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

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!

What I Love About December

Now the days are shorter
I simply love to light candles in my home.
It makes it feel so warm and snug.

The trees are so expressive without their leaves
I did love how this tall Poplar tree just caught the sinking sun at the very top!

I went down to the lake one afternoon and the lighting was very unusual.
Can you see the pale circle of sun hiding in the clouds?
Three seagulls were circling the C-shaped elegant weather-vane.
I find we notice things differently in the winter months.
Don't you just love silhouettes?

I love going for brisk walks in my neighbourhood and catching the mid-afternoon light.
These little catkins will remain tightly encased until the spring.

There are plenty of red berries on the bushes everywhere

We've already had our first snowfall
and I took this photo from my balcony. I chose this coloured house because it shows
up the snowflakes so well.

It's time to get my winter boots out of the cellar again.
By the time I got out to take some pictures of the snow, it had warmed up
a bit too much and the snow was melting very fast.

Another tree in my neighbourhood with a large nest very high up.
Does that mean that the winter won't be too cold?

Just a little higher up from where I live, I found some patches of snow that hadn't melted.
A few lovely Maple leaves were hanging from the tree,
but most of them had already fallen on the ground.

These two had fallen on the snow
showing off their beautiful shape and colour.

While most flowers have finished blooming.
The Winter Jasmine is looking beautiful.

As soon as December is here, I start to crochet Christmas items.
These four tiny Christmas stockings were made for a gift.
Now I'm making some for myself in a different colour combination.

What I love about December the most are brisk walks in the crisp air,
noticing the beauty of the winter scenery
and then coming home for gorgeous long evenings in which to read,
do crochet, make decorations and prepare gifts.

An orchid plant is in full bloom
and when I look up, I notice the lovely petals from the back against the light from the window.

I heard that it's going to snow again very soon
and I shall be outside to enjoy it to the full!

Next time, I'm going to talk about the Lights Festival in Lausanne
and show you some of the pictures that I've already taken of this event.

What do you love about December?

As Autumn Winds Down

On this last day of November, we can already feel winter knocking at our doors,
but before we let in the new season, let's look at the last images of late autumn.
These pretty seedpods are hangking on a Lime Tree.

Dried hydrangea heads in a soft pastel coloured setting.

I do love Spindle berries and their leaves which turn colours so harmoniously.

The bright pink and orange go so well together.

A crane has been erected in my neighbourhood.
A new building is going up. Thank goodness the trees remind us to keep the balance
with their presence in the town.

One day, the sky was a whiteish colour 
and it did show the colour of the Maple leaves so well.

A walk down to the park, allows us to capture the very last Beech leaves
before they all fall.

as well as these burnished beauties in a protected area.

The beautiful Chrysanthemum urns are coming into full bloom
but we can see that the alley of Beech trees is now devoid of leaves.

The flower beds are covered in pine branches
to protect the spring bulbs that have been planted.

These bright, dark pink blooms are very cheerful

The lighter pink ones are lovely too.

The Folie Voltaire café is closed for the winter months,
but in the warm season, it's lovely to sit outside under the chestnut trees
and enjoy something to eat and drink.

Back in my neighbourhood now to capture the last shots of November.
A fallen leaf has fallen into a laurel bush and catches the sun.

A Cosmos flower still blooms in the afternoon sunshine and 
entices a bee for its last collection of pollen.

One of the last Anemones still blooming in a neighbouring garden.

A pink sunrise in my street as I left home to do my early morning shopping

A fallen leaf gets caught in the pointed holly leaves 
as autumn winds down and graciously accepts the arrival of winter.
We are now getting night frosts and the days are getting colder.
Tomorrow will be the first day of December!