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A Busy Wednesday

Our first job of the day was a visit to our GP’s surgery for husband’s 6-monthly diabetes review. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a few years ago and in his case it’s age-related rather than obesity-related. Indeed, he’s a very slim guy, there’s not an ounce of fat on him.

The result of recent blood and urine tests showed that apart from his blood sugar levels being raised very slightly, he is fit, and I mean that in the old-fashioned sense, i.e.  the opposite of being ill.  And to keep him off medication for as long as possible – for we have controlled his diabetes through diet – it will just mean we have to up our game and those little treats that creep into our diet must be watched steadfastly, and four small pieces of chocolate will have to be reduced to two, and so forth.  It’s not as if we stuff our faces and we don’t have sugary drinks, nor have sugar on cereal or in our tea and coffee, but just small tweaks will mean the difference between being healthy and having to have medication.

And so why the photo of tropical fish?

In the waiting room there is an aquarium and we were amused by the mock croc – see it on the sand? – and as it opens its mouth, an air bubble appears.  Both husband and I tried several times to take a photo which showed the mouth open and the air bubble coming out, but with out success.  You will just have to imagine it!

And what did the practice nurse say?  She said that husband certainly didn’t look his age (he’s 82) and that I looked “glamorous”!!!  I’ve been called many things, but never glamorous, so I call that a right royal compliment!   And to be called glamorous (at 73, mind!) when I was only wearing indigo jeans, a Joules Breton top in navy and white, and a plum and navy floral neckerchief, was wonderful.  Perhaps the lovely recent manicure helped, ha ha!

After that, our first port of call was the charity shop to drop off yet more of my vast magazine collection and some paperback books.  The windows have been decorated to celebrate the forthcoming royal nuptials and look very nice, and inside I spied a pretty tea service, but what would be the point of getting rid of piles of magazines only to fill cupboards with yet more crockery!

And as an homage to Meghan’s American roots, there is a lovely stars and stripes cushion in the window.

A pretty 8-piece (i.e. for eight people) tea service

On the way to the charity shop we pass a very smart bridal boutique.  The contents of the windows are very difficult to photograph because of reflections of parked cars and trees opposite, but I spotted this rather lovely bridal gown. However, I don’t quite know what to make of it …

Is this the front of the dress, in which case the bride would show a bare midriff (hardly appropriate for a bride, but it seems that anything goes these days) or has it been put on the model back-to-front and it is showing a bare back panel?  I really have no idea!

And there are some equally gorgeous ensembles for the mother-of-the-bride (or mother-of-the-groom) …

We also pass a lovely florist’s shop …

Is it any wonder I enjoy shopping in Wellswood, with it’s lovely village atmosphere?

After visiting the deli, Me and Mrs Jones, where I bought some sausage rolls to have with our free Waitrose coffee once we’d been for our shopping, we drove to Waitrose.  In the entrance foyer, yet another lovely display, this time mainly tomatoes (but without any recipe leaflets this time) …

And once we’d done the shopping, we drove to Ilsham Valley where we parked the car and enjoyed our coffee and sausage rolls …

I’m only showing this as they are the crème-de-la-crème of sausage rolls!  Not cheap at £3 each but they are the most delicious ones I’ve ever tasted.  Pork, apricot and black pepper. They offer various kinds of sausage roll, but we didn’t fancy spicy ones, and these were truly, truly scrumptious!  They also offer lightly-baked with pale pastry, or more well-baked with darker pastry (which is what we chose.)  I know sausage rolls aren’t exactly healthy, but we’ve not had any for a very long time. Tomorrow, another veggie stir fry (well, it’s more dry-fry/steam-fry) and lots of fresh fruit!

We then drove home so that I could put away all the perishables into the fridge/freezer and then we drove off again, this time to the local garden centre where I bought a rather lovely Senetti plant as a present for a very dear friend whose birthday it is on Saturday …

I shall have to visit here again as they didn’t have the plants I wanted today – heliotrope, white and pink antirrhinum, and pink cosmos.   But I did buy two pretty pelargoniums.

Once home, I saw that a book I’d ordered had arrived.  Once again, the magazine I bought and the book had similarly-coloured covers.  Blue and cerise seem to be very popular right now for book covers. I think they are very appealing …

I bought this book because it is by the author of my current read, which I’m enjoying enormously …

I took this photo (above) in the summerhouse yesterday afternoon. The lovely card is from Dot Nicol, recent winner of the Giveaway (thank you, Dot) and the lilac is from the tree in our garden.

Flowers from the supermarket today were stocks and freesias. The stocks smell wonderful – they mightn’t last very long, but they’re worth it for their scent – and the freesias are not yet fully open, so you might get to see them again soon!

Unusually for me, I’ve bought purple flowers when purple isn’t my favourite colour, but these looked so stunning they just hopped into the trolley with only a little help from me.

At the entrance to the garden centre is a lovely clematis. I didn’t stop to make a note of it’s name, but I think it’s one called Avalanche (or very similar to Avalanche) … so after all that purple, here are cooling white flowers for you …

Until next time.

PS Thursday morning:  Puzzled by that wedding gown, I have looked at the website of The Bridal Rooms, Wellswood, Torquay and the gown is by designer, Anna Romysh, and is most definitely the back of the bridal gown. 

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. I always think you look glamorous, your own sense of style and your way of arranging your home are both very stylish.

    I think they’ve forgotten the top of that wedding dress……I wonder how a bride would feel looking back at her wedding pictures 40 years later!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your kind compliment that I look glamorous. It has truly boosted my morale!
      I have added a PS this morning to that particular blog post: I’ve taken a look at the website of the bridal shop and that is definitely the back of the dress, but even so, I’d not like a bare back like that for a wedding ceremony, whether in a church or elsewhere. But these days bridal gowns are anything by decorous, to use that old-fashioned word.

  2. A lovely post to read with my cuppa this morning.

    Beautiful photos to.
    We were in your area last week and had hoped to go visit Wellswood
    as it looks so nice but we ran out of time.
    Did you hear the roar of the motorbikes on Paignton seafront?

    How do you keep your glass vases sparkling, we have very hard water here
    Ah! just thought
    The water was very soft in the cottage we stayed at, guessing that helps

    You’ve inspired me to start buying flowers, and am looking out for pretty vases.
    Will be showing my hubby your summerhouse, might inspire him – hopefully

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Linda, and lovely to hear from you. I’m glad you have enjoyed seeing my early morning post. I love being up early in spring and summer, I’m very much an early morning/spring person, and I detest the dark mornings of winter, and so I like to be up to catch as much light as possible, even if I still feel sleepy.
      Oh, my goodness! Are you bikers? We didn’t manage to see the BMAD (Bikers Make A Difference) over the Bank Holiday weekend, but we have a friend who is a biker (he has about five bikes, all vintage models). But yes, we sometimes heard bikes going up and down the main road onto which gives our Close.
      Regarding the sparkling cut glass, well, it’s a little bit dusty at the moment, I do confess! But perhaps it’s the soft water in this region, I have no idea. I just wash them carefully in warm water and washing up liquid (I use the Aloe Vera washing up liquid from Lidl simply because it lathers nicely and smells lovely).
      Glad you managed to see Wellswood … a pity you couldn’t spend longer and buy pasties or pies in Me and Mrs Jones! Perhaps you will come again.
      I’m delighted I’ve inspired you to buy flowers. Believe me, if you love flowers as much as we do, it’s money well spent. I know we can’t eat them, and they won’t keep us warm in winter, but they do bring life to a room, something that artificial flowers will never do regardless of how well-made they are. All the vases you see are inherited ones from my late mother, with the exception of some which have been gifts to us.
      I hope the summerhouse inspires your husband … and if not, you might get a flat-pack one to erect, although the wood is usually rough, not the shiplap timber, which is smooth, which husband used. And if electricity can be laid on, it’s a place you can use all year round. We have not only a light in there, and the CD player and TV, but also a small convector heater.

  3. We’ve often looked at flat pack summerhouses but like you I think the quality is often very poor for the price.
    So we’ll design our own, a project for hubby maybe as he retired last year.

    About 5/6 years ago I suggested we get a bike as we’d had one when first married.
    Now its turned into a passion for him and he now has 2 so we visit BMAD every year.
    Though we drive there.
    Visited Coleton Fishacre, a favourite place, the gardens are beautiful there.
    And went to the Pirate Festival at Brixton
    The weather was lovely last week.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, building a summerhouse would be a great project for your husband, now he’s retired, Linda. My husband insulated our summerhouse so that we can use it all year round. Last autumn, when a flat roofing company renewed the roofing over an area at the front of our house, we asked them to put another layer of roofing felt over the summerhouse (the felting we originally used was guaranteed for 5 years and it was by then seven years old, so we thought it advisable to make sure it was watertight) and it’s a cosy room all year round. Indeed, we’ve just been sitting in there with a friend who called, having coffee and biscuits.
      Oh, Coleton Fishacre is one of my very favourite NT properties, and not far from where we live in Torbay. A lovely place. And the Pirate Festival in Brixham is great fun although, as with BMAD, we didn’t get to it this year.

  4. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    I thought it HAD to be the back of the wedding dress, but maybe the window dresser is young, trendy and daring and didn’t realise!!
    I love purpie flowers though they don’t complement any of my decor very well but I have some lovely lilac just about ready for picking so I shall find a spot. White flowers are my usual choice.
    What a good idea to offer the. Sausage rolls with light or darker brown pastry. I
    Ine pastry quite lightly cooked…but it must be fully done. There’s a fine line!
    How nice to be called glamorous. Keep manicuring!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Husband and I both love white flowers, but somehow they don’t look good in our sitting room, they just ‘disappear’. And yellow ones look truly awful in our sitting room, hence putting daffodils only in the kitchen unless they are very pale daffodils.
      Yes, offering too kinds of sausage roll is a good idea – I wonder which are the most popular. I have to say that the pale ones looked anaemic compared with the lovely golden brown ones we bought!
      Yes, I felt boosted up all day having been called “glamorous”! I shall certainly keep manicuring!

  5. I got caught up with BMAD this year – I forgot it was on and drove home round the seafront!!!!! Took me 3/4 of an hour to drive from one end to the other. Pirate weekend was fun – everywhere I went there were pirates! I don’t like the Spanish galleon that comes into Brixham – somehow it gives me the creeps.

    Neither of you look anything like your ages – at least ten years younger!! Hope I look as good if I get to 73 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Fiona. My goodness, 3/4 hr to drive from one end of Paignton sea front to the other, that is awful.
      We just happened to be in Brixham a few years ago when it was the Pirate Weekend. We’d not known about it and we had parked above the little town and walked down and saw all these ‘pirates’ and chaps dressed in old-fashioned military uniforms, but it was obviously great fun. We chatted to one chap in uniform and he had gone to endless trouble researching it and knew all about it, right down to the right kind of 19th century spectacles he was wearing!
      Thank you for saying we don’t look our ages!

  6. Yes, the back view of wedding dresses are changing. A young co-worker recently married, told me that the back is the focus of attention during the ceremony and that’s the reason!

    My trees are in bloom. We’ve had a recent hot spell. Unfortunately, our plum tree is in decline. Roughly one quarter of it blossomed. It was never a very productive tree but has a lovely shape. My lilacs should be ready I
    in the next week or so.

    Now, in my job I meet a lot of older people. I find the one who take pride in their appearance to be the easiest to work with. I mean age appropriate pride. I always know that the woman or man or are dressed in the trendy fashions will be hard work. When you are over 80, platform sandals and legging are a bit much. I always think the old saying just because you have the figure for it doesn’t mean you should. One of my sons on a night out, saw a very well groomed woman in heels and a very short skirt at a bar. He said her hair was great, highlights, really well groomed from the rear. But as he put it, “she was as old as you Mum!” when she turned around.

    Your fashion choices have always been appropriate and manicures? Just show you like the look and enjoy taking care of yourself.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, he back of a wedding dress is certainly the focus of attention. I loved my wedding dress – it was guipure lace and had a loely train at the back, not a long one, but certainly a train, and it was so pretty.
      Our ornamental cherry tree in the front garden needs pruning or replacing, only half of it flowers now. It is the only tree in the front garden, it’s mainly just a grassy bank and it’s next to our neighbour’s laurel hedge which isn’t good for plants, I believe.
      That is really interesting, that the person who takes a pride in their appearance is the one easiest to work with. No, I’d not venture forth in platform soles and leggings, although I have some black leggings (not patterned ones – I don’t want to look like something from the Zoo, with leopardskin legs, ha ha!) that I wear around the house in winter, but I’d certainly not go out in them (leggings are at only one remove from underwear, are they not?) Age-appropriate is right, but sometimes it’s fun to dress differently – think of Iris Apfel, who in her 90s is stunning, but she isn’t fashionable, just a one-off!

  7. That Practice Nurse sounds like she’s worth her weight in gold. A totally unexpected compliment can reall people like a spring in your step for the rest of the day / week. I agree with her – based on the photos is on your blog – that your husband does not look 82 and that you are glamorous:)

    I really enjoy seeing photos of the front window of that charity shop. The displays are always so clever and stylish.

    I agree with your comment about the bridal gown. Until I saw your ‘ps’ at the bottom of the post I was thinking ‘surely it HAS to be the back view … doesn’t it ?’ but as you said, pretty much anything goes these days. I mean if people spend $300 (or more) to buy ripped jeans then nothing should surprise us anymore.

    Oh that sausage roll looks delicious. Yet another thing consigned to memory due to my gluten free diet (for medical reasons) so I live vicariously through others ha ha. My husband has a sweet tooth and loves cakes – to be honest he loves food full-stop – so I sometimes buy him a custard tart, vanilla slice or piece of cheesecake from our local bakery to enjoy with his tea or coffee. I will occasionally have a taste (a small spoonful) but generally not. I often wished I was one of those people who could eat anything they wanted and never put on weight ha ha.

    All of the flowers are very pretty. Thank you for continuing to include the names:)

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, she is a lovely practice nurse, and I think she meant it, too; I don’t think she would’ve said it had she just thought it would boost our morale. And it’s not as if we’re in the vanguard of fashion, I haven’t bought anything, not even in a charity shop, since last autumn when I bought a dress from Joules which I wore on Christmas day.
      Yes, the charity shop dress their windows very well, and it all has to be done with things they have been given, of course. They were tickled pink, as we say, that they have fans of their shop in Australia and elsewhere around the world!
      Oh dear, I shouldn’t have shown you the sausage roll, Lara! How awful that you can’t enjoy one of those now and again. But yes, husband never puts on weight and I have only to sniff a cake and the pounds pile on.

  8. Oh no, please don’t worry about showing me foods I’m not supposed to eat. As I said, I can live vicariously through others 😉

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I will be showing more food/recipes shortly, Lara, so you can enjoy the food without putting on any weight or it making you ill.

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