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Making Progress …

Through the Looking Glass

Dear friends, I’m so sorry I’ve not posted for four days.  I am making progress towards renewed good health, but this cough and cold has been the worst one I’ve had and rest has been the only thing I’ve been able to do. Thank goodness for Freddy the Freezer, the new little chap in the garage which I’d stuffed with meals – we have emptied him now and so I must get well in order to replenish the stock.  The photo above is of our Christmas tree several years ago but as soon as I’m bouncing around again like Tigger, I will take photos of this year’s tree which is up at last and decorated.  I have wrapped most of the presents, baked the cake and written the cards which are ready for posting, but I’ve been unable to do much else.  I will be back writing again before too long, I hope.  In the meantime I hope all your Christmas preparations are continuing at a swifter pace than my own.

With very best wishes,

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. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    Morning Margaret,
    So glad you are making progress, fingers crossed you will be better for Christmas Day.
    Freddy has been very helpful hasn’t he, I would be lost without my second freezer now, I made cottage pies yesterday for ours.
    Have a good day.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your good wishes, Marlene. I think we have just one fish pie left in Freddy, plus a couple of individual veggie curries. I might dig those out for our supper this evening. We went out this morning, mainly so I could buy flowers for Christmas but I saw few that I liked; too many gaudy, expensive, mixed-colour bouquets which simply look vulgar to me, too brash, too in-your-face, but I did manage to find some pink and red spray carnations, much nicer.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still not feeling well. Please take care of yourself and rest. My best wishes to you for a speedy recovery, Pat

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Pat. After a trip to Totnes this morning – which I will post about, perhaps – I’m having a rest this afternoon. It’s sunny but cold and I’m glad to be back home, in the warm.

  3. I’m glad you felt up to an outing this morning and are now home resting. Do not overdo it Margaret. These viruses have a nasty habit of coming back when your back is turned. I wish I could send you a posy of my dark pink anemones, I picked just three from the allotment today and they’re in a smoky grey glass posy vase with a few stems of Christmas box (sarccococca – sounds like an infectious disease!). Apart from a jaunt to the allotment to pick greens and herbs and three flowers and then home via the greengrocers for clementines, dried figs and other healthy goodies I’ve been in the kitchen most of the day making a Dundee cake, a dozen mince pies, a double vegetarian Shepherd’s pie base (I substitute Puy lentils for the lamb) and a huge pot of squash soup flavoured with a delicious harissa spice mix and using up three red Kuri allotment squashes. It’s beginning to feel like Christmas! Are you still enjoying “The Crown”. We watched Agatha Christie’s ” The Crooked House” last night and I loved the 1950s period detail. I think being a props person for film and TV would be my ideal job!

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, I adore dark pink anenones, but the thought is there, so I appreciate the thought, Sarah! I still have clementines to buy (or tangerines if I can find them in Waitrose) … you can’t have Christmas without a few citrus fruits, can you? Oh, what a good idea to substitute Puy lentils for the meat in a veggie Shepherd’s pie, I shall have to try that. I watched the 2nd series of The Crown last weekend, all 10 episodes and absolutely loved it. My memory goes back as far as the Coronation and, of course, Princess Margaret’s ill-fated romance with Peter Townsend, and her even more ill-fated marriage to Tony Armstrong-Jones (what a wonderful wedding dress she had, though, it was stunning.) Missed The Crooked House, how could I have missed that? Was it on a pay-to-view channel? I must check with the Radio Times. We watched Uni Challenge and then Would I Lie to You, which we enjoy, it’s silly but fun. But you are right, Sarah, these viruses have a habit of returning when your back is turned. I won’t do too much. Hairdresser tomorrow but I find that totally relaxing – lovely hairdresser and her staff, wonderful coffee – and then I will mooch around Totnes for a little while before returning home.

  4. I’m so sorry you have been poorly for so long. My youngest granddaughter is only just beginning to recover from a horrid virus after 10 days, including a night in hospital. She was ill through her first birthday too 🙁 This time of year is always bad for illness.

    Onwards and upwards 🙂

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh my dear soul, your granddaughter in hospital with this horrible virus. How worrying for you and her parents. I do hope she makes a full and complete recovery. My very best wishes to you, Alison.

  5. Glad you are on the mend Margaret, keep up with plenty of rest when you can. We are both over the cold and cough now, but it hung around for about three weeks! Enjoy your mooch around Totnes tomorrow. Love a mooch around nice shopping areas, even if I don’t buy anything. X

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Dot. Yes, I’m going to rest this evening. I made spicy meatballs again for supper as they’re so easy to make and we had those with spaghetti but I prefer them with mashed potato but I was just too tired to peel the potatoes. Husband would’ve done it but he’s been busy, too, and he’s now got a tickly cough and was resting so spaghetti it was. Glad you are both over this cold and cough, it’s been a shocker this winter.

  6. Hi Margaret, what a pity that the cold and such is still there. Sometimes in winter this sort of not-wellness can just linger. With such a busy person as yourself, I imagine that the constant rest may have been difficult. Last night I re-read many of your older posts. Most enjoyable! Hope that the rest of your recovery is swift so that you can enjoy your Christmas more.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, resting was difficult in one way, Ratnamurti, as I get irritated I can’t get on with what I want to do, but on the other hand, I got to the stage of tiredness when I didn’t really care whether the house was clean or the meals cooked, I just wanted to sleep without coughing.
      I’m delighted you have found my older posts interesting. I will be posting again before too long and I hope not to have to mention the words ‘cough’ or ‘cold’!

  7. I hope you feel better soon.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Sue. I’m beginning to feel better and looking forward to having my hair done tomorrow and then a mooch around Totnes (even if I don’t open my wallet!)

  8. Thinking of you and wishing you well Margaret.
    Just take all the time you need to recover and feel better, we will all be here waiting for you.
    Meantime enjoy your Christmas without feeling the need to do everything, low key is good.
    Love from Pam in TX.xx

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Pam in Texas, and thank you for your good wishes. I hate not having blog-posted regularly this past couple of weeks, but the energy just wasn’t there. But I’m getting back into the swing of things and after my hair appointment tomorrow I will feel even more better, I hope.

  9. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    Oh goodness, Margaret, you poor soul. You seemed on the road to recovery but it’s obviously a much longer and arduous journey than anticipated. I do hope you will be well for Christmas. What a lovely Christmas tree. I look forward to seeing the latest one. Do take care of yourself. X

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Eloise. Yes, the road to recover had some potholes in it! Both husband and I are still coughing and spluttering, sneezing and wiping our combined noses. But we will get there. Thank you for your good wishes. There will be a photo of the latest tree in due course.

  10. Mrs Anne D. Fletcher

    I just want to add my good wishes to the others, for your recovery. I sympathise as I have had some awful viruses with coughs. I’m sure your plans for tomorrow will help to lift your spirits. One of my daughters lives near Bideford so I know North Devon quite well, particularly Barnstaple. We always enjoy looking around the pannier market. We have also visited Exeter a few times which is very nice (especially when we’ve been on the Tarka Line train). It was interesting to see your post about Tavistock as Marcia Willett is my favourite author. I’m a new reader of your blog and I enjoy it very much, so thank you for all the trouble you take to write about such pleasant things.

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Anne, and thank you for such lovely comments. Marcia is a favourite author of mine, too. Indeed, and I don’t want this to sound like name-dropping (although it must sound like that!) I know Marcia although I’ve lost touch with her in recent years. She used to live directly opposite a friend of ours in a little village in the South Hams in Devon and we used to meet up at our mutual friend’s Chirstmas lunch party each year. Her first novel, Those Who Serve, was very much based on the life she knew with her first husband, a submariner. She eventually moved to another part of Devon and that is when we lost touch, but she’s a lovely person and a lovely writer.
      I’m glad you enjoy reading my blog. I will be posting again before too long.

  11. Best wishes to you, Margaret, on continued recovery. I hope you feel your old self again real soon. Your tree, from last year, looks lovely.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your good wishes, Jeannine. Our tree is now up and I will take a photo of it shortly, but it will look much the same, I think, as the one in the photo although we’ve added just two new baubles this year. We don’t go overboard on decorations, no special little things, no Father Christmases, no Nativity scenes, nothing at all except our tree, cards, fruit and flowers, but it looks festive with just those.

  12. Hello Margaret, tried to post yesterday but internet kept crashing, oh first world problems!
    Sorry to hear that the dreaded lurgy is lingering well past it’s date, hopefully today’s outing will give you a boost and having ones hair done always helps. Take care.

    • Margaret Powling

      Sorry to hear your internet kept crashing, yes a first world problem. Husband now has the dreaded lurgi, Elaine, but we will get over it, it just takes time and perhaps a bit longer now we’re not spring chickens!
      Yes, having my hair done has boosted my morale! I love having my hair done, being pampered for an hour or so.

  13. Dear Margaret,

    I hope you feel better soon. Do be sure to get plenty of rest, as I think that is the best thing for any malady. Your tree is beautiful. I’m sure this year’s tree will be just as pretty. Mine seem to look the same year after year as I have the same ornaments and we get the same size and shape of tree although this year our tree is a little taller than usual. We were barely able to get the angel on top.

    Merry Christmas!

    Ohio, USA

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Susan, and thank you for your good wishes. Like you, our tree looks much the same every year, the same shape, the same height and the same ornaments! But it’s nice to have a real tree. They might shed needles (although Nordman are not supposed to, and we do water it regularly) but I just love having a real tree. We have a star for the top of our tree and husband has to attach it with a rubber band otherwise it doesn’t stay on top. Merry Christmas to you and yours, too.

  14. Oh Margaret I’m so sorry you are still unwell. I’m sending you good thoughts for a full recovery. Don’t worry about about anything left undone while you are under the weather. I know we all like things ‘done just so’ but your need to rest and recuperate must take priority. You have done well to do as much as you have.

    Husband and I have only a few decorations at home, have agreed to no presents (we figure we have all we need and budget is tight at the moment), having simple but fresh and favourite foods on Christmas Day and I am delighted. So long as I have him, my cat and a pile of cherries to myself it’s all that matters 🙂

    My energy levels are constantly low and I struggle with bone-aching exhaustion that no doctor seems able to explain. Some days I think I’d trade everything I own to have just one day of my old life again – to stay awake all day without a headache, to walk miles at a brisk pace, to spend hours socialising without collapsing the following day, etc – but knowing that my husband, my mum and my cat are all healthy and love me is all I need 🙂

    Rest up and take care xxx

    • Margaret Powling

      After posting a couple of days ago about making progress, I have been much better today but I’m now going to have an early night as I feel tired now and it’s only 8.15pm. But it’s the Winter Solstice and that is good news for me, as from now on we’re heading towards spring, we’re exactly half way through winter, cause for celebration for me as I just ache for spring and the new green shoots and the snowdrops, primroses and bluebells.
      Oh, that’s wonderful, another couple who don’t buy each other presents just because it’s Christmas! We don’t buy each other things as we have what we need and although we could afford to buy something (with reason of course) there is nothing we particularly need or want, we have a nice warm home, good food, what more could we want? OK, the Maserati might do, but failing that, I mean! I’ve always fancied a Maserai over a Ferrari, which I think a tad more ‘common’ (“Common” was the worst insult my mother could give anyone!)
      Do you think your illness, your tiredness could be what has been called over here as M.E. or chronic fatigue syndrome? Whatever it is, I hope the medics get to the bottom of it and can offer some relief from the all-consuming tiredness.

      • Yes I was diagnosed with CFS/ME in late 2014. It’s what the doctors call it when they ‘can’t find anything wrong with you’ and all (expensive and intrusive) test results are considered ‘unremarkable’.

        • Margaret Powling

          I am sure that one day, Lara, whatever it is that is causing this awful acute fatigue syndrome will be found, and while it affects both men and women, young and old, in all different walks of life, I think we have to look at common factors which relate to everyone, such as fluoridation of our drinking water (which has happened here in the UK). I’m not saying that this is the cause, only that it might be something that is common to all, apart that is from over-working and pushing our bodies to the limits, which causes CFS/ME.

  15. ps. I’ve just read all of the comments (just as important as the actual post itself !) and am delighted you had your trip to the hairdresser. I also believe that such a visit can cure anything – runny nose, stiff shoulder, even a broken heart ha ha. As tight as my budget has been at various times over the decades of adult life, my six-weekly trips (as my hair grows quite fast and is thick) have NEVER been negotiable. At a pinch I have been forced to extend to seven weeks but that’s my limit. Ha ha…… I have lived on risotto for months on end (or at least it felt like it !), I have piled on blankets to save on heating bills, my late cats may have had to wear last-year’s collars and I have learnt (via YouTube) how to tint my own eyelashes – all to save those precious few dollars – but I would not entertain the thought of doing my own hair…… I once told my best friend (who has young children and with her husband is currently building their family home, so funds are extremely tight) that trips to the hairdresser for her and I are not a luxury but rather a necessity 😉 😉 🙂

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, hair appointments are a necessity aren’t they? I have also extended them to six weeks sometimes, as my hair also grows very quickly, and I usually go every five weeks – next time it’s highlights again. I’ve not tried tinting my lashes though and now they’re too sparse to bother with at all, sadly.

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