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A Restful Day

It made a very pleasant change to awaken to blue sky and sunshine this morning, although the above photograph was taken (through our side window of our sitting room) mid-afternoon.  But at least we could actually see the sea today, it wasn’t shrouded in mist.

However, it has been very cold today and we decided to stay indoors and apart from a few essential chores, I spent the afternoon on the sofa with a cup of tea, a Madeleine, and my new magazine …

I would like to add that the glass contains water, just in case you were thinking I was in the habit of indulging mid-afternoon!

I do like to compare the various style magazines which arrive each month and, particularly, their leading colours which seem to dictate much of the content.  This month’s Homes & Antiques leads with a lovely pastel pink, or in the words of the magazine, “dreamy neutrals” and which are a whole world of colour a way from the taupes that were around when minimalism was at its height a little over a decade ago.  Now we are being encouraged to use pastel shades which “add a touch of luxury” to our rooms and act as a backdrop to our antiques and collectables.

One of the features this month is on Prideaux Place in Cornwall, the family living there having descended from William the Conqueror (as so many have done!)  We have a wonderful glimpse of the interior and, once again, lovely pastel shades abound …

In another feature my attention was captured by a collection of vases on a hall table …

These vases are classic designs devised by Constance Spry, doyenne of flower arrangers, and most of them were produced by the Fulham Pottery and some by the Dartmouth Pottery.  I have just two such vases …

and I would love to find more of them.

And last weekend, I saw one of these stylish vases in the charity boutique, but as I was so busy taking photos I hadn’t noticed the vase until I arrived home and downloaded my photos!

A white Dartmouth Pottery vase on the table in the charity shop

I phoned the shop and asked if they would kindly hold it for me until this weekend when I would call for it, but they said it wasn’t their policy to hold items like that, so I will just have to hope that it’s still there tomorrow when I hope to call again.  When I phoned another of this charity’s shops and asked them to hold the five side plates for me they were happy to do so; perhaps each shop is autonomous and has it’s own set of rules.  Anyway, I am just hoping it will be there tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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. I do hope your vase is there tomorrow, they are such lovely designs; simple but elegant. After an extremely hot week here it is now cool and drizzly. I do prefer it to be a bit warmer but at least the oppressive humidity has moved on.
    It’s so nice to be able to choose to stay in when the weather isn’t pleasant, rather than be obliged to go to work, when one is retired. I didn’t think I would enjoy it so much!

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, I hope the vase is there tomorrow, Pieta, but I very much doubt that it will be. It’s a very popular shop and I’m sure the customers who go there regularly are a discerning lot and will spy a lovely vase at 100 paces! But we shall see! Watch this space, as they say!
      Retirement is lovely! Husband has been retired now for 20 years (on the 31st January, i.e. yesterday!) I gave up my part time work much longer ago, in 1992, and I felt it was absolutely wonderful when I had whole days at home to myself!

  2. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I do hope you get your vase; it deserves a good home! How funny that your mind was so blog-focussed that you missed it until you looked at the photos!
    It’s interesting how colours come and go in fashion. Taupe/coffee has long been the basis of my decor. I change the accent colours from time to time though.

    • Margaret Powling

      That’s one way of looking at it, Eloise – the vase deserves a good home, and it would have a couple of companions, would it not? Yes, I could’ve kicked myself that I’d not noticed it. I was so concerned with taking photos for the blog and in a hurry as husband had already returned to our car after we deposited the things we were disposing of in this charity boutique.
      I love colour but not too strong although in our previous home we had a deep red hall leading to a pale pink corridor (hall and corridor were L-shaped) and it looked wonderful with white woodwork and an archway (painted white) where the two colours ‘met’. With parquet flooring, a Persian rug, the grandfather clock, and the desk we now have in our hall here, and dark red brocade curtains, it looked really lovely. Here, we have seldom changed the colours and our sitting room and hall has been in shades of cream/terracotta for the past 16 years, and we still love it.

      • Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

        Wow, those lovely rich reds/pink sound Back in the 70s I used a lot of brown and orange. Later I craved pink velvet curtains so I saved up for some beautiful ones. They were much admired by visitors. In my Victorian house in the 80s there was a lot of wine and deep green at first, then I loved Laura Ashley prints. I think as we get older we find our style and stay with it.

        • Margaret Powling

          We had pink velvet hall curtains when we first came to our house here, Eloise, and they were lovely, but they were difficult to put other colours with, nothing looked really right with them. I much prefer our dark terracotta curtains that we have now, and they are very thick and keep the hall warm in winter. I think our style was always for traditional, I didn’t have any typical 1960s or 1970s furniture apart from a teak G-plan unit on which the TV sat.

  3. I think you have to be an impulse buyer in a charity shop because if you are not the items are not there the next day. I volunteer in a charity shop where my husband is the assistant manager,since working there it has been an eye opener. I can’t believe what a throwaway society we have become. Your charity shop looks welcoming,unfortunately ours looks like a junk shop under the new manager we have now. It seems to be all about targets and getting loads of stock on the shop floor, who would think you would have targets in a charity shop!?Our old manager had the items displayed in a “boutique way” which attracted more custom, now we just look like any other charity shop in town! Enough of my rant,I like the afternoons staying lighter now,we have lots of primroses in the garden and my favourite shrub daphne adora is in full bloom and the scent is pure heaven. I hope you are feeling better,take care Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling

      I stay clear of the charity shops that look like junk shops as I think they will only have really smelly old clothes that I simply wouldn’t want, and chipped pottery and Pyrex that is brown from over-use. The ’boutique’ way is definitely the way to go, some of our charity shops look beautiful, especially the one I went in a couple of week’s ago where the clothes were display according to colour.
      Oh, the lighter afternoons are wonderful. The street lights didn’t come on until almost 5.30 pm yesterday. Yes, the scent of the shrub daphne is wonderful. Thank you for your good wishes, I do feel a bit better today.

  4. Fingers crossed that the vase is still there when you return to the charity shop Margaret.
    Our cottage is very neutrally decorated with just four accent walls, two in the living room which are a heathery purple colour, the chimney breast in the dining room which is a dark red and the same for the long wall ahead of you as you come down the stairs, otherwise all walls are a warm cream. I do like a neural palate as you can then easily add splashes of colour with soft furnishings, flowers etc.
    It’s very cold here today but reasonably clear and bright, mind am not sure if that is such a good thing,

    If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
    Winter will take another flight,
    If Candlemas Day be cloud and rain
    Winter will not come again.

    Someone here will be hoping it clouds over!

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, my fingers are crossed, but as Margaret (comments) says, you have to buy on impulse in a charity shop, grab it otherwise it will be gone. You think I’d have learned my lesson by now, but I truly didn’t even see it, I was so busy taking photos! Mea culpa!
      The colours in your home some just right, Elaine. As you say, with neutrals you can add splashes of colour and even change some soft furnishings according to season.
      I didn’t know it was Candlemas Day, nor that little poem, so thank you for adding that. It’s fine here … well, thus far!

  5. Mary-Louise Mielcarz

    Hello Margaret,

    Wanted to let you know how I enjoy your posts. Very nice pictures, informative stories and just an all around comfort I look forward to.

    Regards, Mary-Lou

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Mary-Louise, for your very kind comments. I’m delighted you enjoy my posts and hope you will look in again soon.

  6. Fingers crossed that your lovely vase is still there for you to buy!

  7. I dropped off a load of books & unused cosmetics etc to our local hospice yesterday. I chose it rather than the others because it always looked so bare. I could barely move in it with this trip and wondered why, until I looked at all the other “new” stock – many were unwanted Christmas gifts….. yes, definitely a throwaway society, sadly.

    • Margaret Powling

      How lovely that the charity shop was so busy, Ratnamurti! And yes, we are a throwaway society but sometimes even our nearest and dearest choose the wrong presents for us, or we choose the wrong items of clothes for ourselves, and these things are either new or almost-new. It would be wasteful if they weren’t re-cycled via the charity shops (or eBay or other trading sites – I’ve never used eBay but I do take unwanted items to the charity shops) and the charities would be so much worse off without them, too.

  8. I have also been enjoying the cooler weather (I read Pieta’s comment above) – we went down to 18 degrees earlier today and it was divine. Three or four days of good, solid rain so far and everything is bright green again. Mushrooms are cropping up everywhere and the (male) frogs are calling out from their hidey holes in our downpipes (vertical rainwater pipes which carry the water down from the roof guttering).

    The photos of beautiful old homes are captivating but I wonder how comfortable (and practical) they are for the occupants. I do like my mod cons of air conditioning, hot showers, carpeted floors, indoor toilets, etc. 🙂

    • Margaret Powling

      18C is a lovely temperature, Lara, warm enough to be outside but not hot, we have a very small ‘window’ of weather that we enjoy and it’s about 18C – 21C. My goodness, frogs in your downpipes! I don’t think we have those here!
      Yes, the photo of the drawing room of Prideaux Place was only half the story – there is a wing of the building which hasn’t been touched since the servicemen (it was requisitioned during WW2) moved out at the end of the war! Imagine the state that must be in!

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