Missing out on the primrose ….

One really has to be at the right place and at the right time in order to enjoy some of the lovely spring blooms. Too often, the blossoms only bloom for a short period of time. Just a week or two too early, the flower buds might still be tightly closed and yet just a week or two too late and one realises much to one’s disappointment that the coveted blooms are already over.

This spring, much to my disappointment, I had missed seeing some of my favourite spring blossoms … and one of them is the lovely primrose (Primula vulgaris). Primrose is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring, apart from the crocus. As soon as the temperature starts to warm up, one is normally able to see them. Sometimes if the winter is warm enough, they will even make their grand appearance in winter!

Last year as the hubby and I was walking towards Sallaz, I was incredulous to find so many primroses growing all over the place in late March. So remembering how lovely they had looked, I had hoped to be able to enjoy more of their flowery show this year when I returned from Singapore in April. Alas to my disappointment, I could not find any in those areas where I had seen them last spring. It was only slightly more than a week later than when I saw them last year and yet it would seem that their blooming season had already ended..

Well of course, I could still see plenty of them at the garden centres … but it is the wild and common primroses that I am interested in … not the commercially cultivated ones. They might not be as colourful as their cultivated cousins but I personally think that they have a lot more class.

Fortunately, I took several photos of them last year. So I thought I would share them here so that I could reminisce of when I saw them last spring …

DSCN3782AColourful primroses on sale at a garden centre. I have to admit that it is nice to see their burst of colours in spring.

DSCN3727ABut nothing beats seeing the wild common ones growing in open grounds.

DSCN3736AAnd last year in late March, they were blooming all over the place.

DSCN3744AIt was pure luck that I had my little camera with me when I saw them.

DSCN3740AOtherwise, I would have been one very frustrated woman … for missing out on a good photo-taking opportunity!:-)

DSCN3741AJust look at them. Even though they are not as colourful as those sold in the garden centres, to me, they are a lot lovelier.

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Generally, the common primrose tends to be pale yellow in colour.

DSCN3743ABut sometimes, when one is lucky, one also gets to see them in shades of pink or red …

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… or white.

DSCN3734AAnd last year was a lucky year, because I saw a number of pink and red ones growing amongst the hundreds of pale yellow blooms

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This was one of several clumps of primroses that grew on the slope just beneath our flat last year. It was such a treat to see them there because normally they do not grow so close to home.

DSCN3622AIt was an added bonus when I saw that some of them had these different shades of pink and red.

DSCN3621ASo pretty are they not? What is more, they are edible (both the leaves and the pretty flower)!

And what a forager like me is to do when she sees all these beauties?

DSCN3707AWell … she goes back home to get a trowel … so that she can unearth a few of them and bring them home to grow in a pot lah!:-)

And as she had a trowel with her, she also took the opportunity to unearth a few other spring beauties to try to grow them, too. hehehe …😀

What a pity to have missed such beauties this year. Fortunately, I have these photos from last year. 😉

A short stopover at the Tulip Festival in Morges …

Okay, now that I have vented … errr, I mean shared … my frustrations with the ongoing nuisances that the hubby and I have had to literally and physically face (remember that it is happening just opposite our balcony) since the summer of 2014 from the major construction work that is under way, I can now share more of the happy stuff lah!:-)

And happy stuff in spring naturally almost always revolves around the varied and highly colourful flora that has finally emerged after its long beauty sleep in the cold ground. As I had been away for the whole of winter hibernating in a warmer climate and as I only came back at the time when spring is almost in full swing, I missed some of the early spring beauties that prefer making their grand entrance as soon as the ground starts to warm up a little.

Oh well, I ONLY have to wait ONE year to be able to catch them waking up from their winter slumber again … so it is okay lah. Time will pass quickly enough I am sure. Must think positive heh? hehehe …😀

SAM_2958AFortunately for me, I did not miss catching the tulips at the Tulip Festival before it ended. A visit by my Indonesian penpal friend (whom I befriended in my teens and who now lives in Shanghai) provided a perfect opportunity for me to pay a visit to the festival in Morges while I played host to her. So on our way to visit the parents, we made a brief stop in Morges to check out the tulips growing along the scenic shoreline of lake Léman.

Given that this was the fifth year that I visited the annual floral exhibition in Morges, I did not take as many photos of the tulips as I had done on previous visits … which means that I am only going to share a few photos here lah!

You are welcome to peruse the many photos that I shared in my earlier posts on the festival, if you feel that you have not had your fill of looking at these spring beauties.😉

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Tulip Festival, Morges 2016

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A traditional music maker providing entertainment to a small group of young visitors.

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And my long-time penfriend CJ standing in between the flower beds. It was fortunate that the day was nice and sunny, although a bit chilly, when I took her to the floral exhibition. It was raining everyday just before that day. I hope the trip to the Tulip Festival is a nice souvenir of her stay with us.

Previous entries on Tulip Festival in Morges:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High country living … no more …

I am upset. Quite upset. Or rather, very upset. Well … to be honest, I am truly and really, really upset!😦

I know it is for the sake of the common good … to house more people coming to live in Lausanne … but why or why does it have to be where we are?! Argghhh … !!

I do not normally like to complain too much … but … I really need to get it off my chest. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved, is it not?  Okay, it is not exactly a problem, but sharing it will definitely help me to deal with it better lah!

I suppose that we knew that it would be too good to last forever … or at the very least until we would quit the place. But it came sooner than we would have liked. In fact, we did not actually expect this to happen when we first moved into the area. But we started hearing about it a year into staying here.

And then when one of the old houses were vacated and later demolished and we started seeing all these tall poles sprouting all over the place, we knew, then, that it was only a matter of time before our days of peaceful countryside living would come to an end.

Just as at my own place, back in my beloved homeland, Singapore, … the price of progress has started to cramp our living style.

No more big expanse of greenery and quiet surroundings.

No more hearing the wonderful sound of birds singing, especially in spring. Well, okay, I can still hear them … but just not as often and not as cheery as before.

No more hearing the sound of a cock crowing from a house further down the slope … or of seeing a few goats grazing at the back of the very same house when I would walk towards the métro station.

No more being able to enjoy a lovely snow-covered landscape in winter. Oh yes, even my snowy wonderland is gone now!😦

No more being able to indulge in my favourite activity of foraging for edibles from the fields and side lanes below.

And worse …we are losing our privacy, especially at night! And this really grieves me. Each evening when darkness fall, we have to bring down the window shutter in our bedroom so that our modesty is protected when we switch the light on. So on moonlit fill night, we would no longer be able to enjoy the beauty of the full moon from the comfort of our bed unless we lift the shutter after we have switched off the light nor enjoy the pleasure of having moon light streaming brightly into our bedroom. Sob, sob, sob …

Fortunately, not everything is lost … at least for us as I cannot say the same for our neighbours staying below. Despite the construction of several blocks of flats below us, our view of the mountains and of the lake are not obstructed  … phewww!! Thank you God for life’s little pleasure. So for this, I cannot complain overly because not everyone gets to enjoy this beautiful scene on a daily basis.

And living high on the hill where we are, I should still able to enjoy the experience of getting all tingly when the whole area is being shrouded with heavy mist during the cool season. For me, this is such a lovely experience to have.

To give an idea of the changes that have been wrought into our once peaceful high country living … these are the before and after pictures of the same area.

Beree 2 in 2011

The pictures above and below were taken five years ago at around this time of the year, when we were lulled into thinking that we had found our little piece of paradise in Lausanne … (I am simply recycling some of my old pictures!)

Beree 2011

Can you just imagine the serenity and tranquility which I had enjoyed while I was tinkering with my potted plants on the balcony? Sighhh … it does not seem as it was that long ago.

And now, this is what have to see every day and most especially when I am out working on my balcony potager.

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Not a very pretty sight, is it not?

The sight before this was a lot uglier when we have to contend not only with the dusts and the noise … but also with the many tall cranes that were being used to build the different flats at the same time.

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The whole area is being worked at. It is one of the biggest construction sites in Switzerland … and it will become a new residential quarter once the whole area has been redeveloped.

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That cream coloured house between the two flats is the only one that is left for now. But the occupants have already vacated it a few months ago, which would mean that it will soon face the same fate as the others.

The two dark coloured buildings made mostly of glass in the background now occupy the former open field which I had to pass just before reaching the métro station; and the grey coloured one on the right (of the picture) has only just recently been completed. So we have been getting quite a number of new neighbours in the area moving into these buildings.

And guess what? We can see what they are doing, especially at night when the lights are on; conversely, they can also see what we are doing if we do not bring down our window shutter! And once another flat is built on this empty piece of land, we shall become even ‘closer’ to our neighbours!

Sigh … I really miss not being able to see the old house below our windows any more. And all the fruit trees have been totally decimated by the constructions of these flats, No more apple trees, no more plum trees, no more cherry trees (except for the one just below us), no more walnut tree, no more chestnut tree and no more wild edible and herb plants that used to grow in abundance below – mints, lemon balm, sage, comfrey, borage, wild thyme, sweet violets, etc, etc. It is just terrible …😦

And then, when they all have moved into the new flats, the métro will likely become as crowded as the MRT in Singapore at peak hours! Haizzzzzzz …

Thankfully, we can still see the beautiful lake Léman and the mountains across. And we can also still see the tower of Sauvabelin and the top of the woods of Sauvabelin.

However, there will still be one more view that will disappear once they have completed the construction of the whole residential quarter in 2018.

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This mountain view that we can see very clearly between these two HDB-like flats, especially in winter when the trees are stripped of their leaves, will no longer be visible because the flat that will be built in that area will be as high as the two poles that juts out above the trees. (The poles serve as an indicator of the height of the building that will be built and it is common to see them in areas which have been designated for urban development or re-development.)

So … that is the current and future state of our little abode of peace. It is no longer peaceful … and I can no longer claim to be living in high country because there is no more of that countryside feel to it any more!

Still … I cannot complain too much because there are many others who live in even worst places than where we are. So despite the changes that we do not like, we are still thankful for the roof over our head, the mountain and lake views that we still get to enjoy, the closeness to the woods at Sauvabelin and further up at Mauvernay … and, for me, the spacious balcony for me to garden!

Life might no longer be as blissful … but it is not bad, either. We are still thankful. Alhamdullilah😀