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A Quiet Day

by Margaret Powling-

One of the benefits of being retired is having the occasional breakfast in bed. I know some people don’t like eating in bed, they dislike possible crumbs and fear spillages, but I absolutely love breakfast in bed, and even more so if my husband has made it for me.

This is what I was presented with today (plus the morning paper my husband had collected from our local shop.)  Scrambled eggs, grilled bacon and half a grilled tomato, plus freshly squeezed orange juice.  We don’t have a juicer – I have considered buying one but friends have said they’re more trouble than they’re worth, with so much cleaning of the gadget afterwards, so we just use one of those old fashioned manual one.  No matter how pleasant the cartons of ‘freshly squeezed’ juice are, nothing beats cutting oranges in half and having them really freshly squeezed.

After that he made coffee for us, and then I remained in bed, a true lady of leisure, until I had finished reading Joanna Trollope’s latest novel, City of Friends. I admire her skills as a novelist but, that said, sadly there is no lightness in this novel whatsoever.  Well written, yes; strong characters, yes (apart from all the men who are weak, but this adds to the impression of the strength of the female characters); but it lacks even a soupcon of humour, lightness, or fun.   I am aware her books are works of fiction, but I do wonder sometimes whether the style of novel says just as much about the author as it does about the subject.  However, it kept me reading to the end, and it was, even if all the characters had problems, a satisfying read.  

I eventually emerged from our bedroom and, once presentable, made lunch and then, this afternoon was surprised when our elder son called, bringing with him a lovely bunch of flowers which were for me from our daughter-in-law’s mother who is staying with them for a few days.  This very kind and lovely lady always brings me a plant or flowers, and those which our son brought over for me today (we will be seeing her soon and having lunch with the family on Sunday) are especially pretty. 

Also today my latest book arrived, Katharine Swartz’s novel, The Second Bride. I’ve not read this author before, so am looking forward to this.  I put the bunch of flowers and the book together on a woollen throw to photograph them as the cover and the single gerbera were of a similar hue, although the gerbera looks more golden here than the deep orange it actually is. Later, I arranged the flowers – well, “arrange” would be elevating my action too far; I simply put them in a glass vase.

These pretty flowers have brought some spring colour to this corner of our sitting room.

After having had a very good night’s sleep last night, courtesy of our new mattress topper, I have had a restful day.  Every so often we all need a day like this, don’t we?

 

Margaret Powling

22 Comments

  1. Eloise

    Everyone needs a day like this? Yes, absolutely! I don’t get enough of them. My husband is eleven years older than me and retired. I, on the other hand, still work part time (with very bad grace due to the fact that, had the rules not changed, I would have got my state pension last year. I now won’t get it until I am 66). On the plus side ……………um, forget that, there isn’t one!
    My husband walks to the shop every morning for the newspaper too. If we are abroad one of our first jobs is to seek out somewhere that sells English newspapers. Although online versions are available, they are a poor substitute.
    I’ve enjoyed Joanna Trollope’s novels so far but not read the latest. Not read anything by Katharine Swartz.

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Another similarity, Eloise, as my husband is 9 y ears older than me. Yes, the online versions of newspapers are just not the same, I agree wholeheartedly with that! It’s a shame and annoying you have to work now until 66 rather than, as women used to do, until 60, but with people living longer (for the most part, that is) it was inevitable that this had to happen eventually.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  2. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    We do need a day like this every so often, I have had a very lazy week and it has done me the world of good. We eat breakfast everyday in bed, it is lovely, to eat and chat away

    03 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      We love breakfast in bed, Marlene … sometimes it’s just a brioche heated up and eaten with apricot jam, sometimes porridge, but yesterday … well you saw what we had yesterday! In summer we like to have breakfast in the garden if it’s warm enough.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  3. Lara

    A quiet day at home is lovely. I’m doing same right now ! We were away down south last week (I think I commented earlier) and it was lovely catching up with friends and having a change of scenery but I am a homebody at heart and always enjoy coming back home. In fact sometimes I think the best thing about going away is coming home again 🙂

    The flowers are lovely, such a thoughtful present. I don’t like eating in bed but must have a cup of tea (in my favourite China mug, a gift from my best friend) in bed first thing in the morning. On the occasions I don’t (due to early appointment, etc), things just don’t seem right. Such a civilised way to start the day. My cat likes to join me, assured that my comfort can only be enhanced by her draping herself all over me, ideally placing her head between my mouth and my cup so that sipping my tea can become a gymnastic event !

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      How lovely that your cat likes to join you in bed on those days when you don’t have to get up early. We used to have cats, but the last one died about ten years ago and we’ve not had any more since then. But their antics are funny! One of our cats, Charlie (a ginger tom, neutered) used to get on top of one of our wardrobes in our bedroom and during the night he would take one giant leap for cat, and land, kerplunk, on top of us. It used to give us a fright, but how the cat didn’t end up with stress fractures, I do not know! We couldn’t keep him in the kitchen because he just used to meow all the time if shut in.
      Yes, it’s lovely to have a quiet day like yesterday every now and again. Even though we are retired, we do tend to lead busy lives. We are homebodies, always happy to return home after being away.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  4. Jo

    Well, you were well and truly spoiled with breakfast in bed and beautiful flowers, how lovely of your daughter-in-law’s mum to think of you. I must admit that I’m not a fan of breakfast in bed myself, a lie-in and a read, yes, but I’d much rather eat downstairs. I’m lucky, Mick always cooks breakfast on a weekend when he’s at home, I think food’s tastier somehow when it’s been cooked for you rather than having to cook it yourself.

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, I was well and truly spoiled yesterday, Jo. And our daughter-in-law’s Mum always brings me a plant or a flower each time she visits (about twice to three times a year). Oh yes, I quite agree – food is more tasty when someone else has cooked it for you! Having said that, there’s a delicious smell coming from the kitchen right now – I’m cooking a beef skirt casserole. Shortly I will cook some small potatoes to go in it, and we will have it with broccoli spears. But I do enjoy breakfast in bed, whether scrambled eggs, porridge, just a simple brioche (warmed) with jam or egg and toast ‘soldiers’.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  5. Luna Crone

    Sounds like a perfectly delightful day…. 🙂

    I sometimes wonder about authors….. One book I recently started to read, and eventually had to put down. You just knew, that everything was going to come crashing down, on the characters, eventually. But then, I had to go to the end, and find out, how the final reckoning would come. Yikes!!!!!

    How does a person spend time, writing such a novel? How keep themselves immersed in such? But of course, I am not a writer, so I have no idea about the Art of Writing.

    But I did know, I needed some Cozy Mysteries… :-))) To lighten the mood.

    Luna Crone
    “Moon spinners” blog
    https://moon92spin.blogspot.com/

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Cosy mysteries are great. Have you read the novels of Hazel Holt (I met Hazel many years to interview her in her cottage on Exmoor, but sadly she died a 2015 – Hazel and I kept up the correspondence for years, we became friends)? I think you would enjoy them if you like cosy crime novels. Try and read them in chronological order if you an because there is a developing back story with each novel.
      I used to belong to a writers’ group and through that learned about the craft of writing fiction although I’ve never actually written fiction myself, only non-fiction.
      Margaret P

      04 . Mar . 2017
  6. Sue

    I cannot eat in bed, I’m not worried about crumbs as my beloved eats toast in bed, I don’t even want a cup of tea in bed.

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Not even a cup of tea in bed? Oh, having a cup of early morning tea or coffee, or having my favourite bedtime drink of hot chocolate and Ovaltine mixed is one of my pleasures in life.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  7. Eloise

    An older man….what a coincidence!
    Ha ha, I love the story of your cat jumping off the wardrobe at night. What a shock! We once had a cat that used to climb onto the top of the kitchen units and then cry because she was stuck!
    I do understand completely the reasons for changing the pension age and, in fact, I agree because it was set when life expectancy post-retirement was just a few years. I’m just feeling very hard done by on a personal level. I took my work pension early (my choice and I knew the pitfalls but it was right for me) which means I don’t have to work full time so that is a bonus.

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Charlie, the ginger tom, was a real ‘character’, as some cats are. Oliver, the other rescue cat we had, also a tom but grey with white paws (or gloves and spats as I called them!) was really thick! He looked like he should be clever but wasn’t. He never mastered the cat flap. He would just stare at it, expecting, like an automatic door in a shop, to open and close for him! We tried all manner of ways of teaching him how to use it, but it was hopeless. In the end, we had to have it propped open, summer and winter, and a consequence of this was it was very cold in the kitchen in winter and also, other cats made free with our hospitality, often polishing off our cats’ food. I loved the cats dearly but I’d not have any more now. Glad to see the back of cat hair on the furniture and calcified cat food on the kitchen floor!
      I hope you won’t have long to go now before you can retire properly, but at least you are only working part time now.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  8. Eloise

    I like grey cats – they always look rather sophisticated, I think. There is a very handsome one who regularly walks up our garden path and stares in through the glass door. I have tried to make his acquaintance but as soon as I touch the door handle he runs away.
    My daughter has three cats – a pure white one, a jet black one and a white one with tabby bits. One evening recently she was watching television when suddenly a cat jumped out from behind it…..a large black & white one! It had presumably followed one of hers in through the cat flap whilst she was at work and settled down for a snooze, not waking until some hours later!

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, that’s exactly what Oliver looked like – sophisticated! I named Charlie (the ginger tom) and Oliver (the grey and white) when I was in my Cromwellian ‘phase’, Charlie after King Charles I and Oliver after Cromwell, the colours of their coats tended to suit these two men from history, especially Ollie in his Puritan grey and white!
      Yes, we often used to find neighbours’ cats in our house! Some nonchalantly strolling down the stairs and then just exiting via the cat flap! Is your daughter’s white cat deaf? I know a lot of white cats are deaf.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  9. Eloise

    Ha, some cats are very bold! I love your reason for Charlie and Oliver’s names.
    I have read that many white cats are deaf. Fortunately Victor (named after Hugo) is not.
    My cat was called Millie -not very historical or literary but in my defence, I didn’t name her! She was bought for my daughter who left her with us when she went to university. For the next few years she led a fairly itinerant lifestyle moving from one student house to another so it never seemed appropriate to take the cat with her. I know several people who acquired cats via the same route!

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Millie is a lovely name for your cat! Our first cat was called Goldie which our sons called her because she was a tortoiseshell and had quite a lot of ‘golden’ colour in her fur. Not exactly original, but it suited her.

      04 . Mar . 2017
  10. Elaine

    Your husband is a treasure! That breakfast looks perfect in every way.
    I would love breakfast in bed, unfortunately our older cat scratches at the hall doorway very early each morning and as I am the only one to hear her, I get up to see what she wants. By the time I have her and the other sorted out and happy, I am wide awake. Luckily I enjoy early mornings, especially the warmer ones where the air seems filled with energy and potential. Our gardens are not overlooked so i wander around and enjoy the day.
    Breakfast in bed would be a wonderful treat!

    05 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, he is a treasure and he can now do a lovely breakfast – mind you, I tell him it’s taken 52 years of training, har, har! I love mornings, too, but even if I’ve been up and pottering around in my dressing gown, returning to bed for breakfast before I shower and dress. Our gardens are overlooked, but I don’t mind, part of our small back garden is secluded, where we have our summerhouse, and we can often be seated out there in summer, perhaps having breakfast, and people will stroll past and not see us. But as we live in a small Close, there are only a few neighbours anyway, it’s not like our garden is next to a bus route or is overlooked by a block of flats.

      05 . Mar . 2017
  11. Mary, The Pouting Pensioner

    I showed hubby the breakfast in bed you received. It had no effect but I did get given my slice of bread topped with Jarlsberg cheese and tomato, which is a breakfast I love and it was served in bed so I am definitely NOT complaining! Aren’t husbands lovely …

    07 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I haver only had cheese for breakfast three times in my life – in Germany, when I went on a student exchange and cheese on their lovely dark thin bread was what was usual for them; in Edinburgh in 2004, in a lovely hotel which served continental breakfast which was more than just croissants and jam; and in Bruges in 2006. I like Jarlsberg but actually love Gruyere best of all. Do you have a special bread you prefer for your cheese & tomato? But yes, husbands (well, some husbands!) are lovely!

      07 . Mar . 2017

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