Reader Eloise has suggested – tongue-in-cheek, I’m sure! – that I write two posts a day. And so I’m rising to the challenge even though today has been a very ordinary day in the Powling household.
I will start with our back garden: the summer flowers, sadly, are almost over. It won’t be long now before I start looking in the autumn bulb catalogue although I do my best to put this off for as long as possible for it feels as if I’m bringing autumn closer when we’re still at the height of summer. Well, an English summer which consists of a few hours of sunshine occasionally, a heatwave for a few days even less frequently, but more often than not grey skies and heavy downpours. At least all the rain in the past couple of weeks has done the grass good: during a summer of sunshine, by the end of July the grass has been desiccated to a pale corn gold. Not this year.
This morning consisted of making the bed, making breakfast, loading the dishwasher and washing machine, hanging out washing, and then going to the local pharmacy for husband’s monthly prescriptive medications. Then back home to make chicken curry for lunch.
So, simply housekeeping tasks, nothing too onerous. Younger son arrived (to do some work with elder son; they have a business together) with Barry-the-dog, whom some of you might remember from an earlier post, when Barry had his own Guest Post. I asked him if he’d like to say a few words today, but he pretended not to hear (photo below).
“Does she ever stop talking?”
Here he can be seen snoozing on the back of one of our sofas. I was prepared for his arrival – I put an old woollen throw over this sofa as it had new covers – at enormous expense – last year, but Barry doesn’t know this even though I explained that doggy claws and fine fabrics aren’t a happy partnership.
One good thing about the internet and internet banking in particular is that we seldom now receive a bill in the post. This doesn’t mean we don’t have bills, but it means that instead of manila envelopes falling with regularity, instead it’s usually nicer things dropping onto the doormat. Today, it was the latest copy of The English Home magazine and a book I ordered for husband – he was saying he had nothing to read, and that in a house with roughly 2,000 – 3,000 books at a rough estimate. He enjoys technical books and science books and occasionally a biography, but his reading is not as wide-ranging as mine. He reads, like a lot of men, “for information” but he did enjoy two books recently: Catherine Bailey’s Black Diamonds and The Secret Rooms (which I also read, they are excellent.) And so, when my cousin mentioned a book which she thought sounded interesting (and similar to these two books in some ways) I ordered it for him:
I was a little dismayed by the first line, though: “It was a dark, windy winter evening a few days before Christmas 1879 …” It rather reminds me of the old jokey line which is so often poked fun at, “It was a dark and stormy night …” Surely, it can only get better? I have to say I’m not totally enamoured of books which say things like, “and she put on her warm coat” if the writer of a non-fiction book wasn’t actually there to witness this. As I say, it can only get better. Can’t it?
How lovely to have a new magazine to read, and so this afternoon I sat and looked at this new issue, with a cup of tea and a slice of almond sponge (made a couple of days ago … I make single layer almond cakes; this means we eat fewer calories, but still have a nice tasty slice!
I hadn’t realized how appropriate the photo above is: a slice of cake on a feature on the home of cookery guru, Rose Prince! I hope she won’t mind her lovely home being overshadowed by my humble almond sponge.
Later in the morning there was another delivery, this time a bar of soap from Bronnley. A couple of week’s ago I received an order from Bronnley of three soaps, Freesia, a lemon soap (shown here next to a real lemon, just for fun) and a small guest soap, the RHS rose soap.
Unfortunately, the bar of Freesia soap didn’t smell nice at all. It was as if the fragrance hadn’t been added, the soap simply smelt oily, and so I thought I’d mention it to Bronnley. I wasn’t complaining; after all, it’s only a bar of soap and mistakes can happen, but I thought that perhaps they might like to know. I was therefore both surprised and delighted when, this morning, a replacement bar of soap arrived courtesy of Bronnley. And it smells lovely. Nothing like freesias, I might add, but pleasant nonetheless!
And so, the afternoon is almost over, it’s nearly time for supper (close to 6 pm here in the UK as I write this.) It will be a light supper – not quite sure what yet, I will examine the contents of the fridge shortly – as we had porridge for breakfast and then chicken curry, as I mentioned, for lunch, plus tea and almond cake about 4 pm. Perhaps boiled eggs and ‘soldiers’, with some fruit to follow.
As I sit here and turn to my right, I have a view through the patio doors of our small back garden.
The flowers are looking a little tired now, there are weeds which need removing, but at the back of the garden – and I thought the snails had ‘done’ for them – we have some dark rose pink hollyhocks which have just come into flower.
And just before younger son put on his lead to take him home, Barry found a patch of delicious warm sunshine on the hall carpet (the pattern of the window in the front door being reproduced on the carpet by the sunshine.)
I have mentioned to Barry that he won’t be allowed to walk on the carpet (only joking!) as on Thursday the hall, stairs and landing carpet is being professionally cleaned. I told him he’d need four tiny slippers to put on when he comes in. He wasn’t impressed by such silly remarks.
I hope you have had a pleasant day, with nice post, tasty food, and a good book to read. If you have been working, then I hope you will have a relaxing evening.
Until next time.