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A fresh start



After a few fraught days – and believe me, a blog with problems is only a first-world problem, so not really a problem in the great scheme of things, just an annoyance – I now have my blog up and running again.  I found an excellent person on the website Fiverr (correct spelling), a website where those with computer skills advertise their services.   This highly skilled person has not only ironed out the glitches for me but totally transformed my blog, and I do like it – and I hope you will, too.

I would just like to mention that the header photo is the view across Torbay, towards the town of Torquay, from the grounds of Berry Head Hotel.

So now, onwards and upwards.

I will kick start with talking about a lovely new book which arrived this week.  I had read Janice McLeod’s first book, Paris Letters some time ago …

I thought it was a joy from beginning to end and couldn’t wait for her next book which has only recently been published …

This book is quite different but lovely in a different way from the first.  It is a year’s journal of living in Paris, a city I have never visited but I have loved every moment of my virtual visit with Janice as my guide. I now know the difference between Napoleon whom we defeated at Waterloo and Napoleon (his nephew) who instigated the re-building of the city; I know a little more about Hemmingway and the writers who met in Paris; I know about Chanel and her perfume No 5 and why it was named thus; indeed, I know a lot more about Paris than I did even a few days ago.  I read the book in the garden …

(My red nail polish sort-of matches the lovely French red on these photographs, does it not?)

It was a very hot afternoon and I was sitting in the shade of our walnut tree.

I also read the book in bed with my early morning brioche and apricot jam (how French is that?) …

Sadly, I finished this book all too quickly. It really is the kind of book that you can romp through and that is its only drawback.  But it is so attractive, so informative, that I know I shall read it again and again, each time learning something new (or rather, reinforcing what I read before but which I thought I’d forgotten).

I will be posting again before too long, perhaps on books (ones I have just acquired; and another post on a theme, perhaps books on birds and wildlife as I know there are several readers who are keen bird watchers.)

Again, I’m delighted to be back writing again.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Until next time.


About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. So glad you’re back, Margaret! Your new blog is beautifully done! I loved Paris Letters, and did a post on it some time ago. But I hadn’t learned of her new book, so am glad to know about it. I’ll be off to add it to my wish list, which is the only way I can prioritize and keep track of interesting books! Congratulations on the new blog look!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Bess, and thank you for your kind good wishes. So glad you also loved Paris Letters. Janice’s new book is lovely, but it’s a much shorter read as it’s very much an illustrated diary, something like her illustrated letters which people may subscribe to if they so wish. Yes, I add books to my Wish List, too. But sometimes I return to that and delete books which no longer really interest me, but I tend to add many more than I delete!

  2. Hello Margaret, it’s Jayne from Vancouver, Canada again. I am so happy your blog is back and I love the new look. I liked the previous one too, it was easy to read and find posts and I’m sure I will get used to this one very soon. I have to confess I have checked every day to see whether you were up and running again, so welcome back.
    I hope you too, have a lovely weekend.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Jayne in Vancouver, and that is so encouraging – that you actually looked every day to see if my blog was back! At one point I was very despondent because I somehow couldn’t manage to get my Visa card accepted (it turned out to be my own fault in not realizing that the information wasn’t in English, how silly is that?) The first person I contacted wasn’t really fluent in English and that made it difficult but the second person has made a wonderful job, I think.
      The new look is a very different one and not one I chose myself, but one which I’m more than happy with. I miss my old header, which I had specially designed, but a change is sometimes nice to have. Perhaps I will post again today, to make up for lost time!
      Again, thank you so much for your good wishes, and you have a lovely weekend, too.

  3. So lovely that your blog is up again, Margaret. I do so enjoy it. Your previous blog was a great format, but…. I do like this, too. There is something about it that is intriguing.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Ratnamurti. I am totally overwhelmed by all the lovely messages I’ve received telling me how much readers enjoy my blog and thank you for your kind comments, too. I also loved the look of my previous blog and I thought at first that the home page, the page where readers first see the blog, looked a little ‘busy’, but it just takes a bit of getting used to, I think. I hope to post again later today.

      • actually that ‘busyness’ is quite nice, just different

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          Yes, I quite like it, too, Ratnamurti! And previous posts are there to be seen, too. I’m glad they haven’t all disappeared as they act as a sort-of diary of the year for me, reminders of what we have done and where we have been.

  4. Welcome back Margaret, lovely to have you up and running again. Love the new header, the photo of you is beautiful. X

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you so much, Dot. It is lovely that so many readers have been enjoying my blog and have welcomed me back. Thank you for your kind remark re my photo, I didn’t know which one to use (my lovely computer woman from Fiverr asked for a photo to use) but this is the most recent, taken only a month or two ago.

  5. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    Lovely to see you back Margaret, love the new look, what a lovely photo of you as well.
    Looking forward to reading your posts again, I have had a look at A Paris Year on Amazon and ended up putting it in my list .

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Marlene! My photograph was one I posted a couple of months ago when I’d just had my hair done so thought this was the most suitable one to use. Oh dear, I’m leading you astray with books again … it is a very quick read but it’s beautiful and I know I will read it again or simply look at Janice’s lovely illustrations.

  6. Eloise at thisissixty.blog

    Pleased to find you ‘up and running’ again, Margaret and I do like the blog layout. How lucky that it didn’t mean the loss of all your previous posts – that would have been very disheartening.
    The book looks very interesting. I have only be to Cannes in France. It was very pretty and the yachts and the patisseries were amazing! (Trust me to remember the cakes!)
    Thank you so much for adding my blog to your list of favourites. I can now go and add your again. At first I just had a list but the other day I worked out how to add them as links. At the time I left yours out because of the problems you were having. I thought that if people selected it and then saw all that gobbledygook, they probably wouldn’t bother again.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you so much, Eloise, for adding me to your ‘List’ on your blog – Devon Dreaming has gone, just my name now, but I hope readers will be able to find me.
      How lovely to have been to Cannes. Only been to France once, more than 30 years ago, to Normandy for a week, but it was very nice (apart from the rain – every day!)

  7. Your red nail polish looks very chic. A friend gave me an OPI brand red polish about six years ago and it is the most beautiful shade but very unforgiving. It shows up every flaw if you haven’t applied it perfectly (which I find impossible to do) and I seem to chip coloured nail polish within 24 hours.

    I echo everyone else’s comments about the new appearance of your blog and how lovely it is to have you back. It’s funny how even though we have never met (or even spoken) and live so far away – and in different time zones – I really felt like something was missing without having your posts to read every couple of days. I’m delighted you are back xxx

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, that is so true, Lara – red does show up every flaw. I ‘did’ my nails yesterday morning, in a bit of a hurry I have to say, and I was looking at them now and there are dents and ripples that should not be there!
      That is so kind of you to say that, that you are delighted I am back with my blog. I, too, feel that readers such as yourself are now friends in the blog world, the distance makes no difference, nor the time zones, when we at all on much the same wavelength, o to speak! I am glad you like the new home page, the ‘look’ of the blog, too. I had no hand in that whatsoever, it was all down to the computer expert from Fiverr. All I did was supply my photo and the header photo of the view across the Bay. I hope you will now enjoy reading some of the posts you have missed. Thankfully, she was able to restore all my old posts. I hope to post something new again before too long.

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