March 28, 2017
Following my previous post, off we go further across South-East Asia, thanks to the pictures sent by JB&FL. They have been flying over the Indian Ocean to one of the most interesting and picturesque island to visit : Sri Lanka. Layers of sand, waves and water as far as the horizon. Are you ready to follow them ?
Let’s start with a cool drink on a guesthouse balcony. Lush greenness all around. I imagine the birds singing joyfully, peoples’ voices coming up from the gardens and houses nearby. Sweet flowers scents and maybe just a light breeze. Inviting, isn’t it ?
These wooden decorations and paintings made me immediately think of fabrics. Yes, you know my passion for quilting and materials. I searched in my various boxes of materials for inspiration. I found some exotic pieces that somehow I think are related to these patterns.Here they are : who knows what these fabrics will inspire me someday ?…
What a majestic alley of tall, imposing trees that reminded me of a poem by Charles Baudelaire.
“Nature is a temple where live pillars, Sometimes whisper confused words, Man walks across it through forests of symbols, Which observe him with familiar looks.”
Excerpt of the poem “Correspondances”. Underneath is a view of a small part of the Toolangi Forest Center, Victoria, Australia. A wilder kind of temple of eucalypts.
What a beautiful and colorful sight ! So many spices and Ceylan teas and oils and pretty looking wooden spoons and so much more from this faraway island. It makes you dream and wish you were there. I can just smell it all ! Quick, let’s prepare a meal I love for its taste and all the scents that will be wafting from the kitchen. Traveling can happen over short distances too;)
Here is a favorite recipe of mine : sweet potatoes and zucchinis sautés with some olive oil in a delicious blending of spices : shallots, garlic, ginger, curcuma, coriander, cumin. I added a tomato to get more juice. Mix it all and… Bon appétit ! Tasty as can be.
Traffic in town, pretty looking taxis, special architectural style in the buildings: by foot or in those sometimes overcrowded buses, there are surely many interesting places and sites to visit.
And when you are tired of the heat and pavement, why not enjoy some cooler moments in the magnificent Botanical Garden of Kandy, together with many schoolchildren and their teachers ? Who do you think are the noisiest ones ? Birds or kids ? Joy is in the air for all, certainly.
I was fascinated by these pictures of trees. Their strength, the soft look of their leaves, their intricate branches reaching far out, twisted and so artistic at the same time.Let’s share these peaceful images to end this present travel that I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. Our next destination will be quite different. I look forward to show you some more pictures that JB&FL will generously and thoughtfully share with us. Thanks a lot to both of them and good luck for your next journey.
March 3, 2017
Since I did not post nor took many pictures for a while, I thought of asking dear “Jb&Fl” whether they would mind sharing with me some of their travel pictures. They agreed happily. Both are traveling in South-East Asia. The correspondances and contrasts between here and there are just amazing and so interesting. Beautiful too. Then I dug into my archives and found some images that would in some way correspond to theirs but in my part of the world (Switzerland). Here is the result, I hope you will enjoy the trip as much as I did looking at these images from far away.As a bright parasol opened under the warm sun of Myanmar (Burma),snow had been falling all day long in the Swiss Alps.
Red: such a warm color under any sky ! Here is a typical wooden house at the edge of the Inle Lake (Myanmar).On my way home on a rather dull day, I was attracted by this red barn which added some warmth to the Winter landscape.
Dogs… don’t they all sometimes have the same worried look wherever they live ?A puppy in a street somewhere in Asia. “Will you adopt me ?”Ninio at home : “Where is JB ? The only one in the family who runs almost… as fast as I do. I miss him and our games”.
Would you care for some sweets ? How about a mango and rice dessert to end your meal ? or would you prefer a choco-pistachio dome in Switzerland ?
Are you ready for more visits after a pause ? Like cruising slowly along rice fieldswhereas our own fields over here are barely out of dormancy.
Let’s walk uphill to the mountains of North Myanmar or walk on a mountain path facing some of the Swiss Alps ?
It has been a long day of walking and visiting , admiring the golden domes of the many magnificent ancient temples in South-East Asia. Let’s walk into the old Gothic church (St-Michel) of Fribourg and have a rest while listening to classical music.
The sun is setting down now, warm colors over the horizon, several dark silhouettes of temples in the Far-Eastand, on a misty day, an unusual pink shade at sunset over a farm in my village.Thanks a lot “Jb&Fl” for sharing your beautiful pictures with me and the visitors of my blog. It was a real pleasure to bring our worlds together and to see through your eyes. How difficult to choose pictures amongst all of them ! Maybe there will be another post about your future travels and visits in Asia ? Take care and all the best. Love.
December 8, 2016
What a change of weather and temperatures in those first two weeks of Advent !
Snow fell – a little – and left.
It was followed by rather dull and foggy days . Then we got rain, lots of it, although the mood of the Season is here : red colors. Crisp, cold days, trees decorated in red or were they goblins’ tall hats ? A lot of red also in the window shops, fa sho’ !Red but frozen, a forgotten heart in a pot on the terrace. Forgotten but not broken !Outside the air is cold, a few leaves are still blooming in the late afternoon sun.But inside, a hot and spiced Christmas pot of tea awaits you for a quiet moment in the warm shades of candlelight. And… a cake too, if you feel like it. A lemon scented cake.Happy Advent’s time to you all, Friends, wherever you are.
April 20, 2015
Over two months have passed since I wrote last. As I explained in a comment on my previous post, https://isathreadsoflife.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/of-colors-and-winter/, I will not be able to visit you and write as much as I would wish. Therapies are going on, tiredness is still overwhelming but there are days when I feel stronger; the urge to go out and see nature and Spring brings me outside. Luckily so ! I always enjoy it, no matter the temperature, sun, wind or rain. It feels real good.Sight. One of the first senses of Spring one feels over here is certainly the view of the shy and fragile snowdrops emerging from a cold soil and opening to the morning sun. A familiar and yet always enchanting view. Smell. A visit to the nearby farmers’ market brings many delicious surprises these days. Amongst them, a bunch of tarragon, a sweet scented herb that I like adding to fish or some vegetables like green beans. Taste. And what about the fresh and appealing leeks ? I like them stewed and served with a vinaigrette or as a “gratin” with potatoes and a light béchamel sauce. Hearing. Can you actually hear them ? Your may not see them though, those lively and noisy birds celebrating Spring in a joyful concerto “con molto brio”. They are back from wherever they went to, jumping in and out of their little wooden house in the garden. Delightful Spring sounds. Touch. A gift I brought back home as I came out of hospital. A special heart sewed by women for other women. A heart-shaped cushion, so soft and light, that is meant to nest gently under your arm, ease the pain and warm your heart and soul. It was so touching and appreciated ! Much gratefulness to you, ladies of the “Cushions of the heart” group.
Wishing you all a Happy Spring ! Moments of joy when the birds sing “good morning” to you, wonder and peace as the tender green shades of the Season tell you about renewal and a real delight to taste the great variety of fresh salads and veges.
October 17, 2014
On a hot Summer evening under the roof of his attic apartment. my eldest son was busy preparing a Thai meal to celebrate my birthday. Great concentration for adding the many ingredients that were chosen for this special and delicious meal. Thanks JB !
The problem was that our Summer was so cold and rainy that picnics were too rare. Fortunately Autumn has started beautifully and warmly. Sooner or later the colorful blanket will be part of a joyful day in the open.
Oh, the great moments I spent reading these books during last Spring and Summer ! Not always cheerful stories but certainly all different and fascinating in many ways, locations, times, styles and characters.
I remember with emotion the outing my family and I made – as well as many cousins – to an unforgettable place in the Alps. 300 hundred years ago a major rockslide hit a small mountain village, killing many of its inhabitants and their cattle, destroying their rough wooden chalets.
Last August a day of remembrance was celebrated up on those mountain pastures where rocks are still covering much of the landscape. “Emotion”, I wrote because this area is where my mother grew up; she and her siblings used to go up there every Summer looking after the family domestic cattle. Those were hard times but “some of the best of my life”, my mother used to say. All day long I thought of her and how she would have loved to be there with us. She certainly was in my heart.
Another moment to remember of this past Summer was my father’s significant birthday ! Having owned a garage almost all his life, we thought it would be a nice surprise for him to rent an old Londonian taxi (Austin 1970) to drive him to the place where family and friends were waiting to cheering him. He was hugely surprised and absolutely delighted.
What a great moment too when I was able to pick the first apples – boscop – in the garden ! Not exactly shiny nor smooth, they are nevertheless tasty and just perfect for pies or compotes.Guess what other moments I always like to remember ? The adventurous walks Ninio leads me to. Nature in all its forms. Wild most of the time. Not that he refuses to go to my chosen destinations. But his eyes and slower pace tell me : “Now, how about going on exploration to places that smell interesting ?”
August 1, 2014
My Summer is busy over here, too busy, not enough time for taking pictures unfortunately. I apologize for not posting more regularly. I thought why not look into my archives and find some pictures I like and write a post around them ? Let’s go to Australia, Victoria, an area I visited a few years ago and let’s imagine the thoughts behind the images. Melbourne, the Immigration Museum. A beautiful desk aboard a ship sailing to a faraway world. Someone had been sitting there and writing home. I imagine he or she was writing home about the long, so long travel to the other side of the world. The various feelings one tried to express in a letter : sadness of leaving behind family members, maybe and a place called home, the hope of a new future, seasickness, meeting other immigrants, limited place to live all together… And certainly a lot more personal feelings and messages. Melbourne, a large avenue in the center. A coffee shop. At first I thought : “Why such a difficulty choosing from all those similar bags of oranges ?” But then maybe this man’s indecision comes from choosing from the various snacks or meals sold in the shop ? St-Kilda near Melbourne. A bus stop. Those words scribbled on a board: “What is essential is invisible to the eyes. It is only with the heart that one sees clearly” . Did the person who wrote this quote just read St-Exupéry’s book “The Little Prince” and liked it or was he/she in a particular mood which inspired these thoughts ? Maldon, Victoria, is a notable town for its 19th century appearance, maintained since the gold-rush days. As I walked in front of this porte-cochere, I thought how relieved travelers must have been to finally find a place to stop, eat and rest after a long journey by stagecoach. Carlton Gardens, Melbourne. An oasis of peace in the middle of this large busy city. I stopped there just to look at my city-map, eat a snack or just give a break to my tired feet. Someone was sitting nearby, reading. In front of me a man was also sitting, quite immobile, meditating maybe or lost in his own thoughts ? Or taking a nap ?
Do you sometimes wonder what thoughts or situations hide behind your images ?
January 24, 2011
Two dessert recipes for two pears, or a pair, sweet pears in any case 😉
This is my participation in Scott Thomas Photography’s challenge whose theme is “Food”.
Choose a not too ripe pear and peel it without cutting it in slices. Let it simmer gently in some water with sugar, star anise, cinnamon and a little lemon juice. In the meantime prepare a chocolate sauce (some water and chocolate). You may add some light cream before serving, if you like it.
Here is another recipe for a dessert with pears or apples. Cut the pear in two pieces and cook it at slow heat in a non-stick pan with a little sugar, part of a vanilla pod , a few seeds of cardamone and some lemon juice. The pears should take some colour and a lovely crust but not too much ! Then just serve it warm with a sorbet (or ice-cream). I chose a passion fruit/mango yogurt sorbet. We call this kind of dessert a “chaud-froid” – “warm-cold dessert”.
I had a “bon appétit”, thanks for asking;) But this second picture was rather difficult to take. By the time I had finished turning around the table to chose the right angle for my picture, as suggested by Scott, the sorbet had melted and the picture looked like nothing at all. Well, not so bad after all since I had another portion of sorbet
January 17, 2011
Do you think this picture is out of Season ? In my part of the world, absolutely ! But “Food” is not. It is a matter that concerns us all daily and everywhere.
I chose this summerly image of vegetable gardens in a mountain village to tell you about a new photo assignment by Scott Thomas Photography http://stphoto.wordpress.com/ at Views Infinitum.
All about it – with some very interesting information and advice on Food Photography – is explained here :
Have a look and join us before Midnight (your time), Wednesday, January 26th, 2011. Wish you much fun ! Et “Bon appétit” 😉
September 7, 2010
One morning recently, a good friend called saying she might come and visit with a common friend of ours during the afternoon. I decided to bake a cake I quite enjoy for its flavour first and then because it is so easy to prepare. Here is the recipe in case you want to try it :
For a round baking tray (middle size)
1 pack of puff pastry
200 gr (2 cups 1/4) of ground almonds
1 cup 1/2 of sugar
1 cup of milk
1 tsp of cinamon
1 pinch of salt
Mix all these ingredients
Then roll out the pastry on the baking tray (use a fork to make a few holes on the pastry)
Spread the ingredients you prepared onto the pastry
Pre-heat the oven at 200/230 °C (400-450°F)
Cook for 25 minutes
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving
This pie tastes even better if you bake it one day in advance.
Some of you may think my almond pie looks a bit “burnt”… Well, almost but not really. I can assure you it tasted delicious ! And why should it look like this ?? That’s the question. You see, I was reading. A specially dangerous chapter that kept me totally concentrated on the story. At the same time I vaguely smelled something just as dangerous coming from the kitchen 😉 “Oh ! mon gâteau” (my cake) ! I rushed to the kitchen, book in hand of course (in case I would forget it somewhere on the way…) and I saved the almond pie from a very hot oven. Then I went on reading waiting for my friends.
“Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow” by Peter Hoeg is the book I was reading with great interest and more as “le gâteau de Babette” (Babette’s cake) was in the oven and requesting immediate attention ! I could not have been further from my kitchen. In fact Smilla, the fascinating main character in this book, was secretly – and dangerously – going aboard a ship in the darkest night you can imagine. She was persistent in doing her own investigation about a mystery death. The story takes place in Denmark (Copenhagen) and Greenland, two countries I don’t read about enough and I thought this book would be a good opportunity. It was, definitely so. And much more than that! This reading just cut me off from my surroundings for a few days, so exciting was the story. It is not a recent book, I had heard and read about it but somehow had missed it. Now it is done and I thorougly enjoyed its reading. I hope some of you did too or will do so soon !