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A Lazy Sunday

by Margaret Powling-

 

I am starting this post with one of the lovely tulips which are now flowering.  I didn’t make a note of the variety but all my tulips bulbs (with the exception of some we were given as a present) are from Sarah Raven; I just love her varieties.  Her bulbs are a little more expensive than those in our local garden centre, but I think they are worth it.  I love the peaches and soft colours.  One variety, yet to open fully, is coffee-coloured.  I also love the very dark purples, such as Queen of the Night. Not as keen , though, on scarlet and bright yellow, and I have a whole tub of those which were a gift, but even though the colours are garish, they are truly magnificent blooms but, as I say, not really to my taste. 

So why have I called this a “lazy” Sunday?  Simply because I have done a minimal amount of work and I even whipped through the pile of ironing in under 40 minutes. 

It has all been put away and is now in our wardrobe and airing cupboard. 

Husband cooked us boiled eggs for breakfast, plus toast and marmalade and coffee, after having collected the Sunday paper from our local shop.  Meanwhile, I made our bed, went around the house opening the windows it being such a sunny, mild day, and hung out some washing, items which don’t require ironing and which I could, later, simply fold and put away.

It really has been the warmest spring day so far, and we had our first lunch of the year outside …

I had a nut roast (home made) in the freezer which I used, plus new potatoes and a mixed salad and coleslaw, nice and simple.  Although we are not vegetarian we both love nut roast either hot as a roast lunch, or cold with salad. 

This afternoon, while husband cleaned the car, I sat in the summerhouse and read.  It was lovely in there with the doors open to the garden, and so peaceful. 

You can just see the trunk of the walnut tree through the summerhouse window

I am thoroughly enjoying Louise Walters’ book, A LIfe Between Us.  I enjoyed Louise Walters’ first novel, Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase and she has self-published this, her second novel.  There are some excellent novels which have been self-published, but of course, some not-so-good, too, because anyone can now become a published author. 

This book is about Tina and her twin sister Meg, who tragically died in a childhood accident.  That makes it sound grim, but it is a lovely read over the generations: Tina as a young girl in the 1970s, Tina as a married adult,  and Tina’s aunt Lucia and her brothers, Edward, Robert, Ambrose and William.  It says on the cover: 

“As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edwards, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.” 

I couldn’t have put it better myself and I think this accurately sums up this well-written and well plotted novel.   If the description hadn’t caused me to buy this book, then the beautiful cover would most certainly have won me over.   

As my post title says, this has been a rather lazy Sunday, and I feel all the better for having rested and am now ready to face the week, with perhaps a trip to a garden centre.  We won’t be visiting any historic houses or having a cruise down the River Dart until after the Easter weekend and the tourists have gone home and children have returned to school for  the start of the summer term. 

And finally, the tulips which have opened and photographed at dusk …

I can’t wait for these peony tulips to full open, I think they will look magnificent. 

Until next time …

 

Margaret Powling

20 Comments

  1. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    I love Tulips, there are so many different varieties now, I have quite a good mix now. You do deserve a lazy Sunday after your big clean the other day. We have also eaten outside this weekend, I love the idea of a summer house, this will be something I would really love to have if the next garden allows. I have washed and dried two lots of washing today, about half of our laundry gets just folded as it is easy everyday casuals.

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Marlene. Yes, tulips are one of the most beautiful flowers and there are so many varieties. I’m sure you could find room for a little summerhouse in your next garden. Our garden is really small and the space for our summerhouse was limited – as I say, between a rock and a hard place, i.e. the garden wall and the walnut tree! It’s just 8ft by 6ft, but that is sufficient for two chairs, a table, the TV, and CD player, and also we can store our recliner chairs in there at night. Yes, if you are careful with laundry and fold if directly from the line, that saves a lot of ironing. Eating out of doors in spring and summer is lovely, isn’t it? But even so, I’m not a BBQ person, much prefer ‘proper’ food, what we’d normally eat indoors, but served out of doors.

      09 . Apr . 2017
  2. Eloise

    It has been a beautiful day here too….ideal for drying the washing (tidily on the line, Margaret!!) A friend popped in with a bunch of tulips – I’d call them lipstick pink – as a thank you for loaning her a 1920s style evening dress for a themed evening she was attending. They look very nice on the windowsill though pink is not my favourite colour. I favour either purple or white flowers with lots of greenery. I currently have a large goldfish-style bowl of Jonquil in the house too. They are so delicate and pretty. My garden contains a few cream and peach ones, the bulbs of which are twenty years old. I planted them when we moved here. There were lots more at the time but I suppose they don’t last forever. Those peony ones are stunning. I love actual peonies too. We always had the deep red variety in the garden when I was a little girl.

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Eloise. Yes, “tidily on the line” … that could be our watchword (or watch-sentence!) could it not? Pink is not my favourite colour, either. But strangely enough, since decorating our bedroom last year I have loved to have pink tulips in there! I love purple and white flowers with greenery (heliotrope with alchemilla mollis is lovely, and white cosmos!) Oh, and I love jonquils, they are so delicate. I’ve never managed to grow red peonies successfully, but we have a pink one in the garden. Love peonies, too, and they have a lovely scent, not as strong as a rose scent, but equally lovely. The 1920s style evening dress sounds great!

      09 . Apr . 2017
  3. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    Same here Margaret about proper food.

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Apart from having a BBQ where they were first intended, i.e. on the beach or in the wilds, I don’t see the point of having them in a domestic garden when there is a perfectly good oven in the kitchen, just yards away. Yes, give me proper food any day, Marlene! And in summer, lovely poached salmon served cold with cucumber and a lovely salad and new potatoes, smoked salmon, ham salads, quiches, etc.

      09 . Apr . 2017
  4. Eloise

    Ooooh yes, those are my kind of foods, Margaret. We put a gazebo up outside the French doors in summer, and eat out there when we can. I don’t mind being invited to a barbecue as there are usually some tasty salad accompaniments but I’m not at all keen on the taste of barbecued food so I don’t bother with the meat. We did try our hand at it years ago but gave up after a couple of unsuccessful attempts. It all seemed too much bother for little return.
    I had to look up an image of heliotrope because I couldn’t think what they looked like. My mother also had them, and alchemical Molus in her garden. She was a rather successful gardener in later life with A well stocked garden and she grew a few vegetables too. Shame she wasn’t a great cook! I enjoy cooking and I’m not bad at it but I had to learn it for myself. Ginger cake with chunks of syrupy ginger baked today. Delicious!

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, I can’t think of anything nicer than French doors and a gazebo! That’s my kind of summer place. Our elder son has French doors onto his garden and also our younger son, but younger son’s give onto a wooden platform and then there are steps down to the garden, as the land slopes away from the house, but he does have a slight river view of the River Teign – how lovely is that?
      I love heliotrope as it’s a very dark purple and has the most amazing leaves in dark green and the scent is of vanilla and lovely at dusk. Oh, what a pity your Mum wasn’t a good cook. I think cooking comes naturally to some and not to others, regardless of how they try, or follow recipes. Oh, I love ginger cake! I think the easiest cake to make, though, is lemon drizzle and really delicious, with or without cream.

      09 . Apr . 2017
  5. Eloise

    Haha…. Alchemical Molus! Not a typo, but predictive text on the iPad. Best stick to the desktop.

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, isn’t predictive text funny! It’s as bad as the funny conversations husband and I have now that he’s hard of hearing (I think that’s the politically correct way of saying he’s as deaf as a post!) I really should write down some of his mis-heards that have us in stitches! Not simple ones such as mis-hearing “coat” for “boat” but things which are so totally different you wonder how anyone could get it so wrong.

      09 . Apr . 2017
  6. Eloise

    Oh dear, poor husband. Loss of hearing must be distressing and frustrating for you both. It’s good that you can laugh together about it.
    Even a slight view of the Teign is something to be envious of – Moat of my favourite places are close to water.
    Yes, Lemon drizzle is a great favourite with me too. I do love cake!

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, husband’s hearing loss isn’t good but we do have some funny conversations. However, I have to be with him if there are important conversations to be had, i.e. with our doctor, so that he doesn’t mis-hear what is said to him. Yes, a good thing we can laugh about it. But sad in a way, too. He has lost the top register of hearing, i.e. bird song, but strangely enough he can hear the pigeons and their lower register coo-coo.

      09 . Apr . 2017
  7. Lara

    Your day sounds lovely. I, too, had a relaxing Sunday. I’d been ‘laying low’ due to ill health and yesterday (Sunday) was the most glorious and warm morning after weeks and weeks of rain (and severe flooding) in eastern Australia so after I’d showered and put on my light makeup (with eyeshadow – thanks to you and Fiona Ferris motivating me :)) I went for a gentle walk in the sunshine at our local beach and it was stunning. Australian kids have just started their school holidays – and Easter is upon us – and like you, I live in a coastal town which is VERY popular for tourists (international and domestic). It was nice to be out early(ish) before the hordes. My eyeshadow wasn’t a roaring success as my quick rummage uncovered only two double palettes (both are Estée Lauder) and neither were right shade for me. I think I’d got them free when I’d spent more than a certain amount and given I haven’t bought Estée Lauder for 10 years I have no idea of their age (but they were as new and I never share makeup so I knew hygiene wasn’t an issue). I’ll definitely be offering them to a friend or relative with different colouring to me but as I didn’t want to waste time turning over my bedroom and miss my opportunity for a walk I used one of them anyway. I also discovered a brown eyeliner refill (also Estée Lauder – automatic eye pencil duo walnut brown). I typically wear black (Estée Lauder) very lightly only on top lids or green (Clinique ‘moss’ on top lid) or greyish blue (Clinique’ also top lid only) and hadn’t worn brown for ages. The last brown one I’d purchased some years back was a Clinique brand but turned out to be entirely the wrong shade of brown for me and I felt it made me look unhealthy or like I’d been crying – not the look I was after !!. The Estée Lauder walnut brown looked quite good on me, even if I say so myself and has now been left out for regular use :)). So thank you for your motivation. I will now dig out my other eye shadows which are the RIGHT shades for me and apply them after I shower.

    Your photos are stunning. The colours of the tulips are beautiful.

    Would you pls post the recipe for your nut loaf. It looks delicious (spell check wanted to change that to ‘delirious’ ha ha)……. There I go, thinking about food again ! We have a family wedding later this month, the invitation states ‘cocktail attire’ (which hubbie and I had to Google) and I have a stunning dress to wear. (I haven’t been to a wedding for over three years and our casual lifestyle and society in general means that we rarely ‘get gussied up’). When I purchased it several months ago it fitted me perfectly across the bust and shoulders but was ‘neat’ across my tummy. I was carrying a little extra weight around my mid section (going thru ‘the change’ I’m noticing a slight ‘redistribution’ of body mass) and so early last month hung the dress on front of my bedroom door so I see it several times a day to motivate me. I have also eliminated my habit of ‘a little something to keep me going’ at morning tea time. Traditionally I would have a piece of fruit and cup of tea (black, no sugar) but in the past year or so it had transformed into a cup of tea with something more (a piece of toast with jam or ricotta and honey, say, if at home or something else if out). I’m sure you can see where this is going….. In addition, I made the conscious effort of increasing my protein intake at breakfast instead of my daily muesli (good quality, but clearly not enough protein for me) – soft boiled or scrambled eggs or baked beans on a slice of grainy toast) – and found when I did this I wasn’t looking for something until about 1pm by which time it was lunchtime. Success !! My mid section has reduced slightly, my jeans waistband no longer pinches and a recent step in our bathroom scales showed a loss. Combined with suitable undergarments (you know, the stuff that looks like scaffolding !) I am expecting the dress will be extremely flattering. Slow and steady is my mantra – dull but more successful in the long run. Hot cross buns are my weakness (I can take or leave chocolate) and I’m not naive enough to think that none will pass my lips but I’ve resisted all to date – even the plump and delicious looking ones that our local baker has sitting seductively at eye/nose level on his counter – but will definitely enjoy a couple this coming Easter weekend with visiting family. Some foods are special because they remind us of a season or event – traditional fruitcake at weddings, Christmas pudding, hot cross buns, etc – and even though so many shops will stock these items for three months beforehand I like to keep the ‘specialness’ by enjoying them just on the day (and maybe a day or two either side ;)).

    Well I think I’ve blabbed on enough …. or too much… Thank you xx

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      What a lovely long comment you have made, Lara. Thank you for posting that and I’m so glad Fiona and I have spurred you on, motivated you, etc. Also, I am so glad you are able to lose a bit of the weight, it’s something I keep meaning to try but I do tend to nibble on something mid-morning. I do think protein rather than carbs is the answer, scrambled eggs rather than muesli. We’ve been having porridge for breakfast recently, oats are better than wheat for us, but I am still hungry about an hour later.
      Regarding the eye shadow, you will find something that suits you eventually. I used to have a lovely moss green one, and it was really flattering (as I have green/hazel eyes) but I’ve not found one like it again. So good luck on the eye shadow hunt!
      I have just made a note to post the recipe for the nut roast. It’s easy to make and very tasty.

      09 . Apr . 2017
  8. Lara

    Oh dear – my comment is almost as long as your post. I’m sure there is some hipster/millennial term for when that happens 😉

    09 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Never worry about long comments, Lara. The time I shall start to worry is if no one comments!

      09 . Apr . 2017
  9. Jo

    Those peachy coloured tulips are just beautiful. It sounds like the perfect day, get a few chores out of the way in the morning and then you can have the day to yourself. The weather’s been beautiful here too, such a change for April, though I’d bet that the good weather won’t hang around for the bank holiday weekend, we’ll see.

    10 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, those peach coloured ones are my favourites this year, I think, Jo. I’m just waiting for the coffee-coloured ones to open up fully. Last time they were stunning. I buy new ones ever year. This might seem wasteful – well, it is wasteful – but these bulbs are forced to produce spectacular results and even though we’ve put some in the garden afterwards (for they’re all in tubs the first year) they seldom flower well a second time. But I don’t mind, the expense to me is worth it for this wonderful display in April after the long winter.
      We seldom go out over any Bank Holiday weekend regardless of the weather. Being retired we don’t need to, so we wait until the world, his wife and their dog are back at work and then visit places or have a river trip down the River Dart.

      10 . Apr . 2017
  10. Louise Walters

    Hi Margaret, what a lovely post. Many thanks for reading my book, I do hope you continue to enjoy it x

    10 . Apr . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hi, Louise. I am continuing enjoying your book, it’s a lovely read and I hope others will enjoy it as much as I am.

      10 . Apr . 2017

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