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A Perfect Day

You simply can’t beat a sunny morning by the sea in the little fishing town of Brixham.  This is the view from the car park.  To the left, across the Bay, is Torquay.  And behind me, the cliff on top of which is perched some of the pretty ice-cream-coloured houses.

I was in Brixham to meet a new friend but as I arrived early I had a stroll around the harbour.

The boat on the right is a replica of The Golden Hind (a tourist attraction – visitors are encouraged to climb abroad and see what life afloat would’ve been like for those early seafarers.)

The houses really do seem to cling to the hillside above this little town.  I then made my way to meet my friend and we had coffee in what I think is a fairly new establishment called Liberty, which is part cocktail bar part coffee/tea parlour.

I don’t know how my friend might describe the décor, but I would like to suggest Art Deco crossed with Fairground just about covers it, I think.  It’s not what might be termed ‘industriel‘ which has been popular for a while now, all that concrete and exposed copper piping, but neither is it ‘vintage’.  But the coffee was good and so were the pastries.

We chatted for the best part of a couple of hours, what a lovely way to spend a sunny morning!  No housework, no shopping, just two women enjoying each other’s company, and learning about each other’s families.

After we went our separate ways I returned home and husband and I had a salad lunch before driving to the village of Bishopsteignton to our younger son’s house.  He and his partner (I can hardly refer to her as his girlfriend after they have been together for 27 years, can I?) are having their entire garden fenced, and it’s looking good.  Not quite finished yet, but once that is complete, Barry-the-dog will be able to run out there without having to be on a lead. After all, the raison d’etre of terriers is to escape!  We had a cup of tea, admired the fencing (which is impregnated with a solution to stop it rotting, and also it doesn’t need painting, it will go ‘silvery’ as it ages).  The drive to their home is a nice one whichever route we take – yesterday we went along what is a fairly new road, the by-pass route …

And we returned via the Shaldon Bridge route …

I took the above photo in 2008, just as we arrived at the Shaldon Bridge – once on it, the railings prevent a decent photograph unless, of course, you are walking over the bridge.

As well as these two pleasant parts to the day – my morning in Brixham, my afternoon with our younger son and his partner – I also received some rather nice post.

Two new woollen throws for our two sofas. I thought matching throws would look neater than mis-matched ones.

Also …

A set of four bird coasters from a company called Magpie.  I’ve no idea why they are now in sets of four and not six, but they are rather attractive, I think.

Two more 2nd hand paperbacks by gardener-cum-novelist, Alan Titchmarsh.  I am really enjoying his books, light reading but well written.

And my lovely monthly magazine arrived, too.

On the way home from our younger son’s we popped into Waitrose and I picked up another monthly title, plus Waitrose’s own magazine, and a bar of a new style of chocolate …

This Green & Black dark chocolate is salted caramel flavour, rather tasty!

And also, perhaps gladioli’s last hurrah …

I don’t usually go for such bright colours, but I thought these were stunning, and they look lovely, especially in the morning when the sun shines through them …

And to end such a lovely day, Doc Martin on TV!  A totally ridiculous series, but oh, such fun!  It would appear that all the residents of Portwen (Port Isaac in actuality) are totally barking mad!

* * * * *

Today, Thursday, has also been bright and sunny and a friend/ex-colleague of my husband called and had coffee with us.  Later we visited a local garden centre to buy compost in which to plant the new tulip and narcissi bulbs which also arrived yesterday.  As husband queued up to pay for the compost (and a couple of white cyclamen which I bought for the hearth) I wandered around, admiring the plants …

and then came across …

One of the employees was busy building stables for Rudolph and his friends (no red noses as yet!)  What this employee had to say about this display isn’t worth repeating!  He said he hoped it would be ready by Easter!  I said it was just about the naffest thing I’d seen but as such it will go down a storm, visitors to the centre will just love it!  I wonder if those antlers light up?  I wouldn’t be surprised if they do!

Once home, I put the cyclamen in the bowl in the hearth. Yes, I know the floral decoration ‘rule’, only have odd numbers, i.e. three, five, seven, etc.  Here are two plants, I’ve flouted the ‘rule’ but there isn’t room in this bowl for more than two plants, and I didn’t want to plant them directly into this 18th century punch bowl.  I still think they look pretty, even though there are only two of them.

But then, there are only two Staffordshire dogs, only two Royal Doulton vases, only two glass candlesticks!  How come that pairs relate to things other than those which are horticultural?

And, in the hall, those cream-edged-with-pink carnations have, at last, fully opened.


In closing I should like to thank you all for your good wishes regarding my recently tummy troubles. I am feeling much better now,  but not yet 100%, but am getting there.

Good wishes to you all,

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. Those reindeer are pretty quirky! It’d be interesting to see the finished display. Your flowers and those of the garden center are all gorgeous. Hope your new Titchmarsh books will be good. I did buy one for my Kindle last month after you shared about him earlier: Mr. Gandy’s Grand Tour. I haven’t read it yet; I’m way behind on reading my Kindle books. We do get Doc Martin in the US via PBS. I know I’ve seen the first 7(?) series. It’s such a good show. Is the newest series out now in the UK? I’ll have to watch for it; I watch just enough TV to barely know when anything is on unless I track it down! I wonder if we’ll ever see much of a change in the Doc, although he has his moments. I want him to be nice to a dog for a change!!! :O) Have a great weekend, Bess

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Bess, and no, Doc Martin is still not being nice to the dog, ha ha. In the latest episode the dog had wandered into the house and he picked it up but first he put on gloves. We are watching the latest series at the moment, but I don’t know if that would be available yet as a box set or on your PBS.
      No doubt I will see the finished reindeer display in due course, it can only get better (as the song says!) … well, I should hope so!
      Yes, you have a good weekend too, Bess. It’s a gorgeous autumn morning, the sun has just risen over the sea and it looks so beautiful.

  2. Well that does look like a pretty much perfect day Margaret! Not sure about the reindeer but I think the cyclamen look smashing on your hearth and oh my, the pretty colours in those carnations.
    Another house here who are big fans of Doc Martin, it’s such a quirky series but very watchable especially with such lovely scenery.
    We have also tried that chocolate and liked it so much have now picked up a bar of the plain version with roasted almonds, we do try to limit ourselves to just the one square as they are quite large but it’s tough…..

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, we limit ourselves to one or two squares each day, Elaine, for that chocolate. It’s lovely, and I will try the other flavours in due course. Husband likes Waitrose’s own dark chocolate with hazelnuts, but I prefer chocolate without nuts although I like nuts (but not in chocolate.)
      The flowers in the house right now are really pretty, and I’m delighted that those in the hall, the cream carnations have fully opened. This afternoon I hope to be planting some bulbs for spring if this find weather holds.

      • Have you tried the other G&B chocolate with sea salt, the one in the light blue wrapper? It’s my beloveds favourite so often finds it’s way into the shopping trolley 😊
        Hope you do get out in the garden and plant your bulbs, it’s a fine day here as well so my plan is to take my horse out across the fens for a couple of hours, think we could both do with the fresh air and exercise.

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          This is the G&B sea salt with caramel, Elaine, but I’ve not tried a sea salt on its own, so will try that next time. Funny how these things find themselves, totally unaided, into the trolley, isn’t it?
          Yes, got almost all the bulbs planted, but didn’t buy enough! But I spent enough, so any more will have to be bought from the local garden centre where the bulbs aren’t as expensive as those I have bought from Sarah Raven, but her bulbs are spectacular. Indeed, it will be fun to buy some from the local garden centre and compare the bulbs from the two sources. I have just come in to make us a cup of tea, so must go back out now otherwise Sir will think it a dereliction of duty!

  3. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    I love seeing images of seaside towns and all the different coloured houses.
    I do enjoy a trip to a garden centre, they are very fancy and often quirky these days, I could happily spend an afternoon browsing away. I picked up a bundle of The English Home magazines today from a small charity shop for 50p the lot, I am looking forward to looking at them. I love those carnations, hardly ever see them, they are beauties.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, Brixham has a wealth of prettily-coloured houses hugging the hillsides, I love them. But of course, many of them are old fishermen’s cottages and some of them are three- and four-storeys high, tall and narrow, so there is a lot of running up and down stairs. But while these are drawbacks, the plus side is the views that many of them have of the harbour and, beyond, Torbay.
      I also love those carnations, as you say you don’t see those often so when I do see them, I grab them!

  4. very picturesque places around you Margaret. Truly lovely. Glad to hear that your tummy is on the mend

  5. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    What a busy day! As the new friend whom you met for coffee, I have to agree, we had a lovely time getting to know one another. Your part of Devon is a beautiful one in which to holiday.
    The throws look very nice, and what unusual coasters … very nice too.
    I have a little story about Port Isaac. We were there about five years ago. It was during the height of the summer season. Big mistake as the traffic is horrendous. Anyhow, a van driver refused to back his vehicle onto the beach so that we could get through, even though those behind him had done so. There were a dozen vehicles behind us, all backed up the hill. My husband got out of the car and went to speak to him. He still refused to move. Several other men from the cars behind did the same. Still he refused. Then I got out of the car and spoke to him. He grumbled but moved his van. I’m not going to say here what I said, but suffice to mention that yes, I am aware that it is an offence to impersonate a police officer!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Ooh, that was brave of you, Eloise! But obviously what you said to the man worked! I’ve never been to Port Isaac (Portwen in Doc Martin) but it does look very pretty although I’m sure it must get horrendously busy in the summer. I wonder what the locals feel like, though, being portrayed as incompetents? Whatever they think, the show brings loads of tourists, I’m sure. Yes, it was lovely having coffee with you, what a good time we had!

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