The former Globe Hotel, Newton Abbot, now the homewares of the department store, Austins (and partially scaffolded for renovations)
We had a few errands to do this morning, one of which was in the market town of Newton Abbot, a few miles outside Torbay. I needed to return a pair of shoes I bought a couple of weeks ago. I thought they were comfortable, but when I tried them on at home I soon realized that they weren’t as comfortable as I’d thought they were. Experience has told me that if shoes aren’t comfortable right away, seldom will they become comfortable, so I decided to return them.
Once they had been returned we walked up the pedestrian area to Waterstone’s so that we could buy some Horrid Henry books for our little grandson, who is now reading well, considering he is only just five years old.
I found two Horrid Henry books in the Early Reader series, which are for when children are beginning to read on their own without someone reading to them, although I’m sure his Mummy or Daddy will be there to listen to him read and help with words with which he might struggle.
I love Waterstone’s and I can’t think why I’d not been into this store in Newton before. Perhaps because we don’t go to Newton very often, perhaps because I buy so many books online these days. Perhaps even because when I last saw this shop it was owned by a different bookshop chain. Anyway, I shall certainly go there again. It took me back more than 30 years when I went into my first Waterstone’s in the city of Bath. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It was much like the store in Newton Abbot is today, with dark painted shelves and such a wonderful array of books, and such knowledgeable and welcoming staff. So today’s visit was a little bit of deja vue.
From there we decided we’d have coffee and scones in The Clock Tower café …
The staff are very pleasant and indeed, it’s quite a nice place for coffee, but whether or not the business has changed hands in recent times, or whether they have someone new doing the baking, on this occasion and on our previous visit, the scones were really not to our liking. I mentioned this to the member of staff whom I was paying and she kindly removed the cost of my scone from the bill, but a scone so hard that I found splitting it open with a sharp knife difficult should not even have been offered to a customer. But the member of staff was very nice, and I felt dealt with the matter correctly. I just hope that they learn how to make nice, light scones soon, otherwise we shall have to find somewhere else for our scones and coffee.
Another point while I’m having a mini-moan, is that when I ask for a cheese scone, what I expect is a scone that has cheese in the dough mixture. What I think happens is that the baker makes up a batch of plain scone dough, and then on some of the scones adds a topping of grated cheese and calls it a cheese scone. This is not a cheese scone. It is a plain scone with cheese topping. Oh dear, I must sound a right moaning Minnie, but how difficult can making a good cheese scone be?
After that we returned to the car and went to Currys, a large electrical store on the outskirts of Torquay, and bought a toaster to match the kettle we bought there yesterday (as well as kettles, they also accept old toasters for recycling.)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any photos of the monster kettles I mentioned yesterday, great hulks of kettles, too heavy to lift before they’d been put under the tap. The reason was that I wasn’t feeling very well, and so returned to sit in the car while husband completed the transaction. I had my gall bladder removed just over 4 years ago and every so often something like a cup of coffee or, in this instance, part of a cheese scone (for I didn’t eat all of it, it was so tough) sets certain bodily functions going, and I need the loo urgently. There wasn’t a customer loo in Currys, so I felt safer in the car, and then it was a mad rush to a store where I knew there was a loo!
Once that little episode was over we drove to the shop where we buy our paint, and bought more exterior wall paint so that husband can, in due course, paint our little tool shed. He built it himself many years go, in breeze block and render, so that it ‘matches’ our house. (I will overlook the fact that it needs a good tidy-up inside!)
On the way home we passed a roundabout where Torbay Council have a flower bed facing a roundabout, proclaiming English Riviera. This is the first thing visitors to the area see on approaching the Borough. It is difficult to photograph (I’m in the passenger seat of our moving car) but here you can see a council gardener keeping the area tidy – a pity you can’t see all of it; the land slopes and there is a palm tree, the symbol of Torquay, in flowers.
Once home we discovered that the new toaster is quite ‘shallow’ so a large slice of bread sticks out at the top when the toaster is on. In order not to waste the bread by cutting off a portion at the top of each slice, we think that we will cut a slice in half and put all four pieces (i.e. two slices, each in half) in all four slots.
I found another book had been delivered …
Again, I can’t remember where I read about this, perhaps it was one of those Amazon ads, “if you liked this, you might like this …” kind of thing. And I know I shall enjoy it. It’s all about the joys of reading.
Then it was time for lunch. I decided to use up the pea and mint soup from yesterday, and also warm up the last of the baguette, plus some bread, and then we could use the last of the lemon tart from Waitrose (from last week).
Just a simple lunch, easily prepared, and this has allowed us time in the garden this afternoon. No time to stand and admire the freshly-painted wall, though; we had work to do. But more of that another day.
Until next time.