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A Busy Thursday

Ilsham Marine Drive (taken spring 2011) but a day much like today

Husband had an appointment at what had been our local hospital this morning, now the Health & Well-Being Centre (as I’ve said before, a daft title.  It is a clinic!)  Nothing serious, just micro-suction for his ears (as he wears hearing aids.)  But the appointment was late morning, at 11.40am, so it was either get up and do the shopping early, or hang around until 11.40am and do the shopping after the appointment.  We decided on the former and arrived at Waitrose when, once again, we almost had the store and the car park to ourselves. I just hope this isn’t a sign that the store isn’t prospering. I wouldn’t want it fail through lack of support.  It is my natural habitat!

I bought more (again) than I thought I would, but none are spur-of-the-moment purchases, all were on my shopping list …

After husband’s appointment we went home so that we could have lunch, just crusty mini baguettes with Ardennes pate.  And then husband decided to take the garden waste to the tip – sorry, the Recycling Centre.  He said it was possible that others would be having their lunch and it mightn’t take long, and he was right (for once!) and we sailed straight in, and he deposited the 15 or so bags of garden waste and we were off again within a few minutes.

We then drove to Wellswood, Torquay, as we needed some birthday cards.  I do have a cache of cards, but none of them were suitable for the birthdays we have upcoming this month:  brother-in-law, younger son, grandson, and a very dear friend.

Once we had bought the cards (they have a lovely selection in the Post Office, the best in the Bay) I dropped off another pile of magazines in the Rowcroft Hospice shop. I hate parting with my much-loved magazines, but needs must, I’m afraid, space being finite.

There were some lovely things in the shop again …

And one of the windows had been decorated with the upcoming Royal Wedding in mind …

The window is themed to red, white and blue (a pity about the green T-shirt on the rail behind the window, spoiling the effect.)

We then decided to take the coastal route back into Torquay, along Ilsham Marine Drive.

Thatcher Rock from Ilsham Marine Drive (taken 2011)

Thatcher Rock (taken from the grass area in front of the Rock, 2011)

This lump of rock off the coast or Torquay always reminds me of Kirrin Island in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories.

Here there are wonderful views of Torbay, but my photos aren’t good as I took them through the car windscreen as husband was driving.  On the right of this photo, you will catch just a  glimpse of a lovely modern house which has been built in the last few years.

However, in order to build new properties such as this one, many of the lovely older houses, dating from the 1920s, have been demolished.  Somehow, regardless of how lovely this modern house looks, I rather preferred its predecessor …

This photo was taken in spring, 2011 (on a dull day)

Once home, we had a cup of tea and I arranged the flowers I had bought this morning (they had been  in deep water, being refreshed, while we went to the tip and Wellswood).

I confess I was rather spendthrift this morning and bought peonies and stocks. I just hope they last, and this time I’ve kept my receipt and the wrappings, just in case they have a shorter life than is suggested on the labels.  I don’t want to part with what was serious money for flowers only for them to last just a day or two.

I also bought a magazine that I’d not bought before.  It was wrapped in one of those cellophane bags so I couldn’t have a look at it before I bought it, and now I find it’s not quite what I would’ve bought had I had a look at it first.

However, not having read it yet, perhaps I should reserve judgment.

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. Pretty flowers, I hope they last for you. What a shame that beautiful house was demolished to make room for the modern version. Maybe the inside wasn’t as nice as the outside but still a shame. You have such pretty spaces and drives around your home.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Perhaps the new owners of the site didn’t want a thatched roof, Pieta, or perhaps it was rather too small for their needs? But I do think it a shame when lovely old houses are demolished. I don’t mind so much ugly houses without any character, but this was an exceptionally attractive house, even if it was a pastiche of an old house (I’ve no idea when it was built but perhaps it was in the 1920s, and was really mock-ancient itself?) But yes, we do have some attractive drives around Torbay, often with many different route to get from A to B.

  2. Please don’t worry about the store not prospering – We’re doing ok!!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Only joking, Fiona, but when we come early on a Thurs, Fri or Sat (and I mean early, perhaps too early for the good citizens of Torquay to be out of their beds!) we have the store almost to ourselves – and that’s absolutely lovely!
      The peonies are gorgeous – I just hope they ‘last’ a little while longer. They are HUGE! There are five in the bunch, four large ones, but one which has failed to open, a bit of a stunted one. But four out of five is pretty good, as you just can’t tell with flowers whether they will open or not.

  3. Peonies are my favorite flower. I, too, prefer the previous house to the current. Such a lovely place it was. As they say, “that’s progress”, unfortunately, to me, progress isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      No, you are right there, Jeannine – progress isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be! I loved the thatched roof house, and many of the other houses that were along this lovely road in Torquay but which have been demolished and loads of expensive apartments put up instead.

  4. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Haha, your own inside informant on the state of Waitrose! I bought stocks for my friend’s birthday last week. When I got back in the car after delivering them, the car smelt of them – natural air freshener.
    How terrible to demolish such an attractive house. I suppose someone with more money than taste decided that the location was perfect enough to justify it.
    We have driven past that grassy area with the view of the rock. How peaceful it looks.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, Fiona and I have met … in Waitrose, of course! Yes, stocks are a natural air freshener, a wonderful clove scent.
      I really don’t know how the Council can have sanctioned the demolition of such a house, but perhaps if people buy the land, they are permitted to use the footprint of the old property to build something else? Also, sometimes an old house is really rather ugly and a modern one is an improvement; not all modern houses are awful, but in this case the old one was more suited to the site. Soon all the houses along Ilsham Marine Drive will look like they could be anywhere, they will just be 21st century modern and, sadly, rather characterless. But, there again, perhaps in 50 years’ time people will think they’re beautiful!

  5. I agree with everyone else’s comments about preferring the older house n that location. Sadly it’s the same in many areas – lovely older homes with character moved aside for something that’s shiny, new and not necessarily suited to its surroundings. ‘Property developers’ in Australia tend to build huge homes which are often referred to as McMansions (a derogatory term) – they practically fill the lot/property from one side boundary to the other, leaving minimal garden area. With no mature trees and minimal overhang they are typically hot in the summer and require air conditioning to cool them. Architecture in Australia during the post WW2 era wasn’t glamorous, with many houses needed quickly to accomodate new families (baby boomers and migrants) but there are fewer of these places left. Who knows, in decades to come maybe people will be sentimental about these huge glass-walled behemoths being built today.

    On a brighter note (that above paragraph shows me as a grumpy old woman ha ha), thank you for including more photographs of your charity shop. I really enjoy seeing their beautiful and creative front window displays. Their staff are clever and also hard-working. Please tell them they have a fan here in Australia xx

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      It’s awful, Lara, when a house is really too large for the size of plot. Larger families want larger homes and they need outside space, too, for children to play. I love the derogatory term “McMansions”, that says it all, doesn’t it? Our 1960s and 1970s architecture wasn’t very good, either (I’m speaking generally; there are, of course, exceptions. In the Bay here, one architect designed what are known as the “butterfly” houses as their roofs tilt like butterfly wings, and they are rather glamorous. But of course, many of them now 50 or 60 years since they were built, are looking a little ‘tired’.
      I love visiting the charity shop, it’s really a treasure to have such a shop in the Bay, and they really do put a lot of thought into their window displays. I shall certainly tell them they have a fan in Australia on my next visit! And it’s for such a good cause: the local hospice which relies totally on charity. I have had several friends who have, sadly, ended their days there and so this, along with Shelter (the charity for the homeless) is the local charity I support.

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