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Second Delivery Today

It isn’t often that I write two posts in one day, but as in times of old when we had at least two actual postal deliveries in one day, morning and afternoon, here is a second post for today.

I am pleased to announce that I’ve received three ‘thank you’ notes from friends and family, and how thoughtful and pretty the cards are.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate e-mailed messages of thanks, I do, but a pretty card is always lovely to receive.  These two above remind me that we’re now heading towards spring, and if these are insufficient to remind me, then by the same post I received a spring gardening catalogue.


And before anyone asks, the candlesticks are not Lalique.  My mother bought these in the 1950s from what was then referred to as a ‘junk’ shop in our village.  It was called The Silver Pixie.  Today it might be considered an ‘antiques’ shop, but I think that would be elevating it beyond its station; the stock was a gallimaufry of everything from tarnished silverware to old iron bedsteads.

My father, bless him, hated these candlestick; he wondered why my mother had even considered spending money on them (for every penny had to be accounted for in those days when money was tight and luxuries were few and far between);  he was all for modernity as so many people were in the 1950s, but these two lovely candlesticks have outlived the sputnik-knobbed splayed-legged coffee tables and early transistor radios (my first ‘portable’ radio was by a company called Bush; it was a huge grey cube and so heavy the term portable was gross misnomer), icons of that era.

I have been a little tardy in wishing you all a Happy New Year, and so I will do so now.  Happy New Year, everyone!  We didn’t stay up to welcome in the New Year, we were in bed by 10 o’clock, but fireworks woke us up at midnight and I looked out of our bedroom window to see many bursts of colour and rockets going skyward, and promptly climbed back into bed, thankful that I didn’t have to be out there in the cold, lighting them!

Not a good photo, the light from the window shining upon all the separate pieces making it difficult to photograph, but here you can see that the jigsaw puzzle, complete.  I am now awaiting the arrival of another jigsaw, this time more with husband in mind, as it’s called The Man Cave and shows a shed with all the things that we assume men like – an old juke box, demi-johns with beer in them, a dog curled up on a chair, cricket bat and pads, model airplane, rugby ball – and through a window, a brief glimpse or a rather elegant house and garden.

We were going to go out today, even if only to replenish larder and fridge stock, but the weather is awful – rain and high winds – and so we’ve chickened out and will, instead, remain at home.

We enjoyed a late breakfast …

grapefruit for myself, lychees for husband, and cups of tea, followed by …

… bacon and tomatoes on toast, the last of the bacon and the tomatoes until I go shopping.

Yesterday, our elder son and our little grandson spent the morning with us.  Our daughter in law had returned to work and as our little grandson wasn’t starting back at school until today, our son (who is self-employed andworks from home) was looking after the little fellow and so took him, as a treat and also as a way of amusing him, out to breakfast where they enjoyed pancakes with maple syrup.


Photos of the café on top of a dept store, with views of the harbour (taken on another occasion) where our son and grandson had breakfast yesterday

Our grandson loves to ‘paint’ on my husband’s computer, so he and Granddad spent time doing that, and then riotous games of Dominoes (large cardboard pieces, laid out on the sitting room carpet), and then he wanted music and so we played  Andy Williams and Glen Campbell LPs – yes, we still have LPs as well as CDs; our music collection is eclectic, from Bach to Bacharach.  By now it was lunch time and after lunch, which we all had together in the kitchen, son and grandson returned home, the little chap now tired after his busy morning.

While we love having the little fellow here, keeping up with a four and a half year old is quite hard work, and so in the afternoon I settled myself on the sofa and had a lovely, quiet read. My favourite magazine had arrived, and there were just a couple of small pieces of Christmas cake left.

I have now finished the novel, Return to Fourwinds, and enjoyed it very much.  I won’t say more because reading matter is very subjective, but this book was just right for me.  I loved seeing the homes in my magazine, too, and of course, spent several minutes trying to read the spines of the books in the various photos of bookcases.  Doesn’t everyone do this?  I often have a magnifying glass to hand specially for the purpose!

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

    Hooray you finished the jigsaw, I can imagine jigsaws can be addictive, I know I would want to keep at it and it’s a lovely thing to do together. I am not a fussy eater and will eat most fruits but lychees is about the only thing I really don’t like, I had some persimmon fruit for the first time a few days ago and that was rather nice. We are half way through the Christmas cake now.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      We usually have lychees (not fresh, but tinned) with prunes, for what I call our black-and-white breakfast, and I love the almost-melon flavour of lychees. We have finished the Christmas cake today, no problem, it was so good I knew it wouldn’t last long (and we gave away quite a lot to our sons.) The new puzzle has arrived, we’re looking forward to doing it but not breaking up the puzzle just finished. Happy New Year to you, too, Marlene.

  2. I need to start eating more fruit and I had almost forgotten how much I love fresh lychees. I also have a 4 yr old grandson who I mind every Thursday. I am exhausted by the time I get home but it is so much fun. happy New Year.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Do you know, Pieta, I’ve never eaten a fresh lychee. We don’t see those very often in the supermarkets, so perhaps next time I see them I will buy some. Yes, you will know how exhausting a four year old can be, then, as you also have a four year old grandson! Lovely, but tiring.

  3. Your Christmas cake looks divine. I finished ours about a week ago. It was homemade and a gift to my mum, who kindly shared it with us. I know that if we’d had a full cake we would have eaten a full cake, so we are safer with only a quarter 😉 Portion control has never been my strong suit.

    It sounds like you had a lovely time with your grandson. If only we could harness the energy of children – like using jumper leads between cars to give the ‘run down’ vehicle a boost. I would definitely line up for such a treatment 🙂

    Well done on the jigsaw puzzle. I’m still working on my 500 piece from the op shop. I’m struggling with the sky (miles of blue and not much shading) and trees (ditto with green) so it has been sitting idle the past few days. I think I need better lighting.

    Your breakfast table looks beautiful. You have such a sense of style.

    Wishing you and your family the very best of health for 2018 xx

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      The Christmas cake was delicious, very moist and rich with fruit and I love my home-made almond paste and royal icing, so unlike shop-bought marzipan and roll-on icing as you’re likely to meet. But we share the cake with both sons and their families, so we don’t eat all of it … portion control not my strong suit, either!
      The sky is usually the worst part of a jigsaw puzzle, it took ages to complete the sky on this one, believe me. The new jigsaw which arrived yesterday (more in another post) doesn’t have any sky, and that is one of the reasons I chose it, apart from the subject matter which was chosen more with husband in mind than myself.
      May I wish you and your family, also, Lara, all the very best for 2018.

  4. Happy new year to you, Mrs Powling, may it be healthy, happy and fulfilling!
    Your jigsaw puzzle is complete:) it looks lovely, and I understand when you say you don’t want to break it up just yet..

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      And a happy new year to you, too, Kavitha, and thank you for your good wishes. We have now broken up the jigsaw puzzle as we’ve just started a new one which arrived yesterday (more about this one in a future post.) As I mentioned in a comment to Lara, the sky on the Upstairs, Downstairs puzzle was the most difficult part to complete.

  5. Your completed jigsaw is very impressive. I always think I’ll enjoy a jigsaw but in reality I haven’t the patience and by the time I’ve completed the edges (if I get that far) I’ve lost interest. We’ve got a jigsaw on the board which has been set up for about five years, the edges are almost done. It’s been on top of the spare bedroom wardrobe all that time, occasionally being brought down for a few days before being sent back upstairs.

    That’s why I’m so impressed with yours!

    • Margaret Powling

      I don’t have as much patience as my husband where jigsaws are concerned, but we broke up the Upstairs, Downstairs jigsaw last night and started on another one (more about this in a forthcoming post). Oh, how funny … an incomplete jigsaw on a board for over five years! It will have as much dust and fluff on it as pieces, ha ha! Only joking, perhaps you have it covered over to keep it clean. We spent about half an hour sorting the 1,000 pieces to find the edges but while we went through every piece, we don’t think we have them all to complete the edges!

      • It’s on a special jigsaw board which has its own cover so it’s not dusty! I do dust the top of the wardrobe every week though (not that diligently, just with a feather duster).

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          I can’t reach the top of our wardrobe, it’s a fitted wardrobe almost to the ceiling, so husband tackles this periodically with the nozzle from the vacuum. What a good idea to have a jigsaw board with a cover! There’s posh!

  6. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I do like the picture on the jigsaw and greatly admire the patience required to complete it. When my daughter was a very little girl she loved fresh lychees. Tesco sold them and I used to buy her six in a bag instead of sweets. This was not because I was an ant-sugar zealot. I can’t even remember how we discovered that she liked them because I don’t. I find them too perfumed.
    Well stocked cupboards and freezers are great friends to those who don’t want to venture out in such stormy weather. I don’t blame you for not going out. It can be quite scary driving in it. We had an extremely windy night on Tuesday but it’s not so bad now.
    Small children are indeed tiring. I invariably need a snooze after my grandsons have visited!

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, I must look for fresh lychees! I love the tinned ones, and have those, as I’ve mentioned before, with prunes and sometimes I add slivers of stem ginger to them and ice cream for a dessert. Totally yummy.
      I now need to start batch-cooking again to re-stock Freddy the Freezer! Stock now running low, just some spiced meatballs left. We had a lovely fish pie for supper this evening. It was lovely to have something home-made but not having had to cook it today.

  7. Lovely magazine, love the picture of the room shown on the open pages. Thanks for showing a cut piece of your Christmas cake. Looks most excellent. Thank you for your, always, charming posts.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Jeannine, so glad you liked seeing the Christmas cake … that was almost the last slice! It has now been finished, but we did give several slices to elder son for himself, our daughter in law, our grandson and also her father and stepmother who were staying with them, and also to our younger son and our daughter in law, so we didn’t, to put it colloquially, we didn’t scoff the lot! Yes, some of the rooms in the magazines are beautiful. I do prefer those with books and fireplaces to ultra-modern homes with lots of plate glass and vast empty spaces with perhaps just one piece of sculpture and uncomfortable-looking seating.

  8. I too, love to try to read the book titles on the shelves of my favorite magazine images! I have a friend who is a rare book dealer and she often gets requests from designers asking for certain color books to match decor. Or someone who wants a library of children’s books for a new grandchild. All my books are lovingly selected and personal like yours are. I would be proud to have you reading the spines of my books and by the way, I have purchased several books you’ve talked about here on your blog. And do review the Parisian Charm School book for us! I trust your reviews…

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Donna-fellow-book-spine-reader! My goodness, someone buying a whole library of children’s books for a new grandchild, I’ve never heard of that being done before. Yes, all my books have been specially chosen by myself (for husband rarely buys books, he’s not a great reader but does like magazines such as New Scientist which younger son – a reader, like me – passes to him; indeed, husband is usually, or so he says, far too busy to read, he’s the one making things, mending things, building things …)
      I have read some more of the Parisian Charm School and really, I’m not sure what I think of it. But I will finish it and perhaps write a brief review, or at least my personal thoughts on the book.

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