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Nice Things on a Thursday

Before I go any further, just let me say that I’ve not forgotten that I said I would post (as there has been a request) my recipe for chicken curry, but I thought it would be best to do this after I’ve roasted a chicken so that I have the cold cooked chicken and I can photograph the various stages of this very easy recipe.  (I have a chicken in the fridge as we speak, so hopefully, I will roast it tomorrow.)

Above, is my latest small indulgence.  As we’re now well into spring, although you wouldn’t think so by the weather we are currently experiencing, I suddenly felt that I wanted a change from my autumn/winter fragrances such as Guerlain’s Mitsouko, and as I’d enjoyed wearing Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs l’Original last year, I’ve bought a very small bottle. It is a very floral fragrance as the name suggests and I love it.  I don’t possess many ‘floral’ scarves, but I think this one makes a pretty background for this floral perfume.

The nice thing on a Thursday today was a visit to the dentist!  I’ve mentioned this before, i.e. that visiting the dentist is actually a nice thing to do. I used to hate going to the dentist as a child, and I can’t say I enjoyed it as an adult, but for the past three years we have been attending a new practice (this was more-or-less forced upon us as our dentist retired owing to a detached retina so she could no longer practice) and we now have a lovely Polish dentist who is very gentle and also, he understands British humour!   OK, this isn’t essential for a dentist, but it does help when you can say something in jest to someone for whom English isn’t their first language and they obviously understand what you mean.

The practice has a number of dentists and an hygenist and ancillary staff – the above is the reception area – and I’m happy to report that both husband and I were complimented on our dental hygiene, and that we don’t need any treatment and so have made a six-monthly appointment for our next checkup and our visit to the hygienist.  I feel like I’ve been given a gold star for effort!  Seriously, I had root canal work carried out by this dentist and didn’t feel a thing. He said that with modern dentistry there is absolutely no need to feel any pain.  I now believe him!

After our visit to the dentist, we walked to our car parked a little distance away (good exercise) and then we went to Waitrose.  The trolley-load today included tulips and daffodils and a magazine.

I think the purple tulips are ‘doubles’, they look as if they might be, and such a lovely deep colour.  I’ve put the white ones in our bedroom (below); I hope that the buds eventually open out completely …

And the purple ones are in the sitting room, and I similarly hope the buds will open …

One thing I dislike is getting the seeds in raspberry jam stuck in my teeth, and so today I bought some seedless raspberry jam and also some blackcurrant jam. I normally buy jam in Lidl, but instead bought lovely Wilkin & Son Tiptree jam.

Wilkin & Sons Ltd is still a privately owned company – it’s not a huge conglomerate and they make the most wonderful preserves.

After Waitrose we went to the DIY store, B&Q, as husband needed a few bits and pieces.  This time I remained in the car with my Waitrose ‘free’ coffee (using my long-life cup which we remembered to take with us).

I do think that most superstores are quite hideous.  Just imagine if you wanted to put up a large orange sign on your house what the planning people at the council might say!  As this is a store for equipment for the home, you would think the architecture could at least measure up, wouldn’t you?  But I don’t suppose there is much you can do to make a large warehouse look attractive!

Once home, I put the food away, apart from some fruit which I put on the table (with overspill in the fridge) …

We don’t particularly like oranges to eat, but I love their fresh juice, and we find that smaller apples are usually more tasty than larger ones. The red fruit on the right are actually red William pears.

And my magazine, something nice to read this weekend if we are housebound because of bad weather (we’ve been warned that the temperatures are set to drop again, snow not ruled out.)

I have been delighted with the bunch of roses I bought on the 8th March and they’re still looking good. I’ve now removed the yellow ornaments and have added a small Meissen dish, with a design of lambs, to my Staffordshire shepherdess and lamb, as the whites of these objects look good with the creamy-white roses.

Wherever you are,  do have a lovely weekend,

Speak again soon.


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. How wonderful that you found a dentist you like and that things are going so well – dentally speaking. I used to be a dental hygienist – I always say, “in my former life” as it was so long ago. After I had my children I never went back. Those pears look beautiful. I wonder if they’re as tasty as they look. I agree with you about smaller apples being better. I recently bought some honey crisp apples, which are my husband’s favorite. They were small, much smaller than I’ve ever seen them. I actually went back to the store a couple days later to get more as they were so delicious. Extremely crisp (which is how I like an apple) and very flavorful.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Honey crisp apples is a variety I’ve not heard of, Jeannine. Sadly, although the UK has many varieties of apples, hundreds of them (I wrote about this in a magazine last October) we tend to have only a few in the supermarkets, which is such a shame. I love a very crisp apple, too … can’t bear a mushy one. My goodness, a dental hygienist in your ‘former life’! The one who attends to me is really gentle, I can’t bear the ‘water treatment’ to have my teeth cleaned, so she does it all by hand. It might take a bit longer, but I can’t bear that cold water on my ageing teeth!

  2. Oh my, Quelques Fleurs, that takes me back, must test it when I’m next in town, it sounds like Spring! So impressed with your “gold stars”, Margaret, as hubbs and I have to visit the hygienist quarterly! Naughty corner or what?!! And yes, I do think it’s important for a dentist to have a sense of humour. I had a great rapport with mine of 40 years, he retired about a year ago and I’m now working on his replacement – a glimmer of humour is slowly starting to come through. Hugs, x.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, it’s an old fragrance, Mary, and perhaps not quite as it was in the 1950s/1960s, as few fragrances are using the same ingredients, but it’s still a nice fragrance for spring/summer.
      Regarding dental hygiene, I don’t have nice teeth but I have clean teeth, and have an oral regime when, each morning (it’s light then so I can see better!) I brush my teeth, then floss each tooth individually, then brush my teeth a 2nd time and then use a mouthwash. It’s just part of what I do every day and have done for several years, and it’s paid off. Gums are healthy and no build up of plaque. Husband doesn’t floss as often as I do but his teeth are spotlessly clean, too. We should all remember that our mouths are the primary gateway to our bodies and should therefore be kept clean, just as we’d not wish to eat of dirty plates, we should have clean teeth and gums with which to chew our food. So, get out that floss, change your toothbrush regularly, and (to the sound of “keep dancing” from Strictly Come Dancing), “keep brushing!”

  3. Glad you had a good outcome on your dental appointment, Margaret! That’s always nice not to need interim work done. My, how lovely that fruit looks. Sometimes the fruit where I shop looks pretty sad. Your flowers look like they will be beauties, and I like your hall table vignette. Enjoy your magazine this weekend, and wear your new spring perfume. Perhaps it will mitigate the cold temps! (Or not, but you’ll smell divine!)

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Bess … yes, a good outcome, but apart from the one tooth requiring root canal work a year or two ago, I’ve not needed any real treatment for years, thank goodness. Dental hygiene really does pay dividends.
      Yes, I shall wear my new perfume … as with the dental regime, I have a perfume regime. After showering and blow drying my hair each morning, then cleaning my teeth and doing my make up and dressing, I choose the perfume for the day. I mightn’t replenish it during the day, but I certainly have a spritz of perfume at the end of my ablutions in a morning! It is such a habit that I don’t feel ‘finished’ unless I’ve used perfume.
      Yes, the fruit looks a picture! Can’t you guess I love still life paintings? Strangely enough, I don’t have any in the house, but I love to see them in galleries or in books.

  4. I spent a large fortune at my dentist last year, requiring four visits over several months to remove all of my old amalgam fillings. Not a procedure for the light-hearted, that’s for sure ! My doctor had been concerned that leakage from the decades-old fillings was a factor in my health issues. My dentist and his team are all lovely, professional and friendly and I visit them diligently every six months for a check up and thorough clean. I don’t enjoy it at all but I do like the feeling of walking out knowing that I’m taking care of my fangs 🙂 As you say, oral health is so important and often overlooked. I always reward myself with a treat at a nice cafe afterwards for being so brave – a bit like being rewarded with an ice cream or lollies of ‘being good’ as a child !

    I hadn’t heard of seedless raspberry jam. Mind you, I don’t eat jam very often these days as I find it too sweet. Avocado on toast is my favourite but they are currently $AU4 each (compared to $AU1 each at Christmas) which means they are only an occasional treat. My husband loves black currant jam which is difficult to source in Australia. Blackberry jam is readily available but his tastebuds are discerning !

    Your flowers are lovely and your talent for arranging them with ornaments which complement their colours is well demonstrated in your photos. (The wording in that last sentence feels clumsy but as I’m yet to have my breakfast my brain feels foggy). Well done on having a magazine on standby in case of foul weather keeping you in 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      We pay for dental treatment on Denplan, Lara, the same amount each month, which evens the cost out and as we’ve not had much treatment for several years, we feel that Denplan are on the winning side at the moment, but if we need treatment more than just check-ups and hygienist visits, then we are on the winning side (financially, I mean.) I asked about having my amalgam fillings changed some time ago but I was told that they’d been there so long changing them now wouldn’t make any difference to my health.
      Blackberry jam is something we don’t see often here, but another product is sometimes available and that is bramble jelly, for blackberries are sometimes referred to as “brambles”, and that is very nice.
      Neither of us is keen on avocados. I think it’s the texture, and the buttery taste that we don’t like. I keep thinking “we must try avocados again,” but then decide no, there are some things we don’t like and those are one of them.
      Your wording in your sentence was absolutely fine! But sometimes I write a sentence and it just doesn’t sound right!
      Right now, just gone 9 am on Friday morning, the weather is rather nice, sunshine, blue sky and some light cloud formations.

  5. I am very fond of perfume myself and love to add new names to my collection. I haven’t heard of this one, but I love floral fragrances so will look out for it.
    The photograph with the magazine and flowers in the background is beautiful. And the creamy white roses look absolutely lovely:)

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Kavitha, lovely to hear from you again. Yes, Quelques Fleurs is a lovely floral fragrance, it’s quite an old perfume, not a modern one. Thank you for your kind words regarding my photos of the flowers and magazine. The roses have been really lovely this week, opening just a little more each day.

  6. It looks as though you have prepared well – now let’s hope it doesn’t happen! It is always a pleasure to see your lovely ‘indulgences’ and little treats. I haven’t used Quelques Fleurs for many decades but now I must rectify that.

  7. Your dental practice looks very swish. I hadn’t realised I was teaching my grandmother to suck eggs when I was extolling the virtues of flossing the other day! My mother was a complete tartar when it came to our teeth (and I’m afraid to say I’ve been the same with my children). She chose our first family dentist from the London Dental School which she used to attend as a patient in her student nurse days. Mr Gosden lasted until I was in my late 20s and I emerged filling-free. I took equal care to find my next dentist when I moved to Surrey in 1991 and Mr Holt lasted until he retired aged only 55 last year. I’m now on my third dentist and it is he who has introduced me to the world of dental hygienists (previously I had just had my annual clean and polish) and I am now a zealot for flossing and interdental brushing. It is always lovely to pop in here for a chat about anything really, especially as our house sale and purchase reach a crescendo of stress. I was going to ask about your dental insurance as we pay as we go (£56 for last week’s hygienist visit) but as we get older it might be worth considering. I have also been looking at steam cleaners as all the rooms downstairs in our new house have hard floors (the house is currently owned by a couple of New Yorkers) ) and I spotted a steam cleaner in one of their cupboards. Are they easy to use? And would you mind very much telling me the make of yours please Margaret. Hoping to walk off some of this stress shortly, it is another beautiful day here and hard to believe the weekend weather forecast. Have a lovely weekend whatever the weather brings.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I wish my parents had been as good as your mother regarding dentistry. I had a brute of a dentist when I was a child and it put me off going to the dentist, but when I was 17 my best friend at school became a dental nurse and so I went to ‘her’ practice, and we were with that practice for many years. We use Denplan and we pay £53 a month for both of us, a total of £636 a year. This is a lot of money if – as recently has been the case – we only have a checkup twice a year and the hygienist twice a year. I think a checkup is about £20 on the NHS, so that would only be £80 for the year, plus the hygienist. But if you then require major treatments, root canal work (as I had the year before last) the price of course, goes up substantially. It’s a swings and roundabouts, I’m afraid. If we came off Denplan, sure as eggs is eggs, something will go wrong with our teeth and we will have huge bills to pay!
      The steam cleaner is a cheapie one I bought via Amazon. It’s called Light ‘n’ Easy Steam Mop, but if you have all hard floors on the ground floor, it might pay you to have a better-quality one. They are very easy to use. Water into the reservoir (like an iron) and then switch on (with the pad under the steamer) and away you go. I always vacuum or sweep the floors first, of course. I think it was around £70. Your new home sounds lovely.

  8. Those purple tulips are a beautiful colour Margaret, do hope that they prove to be double budded as you hope.
    I too dislike the pips in raspberry jam and buy the seedless version for scones and cakes etc, my SIL gave us a small hamper of preserves for Christmas which included Cranberry & Cointreau jam, very tasty especially with a warm croissant.
    Glad you found your visit to the dentist to be bearable, several years ago I was persuaded by my dentist to have acupuncture as pain relief, hmm interesting but not sure I would do it again!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, I like the sound of cranberry and Cointreau jame, Elaine! I’ll come and eat your scones and cream any day if you can provide that jam with them!
      When I had root canal work done I had such a tiny injection I thought it wouldn’t work, and I told him so! But he said that it would, the injection was more localized now, my whole jaw wouldn’t ‘freeze’ but he said that if there was the slightest discomfort, he’d stop and give me more pain relief. And I never felt a thing, nor did I have to ask for more pain relief, and my jaw felt normal immediately afterwards, none of that frozen mouth feeling which is awful. I don’t think I’d trust acupuncture to work for such drastic dental treatment!

  9. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    It is nice that you enjoy going to the dentist, I have a fear as I had an horrific experience once when something went very wrong. The dentist we have here in Cheltenham is ok though, the lady is very kind and always asking if I am alright. I have not tried those jams before Margaret, I sometimes make my own or buy Bonne Mamam.
    I love the red william pears, for a change today I thought I would try some Asian ones, never tried them so I hop they will be good.
    Have a lovely weekend Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Having a bad dental experience is enough to put you off visiting the dentist for life, Marlene. I hated going as a child, but now I hae a lovely dentist … wish I’d had had someone like this 60 years ago! It sounds strange to say it, but now I enjoy going!
      Bonne Maman make lovely jam but I’ve found it very runny, and I’ve found Lidl jam more runny of late. I’ve not yet opened these jams I bought yesterday. The pears we bought yesterday are very hard, I just hope that they ripen rather than go from hard to mush without a period when they are suitable to eat!

  10. Tiptree jam (I’ve always referred to it thus) is a particularly nice one. Blackcurrant is always my first choice, followed by raspberry but, in my case, with seeds. Also, I like Hartley Blackberry. Tulips look lovely. I have lilies and daffodils at home but am staying at daughters so missing out on the best of them! Good job she has flowers here.

    Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs Was a favourite in my teens. Brings back memories.

    I have a great dentist too. Aren’t they important? I see the hygienist twice a year and have a check up then too. Interdental brushes and floss are the order of the day, plus an electric toothbrush. Having my first filling in years in a few weeks…..only ever white ones.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, I tend to call it Tiptree jam, too, Eloise rather than Wilkin & Sons, although that is the name of the company.
      Have a lovely time at your daughter’s. Yes, Quelques Fleurs was a firm favourite all those dim and distant years ago, but in my 20s the fragrance I loved was Elizabeth Arden’s Memoire Cherie, and this was the fragrance I had for our wedding. Sadly, it is no longer produced. It was an unusual fragrance, but I loved it.
      We had an electric toothbrush for years and then returned to manual ones, but I renew them every month at least, and my dentist said that it didn’t matter which you used, it was how you used it that mattered.

  11. I always make my raspberry jam seedless – blackberry too. Like you, I have getting the seeds stuck in my teeth!
    J x

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Joy, and delighted you have ‘found’ my blog. The Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Raspberry seedless jam is delicious. I’ve not tried blackberry seedless, only ever had blackberry jelly (i.e. a clear jelly jam, not blackberry jelly that children have as a dessert.)

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