Another Quiet Day

by Margaret Powling-

It has been a typical March day here in Torbay … sunshine and showers all day long.  This is the view from the side window (in the bay window) in our sitting room when the rain had momentarily stopped!

I have had another quiet day.  My plan was to clear my desk, to file cuttings, deal with all kinds of paperwork, finish an article and file copy, and generally have a tidy up. Well, it just didn’t happen.  Instead I made a beef casserole for our lunch, using beef skirt, and it was so tender the meat just fell apart, quite delicious.  We didn’t need a pudding after that, but had tea and some amoretti biscuits this afternoon.

I was delighted that an inexpensive 2nd hand (or many-hand) book arrived this morning …

If you have been reading my blog for the past few months, you will know how I love books that show interiors and this book has gone right up there with my favourites.  We don’t have a cottage – our house is 1985-modern – but  if I had my choice of dwelling, it would be a lovely Georgian or Queen Anne style town house, or one set in lovely grounds (you notice I have delusions of grandeur … “grounds” rather than merely a “garden”!) but I also love the idea (rather than the practicality!) of having a cottage and this shows some delightful cottages. 

Indeed, I spent the afternoon imagining what it might be like to live in each of these cottages. I had my favourites right away, those that were more lightly decorated and filled with flowers and pretty china than those that were more ‘rustique’  with heavy beams and twisty stairs.

This is my kind of cottage bedroom … toile de jouy, pastel shades, and lots of books and flowers. 

And then the sun decided to put in an appearance again …

And how the sunshine lights up a room!

As well as this lovely book, I had ordered another novel by Katharine Swartz and that also arrived this morning, and if the one I’m currently reading, The Second Bride, is anything to go by, I think I will enjoy this one, too …

And so I’ve had another quiet day and most enjoyable it has been.  Absolutely no housekeeping done (apart from making the bed and clearing up after meals), only the minimum of cooking, boiled eggs and ‘soldiers’ for our supper, but lots of lovely cups of tea.  I think we all need quiet days sometimes, and rarely do I have two in a row and it’s been absolutely lovely.  I hope you are able to have a quiet day soon. 

Margaret Powling


  1. Eloise

    You can see the sea from your sitting room! How absolutely lovely and inspiring. I wonder if you write your posts looking out on that view. Perhaps this is why they Make such peaceful reading.
    I’m almost afraid to say that I also have a great liking for Georgian houses ( it sounds as though I am always saying “oh, I like that too”)…..but I really do. I’ve never had the pleasure of living in one but once upon a time, in an earlier phase of my life, I did live in a very nice three storey Victorian house which had some beautiful original features. Just after moving in we knocked down what was obviously a false wall and found a pristine black marble fireplace complete with hand painted tiles.

    04 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, it’s lovely to see the sea, even a glimpse of it, and there’s a better view from our upstairs bathroom – but one has to stand on the loo seat and lean out of the Velux window to see the sea from up there!
      No, I write my posts here in the study, facing West, and a row of 6 town houses, but if I look to my right, are our patio doors and the back garden (facing North.) The sitting room bay window cases due South, and the side window through which I took that view of the sea, is due East.
      How lovely to have lived in that Victorian house and to have found the black marble fireplace! What a find!
      We tend to share a lot of likes, Eloise – especially grey cats and Georgian houses! I love the idea of those lovely large square rooms, with a lovely cornice and beautiful mahogany doors, and sash windows almost to the floor, and polished floorboards and lovely carpets with just a small area of polished wood surrounding them, and elegant furniture, and blue and white Chinese porcelain … and of course, loads of wonderful displays of flowers and bowls of rose pot pourri. I don’t want much, do I?

      04 . Mar . 2017
  2. Luna Crone

    Yes, the sea. How perfectly wonderful, to be able to see it!! -happy sigh-
    Oh I would love that book, of lovely home interiors. I too, love-love-love interiors. And peruse any I find, to figure out, what-goes-to-where, and etc. Our home is still a two story family home, we built nearly 50 years ago. Way too big for us now. I would love a cottage, with just enough rooms for us! But we live next door to a son and his family, complete with grands. So we are not looking to relocate.
    So sometimes, I “make believe” the rooms we “live in,” are really a cottage. -smile-
    Too lovely calm days! Your soul will be so recharged. Yes! Everyone should be able to do this, every weekend. Or anyway, so say I! -smile-
    Please try to carry that peace, over into the coming week……

    05 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your lovely comments, Luna. It’s been a bitterly cold day here in the south west of England, with high winds and intermittent sunshine but also a lot of rain. Typical English early-spring weather, in fact. As soon as the daffs come into bloom you can bet your bottom dollar (apologies for that American expression that we still use here – well I do!) that they will be bloom to smithereens by the wind.
      How lovely to still be in the home you built nearly 50 years ago. We have only had two homes in our married life, the previous bungalow and home we’re in now.
      Later in the day yesterday, a couple of hours after I’d taken the photo which I posted of the view of the sea, you couldn’t see the sea because of the heavy cloud and rain! Our climate can change within minutes all day long here in the south west. That is why when we go on holiday in our own country we have to take clothes for all four seasons!

      05 . Mar . 2017
  3. Lara

    I, too, am envious of your view of the sea – in Australia we call that an oceanview and real estate agents go weak at the knees at them.
    Quiet days at home are good to recharge the soul (and save some money as a bonus). Cups of tea and a good book (or two) are ideal companions. On weekends I enjoy reading the extra lengthy newspapers – saturday’s paper can take me two days to read.
    I feel ratty if I don’t get outside, even if it’s just to run a simple errand. Sunshine and fresh air is essential for keeping me on an even keel – I often wonder if I was a plant in a past life ! About ten years ago I was fortunate enough to spend a month in a northern hemisphere winter and although I loved the snow, the outdoor Christmas markets, etc, the fading light at 5pm and dark mornings were a challenge. I have read so Seasonal Affected Disorder, the idea that people can become depressed during winter, and I am sure that for some people / personalities it can be a real struggle. Mind you, I am struggling with our endless humidity and the lethargy it creates (newsreaders cheerily state that this is Australia’s hottest summer in 157 years), so I guess it’s human nature to grumble about the weather 🙂
    More beautiful photographs. Is that one of your new cup and saucers ?

    05 . Mar . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I don’t envy you that heat or that humidity, Lara. We Brits do moan about our weather, but there is really something for everyone, and those who like the chilly, crisp autumn and winter days are certainly catered for, just as those who love spring and summer (well, our summer seldom lasts long, but we have been known to have heat waves when our little island is hotter than Spain or Greece!) I don’t think I get SAD in the winter, through the lack of daylight, but I just find myself very lethargic. Mind you, I am lethargic if it’s very hot, too! Both husband and I have a very narrow ‘window’ of weather that suits us!
      We sometimes have the paper on Saturday but there are so many sections that we simply put into the recycling bin that we tend to have the paper at the weekend only on Sunday because there are fewer sections and we enjoy those that are there. But we have the paper Monday to Friday as well, I love the features and husband does the Codeword. I’m not a puzzle-doer at all.
      Yes, you spotted the ‘other’ cup and saucer I bought. I thought it would make a change to use that one. Husband prefers our other cups and saucers, I only bought these as they are frivolous and pretty and very inexpensive.
      One thing which is rather nice about living here is that in summer there are also several fireworks displays for the tourists and we can see them from our sitting room window. Also, the aerobatics team, the Red Arrows, also give a display in summer and they fly over our house, which is quite exhilarating, and then we can watch them do their stunts over the sea.

      05 . Mar . 2017

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