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Torquay Today

by Margaret Powling-

My goodness, it’s nice to be back!  I have been offline since last Thursday, but here I am again, computer now back working again.  It wasn’t a ‘problem’ as such, my computer guru was  changing supplier, or something like that.  I’m not au fait on technical things, but he did explain I’d be offline for sometime, but it wasn’t then possible to let you all know.  How we have come to rely on computers!  Maybe we should revive …

an appropriate title (this new paperback arrived for me today.)

We woke to a bright blue sky this morning and decided we’d have a walk along Torquay sea front.  We parked the car around about 8.30 am and made our way through Torre Abbey Gardens and then past the sunken garden.

The tulips here are now just about ‘over’ and soon the Parks Dept will be refreshing this lovely Edwardian-style garden with summer bedding.  No idea what they will choose, every year there is a different colour scheme.  By now the sun was high in the sky and everywhere looked so beautiful.

At the end of this sunken garden there is a pretty small pond, bordered with alliums.

We made our way across the main sea front road via the pedestrian bridge and from the top we looked down onto Torre Abbey Sands where the sea tractor was clearing the seaweed. 

This must be a thankless task as seaweed is brought on the incoming tides.  In the distance the two white buildings are the Grand Hotel and the block of apartments next door.  It is close to here that we park our car and then walk along the seafront as far as the harbour and back. 

Once on the promenade we were surprised to see not another person, not even a dog walker or an intrepid runner.  We had seen both species in the gardens, but none along this lovely stretch of promenade.  For the first time we had it all to ourselves. 

We then made our way back to the car via the Rock Walk.  This lovely olive tree is directly opposite the Princess Theatre. 

The Rock Walk has been refurbished in the last decade and is now much more open.  It is only a narrow pathway at the foot of a rocky cliff face, but it has been planted with sun-loving plants, and at the moment the rock face is home to wild flowers, mainly the lovely Valerian, or Devon Pride to give it its common name, as it grows in profusion in Devon.

and at the base of the cliff, osteospermum. 

We really enjoyed this walk, about two miles in total, to and from our car, and then we drove home, buying croissants on the way, and we enjoyed those with blackcurrant jam and coffee for a late breakfast.

Speak again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret Powling

22 Comments

  1. Marlene Stevens

    Glad you are back, I was going to email you and see if all was well.
    Torquay is looking lovely, the sun is out here in Cheltenham but there is a very cold wind, next weekend it is mean’t to be getting much hotter.
    Snap we had the same for breakfast today, apart from the jam being homemade Plum.

    08 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hi, Marlene … yes, thank goodness I’m back with the blog again. How we’ve come to rely on the technology! Mind you, my email isn’t working yet – I thought it was but it’s not, but at least I have some means of communication again via my blog.
      Torquay did indeed look lovely this morning and we were surprised not to see more people. It was by no means the crack of dawn although it was early. Oh, gorgeous home-made plum jam! My dad loved damson jam best of all! We used to have apricot jam with croissants, but we found it a little sweet (Bonne Maman making the best apricot jam, I think) and so we decided on blackcurrant which is a little sharper and lovely with croissants.
      You are right though, there is still a sneaky cold wind about! I’ve opened the summerhouse but whether we will go out there remains to be seen!

      08 . May . 2017
  2. Sue

    Nice to see you back, lots of lovely photo’s.

    08 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Sue. Hope all is well with you. Email still not working yet, though. Hopefully, that will be ‘sorted’ before too long. Glad you like the photos. We have just been in the summerhouse enjoying a cup of tea, and I’ve been reading the new book The Art of Letter Writing (fiction). Now for another cup of tea and, perhaps (amendment: there’s no “perhaps” about it!) a slice of fruit cake (home-made at the weekend.)

      08 . May . 2017
  3. Eloise at thisissixty.blog

    Welcome back, Margaret. I’m sure we all missed you!
    It must be so nice to watch the changing seasons through the gardens. They are do beautifully kept.
    What do they do with the seaweed that is cleared. Is it just discarded or is it used for some purpose?

    08 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Eloise. Thank goodness my blog is working again; however, my email is still ‘down’, must get that ‘sorted’ a s a p.
      As for the seaweed, I’ve no idea what the Council does with it! Maybe chucks it in the sea, ha ha! I shall have to try and find out. Maybe they turn it into compost? But yes, it’s lovely seeing the gardens change throughout the seasons. During the prolonged recession a number of flower beds in the Bay were grassed over to save money but thankfully those along the sea front have been retained, with the exception of one large area. Here they removed the expensive-to-fill flower beds and instead the rather poorly-maintained border was dug over and replanted with shrubs and is now looking splendid. Not colourful in the same way as carpet-bedding, but splendid in a quite different way, a much more sustainable way (although of course, it still needs weeding and the shrubs will need pruning now and again.)

      09 . May . 2017
  4. Pieta

    What a lovely walk and fancy having that beautiful promenade all to yourselves! Spring is such a lovely time of the year. We have a cliff walk along the backside of our property that was developed in our bicentennial year and it is always populated with two and four legged species, even on a wet day like today. I prefer to sit inside and watch.

    08 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      How lovely that you have a view along a cliff walk, Pieta! I’ve no doubt that is a very popular walk. Torquay sea front is such a popular place for walking seeing no one along the promenade yesterday was really unusual, but so lovely to have it all to ourselves.

      09 . May . 2017
  5. Lara

    Wiponderful to have you back. I missed you !!

    My hubbie LOVES black currant jam and it is very difficult to get in Australia. About six years ago we were travelling in NZ and he found ‘Barkers’ black currant jam and loved it so much he bought a couple of jars to bring home. Since then he has ordered six jars on two occasions from Barkers, having it flown across the Tasman Sea so that he can enjoy it on toast. We had to contact them by email via their website and they we so helpful – mind you they probably yelled out across the office ‘Gee these Aussies are strange – ordering their jam all they way from over here’ or something similar ! But he knows what he likes – and that’s black currant jam !!! Due to my ongoing health issues I’ve had to go completely gluten free (I used to be able to tolerate the occasional real bread or roll a few times a week but my fingers were all stiff and achey so I quit to see if it made a difference …. and sadly it does ….. so no more real,bread for me). As a result I’ve been craving a croissant. I haven’t had a croissant for years, and probably only ate them once a year but now that I CANT eat them I can think of nothing else. I’m like an addict !! Probably just as well I never smoked, tried drugs or took a liking to drinking ha ha.

    Thank you for our lovely tour. The promenade is especially wide and pretty, the gardens beautiful, and the buildings stunning. You continue to entertain and educate me :)))

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I missed being able to access my blog, too, Lara! But I’m back again now. Today we might go along to a supermarket fairly close to home that we have only been to once before as I understand they’re good for flowers and as we have no flowers in the house right now, I want to check them out.
      My goodness, having jam flown in from NZ! Mind you, we can’t get Cadbury’s Bournvita, a malty, chocolatey drink in this country any longer, but there is a company which imports it from India where it is a stable food, a health drink! We like it at bedtime in winter so I pay about three times what I used to pay for it simply to get a jar in winter!
      The blackcurrant jam we buy is in a discount store, Lidl, and is the best we have tasted. They also make a lovely raspberry jam. But for apricot we buy Bonne Maman jam, it’s delicious. Oh dear, how awful not to be able to eat bread or a croissant.

      09 . May . 2017
  6. Lara

    Seaweed can make an excellent garden / compost fertiliser. Collecting it yourself from the seashore is illegal in some countries (I assume, due to greedy people who took too much ??). On our nearby beach (about 6km from our front door) we get seaweed washed up in huge piles a couple of times a year, usually after big storms and accompanying big seas. It stinks to high heaven after a few days and the dogs LOVE roll in it as it decays so you see the owners yelling and flapping their arms about as the dogs roll in delight. Hilarious, really :))

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I’ve lost no time and emailed the Council Beaches dept and asked what they do with the seaweed they collect. Whether I get a response remains to be seen, but if I do, I will let you know! Yes, seaweed makes excellent compost. The Council should market it, it would pay for the cost of clearing it up! Years ago our local Paignton Zoo marketed Zoo Poo (elephant dung and so forth) but I think that has now ceased, perhaps Health & Safety had some say in the matter – they usually do!

      09 . May . 2017
  7. Lara

    Ooh we seem to be typing at about the same time. How exciting !! Isn’t technology wonderful :)))

    We have Aldi supermarkets here in Australia, which I understand are similar to Lidl in the U.K. They don’t have blackberry jam, though. I’m not fussed on jam. If anything, I like raspberry jam as it reminds me of my late maternal grandma who made the best pancakes and I would eat them with raspberry jam or sugar and lemon. Oh sweet memories. I’m still thinking about that croissant …..

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, I love the technology – that I write so someone, such as yourself, on the other side of the world, is indeed still remarkable to me!
      We have Aldi as well as Lidl, and I think people who are able to visit both in the UK either like one or the other. We like Lidl best, but we say that having only been once to a new Aldi fairly near to us. We have rather too many supermarkets from which to choose where we are, they are everywhere, plus the smaller ones in the local towns.
      I’ve never eaten raspberry jam on pancakes. Here, I think the vast majority of people pour over freshly squeezed lemon juice and then sprinkle with sugar although some now pour on either golden syrup or maple syrup.

      09 . May . 2017
  8. Jo

    Glad you’re back online, we’ve come to rely on computers so much that it’s hard to think back to a time when we didn’t have them now. I was an avid letter writer when I was younger, I wrote to family and friends and I had pen pals too, I still love to receive a letter through the post. What a lovely walk you took, I enjoy morning or evening walks when there aren’t so many people about.

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I was a letter writer, too, Jo, right up to the advent of word processors and even then had loads of people with whom I corresponded regularly. I had pen pals when I was young and at school, and later on family and friends, and I even wrote to a correspondence magazine – perhaps the blogs of their day! Indeed, I still correspond occasionally with one of the members of that magazine, more than 35 years since writing for it. Indeed, I am now enjoying the book I put on my blog post yesterday, which is a quirky book but is based on letter writing – with a pen on paper, I mean. Enjoying it so far, but too early yet to decide whether it deserves a strong recommendation.

      09 . May . 2017
  9. Eloise at thisissixty.blog

    Back in the sea, Margaret!!! Hahaha. Perhaps they sell it to the local seafood restaurants! I’m really not sure if all seaweeds are edible.
    Isn’t it funny that we all have certain favourites that we can’t get. When I am over in Ireland I bring pack several packers of TUC savoury crackers with chives. They also do bacon flavour, but we get neither here. I remember Bournvita -didn’t know that it was no longer available. I’m also a fan of blackcurrant jam. As you know (and will be fed up of hearing) I hate the fact that I have to work on Saturdays. To make the day a little more tolerable my husband meets me each week at lunchtime and we go into Cafe Nero where we have coffee and a toasted tea cake (their tea cakes surpass all others available in the town centre). He brings with him a tiny pot of blackcurrant jam, decanted from the larger jar, and the girls in the shop know that I will not require the pot of strawberry which is usually provided!

    Sorry to hear that Lara has been unwell lately. Let’s hope that your revised diet will help in your recovery.

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, what a good idea – fresh seaweed to Rock Fish and so forth, the fish restaurant of the moment in this neck of the woods! But, like you, not sure whether all are edible. I didn’t know that TUC (I always think of Trades Union Congress!) crackers came with chives! Well, no doubt because they are only available now in Ireland! Do you remember Vitbe Bran Buns? They were lovely warmed and served with custard. And I used to love Huntley & Palmer’s Breakfast Biscuits, they were a sort of square that was rounded off at the corners and they had a shiny surface and were lovely with butter and just a sprinkle of the now almost-forbidden salt! Also, Shipham’s Anchovy Paste. Loved that and it was nicer than the more up-market Gentleman’s Relish (much the same thing, but truly not as nice as Shipham’s!) As soon as you get to like something you can bet your bottom dollar it will disappear!
      What a lovely husband you have to remember to bring some decanted blackcurrant jam for your toasted tea cake on a Saturday! That’s thoughtfulness with knobs on, as they say.
      Yes, I’m sorry to hear Lara has been unwell, I think all who read the posts and comments here will wish her well.

      09 . May . 2017
  10. Eloise at thisissixty.blog

    I don’t recall Vitbe bran buns. How about Kunzel cakes? Chocolate ‘shell’ tart shape on the outside filled with a tiny bit of sponge and a creamy filling . I seem to remember liking those. They disappeared in the 60s/70s.
    It happens with otner things too. My favourite OPI nail polish can no longer be bought and the lipstick from Bare Minerals that I have been using for ages has just been discontinued. It is so frustrating!

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      I remember Kunzel cakes but never ate them, but the bran buns were lovely, they were little dark individual sponges with fruit in them, a bit like a fairy cake without the fripperies, and lovely warmed in the oven and then served with hot custard. I could eat one right now!
      I used to use a lovely shade of nail polish called Rosewood, can’t recall the make now, but it was lovely, not pink and now brown but a combination, just the right colour to wear with so many clothes.

      09 . May . 2017
  11. Eloise at thisissixty.blog

    Oh rosewood is a lovely shade and a very useful colour as it can look pinky, reddish, terracotta, depending on what you wear it with. My discontinued lipstick is exactly like that. I had to buy two!

    Kunzel cakes were (at the time) delicious. I would probably find them very artificial tasting now. I think they cost 4d.

    09 . May . 2017
    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, things we loved years ago I think we’d find a bit sickly-sweet now, Eloise!

      09 . May . 2017

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