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Friday Errands


Fielding’s Crown Devon grape dish

This morning we had a short list of errands to do before we visited the supermarket. First on the list was the local Health & Well-Being Centre which is our former local hospital which was closed and is now what I would’ve simply called a clinic, but these authorities do love their verbose titles, don’t they?  I laugh – hollowly – because if people are actually healthy they won’t be in need of such a place.  Joking apart, we went there for hearing aid batteries for husband after which we visited the bank to pay in a couple of small cheques. From there to our local pharmacy to collect a prescription and then to the nearby Co-op small supermarket for bread. With that all the ‘small’ jobs were done.

We had parked our car in the centre of the town and as we walked through the small park I took a few photographs …

The road encircles this small park.  I imagine that the buildings were once lovely houses in Victorian and Edwardian days, they are a pale coloured-brick and have rather attractive roofs.  Of course, they are now all shops on the ground floor with offices and flats/apartments above.

With funds continually tight for local authorities, I think the Torbay parks & gardens department works wonders – here the flower beds are filled with scarlet tulips, a lovely splash of colour on such a dull day.

At the end opposite of the park to the shops is a Victorian theatre, still in use today

After our errands we drove to the supermarket where we stocked up on fruit and vegetables and instead of white freesias for a change I bought cerise freesias, as I thought they would look good on the pale green kitchen tablecloth. Once they are open, they will smell wonderful (I also bought a bunch of daffodils, now coming to the end of their season.)

Several readers have remarked on my little Fielding’s Crown Devon pear dish that is on the breakfast table and so I thought I’d put out one of my other Crown Devon pieces, this time a grape dish.  It has four holes through which to drain any water from washed fruit, with a drip tray underneath. It is leaf-shaped but irregular, but very pretty.  The top photo shows it holding a bunch of grapes.

After the supermarket we drove to The Range as we needed some light bulbs and dishwasher tablets (they are less expensive here than in the supermarket).  What surprised us is that at the far end of The Range, a little further than we had previously ventured, there is a doorway to an outside plants area.  We had no idea they sold so many plants, also things like fencing, compost, and even imitation grass – this came in three sizes:   what I call “meadow” “needing a cut” and “just been cut”!


Plants as far as the eyes can see, and then around the corner to the left

From here we drove to Wellswood to the lovely deli, Me and Mrs Jones, where we bought steak & ale pies (one for lunch tomorrow, two for the freezer) and from there to Daddyhole Plain, a promontory overlooking Babbacombe Bay, so that we could eat the sandwich we bought in the supermarket (I think we can be forgiven for being spendthrift, actually buying a sandwich when we could so easily have made it at home, but we’d left home early, before we’d had breakfast, trying to beat the crowds in the town and supermarket).  It has been a very dull day, but fairly mild, and there was a sea mist, so we couldn’t see very far …

What a difference a sunshine makes …

Photo taken in 2014

To our left, as we stood on Daddyhole Plain, is the Headland Hotel where our elder son and daughter in law married in 2016 …

Sometimes we call here for coffee – it’s a very pleasant hotel, part of a group which also owns the hotel in Paignton where we regularly go for coffee or a light lunch.

When we returned home I had two postal deliveries. The first is a gadget I had ordered, a different kind of can opener. We have tried various kinds, the last one being an electric opener, but many modern cans have small rims and the electric opener had a great deal of difficulty in opening such cans and we then had to use a rather ferocious looking manual opener, risking our hands on sharp edges.  And then I saw this gadget in the Lakeland catalogue. I’ve not had need to try it yet, but the reviews are excellent. It’s only small, and quite expensive for it’s minuscule size, but if it works – and without threatening any injury –  it will be well worth the cost.


As you know, we are fond of breakfast (apart from today when we hit the road too early even for our stomachs to want food) and so I thought I’d buy a book dedicated to this first meal of the day. I saw lots of breakfast cookery books on Amazon but I wanted something a little different, one that would give me more than just a series of recipes. I think this one fits the bill.

So, with my latest magazine, I have something to browse this evening and then perhaps I shall dream of delicious breakfasts, grilled mushrooms, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, crispy bacon …

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. Hi Margaret,

    Have you ever been back to the store where they have those lovely colorful woven market baskets that you showed us on one of the blogs? I’m still interested in knowing the brand and price in case they sell them in the US. Thank you. Lucy

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Lucy. We were in this lovely deli only yesterday and I looked at the colourful woven baskets again, but didn’t see a price on them. I did post a comment regarding the manufacturer shortly after my original post on this some weeks ago; they are made abroad, but I can’t find the blog post in which I mentioned this. I did look up the website (and I’ve forgotten what it was called!) and they are not on sale in the US, unfortunately.
      Later …
      I have found the post, Lucy, to which you refer. It’s called Out and About and I wrote it on the 8th March. The company is called http://www.mowgs.com but I couldn’t find a stockist in the USA on the website.

  2. The park in the centre of your town looks very pretty and also well maintained. The tulips are stunning. I also enjoyed looking at the surrounding buildings – such beautiful architecture. You did well to get all of your errands done so early. I prefer doing my shopping etc earlier in the day – I can avoid crowds and the heat. Although I think ts safe to say that autumn is now here. I’m still wearing my summer clothes but we are no longer sleeping with the ceiling fan on. The ocean is still quite warm so I don’t think the air temperature will drop anytime soon but for now the humidity is at a more civilised level 🙂

    We have a can opener which is similar to your new gadget, but with a handle. It was a gift from a friend over ten years ago. She had bought it for me after my complaints about a series of unsuccessful can openers and her-injuries of my own. I have no idea how much it cost but it is excellent. Mind you, it still leaves a razor sharp edge once the lid is removed so I treat it with the respect it deserves ! I’m curious to hear how yours performs.

    Please tell us about ‘the breakfast bible’ once you’ve had a chance to peruse.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      It is a pretty little park, Lara. Years ago it had flowering cherry trees, but I think they became old and a lot of them have been removed, sadly. In summer it was such a pretty sight, these trees massed with pink blossom in the centre of town.
      I expect that the can opener will leave sharp edges to the lids, so we will have to take care. The electric opener doesn’t leave sharp edges, but as I say, it seldom works on the cans these days.
      Yes, I will write more about The Breakfast Bible in due course, at the risk of making everyone feel hungry.

  3. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    The Council do a good job of maintaining public gardens throughout the area. I’ve always been impressed when visiting. I had no idea that The Range offer plants. Our local one doesn’t (so far as I know but then I’ve never been to the back of the store) but our local B&M, a similar store) have quite a decent garden centre.
    What a difference some sunshine makes to the view of Babbacombe Bay. We’ve had a love.y sunny day today. Long awaited, it’s cheered the spirits.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, the Council really work hard on the parks and gardens within Torbay. It’s a partnership between the Council and a company called Tor2. The fountain in the sea front gardens in Torquay has recently been totally renovated. It was Victorian and leaning to one side, and it has been dismantled, taken away for repair and now the whole fountain site has been repaired and once the site has been tidied up and replanted, it will look lovely and should be good for another hundred years.
      I didn’t know The Range sold plants, either, apart from some summer bedding outside the main entrance. There was really quite a choice.
      We have rain … again!!! And all day yesterday, thick sea mist.

      • Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

        Rain here this morning too – only a little light shower but disappointing as it was so lovely yesterday.

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          The rain has stopped, but it’s cold and dull … I’ve been making soup (new post) and once I’ve tidied the kitchen and filled the dishwasher, I will relax and read (when really, I should be cleaning the bookshelves!)

  4. Thank you so very much Margaret. Now I’ll have to play the part of a sleuth. I’ll let you know if I’m successful. Lucy

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I do hope you are successful, Lucy. I had a look at the baskets this week and while they are very pretty, they are quite stiff, not as pliable as I thought they might be. But they are very pretty, nonetheless.

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