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Out & About on Thursday

This may be a lengthy post, so perhaps you might like to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee now, and then we can settle down together while we go out and about in Torbay.  The above, which I took from the car, is of Anstey’s Cove, Torquay – more of which in a moment – which I thought might make a rather pretty leading photo.

We first went to Wellswood so that I could drop off yet more of my vast magazine collection (and I don’t exaggerate when I say “vast”) which I’m attempting to downsize, although it pains me to do so.  I take them to the lovely Rowcroft Hospice Boutique and every so often, perhaps once every 6 months or so, we hear how much our donations have made for the charity, and the last letter which arrived said they had made around £60, which I think is great, just from some books and magazines.

Lovely windows again, and inside a bit of a change around, with lots of blue clothes on one rail at the back of the shop. One of these days I will go sans-husband so that I might spend more than just the time it takes to drop off the magazines (and I might find something suitable to wear!)


They also had some brand new linen dresses, but I’m short and quite wide, I look better in more fitted clothes than flowing clothes which might be comfortable to wear but I’d look like a galleon in full sail.

We then popped into the deli for a sausage roll each (yes, I know – fewer sausage rolls and I’d not look like a galleon in full sail, but this was only the 2nd one in months – last week’s was so delicious we wanted to repeat the experience!)

We went back to our car and drove to Waitrose for the weekly shopping.  You know how I love Waitrose, it is my natural habitat.

Pretty items on display inside the entrance and oh, the flowers …

Unfortuantely, even with this wonderful selection, I couldn’t find any freesias, but never mind, I’ve had them several weeks running now. I chose stocks again, not cream this week, but lavender-coloured, and a bunch of reduced-price sweet Williams …

I love sweet Williams, and although these were reduced in price, they are in perfect condition.

From Waitrose we drove to Ilsham Valley so that we might enjoy our free Waitrose coffee and the sausage rolls – we had set off before we had breakfast, not a wise move, but we wanted to get the jobs done as we had several to do.  There are one or two ways to get to Ilsham Valley from Waitrose, and today we decided on the little narrow lane which goes past Anstey’s Cove, hence the photo at the top of this post.  It is very narrow, but it’s one-way traffic, so no fear of being faced with on-coming vehicles …

The high hedges on either side of the road are known as Devon banks, for which Devon is famous. You often feel you are driving through green tunnels.  This lane exits close to Ilsham Valley …

and this is close to where we parked and enjoyed our sausage rolls and coffee …

From here we drove to Brewers to collect paint, and then on to Next so that we could buy some clothes for our little grandson who will be five at the end of the month.  Children’s clothes are lovely now, far better and indeed less expensive (comparatively) than when our  sons were children …

We bought a waterproof jacket, a dark blue ‘hoodie’, two  T-shirts (on the left), two shirts (on the right) and a pair of shorts.  Neither our son and daughter in law nor ourselves like clothes with logos, so I did my best not to have any with silly, glittery logos on them, with the exception of the hoodie with the N for Next, but I think that’s just about acceptable!

From here we drove to Newton Abbot, several miles away, so that we could buy our little grandson a box of Lego – clothes are all very well and very necessary, but what a five year old wants are toys!  So it’s a large Lego kit which his Daddy will enjoy putting together with him.

As were in Newton Abbot we had a look around the homewares section of the local dept store, Austins.  My goodness, I could’ve spent not only hours in there but a fortune as well. A good job we were only looking today!

What a great selection of modern blue & white items are here! 


Newton Abbot is a market town, and has been since the 13th century and there is a large board telling the origins of the town …

Central to the town The Ancient Tower of St Leonard dates back to the 13th century. 

Strange to think that this tower (all that remains of the St Leanoard’s Chapel) was once surrounded by medieval houses.  It now stands in splendid isolation in a pedestrian-only area.

I took this photo on a hot summer’s day in 2015 – today it was much more cloudy and dull

And so we returned home (and I’ve not even mentioned popping into The Range for a few things, nor collecting medication from the pharmacy, nor going to W H Smith for gift wrapping paper, small wonder we were tired by then. I also bought some shoes in Newton Abbot but they will have to be returned. I like them and I tried them on and thought they were comfortable, but really, they are just a teeny weeny bit too tight.  A case of hope over experience!)

But yesterday, some nice post.  Not only one of my favourite magazines …

Red now seems to be colour of the month!

But also, a lovely new nail polish, this time in a colour called An Affair in Red Square

I also bought shortbread biscuits in our local convenience store, and I just thought I’d mention them as they are delicious.  We musn’t think because some stores are rather ordinary that they can’t have quality goods – these are as good as any I’ve tasted from more expensive emporia …

By now your tea or coffee will have been drunk (or it will have simply gone cold, so make a fresh one!)

I hope you are having, or have had, a good day.

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. What a lovely day out, but no wonder you were tired afterwards. I often find I need a quiet day the day after a big day out, which I used to think was awful (never used to be like that) until someone pointed out I was actually living in perfect balance! Aren’t grandchildren lovely? They can bring so much joy into our lives. Our little grand daughter will also turn five at the end of this month, and I must get out and buy her a present. And now I have finished my cup of tea and must get about the housekeeping or it will never get done.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I don’t think tomorrow will be much quieter, Margaret (it is already ‘tomorrow’ with you!) with various things lined up to do already. But enjoyable things, thank goodness.
      Yes, grandchildren are lovely. We have only the one but he’s a darling and brings, as you say, such joy to our lives. My goodness, your granddaughter and our grandson turning five. His birthday is the 31st. I hope you enjoyed your cup of tea and one of my virtual shortbread biscuits and that they set you up nicely for the housekeeping.
      I’m now off to bed, it’s quarter to eleven here in the UK. Night, night.

      • Good morning! What a coincidence – our little granddaughter’s birthday is on the 31st as well. She is the youngest of our two granddaughters. And yes, I enjoyed your virtual shortbread so much that I am going out now to buy some of my own. Have a great day 🙂

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          That is such a coincidence, Margaret – we’re both called Margaret for a start, and our grandchildren will be five on the 31st of this month! Oh, I’m leading readers astray, showing them shortbread! But oh, a finger of that with a cup of tea or coffee is such a treat!

  2. So many lovely things in this post. Every time you mention dropping off part of your vast magazine collection at the charity shop I always wonder, “where does she store all these magazines she keeps dropping off?!” It always gives me a smile.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      There are many bookshelves here in the study, Jeannine, and many are stored there on the bottom shelves, and also in the guest bedroom on the bottom bookshelves there. It’s surprising how many you can store, if they are stored in neat piles. I had some also behind the door in the study. The pile – this is the one I’m whittling down, was as tall as I am, at 5ft 2in. It’s now only as high as my knees, so that’s an improvement. I dare not look at them before I part with them, I just have to grab a bundle and put it into my basket and take as many as I can carry in one go, or put them into two baskets/bags and husband carries one and I carry one. But I won’t get rid of them all, I get much enjoyment through reading back issues of say, ten, fifteen, twenty or even thirty years ago. But glad I give you a smile, wondering where I keep them all!

  3. Greetings Margaret. What a lovely day you had out and about in the warm spring weather. Those are the cutest clothes you bought for your little grandson. My grandson will be turning 9 years old at the end of summer and the time has gone by so fast! I’m always intrigued to see your photos of the charity shop you visit. Today, I stopped at the Discovery Shop, a charity shop run by the American Cancer Society. It looks very much like your charity shop inside and I did come home with a little glass vase. They had a beautiful English covered casserole dish that I loved but didn’t need. It’s amazing how doing errands can take up the whole day. My husband and I took off today just after noon and didn’t arrive back home until 6:30PM! But, all in all, we got our latest rental business taken care of and also a little bit of fun including dinner. We’ve had your cloudy weather here along with mist and fog in the morning. I absolutely love this type of weather as we have so many hot, sunny days during the long summer months. Have a wonderful day and I will look forward to reading another lovely post from you. Pat (PS – I made your cauliflower soup this week and it turned out wonderful. Thank you for another lovely recipe!)

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      You had a busy day, too, Pat. Is the new property close to where you live? But nice to get things sorted out business-wise and then to have dinner out, too. I think we’d have been on our knees by 6.30 … we were home a little before 3 pm.
      Glad you like the clothes for our little grandson. The prices are great in Next and the quality is good for the price, too. There were no such shops when our sons were little, just Mothercare and expensive baby linen shops.
      Oh, great news re the cauliflower soup! It’s good to get feed-back (no pun intended!) and also to know when readers have enjoyed a recipe.

      • Thank you for your kind reply. Yes, the new rental is just a few minutes away from our home. I forgot to tell you that I found Oxo vegetable bouillon cubes from Amazon. I see that you use these a lot in your recipes. Knorr is the popular brand here but I find them too salty. Anyway, Amazon offered a box of 12 Oxo cubes for $3.85 with free shipping. I know you have readers from all over the world so maybe your readers in the US might be interested in this. Wishing you all the best, Pat

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          That is great you have been able to buy Oxo in the USA, Pat. I have always found Knorr too salty, too, hence using Oxo. Oxo also do a reduced salt version and when I see that, I buy it. I like both the beef Oxo (red box) and the Vegetable Oxo (green box).

  4. Goodness Margaret, you were so busy you must have met yourselves on the way back!
    I do like that yellow handbag in the charity shop, I tend to stick to the basics of white/cream with various shades of blue but that handbag would certainly brighten up any outfit. Talking of blue and white I’m not sure that I could have resisted buying anything from that kitchen display, oh my!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, we were busy and very tired when we got home again, Elaine. I didn’t check out the handbags, but if I had I might’ve been tempted! Oh, the kitchen display was so lovely, I could’ve looked at that alone for ages!

  5. Hi Margaret,
    Our village was granted a charter by Edward I in 1278 allowing a market to be held every Monday. The charter was actually given to the monks of St Werburghs Abbey and it was hoped that establishing the market in the vicinity of the Abbey, around the Cross would promote honest dealing! We still have the cross, but the Abbey and market have long gone!
    Our Waitrose is far bigger than the one you use, but your fresh flower selection is far superior to ours.
    ‘Speaking’ of flowers, I walked into a charity shop about six miles from us and found 3 Dartmouth Pedestal Vases and 4 by Wedgwood. They didn’t stay on the shelf for long once I’d spotted them! They’re all in perfect condition and were £3 each! I’m delighted with them!
    Is your lip colour from LFF Soft Plum? I love plummy coloured lipstick, but as I’m still dark caramel blonde with green eyes and very fair skin, very few ‘plum’ shades suit me. LFF Soft Plum is one of them, and I also use their Rosewood, and Soft Coral too! Almost all of my make up is from LFF, I’ve found they really suit my skin type. I don’t wear much make up as a general rule, but a touch of lip colour and a smidge of mascara and I look okay to face the world! There are also days when my fair skin is too fair and I look pale and ill, so then I wear LFF Continuous Cover Foundation in Light 01. Blended with a spot of primer and applied with a brush, it’s hardly noticeable, but is just enough to stop me looking sickly!
    It’s so nice to know that other people don’t like clothes with logos. Our grandson isn’t two yet, and he’s really into ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘Paw Patrol’, so has a few ‘character’ t-shirts, but as for sports company or designer logos, no thanks! I don’t mind a nice, subtle ‘Aspinal of London’ stamp on my bags, purse and gloves though!
    Oh, you and I have the same design of Waitrose coffee cup, it’s so much better than using paper cups, not only for the environment, but also because the lid is much safer, no more pouring my coffee down my front!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      My goodness, you didn’t buy all seven vases, did you, Colette? But what a marvellous display they would make! Are they white or are some in pastel shades?
      Yes, the lip colour is LFF in Soft Plum. I love it! I must check out their other make and thank you for mentioning the Continuous Cover Foundation plus the Primer, I’ve been thinking of treating myself. It’s more expensive than the Boots No 7 makeup I use, but as the other advert says, “I’m worth it!”
      Our little grandson as Batman and Paw Patrol T-shirts. But little ones love these things, especially little boys, I think. I said to our son that they’d be fine if they were Gant or Ralph Lauren logos, ha ha, just as you wouldn’t mind Aspinal of London logos!
      Yes, those Waitrose coffee cups are ideal – there was some nonsense in the paper that they carried bacteria but if that was the case, then all our cups would carry bacteria. I give them a good washing in hot soapy water, and dry them too, so there isn’t a moistness which is a wonderful breeding ground for bugs. And the tops screw on so are unlikely to fall off, too. And they keep the drink hot for a long time so we can drive from Waitrose to somewhere more pleasant than their car park to drink our coffee.

      • Hi Margaret,
        Yes, I bought all seven vases! Amongst them are two ‘pairs’ two of the Dartmouth make a pair and two of the Wedgwood make a pair too. As we have an antique chiffonier in our dining room I have the Wedgwood pair at opposite ends of that, and the pair of Dartmouth at opposite ends of the living room mantlepiece. The other three are in the hall and the spare bedrooms. They’re all white, the Wedgwood are a bit more cream coloured but still beautiful. I’ve never been able to find any around here before, so grabbed them while I had the chance! They were full of dust, so I think they’d maybe come from a house clearance as a ‘job lot’.
        LFF’s primer ‘Smooth Like Silk Face Prime’, is very good.
        I don’t mind a Gant logo, but I’m not a fan of Ralph Lauren, most of the designs just aren’t to my taste. I used to wear a Burberry rain coat, but since the brand has been ‘hijacked’ by the ‘chav/scally’ brigade, it’s gone to a charity shop and I now wear Barbour!
        Re-usable coffee cups do harbour bacteria, as will all dishes, glasses etc if they’re not washed! I do wonder sometimes whether some folk are aware that it’s normal to wash dishes in between uses!
        It’s just started raining here, thank goodness, the ground’s parched, and to be honest, after unbroken sunshine for eleven days, I’m really enjoying a dull day!
        Have a lovely weekend!

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          Yes, I agree re Ralph Lauren, perhaps that was a poor example. I also had a Burberry trench years ago (I think they are grossly overpriced now) but since they became the uniform of the chavs, I was glad that I’d handed to a charity shops several years previously. But when it was new it was lovely. Mind you, it was barely shower-proof, in rain it was as useful as a chocolate teapot.
          My goodness, you bought all 7 vases, well done you! You can’t miss a bargain like that, and I’m sure that now they are washed they look gorgeous. You could fill them with greenery at Christmas, or just leave them empty, as they are very sculptural.
          Yes, the fuss about bacteria on the re-useable coffee cups does make one wonder whether some folk abstain from washing their crockery!
          You have a lovely weekend, too, Colette.

  6. Margaret, you made me laugh out loud with your comment on “galleon in full sail” :).
    Like you I can spend hours in homeware stores. I like the blue & white display at your picture.
    Sounds like you’ve had a busy and productive day!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Glad I made you laugh! But clothes can make or mar someone’s shape, and loose baggy clothes just don’t cut the mustard with me.
      Yes, we had a very busy and productive day, and another one today … but more of that in my next post, I expect, Maria.

  7. I love the scenery and shops. So interesting, one of my dreams is to go to the British Isles. I, too, am short 5’2″, and wide, and would you believe that people think that wide flowing clothes will make me look slimmer? (what a joke!) Even a stylist friend whom I once went to. I agree that slightly fitted clothes are far more slimming and attractive. ps have a lovely day with grandson on 31st…..

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Ratnamurti, and yes, flowing clothes look dreadful on me so I stick to chinos and jeans much of the time and Breton tops. I’m glad the stylist friend agrees with me that slightly fitted clothes look better on our rather plump frames.
      Yes, I’m sure we will have a lovely time with our little grandson on his birthday next week (and it’s our younger son’s birthday the day before, too.)
      I’m glad you like seeing the scenery and the shops – I’m sure you would love the British Isles as there are such contrasts of scenery, from the highlands of Scotland, the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, the flat fen lands of East Anglia, and of course, our lovely South West peninsula of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. There really is something for everyone and I’ve not started on our historic buildings, from palaces and cathedrals to medieval houses and artisan cottages. I won’t even start on all the lovely gardens in this country!

  8. Thank you for taking us with you on your drive and errands. Oh Devon is so pretty !

    The front window display of that charity shop continues to be of such a high standard. It’s probably just as well your husband accompanies you on each visit or you would emerge with more than you donated 😉

    Your grandson will be the best dressed five year old in town. Such a great age – full of wonder and curiosity yet still young enough to let you cuddle them:)

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful surrounds with us all xx

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip around the various shops, Lara – the charity boutique, Waitrose, and so forth. Yes, I think I would be buying more than I donated if I was left n my own in the charity boutique, but it’s all for a good cause – the charity relies totally on donations. I was delighted that our son and daughter in law liked the clothes we bought for our grandson when I showed them to them. But I’ve got gift receipts so if they don’t fit the little fellow or they want to change them for any reason, they can do so.

  9. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Two sausage rolls in a month a galleon does not make! Though I suppose it depends on what other delights might find their way onto our hips in said month!
    Back from our trip away and time to catch up on my favourite blog. I note that when I am at my busiest, you are at your most prolific so I have a lot to read. I like the glimpse of Ansteys Cove through the greenery. It looks very pretty.
    We like so many of the same things: the heady scent of stocks, nail polish (I wore that colour to the wedding yesterday) and children’s clothes from Next. They do sell the best range and over the years Ive bought some gorgeous items for my grandchildren.
    I do wish we had a nearby Waitrose! However I’ve just had an Ocado delivery as they sent me a £15 off a £50 online shop voucher. Too good to miss! By using that plus choosing some of their buy one get one free offers on chicken and a few essentials, I paid £37 for £68 worth of shopping.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      No, it’s not just the sausage rolls, though, is it? Sneaking an Eccles cake occasionally, and a biscuit with my tea!
      Glad you enjoyed your trip away, and that the weather was kind to you. Yes, we do tend to like similar things – Next for children’s clothes (I saw what I thought was a dress I liked and then realized it was a jump suit. I had those in the 1980s but the problem is that you have to undress to use the loo!), dark nail polish, the scent of stocks, etc, etc, and purple and mauve and pink flowers in our gardens.
      That Ocado shop sounded excellent. I’ve never bought from them, but I love my visits to Waitrose. If it had a café and a loo, it would be perfect, but it’s only a small store, Waitrose having taken over the Co-op store and given it a make-over. But it’s really pleasant and the staff are lovely.
      Ooh, your favourite blot! That’s praise indeed, thank you so much.

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