A Stay in the Mountains


When I opened my kitchen door onto the balcony this morning,
I saw how the flowers of one of my cyclamen plants had formed a little nest of petals
for this pretty white feather which must have blown there on the wind.
It is said that white feathers bring special messages from loved ones.

Now I will show you some photos that I took during a few days in the mountains last week.
It was a last minute decision to go away as the weather forecast was excellent.
We went to a mountain resort called Villars-sur-Ollon.
This is just before sunset on the first evening we were there.
I took this from the hotel balcony at 18:35.

Almost an hour later, at 19:23, the sky was getting darker 
even though the setting sun still illuminated the mountain peaks.

These are the lovely colours developing at 19:34

The rich hues developed five minutes later.
All taken from my balcony!

The next morning, I watched all the different stages of the sunrise.
It was fascinating and so beautiful.
The sun was giving a warm glow to the mountain tops.
The range on the extreme right is called Les Dents-du-Midi.

This is the view in the afternoon after getting back from our hike.

We took a cog-wheel train up to a place called Bretaye.

This is the view from the start of our hike.
It's the Bretaye Lake.

The town of Villars is very well kept and there were lots of flowers still blooming.

On our second evening we went out to eat a Cheese Raclette.
Our beautiful, well varnished table is made out of a tree trunk.
The very good red wine we had was called Noire Agate (Black Agate).
It went very well with our raclette.

In the lower part of the restaurant a log fire was burning.
You can see half of a big round of cheese sitting in front of the flames.

Here is the restaurant owner, scraping the melted cheese onto a plate.

My first cheese raclette of the evening.
It's served with a small boiled potato and I like to add freshly ground pepper from the mill.

I do love to see the chalets in the mountains, especially those with weather-worn wood.
Notice the pretty carving and the heart decorations on the balconies and on the shutters.
A traditional timber used to make chalets is Larch (Mélèze in French)
it's an oily, resinous and dense wood which withstands the mountain sun
and is very low maintenance.

I liked walking past the silhouette of this big chalet against a backdrop of pure blue sky
and the mountains.

On our last morning, the different stages of the sunrise were stunning.
This was taken at 7:15

Three minutes later, at 7:18, the sky was taking on a different glow.

Four minutes later, at 7:22, a warmer colour was coming in.

At 7:45, just before breakfast, the sun hit the mountain tips
and promised us a sunny morning.

It really was a beautiful stay in the mountains.
I had come here with my son and his wife in the summer and was really impressed with
the beauty of the area.

A mountain scene in winter painted on wood in the restaurant where we had our last lunch.

My main crochet project in September was made from granny squares
made in early autumn colours.
Some of them were flowers in squares and others were the classical granny square.

These squares made me think of autumn berries with a hint of pumpkin
colours so lovely to see at this time of the year.

I decided to make a cushion cover with two different sides in similar colours.

Can you believe that tomorrow will be the first day of October?

A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, at the age of 96,
has touched so many people all over the world.
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news on Thursday afternoon on the 8th of September.
Her life of service and commitment has never faltered throughout her long reign
of 70 years and 214 days.

There are only beautiful things that I can say about this wonderful lady. What a heartfelt inspiration she has been throughout her whole life.  

I am so proud that she was queen in the country where I was born. 
She is an example to us all.
She was a wonderful and gracious queen and an exceptional human being.
I shall miss her beautiful smile.

My thoughts go to her grieving family
and to quote the Queen's words:
"Grief is the price you pay for love."

After Queen Elizabeth's death, the flags on the castles were lowered to half-mast
and behind Buckingham Palace a double rainbow appeared
and another one also appeared behind Windsor Castle.
So beautiful and also symbolic.

King Charles III, formerly Prince Charles,
gave a beautiful televised tribute to his mother.
He ended with these sensitive and poignant words:
"And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa,
I want simply to say this: thank you. 
Thank you for your love and devotion to our family
and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.
May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest."

Emerging from the Summer's Heat


I did not plan to take a two-month break from my blog,
but the repeated heatwaves just sapped all my energy
and computer time was not my priority!

These lovely sunflowers are growing from a plant on my balcony.

One day, this charming white butterfly visited my lavender plant and stayed there
for a whole hour. I couldn't quite believe it!

The windflowers (or Japanese Anemone) always flower towards the end of the summer.
This one growing in my neighbourhood is particularly lovely.

The roses are still blooming, much to my delight!

There were many trips down to the lake
and this was taken in the town of Vevey

I like the bright red Impatiens flowers and the lovely shadows of the railings.

This is one of two statues made of bronze just beyond the railings.
A water-sprite riding a seahorse.

I love seeing cloud formations in the sky.
This one seemed to be promising rain which did come in the night, but not enough.
It's so dry everywhere.

Can you guess what this is?
Returning from one of my walks, I saw this reflection of the sky
in the back windscreen of a parked car.
I liked the surreal quality of the seemingly 'floating' windscreen wiper!

There has been a lot of crochet during the months of July and August
mostly smaller items and in cotton because of the heat.
This is a bunting I made to hang up.
It was really fun to make.

African Violet Granny Square
On August 15th, it was Granny Square Day.
This is one of the nine that I made.

This year, I discovered iced coffee
It made a delicious refreshing drink after lunch instead of a small, hot espresso!

The days are getting a little cooler now
and this week, our temperatures are around 25 - 26C
which is a great improvement from 33-36C that we had in the heat of the summer.
I had to take my walks very early in the mornings
and then I pulled down the blinds to stop the beating sun from overheating my apartment.
I had a ventilator (fan) in each room
and sometimes it was necessary to have it switched on at night to be able to sleep.
Now I am beginning to enjoy the cooler days and especially the cooler nights.

I have lots of photos from the summer and my favourites will find their way onto my blog.
I have a feeling that there may be weekly blog entries for quite a while.

Each dawn
is a new beginning
Every day
we can start anew
Tiny crescent moon
leant back and smiled
in hues of pink and blue.