The week has flown past following the Easter weekend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t firing on all cylinders for the early part of the week, and so I took things as easy as I could, not doing too much of anything – housekeeping, cooking, or going out. But by Wednesday morning I was picking up a little and when elder son texted to say he was going out with our grandson for brunch (our daughter-in-law was working, our son was caring for our grandson) and would be like to join them, I thought, why not?
We quickly got ourselves ready and our son collected us and we went to Hoopers, the rather nice department store overlooking the harbour in Torquay. The café is on the third (top) floor, but even though it wasn’t much later than 10.30am, already all the tables by the windows were taken and so we chose a table overlooking the ‘well’ down through which we could see all the various floors right down to the ground floor. Have no fear: this ‘well’ is contained behind toughened glass.
There are tables all around this ‘well’ and above, a lovely glass atrium …
Son ordered himself a ‘full English’, our little grandson had pancakes and maple syrup, husband had a toasted tea cake and I had a fruit scone with a pot of tea. It was a lovely way to spend a rather dull, wet morning.
A lovely display of citrus and turquoise items for the summer garden and kitchen
From there our son drove us to a large branch of Sainsbury’s as he wanted to buy a magazine for our grandson as they were all going to Cornwall for a two-night break the next day (Thursday). I said I’d buy our grandson a magazine as well, so that he’d have plenty to look at in the car. This particular Sainbury’s is huge by my reckoning, and while I was mightily impressed by the wonderful displays of flowers, fruit and vegetables (my main likes in any supermarket) it wouldn’t be a store that I would wish to shop in every week; the hustle and bustle, the noise, the volume of people and the sheer size of the place put me off, but I couldn’t resist some flowers and bought deep wine-coloured alstromeria and pink lisianthus.
We spent the day at home on Thursday doing not very much. After the usual housekeeping – making the bed, preparing meals, just general tidying up – I spent quite a lot of time reading. I finished the novel by Catherine Law, The First Dance, which was well-written but while I enjoyed it in many ways, ultimately I felt it was rather a sad book. I always hope that what are basically romantic novels (and I don’t mean chick lit) have happy endings, or if not happy, then uplifting and positive. I felt this lacked that, but as I say, overall a well-written novel. What I have found uplifting, though, has been Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path, which is easily one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.
This morning we were up with the larks. Well, if there had been any larks, that is! Seagulls, more like. We were showered, dressed, breakfasted and out of the house before nine o’clock. We drove to Waitrose – this store would be perfect if it had a cafe and a loo, but it was formerly a Co-op store and had neither then, and simply doesn’t have the space for them – as I had quite a list of things to get today, including various types of sugar – wicked stuff but it’s difficult to bake without it! – such as muscovado and golden caster. Of course, I bought flowers – white freesias, for the third week running, and cream-edged-with-pink spray carnations.
I think these will look lovely when they open up. The spray carnations I have put into two vases …
A few on the hall table and some in the sitting room …
Again, these will look lovely when they open fully.
I also bought two magazines, and picked up the free Waitrose magazine and the weekly Weekend Waitrose paper.
I love a Saturday afternoon spent sipping tea and reading The Daily Telegraph and magazines such as these above. I don’t usually splash out on Country Life but there is a feature on the English look in décor, so I couldn’t resist that.
In the Property section of the The Daily Telegraph today there is an article which I will be reading shortly on Wentworth Woodhouse which has the longest façade of any historic house in England (twice as long as that of Buckingham Palace.) The house is in need of much restoration, now estimated to be around £200 million. Yes, an eye-watering amount.
For more about this house, read the book Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey, which tells its amazing story (Catherine’s other book – and I wish she’d write some more – is The Secret Rooms, equally intriguing) …
I love equally fiction and non-fiction, and right now I’m engrossed in the latest in the Seven Sisters series of novels by Lucinda Riley, the latest being The Pearl Sister …
For more about this series of books, take a look at www.lucindariley.co.uk
And now for another cup of tea, the article on Wentworth Woodhouse, and then another chapter of the book; a lovely way to spend what has turned into a chilly and dull afternoon. The heating is on and a soft woollen throw is ready for me on the sofa. And, after a ‘proper’ lunch of steak pie, mashed potatoes, peas and gravy, it will be crusty cheese bread and a variety of cheeses and olives for supper, just things to put on a tray and carry in to eat by the fireside.
Until next time.