Today we have experienced what might best be described as a hint of spring. We awakened to blue skies and glorious sunshine and so, rather than turning over and going back to sleep as we have been doing during days of torrential rain, we almost jumped out of bed (metaphorically speaking, our jumping days are long past!) and were out, heading towards Lidl and Waitrose, by just gone 10am.
We don’t go to Lidl as often as we used to, but we do buy products for the washing machine and dishwasher there, plus their excellent coffee, so tend to stock up when we do go.
Once we’d stocked up on the household products we headed to Waitrose. I have to say of all the supermarkets – and we have tried all of them over the years – it is easily our favourite, and today I had a collection of their own money-off vouchers which they had sent to me as a My Waitrose card holder. Whether they are relating the vouchers to what individual customers buy I don’t know, but we could use several of them which is unusual, they’re usually for items we don’t normally purchase. And so we have had several bargains including £2 off flowers, £2.50 off any magazine, and so forth, and when I checked my receipt we’d had £12 off the total, plus we had a free newspaper and free coffee for each of us.
I love seeing what people buy, I look into shopping trolleys and imagine what they will be cooking, so here is our trolley’s worth for today (the ice cream went straight into the freezer, Kelly’s Clotted Cream vanilla ice cream). This photo doesn’t show the items from Lild’s which were mainly household products, with just a few veggies, such as cucumber, salad cress, bananas, and a cauliflower.
We bought a sandwich in Waitrose and had half each, with our ‘free’ coffee, while sitting in the car, the sunshine making us so warm, even with the car windows open, we had to remove our coats. Then home, and after putting the food away and tidying the kitchen, I changed my clothes and joined husband who was already working in the garden. It was sunny and reasonably mild, with no wind, and so we started tidying up the garden after the winter. I swept the terrace in front of the summerhouse, moving the table and chairs and bagging up all the fallen leaves, and husband began dismantling an old metal arch that had collapsed in high winds in the winter, and chopped down the clemantis montana that had been on this arch for years (the weight no doubt not helping the poor old arch.) This area of the garden needs attention and we intend either to replace the arch and plant a climbing rose, or perhaps remove even the honeysuckle that is planted there and which we haven’t removed (as yet) and plant a small fruit tree.
On the seaward side of the house, facing due east, I’d put the small pots in which I’d planted crocus a couple of years ago (they flowered last spring and after they had finished flowering, instead of removing the crocus, I just tucked them away until they re-flowered this year) and brought them to the area in front of our back door. They haven’t all bloomed yet, but they will, eventually, I hope.
Crocus in the small pots, narcissi in the large blue pots (one of these days I will get rid of them, I liked them 20 years ago but now I prefer terracotta, black or pastel green)
It was lovely to be out of doors again rather than indoors, watching the rain coursing down the windows. Even sweeping paths, generally tidying up, removing twigs from the grass where they had fallen from our walnut tree, and then putting the dustbins back where they ‘live’ (they are washed by a bin washing company once a month, and it was bin-wash day today, so they’re all clean and sweet-smelling, the large black wheelie bin, the boxes for the recycling and the food waste bin. I like to have them all washed even though the recycling items don’t really make the boxes very dirty, and any food waste is in biodegradable bags. It is also good to support a local tradesman.)
I think we spent about two hours in the garden during which time we had a mug of Borvil. I’d forgotten how lovely a mug of hot Bovril is while out in the garden!
We came in about 3 pm, by which time it was becoming chilly, and then I arranged the flowers we had bought, spray carnations and daffodils from Lidl (how could I resist these at 95p a bunch) and lisianthus from Waitrose. Oh, and a small miniature rose from Waitrose, reduced to £1.99.
The lisianthus and the carnations are now in the sitting room …
And the miniature rose is in our bedroom …
Last week’s daffodils, still in bloom
And lots of reading matter … I bought the latest Country Living magazine, using the £2.50-off voucher.
A little while ago a dear friend kindly sent me Tracy Chevalier’s novel, The Last Runaway. I have started reading this and am enjoying it very much. A theme running through the book, appropriately like a ‘thread’, is the theme of quilts (or ‘comforts’ as they are called in America – well, according to this novel.) I just happened to have a spare bookmark from a Persephone novel which shows patchwork, and thought this would make an appropriate bookmark.
I do like to ‘match’ a bookmark to the book I’m reading, if that makes sense? Either in colour or style or in some way, such as this one showing patchwork.
And just as I finished arranging the flowers (I say “arranging”, but I do no more than cut them to a suitable size and put them in vases or jugs) I had a delivery of a book which I ordered yesterday. My cousin has read each one in the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley and recommends them, and so I’m going to try the first one, after I’ve read The Last Runaway, of course.
In all, husband and I have had a most enjoyable day. We’ve not been anywhere special, we’ve not had lunch out – unless you call a shared sandwich and Waitrose coffee in the car sitting in the car park lunch out! – but we have enjoyed, as ever, being together, doing the shopping (and appreciating that we can afford to shop while being aware that many people aren’t as fortunate) which includes some treats such as flowers, magazines, chocolate, none of which could be considered essential. We enjoyed being in the garden, even if it does need much more attention after the winter. And we enjoyed our mugs of Bovril, drunk outside, in the fresh air. How good it is, and I don’t wish to sound smug, to be able to enjoy such simple pleasures.
The view from the side window of our sitting room’s bay window late this afternoon, the end of a very pleasant day (sorry about the reflections in the glass)
I hope you’ve had an enjoyable day.
Until next time.