favourite time of the day to invite friends and family!
Though I know that nobody is such an early bird as me.
I always ask them to come at a comfortable time for them.
Eight-thirty is good for some and the others stretch it out to be a bit later!

The best time of the year to do breakfast invitations is definitely now.
In fact, as soon as it's warm enough to eat outside on the balcony!

We've all been wilting under a prolonged heat-wave over here in Switzerland
so early-mornings are the best times for walks and eating outside.

Would you like to pop in for breakfast one day?
I'd love to have you over for a chat!
Do you prefer tea or coffee or maybe Peppermint or Lemon Verbena?
Just let me know before you come!
I still have a pot of homemade apricot jam leftover from last year
so don't wait too long!

Fresh as a daisy
On a balmy summer's day
Petal poetry.

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.

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:

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!

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.