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300th Edition

This is the 300th edition of my blog!  When I started writing it in August 2016 I had no idea in which direction it would go, or indeed whether I’d manage to write it for 18 weeks, let alone 18 months.  But here we are, 300 editions later.

I have been both humbled and delighted by the many lovely comments readers have left, especially considering I just tend to write about simple things – flowers, home-making, books, magazines, cooking, even trips to the supermarket.  Occasionally, I have written a more in-depth piece, such as an historic house we have visited, but for the most part it’s been about our day-to-day lives here in this southern corner of Devon.

So, a very big thank you to all my readers, and especially thank you for all the good wishes I’ve received when I wasn’t well with the awful cough and cold which started in autumn and lasted so long, and for my more recent bout of illness (diverticulitis).   I am now feeling very much better, thank you.

* * * * * *

And so to this edition of my blog.  It’s Sunday 11th February, and although husband collected our paper from our local shop, I’ve not yet opened it.  Instead, I started making Sunday lunch.  But before that, to yesterday.  We visited Waitrose supermarket because I needed to stock up on vegetables and I thought if the snow does come (there is always that possibility) I didn’t want to be out-of-stock of the basics, such as potatoes, carrots, etc.  But we were late getting up and a consequence of this was that there were few vegetables left by the time we arrived at the supermarket.

However, I managed to stock up on potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, a courgette/zucchini  (for tomato and courgette/zucchini soup), peppers, lemons, oranges (not on the photo), lettuce, but not on greens – no cabbages or cauliflowers in sight.

From the supermarket we drove home via the charity shop just so I could have a look at their St Valentine’s Day window display. While it’s stylish it certainly isn’t my favourite window display, but I do appreciate the message … they are saying that they love all the kind people who support this charity.

The other window had just a few items of jewellery (nothing outstanding) and mainly items for men – brogue shoes, a basket of neatly-rolled ties, a rather nice shirt.  And so, while husband drove the car around the block a couple of times (about which he wasn’t best pleased, he doesn’t understand my fascination with charity shops if there is nothing I particularly want to buy), I went inside to have a look-see.  There was a very pleasing display of glassware …

And you might notice, on the bottom shelf, another Dartmouth pottery vase (specially designed for flower arrangements) but it wasn’t one I desired.  On the second shelf down I saw a blue and green glass bowl which matched a dish I have – it’s half-hidden behind the glass dolphin, another very attractive piece) but although I would have liked to have bought it – it was £8 – I knew that I really didn’t have room in our kitchen cupboards (or anywhere else) in which to keep it when it was not in use, either for fruit or salads or anything else for which I wished to use it.

And so we went home, turned up the heating and had a quiet afternoon reading the paper and watching some of the Winter Olympics from South K0rea.

I bought two bunches of deep pink tulips in the supermarket …

In fact, yesterday was a rather special day for us.  It was the anniversary of our first date, 56 years ago. Say it quickly and it won’t sound quite as long ago as that!

Today, I stayed in bed, reading, with my second cup of coffee …

But I made up for my apparent laziness once I was up, showered, and dressed. I decided on making a rather nice Sunday lunch.  I had bought lamb steaks yesterday, so it was to be:  lamb steaks, gravy, braised red cabbage, leek cheese, buttered carrots, and tiny roast potatoes.  Oh, and braised rhubarb, as the new season’s forced rhubarb is now in the supermarkets.

I started by preparing the rhubarb for the oven … cutting it up, adding the zest and juice of one large orange, adding just a little extra orange juice (from a carton), covering the ovenproof dish with foil and popping into the oven (160C) for about 1/2 hr.  Once cooked I add golden granulated sugar to taste.

In the background of this photo you will notice a red cabbage, and once the rhubarb was in the oven, I prepared the braised red cabbage.  For that I used a quarter of this cabbage, a large red onion, and a dessert apple (peeled & cored).  All three ingredients were sliced and then popped into a hot frying pan (containing a little rapeseed oil) and heated through. I then added two dessertspoons of balsamic vinegar, a splash of port, a drizzle of runny honey, salt, pepper and a couple of vegetable Oxo cubes.  I cooked this for about ten minutes and then put it all into a lidded casserole dish and popped it in the oven with the rhubarb.  The red cabbage takes longer to cook, an hour at least, but you can have it as firm or as tender as you like, just keep testing it every half hour or so.

The red cabbage, onions and potato sautéing on the hob (above) with balsamic vinegar, port, honey, and seasonings. And (below) then into a casserole, lidded, a popped into the oven …

Next I prepared the lamb steaks, rubbing oil into them and sprinkling salt, pepper and ground Rosemary over them – I use dried Rosemary, but it still needs a bit of grinding in my small pestle and mortar.

I then made the leek cheese (as you would a cauliflower cheese but using leeks, sliced – I used strong Cheddar cheese today and all I had left, just a small portion, of Gruyere) and when cooked, I put a portion into a serving dish for our lunch, ready to heat just before serving, and two single portions into dishes for a main meal with granary bread tomorrow (and for that I might add small pieces of crispy bacon to the top before serving.)

Finally, I prepared the small potatoes (I peeled and then cut them into almost bite-size pieces and par-boiled for a few minutes before draining them and then drizzling some oil onto them in the pan, giving the a shake and putting onto a baking sheet and roasting in the oven) and I peeled and sliced a large carrot and steamed that – I served it buttered with parsley.  And so, we enjoyed a rather tasty lunch, with apple juice to drink.

I’m afraid a roast meal never looks as good as it tastes, but then food photographers faff with the food, sometimes even paint it to make it look attractive or show some things raw to preserve colour;  we were about to eat this and I didn’t have much time to consider presentation!

I hope you are having a lovely Sunday, wherever you are.

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. Congratulations on this momentous post. I certainly aspire to bring more beauty to my home and spend just a little more time cooking after reading your blog. I have also enjoyed many of the books you have suggested although I have resisted the magazines – mind I did buy the Christmas issue of The Lady.

    I do not have many people in my own circle who appreciate the finer things in life so it has been heartening to find a like minded ally online. Please do keep writing and showing us with your outstanding photography what goes on in your corner of the world – we are out here in the ether enjoying your efforts.

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Jane, and thank you for much for leaving your comments and for your congratulations. But that is a shame that your own circle do not appreciate the finer things in life – and these needn’t be expensive things, but just things which are thoughtful or, to use that old-fashioned term (but not meant in a Hyacinth Bucket sort of way!), “refined.” You just go ahead and do things your way. As the old saying goes from National Service days, “Ooh, look! Our son’s the only one marching in step!” Do it your way.
      I am delighted that I have encouraged you to do more cooking. Today, everything is rush, rush, rush and it takes effort not to join in. Quick meals, takeaways, eating ‘on the hoof’. I remember a time when people had three meals a day and didn’t eat between meals, apart from the occasional little treat of a bar of chocolate. So prepare nourishing meals, present them as nicely as you can, and if no one appreciates it, at least you will. Do this, if only for yourself.

  2. Congratulations on 300 posts – that is an achievement. I like reading your blog Margaret because the way you cook and present your delicious meals reminds me of my mother – you both make the effort to make eating, one of our most basic needs, into one of life’s greatest pleasures. I hope you don’t mind me saying that. Tonight we are having for the second night running a very tasty beef in beer casserole (Delia’s recipe with added white turnips and fresh herbs from the garden) that I made yesterday. I was planning on roasting a half leg of lamb but will save that until Tuesday when I know we will be four for dinner. I find that almost every supper or dinner has to expand or contract to feed two, three or four and tonight we’re down to two. Not to worry, I will enjoy a quiet Sunday evening with my husband watching Endeavour after a long three hour walk up on the South Downs today. I’m going to check on the map but I reckon we walked about eight miles including a section of old Roman road, the Monarch’s Way and the South Downs Way. We saw goshawks, skylarks, lambs, primroses, snowdrops and donkeys – all under a beautiful blue sky with scudding clouds which passed quickly to reveal the sun.

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, that’s lovely, that I remind you of your mother – it might make me feel a bit old, but I don’t mind you saying that; indeed, it’s a great compliment!
      Oh, beef casserole at this time of the year is lovely, and I love white turnips. Indeed, I love carrots and turnips mashed together, that is how my own mother served them.
      Yes, catering for various members of the family can be difficult at times; choose something for just two of you and more turn up, expect more and there’s just two of you!
      We’re looking forward to Endeavour, too. We’ve not been out today. We no longer venture out in very cold weather – and boy, it has been cold! – because husband had open heart surgery (a triple by-pass) in 2009, and the surgeon and our GP said that he really shouldn’t risk going out in really cold weather, so we don’t. But I miss what you’d call a ‘bracing’ walk in the cold air. I could go myself, of course, but I think it wouldn’t do me all that much good, either! But that’s a good stretch you had today, eight miles in these cold conditions! You must be fit as the proverbial flea! And you were rewarded by sightings of such wonderful birds and flowers (and even donkeys!) We’ve had intermittent sun and heavy dark cloud, but no snow as yet – although it has tried to snow (unsuccessfully.)

  3. Congratulations, Margaret, on your 300th post on your thoroughly enjoyable blog. Like Jane, I’ve been inspired to add more home beauty & certainly cook more interesting food. I’m moving soon and intend to have pot plants of flowers in our very small garden, also inspired by yourself. In a time when the lovelier way of daily life is almost gone, it’s been a real treat to read, & frequently re-read, your blog.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Ratnamurti. I’m so glad you enjoy my blog and when you move I hope you will be very happy in your new home, even though it will be small with a small garden. As long as there’s room for a pot plant or two you will be able to have some colour, something pretty to look at. That is the nicest thing to say, that in a time when lovelier ways of daily life are almost gone, my blog is a treat. Long may you continue to enjoy it.

  4. Happy 300th. I read a few blogs and I always prefer the ones showing how people live, cook etc. Hope you keep on blogging 🙂

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Alison. Well, if you prefer the blogs showing how people live, cook, etc, you have come to the right place, ha ha!

  5. Congratulations on 300 posts, Margaret! I’ve thought it over and decided your blog is my favorite blog to read. I just enjoy your writing, your photography, and what you share- all so very much. I think you live my “dream life”!!! Your meal looks delicious. I’m about to go make some cheesy cauliflower (what I call it), but I cheat and use the microwave and frozen cauliflower. Such is my life! :0} Here’s to your next 300 posts!

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Bess. To be a favourite is something I shall have to live up to! But hey, don’t worry about your cheesy cauliflower being made in a microwave with a frozen cauliflower! I don’t have a microwave as we simply don’t have room for one in our kitchen and I have a double oven, so with a bit of forward planning I can’t say I actually need a microwave, but there’s nothing wrong with using them, or frozen veg, some of which are fresher than those in the supermarket. Seriously, I’m delighted that you enjoy my blog; thank you for your kind comments.

  6. Congratulations Margaret on your milestone. I love reading about everyday things and have tried a few of your recipes which are keepers. I love seeing your little part of the world and your beautiful home. Stay well and keep writing.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Pieta. I’m delighted that you have enjoyed a few of my recipes and that they are ‘keepers’! I hope to do another post before long on another area of our lovely South Devon.

  7. It’s 7:30am Monday morning as I type and I’m yet to have my breakfast so I was salivating reading about your delicious home cooked Sunday lunch. By way of contrast, we went for a bush walk yesterday along a lovely coastal trail in a nearby national park. It was hot and sunny but much of the walk was shaded with trees, thank goodness, but we were both quite hot afterwards and rewarded ourselves with ice blocks afterwards. Temperatures reached about 31 deg C (I think that’s about 90 deg F ?) and humidity was high yesterday. Nonetheless I would have enjoyed sitting at your kitchen table yesterday enjoying such a feast. Your husband is a lucky man 🙂

    I like the window display of the charity shop although I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to cut out the hundreds of paper hearts ! Maybe they bought them. Such a simple idea but very effective.

    Your supermarket shopping resembles how some Australian supermarkets are becoming – everything wrapped in plastic. We separate our household waste as our local council has seperate bins for recyclables (paper, aluminium, plastic bottles), green compostable (kitchen scraps and garden waste) and landfill (everything else) in an attempt to reduce what goes to landfill. We also separate our plastic wrapping and packaging which is kept separately. I used to return the latter plastic waste to our supermarket which had a nominated bin but our council now also collects this fortnightly. For a house with only two people I am constantly amazed at how much plastic packaging we accumulate each fortnight. I try hard to avoid it – at our local shop-which-sells-nearly -everything all fruit and veg are displayed in large box s and you select what you want so I can avoid plastic bags altogether. But the large supermarkets (especially Aldi, which is the equivalent of your Lidl) seal much of their fruit and veg in plastic so as to enable check-out register operators to scan/swipe. So when I shop there I am stumped.

    Congratulations on your 300th post. Such a significant milestone. I am fairly sure I have read each one (and commented) and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The comments made by all of your readers are always good to read and I enjoy being part of the community y you have created. I enjoy learning about how others live and always learn something. Thank you for all of the effort and hard work. Yours is one of my favourite blogs.

    Warm regards from Australia and I wish you continued good health xxx

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, so much, Lara for your lovely comments and your good wishes. I was interested to read what you had to say about your recycling in Australia. We also have a similar system here where we put our recyclable plastics into separate boxes. One box has plastics (not all, only those suitable for recycling), tins (rinsed out) and paper, and the other box has cardboard, foil and glass. We also recycle food waste, there’s a special caddy for our kitchens for peelings and so forth, and a larger one we keep outside and that is emptied, as are the re-cycling boxes, each week. Then there is a large black wheelie bin for non-recycling refuse which, sadly, goes into land fill. I don’t like all the fruit and veg pre-packed in plastic but even in smaller shops, unless you can visit a market, this is how much of the produce is placed now. And we have Aldi here as well as Lidl.
      What a lovely time you had on your bush walk – you mention an ice block … is that what we’d call an ice lolly or something else? Like an ice cream but a fruit-flavoured block on a stick?

  8. Congratulations on a job well done! I hope you continue for another 300 posts and beyond. I so enjoy reading your writing, seeing your pictures, etc.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Jeannine. I’m really pleased you enjoy my writing and my photographs. I enjoy writing and it pleases me that readers have said how much the enjoy reading my blog.

  9. Oh, and congratulations on the anniversary of your first date – wow, 56 years ago. Our first date was December 21st – 44 years ago. This year, in June, will be our 38th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, 56 years is a long time since our first date. I can remember it very well, though, even what I wore … I had a lovely pale grey Jaeger wrap coat. It had been my mothers and she never wore it and so a local tailor shortened it for me to wear it as a 3/4 length coat, and I had a pencil-slim skirt in a grey and white hounds tooth check, and I wore that with a pastel blue fine knit jumper and a long narrow silver and pearl chain, and grey patent high heels. Those were the days when we wore stockings, too … tights hadn’t been invented (or pantyhose as they are referred to in the USA) for normal everyday wear, only for the stage. Your 38 years is certainly an achievement, Jeannine. Well done.

  10. Congratulations Margaret! Amazing achievement.

    PS – My Mum has that exact glass bowl!

    • Margaret Powling

      I have an idea that those bowls and plates came from a supermarket, Susan, perhaps Sainsbury’s? I remember my mother buying me the plate but I simply can’t place where we were. This was in the days before Aldi and Lidl, pre-2000 (when she died) and as we shopped mainly in Sainbury’s in those days, that is where I think they were. Thank you for your congratulations.

    • Margaret Powling

      I think your comment came in twice, but to make sure I’ve replied, I think these glasswares came from Sainsbury’s, Susan.

  11. Congratulations Margaret on 300 posts and lovely posts they are. A beautiful Sunday dinner you prepared and I’m always interested in your charity shop pictures,especially with my husband working in one,gives him inspiration for his own! I have recently been diagnosed with diverticulitis and was wondering what foods I can and can not eat? The doctor hasn’t given me any guidelines! Your posts are beautiful and inspiring and make my day! Take care of yourself,Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Margaret, for our good wishes. And how great is that, that my photos of the charity shop which I go to gives your husband inspiration for his own. As to diverticulitis, I never really had any guidelines from my doctor at the time. Mind you, this was over 20 years ago, perhaps 25 years ago, even before I had breast cancer. I used to think that lettuce was the culprit, I’d have a bout of pain after the humble lettuce, but really, anything can kick-start a bout. I don’t want to go down the route of cutting out various foods if I can help it, and become a picky eater. I don’t want to have to think, “Oh, I can’t eat this … or I can’t eat that …” But I do think that anything that is difficult to digest isn’t wise, such as sweetcorn and nuts (although I like both, and will eat them occasionally.) Also, red meat is hard to digest so yesterday’s lamb steaks were a one-off, believe me. We tend to eat more fish and chicken than red meat, but neither of them look very good on photographs, hence my not having photographed those meals.

  12. Congratulations Mrs Powling, on your 300th post. I have enjoyed reading them all.
    All your photographs of either breakfast or lunch are so attractive. You really have an eye for detail. If you ever did start a b and b, I would love to come and stay:)
    I wish you good health and many many more posts to come!

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, so much, Kavitha. If I were 30 years younger I would really considering opening a B&B but, unfortunately (or possibly fortunately!) I’m a little too old for that now. I know there is a saying as it’s never too late to start something, but while I love preparing and cooking a lovely breakfast, all the bed-making required in a B&B might defeat me.
      Thank you for your good wishes for my good health and I hope to be posting again before too long.

  13. Many congratulations on your 300th post Margaret, I always look forward to each new one and very much admire the elegant way you live your life, something to aspire for sure. Another one here who enjoys reading your other readers comments and the little community that you have built. Thank you x

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Elaine. I just hope that readers don’t get the wrong impression of life Chez Powling! We get in a muddle at times – piles of ironing to be tackled, the shopping to be put away, dust you can carve your name in from time to time. But I like to keep on top of the housekeeping if I can, only as I age I take longer about it!
      Also, we’ve had our fair share of problems over the years, but by working together we have overcome them – I think most people don’t sail through life without any problems, but we consider ourselves very fortunate insofar as my husband was never out of work, he was in his main job (which he loved) for a month shy of 35 years, and through it he managed to travel, too. We’ve always been able to have our own home and moved into a brand new bungalow when we married. Not many people today are able to do that, aged 20 and 29, are they? Teenage boys were sometimes a handful, but like a lot of parents, we coped and they have grown up to be wonderful caring adults. And we’ve had our share of serious illness – my breast cancer, husband’s open heart surgery (also at one stage, sepsis), my gall bladder surgery (which was an emergency) and now, husband has prostate cancer, but as this is a very slow growing cancer, he’s simply checked regularly and it’s a case of “wait and see”. Therefore, I’d not want any readers to gain the impression we’ve not had to cope with difficulties over the years because we have. But we have always had a strong relationship that has seen us through the worst of times, as well as the best of times.
      Yes, we have grown a little community, haven’t we? I think it’s lovely that readers feel this way, because that is exactly how I feel. And I’m truly grateful for all the comments which have been so positive.

      • I do believe that a happy, personal relationship is one of the greatest blessings that one can have in one’s life and if you have that most of life’s trials are bearable aren’t they? I have been so blessed myself and despite many difficulties I still wake up every morning with a smile on my face knowing that I will share the day with my lovely man.
        As for dust, piles of ironing or bits to tidy away well we all have those don’t we ☺️

        • Margaret Powling

          Your thoughts mirror mine completely, Elaine. Yes, I similarly wake up and think, thank goodness, we’re still here! And, at 17, how could I have known that he would be make a good husband? The luck of the draw, or perhaps I was mature beyond my years and recognised quality when I saw it!

  14. Congratulations on your 300 posts Margaret. I found you via Fiona Ferris within your first 2 or 3 weeks of posting and have read them all. I always look forward to seeing your latest post even though I don’t always comment. May you continue to entertain and encourage your readers for a long time to come. X

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Dot, and thank you so much for reading my posts right from the beginning! I’m just so delighted that readers, including yourself, seem to enjoy what I write about, even though it’s mainly the simple things in life. The encouragement I have received, such as yours here, has been wonderful.

  15. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    Firstly Margaret, Congratulations … 300 posts! Congratulations too on your 56 years of togetherness.n
    I also put apple and balsamic in red cabbage. It’s a nice combination. Just thinking how much I liked the blue/green glad dish in the photo when you commented on it. My grandmother always used to say ‘blue and green should never be seen’ but it’s a combination that I’ve always liked.
    I smiled at your response to Jeannine. It is so much a woman thing to recall exactly what we wore on certain occasions. I do it all the time and husband says, ‘how can you possibly remember that?’ Can you imagine a man knowing?

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Eloise! I never thought I’d write 300 when I started, but they’ve grown, just like Topsy! And thank you for your congratulations, too, on being together for 56 years – I was only 17 when I met his nibs, but I thought right away he was a keeper!
      I now wish, in a way, I’d bought the glass blue and green bowl, but really, I didn’t actually need it and where on earth would I put it? Yes, that used to be the old saying, blue and green should never be seen, but what about the lovely blue sky and green grass? Mad, or what? Some shades of blue and green look wonderful together.
      Thankfully, I have been blessed with a good memory (well, for most things, not maths or chemistry or physics!) whereas husband has a very poor memory (apart from things work-related). I only have to see a small portion of a room or garden on TV or in a book and I’ll say to the lad, “that’s at such-and-such house or garden, surely you remember going there?” and he won’t have a clue! The only thing I can’t recall is the perfume I wore on our first date, not the lipstick, but it was most likely Max Factor’s Apricot Frost.

      • Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

        I think that men subconsciously ask themselves, ‘is this something I NEED to remember.’ If there is no good reason for doing so, they dismiss it. I can start watching a film and thirty seconds in say, ‘we’ve seen this’. Husband will swear that we haven’t and I’ll say, ‘yes we have, it was when……….’ .and name some totally unconnected event. I think that he thinks I make it up!

        • Margaret Powling

          You might have a point there, Eloise … “do I need to remember this?” That could blank out a lot of things which men consider relatively unimportant. Your account of your husband not remember something such as a film you’ve already seen is exactly my own experience … I then relate something such as a film, or a visit somewhere, and say … “It was when we visited that café where the waitress was so surly …” or something like that, and he will remember. Like you, I’m sure he thinks I make things up!

  16. I must add my congratulations too, on your achievement, Margaret. I can’t remember how I found your blog but I am very pleased that I did. It must take a lot of doing so thank you. It’s so nice to read about your life and see pretty and attractive things, especially as we are currently muddling along in a rented house whilst we search for a flat to buy. So glad you are feeling better too.

    • Margaret Powling

      I’m delighted you found my blog, too, Anne, and thank you for your congratulations. I do hope you will find a flat to buy, soon, and you will be able to settle in and make the place your own. I know you will let us all know once you have found the right place and move in. The very best of luck.

  17. Congratulations Margaret, 300 posts is a considerable achievement. I think of your blog as elegant and refined, a bit of a style guide. In the 6 months or so that I’ve been reading Devon Dreaming I’ve picked up lots of tips and ideas on a variety of topics. Keep up the good work! Here’s to the next 300 posts!

    • Margaret Powling

      My goodness, a style guide, Pamela! But if what I’ve written about helps readers, that’s really gratifying. I enjoy homemaking but there again, I’m not what you’d call ‘houseproud’; I don’t jump up and plump cushions the moment someone has left the sofa, but I just find it fun to make things as pleasant as I can for ourselves, and if others like how I do things, that’s simply a bonus. Thank you for your congratulations.

  18. Congratulations Margaret on your 300th post and your first date anniversary. I’m so very glad to have found your blog (and community) a few months ago. Your blog is so lovely and elegant and your photographs and home are beautiful. You inspire me to try to bring beauty to our table as well and make mealtimes a respite in our busy lives. Thank you for sharing with us Margaret and many blessings and good wishes to you and your husband. I look forward to reading more!

    • Margaret Powling

      That is a lovely way of putting it, Lynne … that a laying an attractive table brings a respite into our busy lives. Yes, I agree, but sometimes we do have supper on a tray in front of the fire, but even so, it’s not a pizza from a cardboard delivery box, but a proper meal on a tray – this is mainly in winter when we do like to be cosy by the fireside – and why not? We can still make the plate of food attractive, and have a napkin for our knees, and have our glass of water or juice or an alcoholic drink in a cut glass tumbler (ours are all 2nd hand ones bought for a song.)
      Thank you for your good wishes, and I hope to be posting again before too long.

  19. Many, many congratulations on your 300th post Margaret, well done indeed. I can honestly say that I find each and every one so interesting and enjoyable.
    I look forward to a new post and I am most definitely uplifted and encouraged by your writing and lovely photographs.
    As another reader said its so nice to see the joy that can be found in every day life by lovely arrangements, color and taking the time to present things beautifully. Here in the US life seems to move very fast, it may be the same in the UK now, I am out of touch but your blog sets a wonderful standard of how living should be, to enjoy everything around you, so thank you.
    I appreciate your recipe today also, that is another must try!
    Glad you are feeling better, don’t try to do too much, too soon.
    Best wishes,
    Pam in TX.xx

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Pam! How lovely is that? That you are uplifted by my posts. Honestly, I ever expected so many lovely compliments, I shall have to watch it, otherwise my head will be so swollen I won’t be able to get into the study to write my posts, ha ha!
      Yes, life is rather fast-paced these days, but I think our parents and grandparents might’ve said much the same. I’m glad you enjoy my occasional recipes, too, all of them fairly simple – I can’t be doing with faffy menus, or menus which require just a teaspoon of an ingredient that I know I shall never use again, something obscure. I hope to be posting again soon, but thank you for reading each and every one of my posts. That’s an achievement in itself, Pam!

  20. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    Wow where has the time gone, 300 posts already, you obviously enjoy writing your blog as much as we all enjoy reading it.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Marlene. Yes, I enjoy writing, but what is pleasing is that readers appears to enjoy what I write. Long may that continue!

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