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Thursday, Another Busy Day

It has been a successful day in many respects, the painter has completed our garden wall, and it looks really good.  You might think we are barmy to admire a painted wall, but when it’s been looking not-very-good since the winter (husband only painted it in the spring of 2016, but being cream-coloured it becomes soiled rather quickly) and so to see it beautifully painted, it’s a lovely backdrop to the plants.  Once we’ve finished tidying the garden I might take some photos even though photos of a wall won’t be terribly exciting! And, of course, husband has painted the summerhouse, so that is looking nice and fresh, too.

We were up and out of the house by 8.30 am, joining the workers as they journeyed to their offices and shops.  There is definitely a different feel at that time of day, you can almost sense the urgency, people drive faster at that hour (well, when the traffic flow allows.)

We first went to Currys, the electrical store, to get a new kettle. We’ve had the ‘old’ one about three years and it wasn’t expensive, and it gets used a lot – well, obviously, being a kettle – so we weren’t too put out at having to replace it.  But aren’t kettles cumbersome and ugly for the most part these days?  Some of them looked rather gaudy, too, as if they’d look good on a fairground.  I wish now I’d taken some photos of the ones I really disliked but I will have another opportunity (if I remember!) as we like the one we have bought and intend returning to buy the matching toaster before the design is replaced. This is the kettle, and it was cheap as chips …

Currys also accept old kettles for recycling, whether or not you have purchased the old ones in their store.

Our previous one was red, but although I liked the idea of a red kettle and toaster, I thought they looked a bit naff when we put them in the kitchen, so this time I’ve gone for cream and it looks much nicer. Well, to me it does.

From Currys to Lidl, for the cleaning products (dishwasher tabs, washing up liquid, foil etc) and then to Waitrose for the food …

I’m always impressed at how clean and tidy the entrance to the supermarket is, indeed, how clean and tidy the whole supermarket, even at that early hour, with few people stacking shelves, no-one with a mop, it really is a delightful place in which to shop.  I know Waitrose has a reputation of being expensive, but it is so pleasant, so quiet, and with really helpful staff, even if we do pay a little more, we have found it to be worth it.  All the shelves are neat and tidy; the flowers look so fresh.  But today I only bought a bunch of purple freesias as I saw sweet Williams in Lidl for £1.30 a bunch, how could I resist those?

We decided to take our ‘free’ Waitrose coffee to Wellswood where I dropped off more magazines at the Rowcroft Hospice Boutique and took some more photos …


While I was there a lady started leafing through them as I’d put them on the counter. I said I’d only just brought them in and she said she loved her magazines and she had a large collection, too!  Birds of a feather, indeed!  We then discussed our favourites, and like me, her favourite is The English Home, and when I got home I found that the July issue had arrived …

I’ve not even opened this magazine yet – I’m saving it for this evening when there is football on the television (there will be rather a lot of that from next week, with the World Cup starting.)

I then popped into the deli, Me and Mrs Jones …

in the hopes that, unlike last week, they would have some of their lovely sausage rolls but while they had them, they’d not yet cooked them. So instead I bought two home-made pork pies and, as with the pasties last week, while they were tasty, they weren’t a patch on the sausage rolls.  Never mind, we took our pies and our Waitrose coffee to Ilsham Valley, parked, and had those before returning home.

It took a while to put all the food away because I always clean out the fridge first, otherwise things lurk at the back and get forgotten.  I made tea for the painter and then I made cheese filled baguettes for our lunch (I offered a baguette to the painter but he declined, saying he wanted to crack on with the work.  He’s a lovely chap and such a tidy workman, we’re so pleased with what he has done.)

Once I’d put the food away and fed the chaps, I tidied the kitchen, and then arranged the flowers. Well, arrange is hardly the word … put the sweet Williams into three vases/jugs and the freesias are still having a good long drink before I put those into a vase. Right now they are just green twiglets, I just hope they will eventually open up.

Sweet Williams in the sitting room …

and in the kitchen …

and in the hall …

As well as the latest magazine, a book arrived …

I have now forgotten where I read about this book, perhaps on another’s blog, or in a book or magazine, but it certainly looks my cup of tea.  It is called Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, and it’s in this pretty red cloth binding.  Another treat in store for me.

And now I must make supper.  Something easy tonight, I think, perhaps a mushroom omelette with salad.  I can prepare the salad, looking out of the window, admiring the wall!  They do say little things please little minds!

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. Hello, Mrs Powling, it’s been a long time since I’ve left a comment. That is because I was travelling and then got busy with this and that. I have just got up to date on your posts and have read every single one which I had missed and enjoyed them all. You have a natural flair for writing and for taking some very good pictures as well. The colours are always so striking.
    Thank you for giving us a peek into your beautiful countryside.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Kavitha, and thank you so much for your lovely comments. I hope you have had a wonderful time, travelling, and I’m delighted you have now spent time reading the posts that you had missed. I enjoy writing, I always have, and now that I’ve almost ceased writing professionally, my blog has become my main focus of writing interest.
      Yes, we live surrounded by lovely countryside. Not right on our doorstep as we live in a suburban area, surrounded by houses, but we don’t have to go far to see lovely countryside, if that makes sense?

      • Yes, I know what you mean.
        By the way, today was Speech Day in my son’s school, when I read about it in your blog I was struck by the coincidence 🙂

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          How lovely that your son’s school still has a Speech Day, no doubt with prizes being handed out, and what a coincidence that I recently wrote about speech days. Indeed, when I was at my grammar school in the late 1950s/earl 1960s, the headmistress decided to do away with speech days and, instead, she said the school would be “At Home” and thus we had special cards and our parents were invited to the school’s At Home, and the pupils escorted their families around the school, showing the exhibitions of work, showing them the various laboratories, the art room (with work on display), the domestic science room (where we would be shown cooking – I still have a photograph of myself and another pupil demonstrating some recipes), demonstrations of athleticism in the gym, even a fashion parade when we would put on the dresses we had made and walk done a ‘cat walk’. Once we pupils had taken on board the idea of the school being ‘At Home’ we entered into the spirit of the occasion, it turned out to be good fun.

  2. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Elegant delights – that sounds so perfectly you, Margaret!
    Love the sweet williams, I think I may have to pop to the local Lidl and see if they have any. Wellswood is on my list for my visit to the area Later this summer. Maybe I will pick up some of your magazines!
    I agree, Waitrose stores are always neat and fresh looking, though I don’t like the one in nearby Alcester. I find it gloomy, but a trip to the Worcester Branch is well worthwhile. Actually, a trip to Worcester is worthwhile on many counts – it’s my favourite place to shop.
    Haha, I liked Kavitha’s comment that she has been reading all the posts she missed. I like to catch up too when I’ve been busy for a few days. You have achieved just what you set out to do…..a blog that’s like a kind of glossy magazine.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for saying my blog is like a glossy magazine – what an accolade. I now have much to live up to, ha ha!!!
      But that is how I wanted my blog to be, so that’s lovely to know you enjoy it like a magazine.
      I hope you managed to buy some sweet Williams. I love them and they are in the shops for such short season, unlike some flowers which we seem to be able to buy all year round.

  3. We have the same kettle and I agree that it looks good. My only complaint is that it is very difficult to see the water level in the viewing tube at the back.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      How coincidental is that, Pam, that you have the same kettle. I found many of the kettles were far too bulky, and I wanted something plain and light-coloured, so this fitted the bill nicely. There are some very expensive kettles and toasters out there, but a lot of them – and I’m speaking of kettles in this instance – had lids you had to remove in order to fill the kettle, not the flip-top ones that we have become used to. I suppose they are trying to look like old fashioned hob kettles while retaining the convenience of electricity.

  4. Yes I think the kettle is probably one of the most used appliances in our household, too. My husband will typically have a cup of tea then a coffee in the wee hours before I’ve woken. I drink about three cups of tea during the day but will often have to boil the water again as I’ve wandered off to do something else and time has lapsed. I know purists say that when boiling water to make tea it should never be reboiled but my palate can’t tell any difference.

    Australian supermarkets typically don’t sell alcohol. The exception is Aldi (similar to your Lidl) where a select few have a separate section. To buy alcohol (to drink at home, as opposed to buying alcohol in a pub or licensed club to drink in situ) you go to a bottle shop. These can be standalone shops or a shop within a pub or some of the larger supermarket chains (such as Coles and Woolworths) have them next to their supermarket.

    I wonder if that lady in the charity store took home any of your magazines. That would be funny. We all have our weaknesses for things we can’t resist. Be it shoes, books, nice soaps, crockery 🙂 The shopfront for ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ is so pretty and very enticing. I would certainly be a regular visitor so it’s just as well I’m half a world away or else I’d never fit into my clothes ! Pork pies aren’t very popular here. I’ve seen them in specialist delicatessens but I think they’re mostly bought (and eaten) by your fellow countrymen (and women !). I’ve never tried one – no doubt many people love them but I think they’re probably an acquired taste – much like our Vegemite. We like our pies hot. With tomato sauce 🍅

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      No, I can’t tell the difference, either, Lara, between freshly drawn water and that which has been re-boiled. And, like your husband, both my husband and I are often up early, making tea in the wee small hours – such as this morning. It is now almost 5 am and we’ve been up a couple of times for tea or the call of nature already.
      All supermarkets in the UK sell alcohol and many mini-markets, those convenience stores you find in most towns and villages. There used to be a lot of alcohol shops, such as Oddbins (mainly wine) but there are fewer of those now that alcohol is in the supermarkets.
      Yes, it was such a coincidence to meet someone in the charity shop who also loves the monthly style glossy magazines. I’m not keen on ‘vintage’ magazines, which are all pot-pourri and lace fripperies, that isn’t my style at all (but I can understand their appeal) but I love the ones that I do buy – The English Home, Homes & Antiques, and Period Living, with occasional copies of Country Homes & Interiors and also Country Living as well.
      Pork pies are eaten cold, they are small and they are ideal for picnics, they are not like a hot pie at all, more like a sausage roll but with a hard pastry rather than a flaky pastry. We only want one occasionally, for they’re not particularly good for us, but once we’ve had one, we’re OK for the next 6 months or so!

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