A Milestone Birthday

May seems to be a busy month this year.
Celebrating my birthday on May 15th seemed  like a good time
to look back on those years when I was growing up.
This first photo dates back to when I was about three years' old.
It was certainly taken in a studio and the photo coloured afterwards.

My father liked to ride,
as soon as he thought I was big enough, he sat me on a pony.
Here I am, aged five, sitting on quite a highly-strung little pony
called "Mousie". I remember her well and how she liked to have her own way, 
which wasn't always the same way as her rider!

By the age of twelve, I was a fun-loving schoolgirl.
I still loved riding and had my own pony. A grey called Miss Muffet.

Then came the teenage years.
I was seventeen in this photo and quite dreamy and idealistic
and a tad romantic too.
I loved to read and went to the library a lot.
I kept a diary in my teen years, but kept none of these writings.
I wonder what I would think of them now?

I remember always wanting to see the best in people.
I think I was always striving to becoming someone better,
more compassionate, more understanding, more forgiving.

It became apparent to me, quite early on, that I was simply a work in progress
and that my life, in whatever form it took, would form the person
that I would become.

It isn't only life, and what happens to us, which forms us,
but how we react, digest and rise above it all which counts.

So besides all things philosophical,
there is the reality of how we live each moment,
with or without sunshine,
alone or in good company.

My birthday was not sunny and it was cold with heavy rain showers, 
but I spent it in good company with a breakfast out in a traditional, old-style
tea-room in the town of Lausanne.

Here is the little tea-room
We had a delicious Birchermuesli (they do the best in town)
and an Apple Turnover with coffee.

Look what caught our eye before we left the tea-room!

A Chocolate Truffle Cake
as light as a feather!
This little beauty came home with us for tea.

I was thinking about the important things in life and decided to make a collage
to give my children and grandson.

BE
Be amazed
Be joyful
Be playful
Be kind
Be thoughtful
Be loving
Be content
and most of all...
Be yourself!

Here is the last slice of birthday cake, so good with fresh raspberries.
The lovely peonies I received and three of my beautiful cards. 
The others stand in honour on my sideboard where I admire them every day!
I received very thoughtful and generous gifts from both my children
and a wonderfully detailed drawing from my grandson.

Today, the sun returned.
It feels so wonderfully joyful.
This is the scene that greeted me in my kitchen this morning.

Sunshine and blue skies
Sweet early morning birdsong
To nourish my soul.

All these simple things are so good for the morale, don't you think?

Where Are the Stories?

She looked out through the confines of where she was hiding.
She knew the world was waiting for her to make the effort, to take the first step.
There were other human beings out there, living life.
Was she living hers? 
She wasn't sure anymore.
She sometimes felt like a little mouse in a cage,
going round in circles, but not exactly getting anywhere.
How had that happened?
Was she doing anything to change that?

She tried looking at things from another point of view.
She felt an inner smile bubbling up from deep within her
and she felt her confidence grow.
"What strange creatures we are", she said, almost out loud.
"We allow ourselves to be influenced by mere thoughts that we have created."

She felt her face becoming relaxed and her breath came slower and calmer.
She could feel the sparkle coming back into her eyes!
There was even a feeling of lightness about her again.
She smiled and knew exactly what she had to do
and felt a tingling of excitement at the sheer thought of it...

This is a fictional story.

***

I did my first self-portrait course five years' ago when I turned a big birthday.
It was quite a challenge, but I so enjoyed the story-telling
and the role-playing we did.
That course was called "Now You".

This year, I decided to do another self-portrait class, to celebrate another birthday!
They do seem to come round rather quickly, don't they!
This time it's with Vivienne McMaster.
She's so encouraging and full of fun.
You can see her website here
***

Today is Sunday
and it's a perfect day for relaxing in the sunshine.

First of all, I just need to show you this gorgeous blossom in my neighbourhood!

After an early morning walk,
I had breakfast on my balcony and then read for a while
enjoying the spring flowers in my window boxes and pots.

Campanula or Bell flowers, just beginning to bloom.

I came across this advertisement for a film I would like to see.
I read the book, which was really good, sometime ago.

I've been having fun with double exposures, so here is one with my grandson!
He gave me permission to use this photo of us both.


See you all soon!

An Explosion of Petals

These photos are taken from a lakeside park in the town of Morges.
Every year there is a magnificent Tulip Festival.
The choice of flowers is immense and I had to choose just a few of them here.

Some of the centres of the flowers quite take my breath away.
The flower photos need no accompanying text,
just scroll down and enjoy them!















The fresh green leaves of spring are reflected in the water

The faraway view was a little hazy, but if you look directly above
the post on the left, in the dip in the mountains,
the well-known Mont Blanc mountain can be seen.

This is the main path which goes alongside the lake and all around
the whole park.

I rather liked this very unusual green tulip.

Fresh green leaves which have just unfurled


Today, Sunday, there were barrel organs and singers dotted around the park
giving a very joyful atmosphere!

These were my favourites!



Five Things I Love about April

1. The meeting of the seasons:

I love how lingering winter and spring mingle together to create their contrasting beauty.
The last snowfalls and flowering magnolia are a lovely example here.

2. The lakeside

 Dreamy walks along the lake at times of the day when there are as few people as possible!
Don't you love this amazing metal sculpture of a wave of little fish?

Here is a close-up.

3. Nature waking up

The spring flowers which start to bloom just everywhere. I love them all,
but there's nothing like daffodils to represent spring awakening!

Deep pink Hellebore
sometimes known as 'Lenten Rose' or 'Winter Rose'

Grapes of tiny flower buds which hang so gracefully on the branches.

4. Getting out into nature

From where I live above the centre of the town, I can easily get public transport
by bus and metro, up to the fields and the woods to enjoy the wide expanses,
the green fields and wooded areas
with just the sound of birdsong and the breeze rustling in the trees.

5. The longer days

When I can enjoy early morning walks before breakfast 
when all is still quiet and then again in the evenings after supper to hear the blackbird singing
in the trees in my neighbourhood.

There are many other things to appreciate during the month of April
and I'm sure you have your favourites too!