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A Lazy Day

My Christmas carnations, now fully open


We’re still between Christmas and New Year and, as we meander through the week, I feel myself becoming lazier and lazier.  The ironing hasn’t been done, I need to start doing some batch-cooking for Freddy the Freezer but I feel totally disinclined to do anything at all.

However, we popped along to the supermarket this morning as there were just a few things we needed, mainly some fresh fruit and vegetables.  We are enjoying fresh pears at the moment, not Conference or Rocca but lovely Green William pears.  Truly, truly scrumptious.   We usually pick up a pack of sandwiches and enjoy one half each in the car, along with the ‘free’ coffee that Waitrose offers to holders of My Waitrose cards, before we drive home, but today we just wanted to return home as quickly as possible.  How odd we must appear to others!  We met a dear friend in there who is heading off to Tenerife for five weeks soon, no doubt he will have a wonderful time and will miss our winter weather – Storm Dylan is making himself felt right now – but I could not imagine being away from home for so long!  Husband and I love our little nest and the older we become, the more we appreciate it.  And so, with shopping stowed away in the boot of the car, we headed home.

Once I’d put the food away and made sandwiches and coffee for lunch, I opened the post.  Not only had I picked up the free Waitrose magazine in the supermarket and treated myself to a monthly glossy title, but another to which I subscribe had arrived, so I had three magazines to read this afternoon …

And so a lazy afternoon was planned, and with a chocolate, too …

And then came the delivery of a book that I ordered only yesterday from Amazon, a 2nd hand copy of a novel which I thought might be entertaining in this period between Christmas and New Year …

I have not read anything by Elisabeth Gifford before, but so far it is holding my interest.  And so I sat reading, and with a glass of Bailey’s, too. Well, the sun was over the yardarm somewhere in the world!

And then we had a phone call from younger son.  Could we look after Barry for a while? as there was a slight family medical problem (not involving our son or our daughter in law, I might add) and so, of course, we said yes, we’d have the little chap here a long as necessary.  Our son explained that  Barry had been out for a walk and had rolled in mud and so he was giving him a bath first, so that when he arrived, Barry was beautifully clean and sweet smelling.

He was still a little damp from his bath, but he soon dried out in front of the fire, and then he curled up with me on the sofa while I read …

And that is where we spent the rest of the afternoon.  It has been lovely, enjoying these quiet days.  I expect a walk in the blustery very-fresh air would’ve done me good, but I listen to my body and when it says “rest” I have no problem in obeying the command right now.

And as we speak, Storm Dylan is rampaging outside.  High winds and rain. Thank goodness for a warm home, good food, and a cosy fire to sit beside.

(This wasn’t the post I had planned, I had another in mind, but I’m saving that for another time.)

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. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I couldn’t be away from home for that long either, Margaret. Not that I could afford to anyway! I have friends who go for several weeks in winter and one who goes for around two months! Like you, I like home too much. Two weeks is my limit, and really around 10-12 days is our preferred length.
    I know just what you mean about feeling lazy during this in-between week. I’ve managed 3,500 words written over the past couple of days, and some editing, but no house cleaning or ironing!
    The carnations are lovely and it’s nice to see Barry too. Dogs do love the fireside, don’t they?
    Listen to your body and carry on resting; the housework will still be there tomorrow…or the next day….or the next

    • Margaret Powling

      That’s wonderful, keep up the good writing work, Eloise!
      We’re now having an early night, the rain is hammering down, and high winds, too. But I’ve a cosy bed, the electric blanket, and my book and a cup of tea … ahhh!

  2. I too have been very lazy trying to recover from a bad summer cold. Its been over two weeks now and except for Christmas Day I have been lying low. My husband has been running the errands and I am content to stay home. The weather here is warm and humid so not pleasant for going out. Happy New Year and I hope Storm Dylan doesn’t do too much damage.

    • Margaret Powling

      These colds, whether summer or winter, are really debilitating, Pieta and I hope you will feel better soon. Your humid weather would be, I think, even more difficult to cope with when you’re not feeling well than our cold winter weather. Right now, Sunday morning, 8.30am, it is raining and windy, but what I call normal rain and wind, not storm force conditions. Sending my good wishes to you for the New Year, get better soon.

  3. Your post gives me a feeling of coziness just reading it, Margaret. Sounds like a perfect day. And your home is always so lovely. Barry is one lucky little fellow! The “boundary lines have fallen for you in pleasant places.” (A slight rewording of a Bible verse I like.) Happy New Year, dear lady!

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Bess, and I’m glad my post gives you a feeling of coziness – that is how I felt yesterday. Barry enjoyed sitting with me on the sofa but he didn’t like it so much when we had some Christmas cake and he wasn’t allowed to have any (rich things like cake aren’t good for dogs). And may I wish you, Bess, a very Happy New Year, too.

  4. Always lovely to see Barry 🙂

    It rained most of the night here but has stopped now and the wind has dropped. We took down the decorations and tree this morning and they are boxed up and back in the loft and I’ve polished and dusted through downstairs. I like to start the New Year with a clear space, it makes my head feel clearer.

    It’s mild today and we’ve just got back from a walk. I haven’t been out regularly lately, I won’t go out in the ice or snow but it was nice today and I got to talk to some dog “friends” that we often see.

    I’ve cooked a small gammon joint for lunch so we can have a “proper” meal with some vegetables, need to get back into a routine.

    I enjoyed Christmas but if things linger on too long it gets me down a bit. I don’t know how I would have managed a couple of hundred years ago when the festival went on for a whole month! I suppose it’s what you’re used to though.

    I was pondering whether to hang out the towels I washed this morning but it looks like rain again so they can stay on the radiators for now!

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, Barry is a dear little dog (well, until he hears someone at the door, or a cat waddles past the window, then he barks his head off, but that is normal for an intelligent little dog, I think!)
      Yes, we might take down the tree later today, it’s nice, as you say, to start the New Year with the place clean and tidy. On the other hand, it looks so pretty, I’m reluctant to remove it until 12th night, as is tradition.
      Yes, nice to get back to proper meals again rather than picking at Christmas cake, crisps, nuts, Turkish Delight, mince pies, etc. I am making a beef casserole today, or to give it it’s posh name, boeur a la bourguignonne. It’s that kind of weather, demands a rib-sticking meal!

  5. Beautiful flowers Margaret to brighten up a rainy day here! Vicks is working at night but still coughing during the day,so a visit to the doctors on the 3rd, I know they will give me Amoxicillin hopefully that will help.My husband hasn’t got it because he is eligible for the flu jab! My turn for that comes in March, so hopefully that will do the trick for winter 2018.
    We too are just enjoying being at home in the warm and eating leftovers! I thought I had cut down this year! Are you sitting up to welcome in the new year? I think we will just enjoy a “winter Pimms” and retire to bed after the fireworks.
    Take care of yourselves and I look forward to your blog for 2018.

    • Margaret Powling

      I think anyone can have a flu jab if those who are under 60 pay for it, but I could be wrong. I do hope you will feel better soon, Margaret. Tamiflu is doing the rounds here in Torbay, apparently, and our hospital is overrun with cases. Keep warm, drink plenty.
      No, we won’t be staying up to see in the New Year, we’ll be in bed long before midnight! Not heard of Winter Pimms, that sounds lovely! All good wishes to you, Margaret, and I hope you will feel better really soon, Happy New Year to you.

  6. As others have said what a lovely cosy post Margaret and what a sweetie that Barry is, lucky boy being allowed in the sofa as well. Good idea to listen to your body and take your time recuperating, with a nice glass of Bailey’s for medicinal purposes obviously 😉
    We had heavy rain first thing this morning but it’s quite clear now and certainly milder, the water is laying in the fields though and there are still huge puddles on the sides of the road. My horse is in her stable all day at the moment as the paddocks are waterlogged, much to her disgust I might add.
    I doubt very much if my partner and I will see midnight but we will have a glass of something cold and bubbly to toast the new year, just a couple of hours ahead of time!

    • Margaret Powling

      Barry is allowed on the sofa only when he’s (a) clean and (b) when we’ve put a rug on it for him.
      I felt it did me good to do very little yesterday and I even slept well last night. Obviously, the Baileys did me good, so I might have another this afternoon – for medicinal purposes, of course – with a slice of Christmas Cake – that’s almost finished now.
      We have had a busy day as husband went to see his brother this morning, and while he was out I prepared (and have since cooked) a Boeuf a la Bourguignonne for our supper this evening. Then when he returned, we looked after our little grandson (four and a half) for about an hour while his mummy put the Christmas decorations away for another year, and when he returned home we looked after Barry again for about a couple of hours. So it’s been a busy day.
      Oh, your horse won’t like being in her stable, will she! When you think of how large a horse is and the size of the average stable, it would be like ourselves being shut inside a loo overnight!
      Enjoy your glass of something cold and bubbly! Happy New Year.

  7. Your Christmas carnations look rather striking. Is the United Kingdom having a severe winter this year? We did, in New Zealand. Coziness at home, became escape from the howling gales. I have a friend who goes to London every winter (ours) and house sits there for a friend for a month. Then travels around for another two months. She has done this for years…. And I so envy her! Barry looks such a lovely dog, with a beautiful expressive face. I often look after one of my children’s dog – and I love doing so.

    • Margaret Powling

      I wouldn’t call the weather at the moment severe, Ratnamurti, it’s just winter weather and indeed, when we were children we didn’t get all these amber and red weather warnings. If it was cold we wrapped up and if it was wet we wore raincoats and wellington boots. But we are tending to have more extreme weather from time to time, but there again, the winter of 1963 which his more than 50 years ago, was horrendous, with snow and ice from Christmas until spring.
      That is a wonderful trip each year for your friend who house sits a month in London and then travels for another two months. She will know the UK countryside better than I do!
      Barry is a lovely little dog and, of course, understands everything I say to him!

  8. Barry’s toothy grin by the fireside says it all really ! I think you did well to rest all afternoon – the cough and cold you had recently may be gone but sometimes our bodies just need some extra rest. It’s not just for our physical wellbeing either – mental health can also be affected so taking time out and giving ourselves self-care (or self-love) is important. And Barry seems the perfect companion for curling up on the couch with your new magazines, book and a chocolate. Our old dog could hear the crinkling of a lolly wrapper from anywhere in the house – no matter fast asleep he was. He also had supersonic hearing in regards to hearing the fridge door opened 🙂

    Many wishes for the new year. Sending you, your husband and family happy greetings from sunny Australia. Our daytime temps have been in the high 20s (Celsius) and humidity over 90%. Not a breath of wind this morning and the cicadas were deafening….. and yes, thank goodness for a cosy home and good food.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Happy New Year to you, in Australia, Lara, where you will have celebrated the change from 2017 to 2018 a little earlier than here in the UK. As I write this it’s just 6.22am on the 1st January, I’m up early having a cup of coffee and have been watching on the News the various firework displays around the world, including that at Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is around 6C here, by no means warm, but not freezing.
      Barry is a dear little dog, he came to us yesterday for a couple of hours, too. And yes, he can hear anyone opening the fridge or food cupboard door, or biscuit tin or a sweet wrapper even though we think he’s asleep!

  9. I just made some homemade Bailey’s – never did that before. It’s really quite good and very simple to make. I think I will have a glass soon, myself. The book sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I had a recipe for home-made Bailey’s once, years ago, and I think I might’ve tried it, but I can’t remember how it turned out, Jeannine. But having a glass around 4 pm on a dark winter’s afternoon, with my book to read, has been a lovely small indulgent luxury. I am just finishing the book (Return to Fourwinds) and it has been excellent.

  10. Margaret, correct me if I am wrong, but I could have sworn you wrote something recently about The Lady Magazine. If so, were you for or against it? I believe you said it was a bi-weekly? I follow the publication on Instagram and it looks worth a look-see. I tried searching your blog today to see if I could find your words about it but to no avail. I’m loving your blog these days…your elegant way of living, your posts about your girlhood, thoughts about your parents, your family and sweet Barry. Please keep writing and telling us about yourself and your life.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Donna, and yes, I have writteh about The Lady magazine, in the post Beween-Times. I enjoyed this particular issue of The Lady but found that as it is usually a weekly magazine (although this was a large, winter special edition) I cancelled my subscription as I wasn’t reading one issue before another one landed on the doormat. It is an excellent publication, though, and I can’t say that about all the weekly women’s magazines.
      I’m delighted you enjoy my blog, and I must write more often about Barry, he’s obviously a star in his own right!

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