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A Lazy Sunday

Hellebores from the garden on my dressing chest

I have felt lazy today, but not so lazy as to not do anything at all. Indeed, when I add up what I have done, I’ve surprised even myself!

First of all, I made breakfast for us.  I love breakfast, it’s my favourite meal (well, I like afternoon tea as well, as that is purely a luxury meal, a non-essential meal) and I spent a good five minutes deciding what to prepare for breakfast today. In the end I decided upon fruit followed by a poached egg on toast, and then toast and marmalade or honey, with coffee rather than tea, and apple juice as well.

The cut glass jug looks cloudy because it contained warmed milk for our coffee. We don’t like very hot milk in coffee but neither do we like it ice-cold from the fridge, so we just warm the milk slightly (and large breakfast cups today.)  The fruit was melon, pineapple and blueberry.

Then the poached eggs.  Husband made a start on his right away, before I could take a photograph.

And toast and marmalade to finish.

Husband then decamped to the garage where he’s working on various projects, and I cleared up the kitchen and then filled both the washing machine and dishwasher, and re-made our bed with lovely clean white linen.  I know lots of you love coloured bed linen, and a lot of my friends love vintage bed linens in candy stripes and floral patterns, but I’m very much a traditionalist and I love plain white bed linen, plus a cream bed cover.

The colour of the walls in our bedroom changes through the day according to the amount of sunlight (or not) entering the room. Here the walls look green, but in other lights, they look decidedly grey (the paint is Farrow & Ball’s estate emulsion in the shade called ‘Bone’.)

 

Once the bed was made – and I love a neatly made bed to get into at night. Yes, I know … it’s messed up instantly, but for a few moments it’s pristine.

I then wrapped up warmly and went outside to cut some hellebores that are flowering in the garden.  I thought we might as well have the benefit of them indoors, where we can see them.

I tidied my dressing chest and put away all my rose-scented summer perfumes as the chest was getting cluttered.  Even having ‘weeded’ the perfumes, there are still several there (and more in the bathroom.)

Still with flowers, having bought four bunches on Friday, yesterday I put them around the house.

And as well as having some daffodils on the hall table, I brought out from my Resources Cupboard in our bed-sitting room a little Staffordshire figure (another inherited piece from my mother) of a woman holding a lamb.  I thought this would be a nice spring ornament to have on the table close to the spring flowers. I suppose I could call her Mary and her little lamb …

While I was rootling around in the Resources Cupboard (I’ve been looking for a cup and saucer I particularly like but I can’t find it anywhere, and I’ve still not found it) I saw some tiny (and I mean tiny) coffee cups (these are not coffee ‘can’ shape, but they must be coffee cups as they don’t have lids as custard cups or old hot chocolate cups had). Anyway, I thought they’d look pretty on the mantelpiece and in time I might pop a single flower into each of them.  There are, no doubt, saucers for them and I might find those if I rootle again. There are eight large boxes of such things to go through.  I put all the things away in  the boxes the summer that the Olympic Games were in China, how long ago is that? and so it’s little wonder, even with lists of what’s in each box, that I can’t remember all the various items.

By now it was close to lunch time, and so I made some salmon and cucumber sandwiches (seeing as we’d had a rather filling breakfast) which we had with mugs of tea and just a few potato crisps.

And now to read the paper and have a quick look at a book which arrived yesterday …

It’s turned very cold again today although the weather is fine.  As we speak, husband is filling the dishwasher with the few lunch things and he’s also going to make a cup of tea for us and then he will watch the rugby on TV.  This is the kind of lazy Sunday I like. I’ve not slaved over a hot stove, cooking a roast (although a roast is very nice, I admit) and I have done a few housekeeping tasks, but overall, it’s been a very relaxing morning (and there’s Endeavour to look forward to on TV this evening.)  Now, where’s the chocolate …

PS  The national anthems have just been sung at the rugby match on TV.  Someone was going along with a microphone along the line-up of players and I thought that the English team were particularly flat … it’s not as if our national anthem is difficult, is it? And then the Italian national anthem was played and, similarly, the microphone went along the players.  Well, all I can say is (and to emulate the old Tony Hancock sketch, The Blood Donor, where the Scottish doctor tells Tony, “we’re not all Rob Roys, you know!”) the Italians are not all Pavarottis!

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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24 comments

  1. I know I’ve said it several times, but you really have a knack for making a home look elegant without being stiff and formal. It’s all lovely. I suppose it just boils down to taking care with the things you use and where you place them. Even your meals, you can see that care has been taken.

    I tend to rush through things to get them done (although I’m retired so there’s no rush) and thinking “that’s good enough”. I suppose it’s partly nature and partly habit.

    Of course, I’m also lazy 😉

    We’ve been to our daughter’s for Sunday lunch today. I love it when somebody else cooks 🙂 I did dust, polish and vacuum when I got back. I also pegged the washing out for a few hours and it’s just airing off on the radiators and I’m putting it away in stages. It smells wonderful.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Alison. I must say, I don’t buy lots of things for our home, either. The pink cloth on the table for breakfast was bought when we came here in 1985 and the lacy cloth on the top was bought even before then, for our previous home. The china ornaments are all inherited pieces (with the exception of the little glass ‘basket’ on the hall table which I bought last year, and for a song as they say.) Yes, I’ve always taken care of things (although I’ve had my breakages, who hasn’t!) as my mother also did. She inherited all the things from her father and brother (a bachelor) and now I’ve got items dating back to my grandparents’ days when they were first married in 1887, such as a large punch bowl that sits in the hearth. Believe me, the house is by no means perfect, I need to clean the study and weed the books again, but it’s a big job, not to be entered into lightly!
      Oh, how lovely, you going to your daughter’s for Sunday Lunch. Yes, a meal cooked by someone else is a lovely treat! Here, the washing is still in the machine, it’s too cold to hang on the line and it’s also too cold to cart it down to the garage (which is underneath our sitting room, the house being on a slope) so I will fold it shortly and it can be dried in the tumble dryer tomorrow. But tumble-dried laundry never smells as nice as dry laundry brought in from the clothes line!
      But thank you for saying I make our home look elegant without it being stiff and formal. I think the secret is really taking a pleasure in making things look as nice as they can even with what you have to hand.

  2. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    I have had a lazy Sunday as well Margaret, and I have to say I feel much better for it. Work in the week from now on and relaxing at the weekend as it should be. But like you it’s never completely relaxing there are always a few household jobs to be done.
    I love your little Spring area, so bright and cheery on a very cold/dull day. Love the hellebores and the flowers, I might buy a few cheery Daffs next week, I am still enjoying the indoor Hyacinths at the moment, they smell wonderful.
    Enjoy the rest of your day.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, we need to relax at the weekend if we possibly can, Marlene. I know I do, especially since having that dreadful cough and cold in the winter and then pulling muscles in my back. I feel much better now but its only because I’ve not pushed myself as I usually do to get things done.
      I have another little lamb I might put with the woman and lamb, and also I have the Ladybird book, What to Look for in Spring, but the table is only small – there’s a limit to how many items I can put out for my tableaux vivant for spring!
      I’ve not had as many hyacinths this year … if there are any in Waitrose on our next visit, I might be tempted! I love hyacinths, too, especially white ones, and deep blue ones.
      And Endeavour to look forward to this evening and today I’ve read in the paper that Julian Fellowes is working on a new drama series for next year, set in the 1880s in New York (Downton, American style!)

      • I echo everyone else’s comments about how you have an eye for making everything look ‘just so’.

        Those hellebore flowers ar beautiful. I’ve never seen (or heard of) them before. You have so many flowers that we don’t here in Australia.

        Our horrid humidity has finally gone – even if it’s just teasing us with a few days break – and it’s been lovely. I’m off to visit an elderly friend this morning who lives in an aged care home. He taught me a new card game last week and I’m hoping we can continue the lessons today. We spend an hour or two chatting. He is lovely company.

        • Margaret Powling

          Hello, Lara, and thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, Hellebores are lovely. When we visit some lovely local gardens in spring (at Dartington Hall) they grow in profusion there, under the trees, and look lovely.
          Glad your humidity has now gone, that must’ve been awful.
          I’m now keen on card games, never have been, as I’m hopeless at anything to do with numbers, and I even muddle clubs with spades, and so forth! But best of luck in learning this new game!

  3. Your lazy day sounds very nice, the flowers look lovely. I can remember in my teens having coffee under dinner. It was so strong!! And the cups were so small. I have a smaller than usual pottery mug from the 1970s which is at least twice as big as the small coffee cups of my earlier years, but is also a great deal smaller than today’s coffee mugs. So, I’m guessing, like you, that your two tiny cups, are indeed for coffee.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, Ratnamurti, coffee cups – or coffee cans to give them their correct name – were always tiny, for after-dinner coffee as that is when it was usually drunk, although coffee started out in coffee houses which were for men only, where they would drink coffee and read the papers and exchange news and gossip. I love little coffee cans, but they are pretty useless for today’s coffee-drinking society, but they look pretty with posies of flowers in them. I have two coffee sets, one by Royal Doulton and one by Portmerion (Botanic Garden) but they are packed away in my Resources Cupboard. I have used them, but only very occasionally.

  4. What a delicious breakfast and set out so beautifully as usual, Margaret. Lovely and calming for me to see your lovely home as we are in “organised chaos” having moved into a rented property last week until we can find a flat to buy. Your flowers are so pretty – I love tulips but at least I was able to buy some daffodils in the market the other day, which are cheering up our living room. We have had a more relaxing day today as we recovered from a family wedding yesterday (eldest grandson) which was fun, then we drove into the country for a lovely lunch. Looking forward to watching “Call the Midwife” tonight.

    • Margaret Powling

      Do not fret, Anne, you will soon have a flat of your own, I expect, when you can then get organized with your own things around you again. I hadn’t used our pink table cloth for some time so dug it out of the cupboard this morning and then I put the lace cloth on top as that seldom sees the light of day! It’s just fun to try new ways with the old things I have.
      Oh, how lovely, a wedding yesterday, and a grandson at that! Our grandson is a bit young yet, at four years and eight months!
      We don’t watch Call the Midwife – husband is squeamish and if ever there is a birth scene (in anything, I mean) he leaves the room, and so we will be watching Endeavour, which we love. Of course, I could record it and watch it, but I’m not keen on anything hospital-related these days, even from the 1950s/60s, as I have been in them rather too often – hysterectomy, breast cancer, gall bladder surgery. But, regarding Endeavour, I loved Morse when that first came on TV. It was so different from anything else that had been on, being 2 hours long – that was unusual in the late 1980s – and it was like sitting down with a lovely novel, I could be totally immersed in the story for two whole hours. And now we have Endeavour, the young Morse.

  5. How lovely to see your hellebores, a garden flower that truly repays picking so you can look closely at their down turned faces. Did you sear the cut ends in boiling water. This is a Sarah Raven tip for preserving the life of many garden flowers. Another scrummy breakfast Margaret. We are creatures of habit with porridge Monday to Friday and a Full English breakfast at weekends, but you are making me think we should be more adventurous. We’ve just watched Endeavour too, on catch up so we can fast forward through the advertisements. It was very good wasn’t it, despite the scenes of a violent nature. Like you I remember watching Inspector Morse in the 1980s. I did not watch any television from 1979 until I started ‘going out’ with my now husband in 1988 and it used to be such a treat to settle down midweek with supper on our laps and watch Morse. Then the advertisement breaks were very welcome! My husband also cannot abide anything Medical or birth-related on the small screen. One little snippet, when my daughter and I were staying in Oxford one October half term a few years ago (in a flat in the Oxford Union owned by the Landmark Trust – we had such fun pretending we were characters from a 1950s novel with visits to the Bodleian library to peruse manuscripts, evensong at Magdalen college, lunchtime concerts, a trip to the theatre) we kept stumbling upon the filming of Endeavour, especially at night. I have to say your bedroom looks especially welcoming. I have four Redoute prints in my bedroom and always plain white or ivory-coloured bed linen, although I also have a pretty homemade patchwork quilt and a very jolly woollen blanket from Finland via Heals.

    • Margaret Powling

      I love hellebores, Sarah, but haven’t had much success growing them, so it was lovely to see these in flower. And yes, they have lovely ‘faces’! No, I didn’t sear the cut ends in boiling water – I hadn’t heard of this, so thank you for telling me.
      We do have porridge a lot here, too, but sometimes I break out of the mould and do something different.
      Yes, Endeavour was good. It was especially good as it wasn’t a woman that was murdered, that made a change from so many crime dramas.
      Your trip to Oxford in the steps of Morse and Endeavour sounded great fun! And how coincidental that you also have Redoute prints in your bedroom. We’ve only recently had the four prints framed (spring 2016) when we redecorated our bedroom. How lovely to have a patchwork quilt – my mother used to do patchwork and I have a couple that she made but I’ve not had them on the bed for some time.

  6. If I may say, Margaret, you are such a lovely role model. You have such a knack for making things simple, yet elegant. Thank you for all the sharing – both the pictures and your ways.

    • Margaret Powling

      Ooh, role model! I’ve never been called that before, Jeannine! But you are very kind in saying so, so thank you.

  7. What exactly is a resource cupboard Margaret?

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, Donna, I should’ve explained. It isn’t an actual special cupboard that people have over here in the UK, it’s just a cupboard that is in a room under the eaves upstairs (this being a dormer house, so that the rooms upstairs have sloping ceilings) and it used to be our elder son’s wardrobe. Now, I keep boxes of all the things I kept when my mother died – so many things had to go either to charity shops or the auction house, there were just far too many things for me to keep, much as I’d have liked to. And so I called it my Resources Cupboard, so that I could have a rootle around and change ornaments and so forth, hence “resources”.

  8. I really love your blog and your lifestyle ! You have a real knack for making everything look stylish without having to rush out and buy loads of new things.

    The thing I love most is the care and effort you put into setting the table………….just for the two of you, love all the different china and tablecloths you use.

    Anyway just want to thank you for such a pleasant REAL lifestyle blog

    Rinty

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Jane. I haven’t spoken about much for the past couple of posts but, there again, I’ve not done very much (especially today as I’ve not felt very well, but I hope to be much better tomorrow.) You are right, it’s a case of using what we have and I say that to everyone – buy with care, only spend mega bucks on the big ticket items and then they will last (such as beds and sofas, things you need to be comfortable) and you don’t need to spend oodles of money on other things to have a pleasing effect. I was very fortunate that my mother was a collector and her parents before her, but they never had much money so what she bought was usually from what would’ve been called junk shops in her day.
      I’m delighted you enjoy my blog even if it’s about flowers, making breakfast, laying a pretty table, etc.

  9. You are a wonderful homemaker Margaret, I find you very inspiring.
    I just love your blog, each and every post.
    Your PS today made me laugh out loud.
    Pam in TX.x

    • Margaret Powling

      I am delighted that you feel inspired by reading my blog – and it’s good that I can make you laugh out loud! Laughter is the best medicine! I’m just about to write a new post, although it will be a very short one today as it’s almost bed time.

  10. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I love the hellebores. I’ve never grown any…what a shame. I think I’ve missed out there. I just threw out all my flowers as they were well past their best. Currently there are NONE in the house! I’m off to town tomorrow afternoon so shall rectify the matter. I like breakfast on holiday when it can be leisurely but generally it’s a bowl of porridge with fruit and on my way out of the door. Not literally I hasten to add.
    Eight boxes of ‘resources’. Wow. I have just a resources drawer.
    Salmon and cucumber sandwiches are the best. Apart from crab ones in Brixham or Dartmouth, of course!

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, salmon and cucumber sandwiches are lovely (tinned salmon, I mean). But crab sandwiches by the harbour in Brixham … so yummy!
      Yes, 8 large boxes in the Resources cupboard, anything from my mother’s little doll, dressed as a Scot’s boy with a little kilt (but with a foot missing – unfortunately when we were going through her things I actually found the foot, but didn’t know she still had the doll and I threw the foot away, then found the doll!) to copper and pink lusterware.
      Hellebores are lovely – there are often adverts for them in the Telegraph gardening section at the weekend so treat yourself, if you have a shady place for them.

  11. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I echo Pam’s sentiments. You are indeed a wonderful homemaker, Margaret.

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