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Is it Wednesday?

A silly question, I know.  “Is it Wednesday?” when it most certainly is Wednesday and has been all day.

Do you have days when you think it’s a ‘different’ day?  I was convinced for much of the morning that today was Thursday and then I thought, “Surely, it’s not time to go shopping again?  It can’t be a week since we went to Waitrose?”   And then the day felt strange because obviously it’s not the day I first thought it was.  I don’t know why this should be, that it should feel strange?  After all, as we’re retired unless we have an appointment somewhere, one day is much like another, even at the weekend.  And, the other strange thing is that I now feel I’m having an eight-day week!

Enough of my nonsense.  Once I was up, showered, dressed and had applied some make-up (all these things take time) I made breakfast.  Well, if you can call putting some food on the table “making” breakfast.  Fruit for both of us, and then a boiled egg and toast for husband, and crunchy cereal which contains raspberries for me, and tea.  Nice and easy.

As husband was going to do some work on one of his projects in the garage (the garage large enough to have a work bench at the far end, and is quite spacious once he’s put the car on the drive), I decided to change the bed linen.  You’ve guessed.  This has been a “not doing much” sort of day, and that means a “not much happens” sort of post!

I changed the bed linen and fed the washing machine (which is what it’s for, no point in it being idle!)  I suppose I make a rod for my own back by having cotton sheets and pillow cases that require ironing, but oh, how lovely it is to get into a bed that has freshly laundered sheets and pillow cases. I can’t imagine what non-iron bedding is like, but if it has any kind of man-made fibre in it, it’s not for me.


The day started out bright and sunny, but by the time I’d hung out the washing it was dull but it was windy enough to dry the washing.   I cleared up the breakfast, filled the dishwasher (oh, dear, I’m scratching the Barrel of Mundanities, ha ha!) …

then I swept and steam-cleaned the kitchen floor.  I changed the flower water in the various vases in the house, and then decided, as it was close to eleven o’clock, it was time for coffee.

And I had a quick look at today’s paper and a book which arrived yesterday, the companion volume to one which arrived a few days ago …

Apart from this being a delightful book, a modern-day Book of Hours, with all kinds of interesting short essays, it intrigues me that it has come all the way to Devon, England, from Toronto Public Library. I’d love to know why this book was discarded by that Library, it is quite a recent publication, but it’s now in safe hands, I will take care of it even if Toronto Public Library thought it a waste of space (literally!)

Some of the essays have attractive illustrations

I then decided to tackle the ironing, which was beginning to pile up again, and that has now been done and  put away in our wardrobes and the airing cupboard …

Most UK homes are too small to have dedicated laundry rooms and our house doesn’t even have a utility room for what are termed ‘white goods’ (washing machine, dryer, etc) and so I can either set up the ironing board in the dining end of our sitting/dining room or in the kitchen. There is a bit more space in the sitting room, so that is where I did the ironing today.

Around 12.30 am I thought I’d better make lunch, and today it was cauliflower cheese …

I confess to having used this photo (above) before, as I didn’t take one of lunch today, but the meal was much the same but without a glass of cider today.

And so you have it, a day of just doing housekeeping (I finished the ironing this afternoon and then allowed myself some time-off-for-good-behaviour during which I watched a repeat episode of Escape to the Country, today in the county of Rutland) but there is a degree of satisfaction in doing these jobs – well, I find that so.  Some might think I need to get out more!

And now it’s time for a cup of tea and a slice of ginger cake.   And then I might do just a few more housekeeping jobs before I start on supper for this evening, chicken curry.

Until next time, when I hope to provide you with perhaps some more interesting topics!


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 don’t find these sorts of posts uninteresting at all, I love to hear what other people have been doing and housework is pretty important. Life soon becomes uncomfortable if we don’t keep doing all these jobs. I feel quite tired this afternoon. I did two loads of washing, including bedding, which dried well as it was windy today but a warm wind. All dry and put away. We went to B&Q to get paint to spruce up the gas and electric boxes – black which makes them fade into the background somehow. We wanted a new parasol for the companion bench in the garden but the ones they had were awful. I’d have been embarassed to put them out for sale. We got one in Tesco in the end, £5 more and about five times better.

    My husband sanded down the paintwork then I painted it. After four hours I did a second coat. It often looked like rain but it stayed off and I think we should be OK now.

    During the day I had two little walks to the local shops, once to get a newspaper then this afternoon to pick up my husband’s prescription. He was too tired by this afternoon.

    Not loads of work but enough to feel a bit tired. At least I can look round and see what I’ve done 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Actually, Alison, I’m usually ready for a sit down once I’ve had my shower, blow dried my hair, cleaned my teeth, put on make-up and pefume and made the bed! But once I get cracking on housekeeping, I don’t mind it at all. I like it best when the place is rather dusty and untidy so that when I clean I can really see a difference. What can be annoying is a day like the other day when I was busy all day, and yet it looked like I’d done nothing at all.
      Strange you should mention the gas and electric boxes, I gave ours a clean last week, they were a bit grimey after the winder and now they’re clean and white again. We could, of course, paint them to match the walls (Sandtex Light Cream) but white is fine, and matches the window frames.
      I wonder why such things as garden parasols are so awful? Similarly, why is wood garden furniture and fencing almost always that vile orange stain?
      You say not loads of work, but I think you have been very busy, Alison. Small wonder you are tired this evening.

      • I like to shower, get nicely, but casually, dressed each morning, too, Margaret, make bed, and start the day. On the odd occasion that I slop around in old clothes, I get nothing done, and don’t feel so good.

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          I am sure that getting showered and nicely dressed is much better for us than slopping around in old clothes, Ratnamurti. Like you if I slop around in old clothes, I also get nothing done and feel rather ‘down’. It is good for us to make the best of ourselves, even in a casual way, and even if we’re spending the day at home.

  2. Oh, and I forgot to say – some weeks I have three Wednesdays – what’s that about? 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, that’s so funny – three Wednesdays … thinking Tuesday is a Wednesday, the actual Wednesday, and then thinking Thursday is still Wednesday, ha ha!

  3. Hi Margaret!

    What is an airing cupboard? Is it like our linen closet where we keep sheets and towels?

    Have you watched “Escape to the Continent?” We have been enjoying that series tremendously. It takes us to places we may have enjoyed travelling to and now don’t need to because of the television. I love that the people are “real people” and not actors.

    Enjoy your Wednesday, you might be in bed by now. I’m on the West Coast of the US in the state of Oregon.


    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Lucy. An airing cupboard is, I expect, like your linen closet, a cupboard in which to keep linen. It is called an airing cupboard because our hot water tanks are usually in a cupboard (in the days before combi-boilers, as we call them, when water is heated as you require it) and therefore the cupboard is warm and can “air” the clothes, which means make sure that they are properly dry before using them. This was a tradition, to “air” clothes, because in the days before electricity when laundry was ironed with flat irons which required heating, the laundry would be very damp, therefore making it much easier to iron things straight. Nowadays we have our tumble dryers, things can come out bone dry, ready-to-wear even, and “airing” is no longer necessary, but the name lives on. There are wooden slats in the airing cupboard to allow the warm air to rise through the items stored there.
      Yes, we have also seen Escape to the Continent, it’s very entertaining. Escape to the Country is similar, with “real people” seeking a new property in the countryside, in England, Wales, Scotland or even Northern Ireland (although I’ve yet to see any programme filmed in N. Ireland.)
      It is now Thursday, Lucy! We have just got up, and it’s been raining overnight and the poor roses and peonies look very sorry for themselves, petals everywhere, but the rain has done the grass good.

  4. I giggled when I read ‘time-off-for-good-behaviour’ ! I agree with Alison’s sentiment that life becomes pretty uncomfortable if we don’t keep doing all of those jobs. We had a lovely sunny winter’s day on Tuesday so I had a morning where I call it ‘washing everything that isn’t nailed down’ – I strip not only the bedding (sheets, pillowcases and doona cover) but also the mattress topper and the layer (a thin mattress cover) which sits on top of that. The doona and spongy/comfort mattress cover go outside for a sunbathe (rotated at intervals so all sides get a good airing) and the rest goes into the machine. The mattress gets an airing in the meantime but as I was home alone I wasn’t able to turn it over. I’m not sure when manufacturers stopped putting handles or grips on the side walls of mattresses – or why – but it doesn’t make life easier, that’s for sure. By the time I’d brought in the doona and mattress topper from their few hours in the sun and reassembled the bed with fresh, clean bedding I felt like I’d had quite a workout and a sense of satisfaction – I LOVE getting into bed in the evening when it is all clean and fresh 🙂

    We had a public holiday on Monday for the Queen’s birthday (in NSW Australia) so I’ve been mixing up my days all week as a result !

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      That is a very thorough cleaning of the bed linen and bed, Lara. It’s good to do this when the weather is fine, isn’t it? We also have a mattress topper, but I’ve not yet attempted to wash that as I don’t think it will go into the machine – I might have to take it to be cleaned. Or perhaps, as it’s not actually dirty, just do as you have done and on a fine day, place it on the lawn and allow the sunshine to air it. We have a non-turnable mattress, which has a foam top which is part of the mattress. I’m not sure I’d have such a mattress again, but any mattress now worth its salt would be too heavy for us to turn, this one weighs is very heavy indeed. And yes, I’ve noticed that – no grips on the side walls of a mattress. And yes, once you’ve done all the bedding properly, you do feel you’ve had a work out!
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who mixes up the days of the week!

  5. Another lovely post thank you with your usual wonderful pictures. One of the pleasure of retirement for me is time to dry clothes outside, iron things straight from the line, enjoy domestic tasks instead of rushing so I find your posts very interesting.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Jill, and I’m glad you have enjoyed a domestic post, just normal every day things that we all do. But I find how people do things, for we all do simple tasks a little differently, interesting. For example, give ten people the ingredients for a Victoria sponge cake, give them the recipe and you will have ten different-tasting and different-looking cakes. I love line-drying clothes, it smells so much fresher than having been dried in the tumble dryer.

  6. Am thinking a steam cleaner might be good for our kitchen floor tiles
    Which one do you use Margaret?
    Any tips.
    I enjoy reading posts such as todays, makes a change from all the hustle and bustle of
    todays world
    where everyone seems to be rushing about.
    Your blog is a calm moment in the day to enjoy with a cup of tea
    In a china cup of course – tea tastes better in a pretty china cup

    Yesterday I saw a lovely wooden tea trolley that turns into a small table in a charity shop,
    the sort we had at home as children.
    So tempted, but just know hubby would say
    ‘Not more furniture’
    Still tempted though

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Linda. Yes, a steam cleaner might be good for floor tiles. Mind you, nothing is as good, in my opinion, as hands-and-knees-and-a-scrubbing-brush, but both husband and I are past getting down on our hands and knees to clean a floor, so we simply steam clean these days. I bought mine online a few years ago and it’s called Light’n’Easy steam mop, no other name on it. I think it was around £60, and you can buy extra mops for it, they’re cotton, they come in packs of three (you wash and reuse them.) You don’t use any cleaning fluid, just water and the steam cleans the floor.
      Oh, that’s a lovely way of describing my blog, that it’s a calm moment in the day to enjoy with a cup of tea in a china cup!
      Oh, that little tea trolley sounds great. I hope it’s still there if you do decide to get it. From not having any, we have two, one in the summerhouse and one upstairs in the bed sitting room, and we find them so useful. And they look nice when painted a pretty colour rather than the dull brown that they used to be. I don’t advocate painting furniture unless it’s really tatty and can sometimes have a change of use, such as a tea trolley for a TV trolley, something like that, or piled with magazines and books, or for plants.
      I will see if I can bin the sad face emoji (it that’s what they’re called).

  7. Don’t know where the sad faced smiley came from
    Can you remove it please

  8. Hi Margaret, I enjoyed reading your post today about your daily activities. I too, iron my bed sheets. My grown children think I’m crazy to do such a thing but I’ve ironed every Tuesday for so many years that’s it’s just part of my routine. Nothing is nicer that line dried laundry. I’ve never had a clothes line as they are not allowed where I live. But growing up, my mother always hung the washing out to dry and she was so particular as to how to hang the washing properly. Fond memories for sure! When I’m in Turkey I love doing the laundry as I get to hang the laundry on a drying contraption on the balcony. It’s very therapeutic keeping a clean and tidy home. By the way, I wrote you a message the other day via your “contact me” link on your blog. Maybe you didn’t receive it? No worries, as I was just curious. Enjoy the rest of your day and I look forward to reading your next post. Pat xx

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Pat. I don’t have any set routine, I just do jobs as I think they become necessary. Mind you, it isn’t just our children who might think ironing a waste of time, I know people my/our age, Pat, who don’t ‘bother’ to iron, when I think things which have been ironed look much better, even cared for. I know that sounds silly, ‘caring for’ a sheet, but when it’s nice and crisp and fresh it looks so much better than crumpled even to start with.
      What a shame that clothes lines aren’t allowed where you live, but this happens in some places, I know. There has been a bit of fun and games along those lines here in Devon this week and it was even reported in the national press. A woman had hung her ‘smalls’ on a washing line in the town and someone had written to her (anonymously) to the effect that seeing her underwear wasn’t nice, especially for visitors to the town. It wasn’t a malicious letter, in fact (it was published in the paper) in some ways I actually agreed with some points made. And then word spread like wildfire on Facebook and before long the townspeople were hanging their washing all over the place, even across shop windows, from lampposts and so forth, in solidarity with the woman, and someone even attached a bra to a flagpole! Oh, the British sense of fair play and good humour!
      I am a bit like your mother, Pat, and I like the washing hung a certain way, such as shirts from the bottom of the shirt, and never from the shoulders, tea towels together, bath towels together, husband’s underwear neatly together (I hang my own smalls in the airing cupboard and they dry there overnight, as do socks, I don’t hang those outside).
      Yes, you are right – it is therapeutic keeping a clean and tidy home. I try and keep our sitting room tidy, putting things straight before we go to bed, so that if we spend much of the next day out and about, or in the garden, of an evening when we go into the sitting room, it’s tidy and inviting.
      No, I’ve not received any thing re the Contact Me link, Pat. Please do try again as others have used this and it’s worked. These emails usually go into Spam, but as Spam is highlighted as having mail in it, I always check it, it doesn’t reside there unnoticed. Please do try again if there is something you want to ask me.

      • I too, like my washing hung out a certain way, Margaret. It stops one’s garments getting out of shape. I was also taught to hang to hang items so that they could move in the wind, to dry. And that sunlight was a great disinfectant for our washing.

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          Isn’t it strange, Ratnamurti, how across ages, races, continents, etc, many habits of women (and perhaps men, too) have such similarities? This never fails to surprise and interest me, that we all like to do things in a certain way. It mightn’t be the same way, but we have these things that we do a certain way, such as hanging out the washing and, I think it goes without saying, how we all seem to enjoy seeing a line of clean washing blowing in the breeze and agree it smells nicer having been line-dried than tumble-dried. With husband’s ‘good’ shirts, I tend to dry them on coat hangers, so that they really do keep their shape, the same with my Breton tops. Yes, sunlight is a great disinfectant for our washing.

  9. Margaret, you are the only person I know who can make an ironing board and iron look attractive in a photo. It made me smile…

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I did think twice before photographing the ironing board and the iron, Heather! I tried to pull the cover on the board straight, but to no avail. It really needs removing and putting on again. I like the striped cover, and the iron is one I swapped with our daughter in law for one we bought and I found it awkward to handle (husband managed it OK, though). I also use a lavender linen spray from French Soaps, a company selling room sprays, soaps, etc. It’s a very delicate scent of lavender but lovely for bed linen. But I photographed the ironing board and the dishwasher (the pots had been washed, they weren’t dirty!) just as illustrations of a ‘normal day’ chez-the-two-of-us.

  10. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    You have described the weird conviction that it is a day, other than the one it actually is, perfectly. I wonder if it is caused by a subconscious feeling of déjà vu….some tiny insignificant thing about today triggers links to things that usually occur on a different day. Now the matters is further confused!
    I puzzled for a few moments over what a barrel of ‘mundanites’ might be. Was it some literary reference? It even sounded vaguely biblical but it definitely wasn’t something I could identify with. Then I realised. Haha!
    Housekeeping doesn’t delight me one bit, but the results do so it’s a case of needs must. I just wish it all didn’t need doing so regularly!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Because I thought the day was Wednesday and not Tuesday, I have now been thinking today is Friday and that tomorrow will be Saturday, and a busy day as we need to go shopping! But no, it’s Thursday and early Friday morning will be fine for shopping! Confused, moi?
      The Barrel of Mundanities was my way of describing all the mudane things I’d been doing, Eloise, but you eventually worked that one out, ha ha! I can’t say I would prefer to clean the floor rather than go out for morning coffee, but I don’t dislike housework, especially when I can see I’ve made a difference and our home looks polished and fresh. On the other hand, I’m not a house-proud freak, I don’t pick up every bit of fluff, or have OCD in which I feel the compulsion to clean from top to bottom every day. No, I do housework in moderation but don’t resent doing it.

  11. I too have sent you a couple of emails recently via the “contact me” link but have not received a reply. You have always responded to my emails in the past so perhaps these aren’t getting through to you.

    Love your posts and look forward to checking each morning for a new one.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I must apologise, Lesley. I have just had a look in my received emails and sure enough, there are a couple from you. As you say, it’s unlike me not to have responded and all I can think is that I was distracted and then forgot to reply! I will now read your emails again and reply properly. I do try and reply to any emails as they come in, obviously not in this case. So my apologies.

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