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A Busy Morning

The day started bright and sunny, I made coffee which I enjoyed in bed, and husband was up and showered and dressed in record time and then nipped out to the local shop for the morning paper which I then looked at in bed.  But not for long, it was to be a busy morning.  So after a cursory glance, it was up and into the shower … followed by breakfast.  I thought if we were going to have a busy day, a good breakfast might set us up …

But first things first … the first machine load of washing, the Rapid wash (30 minutes) for things which needed just freshening.  Then laying the breakfast table, and cutting up the melon …

and making tea … and then scrambled eggs on toast, followed by toast and marmalade …

By now it was time for the 2nd machine load …

Another Rapid wash, this time mixed colours …

And as the washing machine chugged away nicely, I emptied the dishwasher in which had been last night’s supper things …

but I didn’t re-fill it with the dirty dishes just yet. No, I decided to make the pastry for the quiches that we were having for supper (more of which shortly).  So, out with the mixing bowl, the weigh scales, the flour, margarine and an egg to bind the pastry together …

I then wrapped the pastry in foil and put it in the fridge to ‘rest’ – what a lovely phrase that is! It’s as if the pastry has been doing all the hard work rather than me!  I’m the one who needed the rest, not a lump of dough!

Right, where was I.  Back with the dishwasher, which I now filled with the breakfast things plus the mixing bowl, etc. …

Yes, these are the dirty dishes – I rinse them before they go into the machine. You can’t expect a dirty machine, which it soon would be unless the things were first rinsed, to produce clean crockery, can you?

By now the 2nd machine load of washing had finished and I hung it outside to dry, it being a sunny morning.  I stripped the bed of the laundry, and refilled the machine for the 3rd time …

My ‘new’ washing machine, bought earlier this year, is turning out into a real workhorse, it’s excellent.  This time it’s a hot cotton wash, not the hottest which is 95C as rarely does anything require such heat, but nonetheless, a 60C hot wash for bed linen (especially as we have only white bed linen.)

I return to the bedroom, open the windows, give the mattress topper a shake and leave the bed to air, and then put out the clean bed linen to put on the bed later on …

I’m afraid it doesn’t look all that well-ironed because we’re having problems with our iron (and it’s not very old and it was expensive.)  The steam is intermittent, sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. But I’ve found machines have minds of their own. I did mention “landfill” to it, and it began to work again, but it obviously forgot what I said and stopped working again.

Then back to the kitchen to make the quiches, the pastry having ‘rested’ for more than half an hour …

I chopped two large onions and grated cheese, it was to be a simple quiche (or rather, two quiches) … and I then sautéed the onions, rolled out the pastry and filled two quiche tins, and proceeded to make the quiches (seven eggs and a drop of double cream for two quiches this size) and bake them.

While the quiches were baking, I made a mixed salad (but without tomatoes which go too squidgy, although I like a tomato, red onion and basil salad) … I washed little gem lettuces and dried them on a clean tea towel, chopped yellow pepper, spring onions, and cucumber (which I peel and de-seed), grated a small carrot …

By now it was almost time for lunch, and all I’d done was the breakfast, the washing, and made quiches and a salad!  So I took out the frozen portion of the soup I made a couple of days ago, the red lentil, red pepper and tomato soup (with a dash of cumin) and heated that for our lunch with small baguettes …

I then emptied the dishwasher again, re-filled it, cleaned the worktops (counters), and then laid the table for tea.  Our son, daughter in law and grandson were coming to tea, hence the quiches and salad.  And there was a birthday cake, too, it being our daughter in law’s birthday, that I made yesterday with the help of grandson, a cake complete with gold and silver candles.  After all, a birthday isn’t a birthday without a birthday cake, is it?  (Well, not to a four year old!)

We had a lovely family meal together and by the time I’d eaten my tea and said good bye to the family, then cleared up the crockery and re-filled the dishwasher yet again, it was almost time for the beginning Strictly Come Dancing, the end of a busy, but really enjoyable Saturday.

And if you think I was the only person busy today, wrong. Husband also did lots of jobs, planting a rose bush ( one of my recent birthday presents), sweeping paths, collecting the paper, milk and eggs from the local shop, taking down Venetian blinds and giving them their annual wash (outside), and in the garage he decided to clean and sharpen four pairs of garden shears.  I didn’t know he had so many!  Does anyone really need four pairs of shears?  Don’t answer that!

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. an easy day at home? hhmmm ….. not. Who would believe the amount of work that needs to be done in a home!

    I took cheeses, crackers, manuka honey-smoked salmon slices, crackers, (and baby tomatoes for my daughter), plus organic creamy milk for our coffee made by expensive coffee machine, to eldest daughters wee farm, for a catch up. It was lovely. As I left one of the lambs was distressed as it was stuck in the chicken coop with the scary chickens, whilst other wee lamb anxiously baaa’d for help for it’s sibling. How sweet.

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Ratnamurti. What lovely food you took with you to your daughter’s small farm (it sounds like what we might call as ‘smallholding’, not quite a farm but larger than a garden, where not only is there produce in the way of fruit and vegetables, but also some animals, but not a large amount of animals). Oh, what a picture you paint of the lambs, one caught in the coop with its sibling baa’ing for it!
      You are right – running a home isn’t always easy, and the older one gets, the less easy because it simply takes longer to accomplish tasks we’d have done so much more quickly when younger.

  2. Hello. It looks like you had a perfect day. How nice to prepare such yummy food for your dear ones. The quiche came out beautifully. I’ve just discovered your blog and so enjoy it. Have a wonderful day. Pat

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Pat, and thank you for commenting. Yes, the quiches came out well, very tasty. It was a busy morning, but it was enjoyable. I hope you will look at my blog again.

  3. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    It was all go for you both wasn’t it, but worth all the effort for your lovely family I’m sure.
    We only have space for a small dishwasher here it drives me nuts as it always seems to be on, oh how I would love a normal size one. We had to buy a new washing machine this year also, but it is so more economical, it even knows how much washing you put in so it can use the right amount of water, a brilliant machine. So you don’t blind bake your pastry then? I sometimes do but I suppose if it’s thin enough it is ok. I didn’t watch strictly I missed the first half an hour so I thought I would watch on the i player next week.
    Have a nice relaxing day, you deserve it.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, Marlene, that’s what our new washing machine does, it ‘knows’ how much is in it and so knows how much water to use. I’m very pleased with it, and also it’s not noisy, either.
      No, I don’t blind bake. I’ve tried it and quite honestly, it makes no difference to my pastry. I maintain that bakeries, hotels and restaurants wouldn’t have time for this faffing. What is required is (a) heavy duty tins, high quality, so that the heat is evenly spread and not using ceramic which isn’t a good conductor of heat (b) a hot oven, and I mean hot, 200C at least, to start with and (c) thin pastry. If you have all those three, there is no need to bake blind. It works every time for me, no soggy bottoms and crisp, evenly baked pastry with a lovely filling. Job done, as they say!
      I have been having a relaxing day, actually, which makes a nice change! I’ve been sitting on the sofa reading, with a cup of tea to hand. Utter bliss. There is joy to be had in a cup of tea, a comfy sofa and a good book!

  4. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I like days like this. At the end of them you feel that you have achieved something. I do love quiche. It’s such a versatile recipe too because all sorts can go into it. I more often than not use quark in mine rather than cream because it’s very low in calories……there speaks a Slimming World member!
    Haha, I like the idea of threatening underperforming electrical items with the ‘L’ word!

    As Ratnamurti says, there’s a lot to running a home. I often wonder how I ever managed to work full time.

    • Margaret Powling

      I’ve not tried quark, Eloise, but if it tastes much like cream in a quiche I might give it a go! Yes, often threaten recalcitrant electrical goods, but if they are very old I feel sorry for them in their old age, the poor things, real workhorses and then discarded, taken to the tip and ripped apart. I only ever worked full time before I had children and then I didn’t work until the youngest was about two, and then only ever part time, but it was still hard work, sharing a car and also taking my mother shopping, etc, as my father had died and she, a widow, couldn’t drive. But one did whatever needed to be done.

  5. What a busy day. The birthday tea looks delicious and sounds delightful. Good to hear you’ve had a relaxing day today. We’ve had a busy weekend including a 10 mile walk today. I feel exhausted but luckily our son and his girlfriend offered to roast the chicken and make an apple crumble for us all this evening. My husband’s loading the dishwasher now, I’m flopping in front of Antiques Roadshow and the young people are watching a film. Happy days.

    • Margaret Powling

      That sounds a lovely Sunday, Sarah – walking and then having a meal made for you by your son and his girlfriend. I enjoyed tonight’s Antiques Roadshow, what a wonderful diamond brooch at the end, and how moving the story of the antiques’ expert brought up in a children’s home when TV children’s entertainer Harry Corbett and his puppets, Sooty and Sweep, visited the home, and there today, on the programme, were those puppets, on the Roadshow. We also watched Escape to the Chateau with Dick and Angel Strawbridge as they continued to renovate their 45-room French chateau. Well done on a 10 mile walk!

  6. I feel exhausted after reading that post and others’ comments about their industriousness! My Saturday, by comparison, was spent with my mum and two dear girlfriends enjoying a morning at a local day spa where we each enjoyed a facial (me) or massage (the others) and then lunch in a lovely cafe afterwards. We then drove home, laughing and chatting the whole way. It had been some months since we were all together and had taken months (literally) to coordinate the gathering due to commitments with work, family, etc. Later that evening mum and I watched ‘Notting Hill’ on DVD (for the umpteenth time) and ate cheese on toast for dinner in our pjs. It was relaxing and the whole day was so much fun with good company and many giggles. The trip to the day spa had been spurred on by my birthday recently – as I’ve mentioned previously mum and I prefer to do things together, rather than buy gifts for birthdays, so my choice of present this year was a facial. Mum had her massage, so it was a win-win. The four of us floated out of there relaxed, giggling and totally refreshed. Spending time with dear friends and special members of family is essential, regardless of how you do it.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, it was exhausting, Lara! But that’s how it goes sometimes. How lovely that you were able to spend a relaxing day with our mother and two girlfriends at a spa. Do you know, I’ve never visited a spa in my life. I don’t enjoy people massaging my body (I once had some body massage, courtesy of the National Health Service, when I was having treatment for breast cancer, and quite frankly I found a strange woman massaging my tummy not pleasant at all. I did have a facial several years ago, when I was writing a magazine article about a visit to a rather nice hotel (which has a spa, and this was part of that spa, but it was a work-generated experience and I didn’t go in the pool) and afterwards I felt all pink and clammy, and undressed without makeup on. But you certainly sounded to have had fun … I’d have enjoyed the lunch in the café, ha ha!
      Best of all, perhaps, enjoying Notting Hill and cheese on toast in your pjs! It’s such a good idea to have these kinds of gifts – days out together with your Mum. Yes, time with family and friends is the best gift of all.

  7. ps. I know I have said it before but your tables are always beautifully laid 🙂

  8. Gosh you are a busy beaver, Margaret! Did you need a nap after so much activity/work? I love reading about your days. And your meals look wonderful!

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Jeannine, and yes, I did need a nap after the morning, but it couldn’t be for long as our family was coming to their tea at 5 o’clock (early so as to keep little grandson’s bedtime 0 7 o’clock – the same.) Thank you for your kind comments re the meals. Simple ones, but that’s what we enjoy best of all.

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