For the past couple of weeks neither husband nor I have been firing on all cylinders, and yesterday I gave in to that feeling of being not-quite-well, and spent a day relaxing, much of it lying on the bed, reading, with a rug to hand as I felt alternately hot and then shivery.
I feel much better today, but still not quite 100% but I’ll get there. But when you get ancient – let this be a warning to those much younger than me! – you seldom feel 100%, so I tell myself “get over it!” You’re still here, be thankful for that. You have all your limbs, your hearing and your sight, life is wonderful!
But really, why should I feel the slightest bit guilty for lying (and the word is ‘lying’ not ‘laying’ as some say. There is a little homily that my English teacher taught me: hens lay eggs, people lie down) on the bed for much of the day? The time police aren’t going to check up on me and make sure I’ve done my quota of housework, are they? Husband never complains if I need to rest, and yesterday he made supper for us – well, “made” is pushing it, but he put salad onto plates, boiled some new potatoes, carved up some cold chicken, and made a vinaigrette for the salad (after I’d explained the basics: 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar plus a dollop of wholegrain mustard … I didn’t want to complicate things for him by mentioning he could use lemon juice instead of vinegar, or that he could add some runny honey and/or freshly chopped herbs. I thought he could cope with remembering just three ingredients, but I reminded him that whenever he makes a salad dressing, it’s always more oil than vinegar.)
The morning post yesterday brought my latest issue of The English Home which is my very favourite magazine. I’m not keen on magazines stuffed with ideas on how to make things, lovely though they are, but making frou-frou things for our home isn’t me at all – bobbly things in wool, macramé flower pots, embroidered do-dahs. You know the sort of thing I mean, I’m sure. Fun if you like making things, but I’d rather read a book. Much looks like making-for-making’s-sake, a bit like embroidered tray cloths as seen in some of my 1920s household management books. And, in any case, if I made such things, I’d have to find places to put them and the sitting room would end up – as I’m not clever at making things – looking like a display area in a primary school’s Reception class.
The English Home is filled with lovely homes plus just a few recipes (usually from a recently-published book, all good free advertising no doubt) and some gardens’ pages, too (not too many as the sister magazine is called The English Garden, another gorgeous publication.)
These two rooms (above), the double page spread at the top and the one on the right at the bottom – in the current issue of House & Garden – are my kinds of rooms. Not too formal, gentle colours, lots of comfy chairs and sofas, paintings, flowers, and basically symmetrical, or rather well-balanced. And these rooms are in my favourite colours of soft greens and pinks.
I am showing these two rooms together as, to me, they are similar but not the same. I think they are good examples of how rooms can successfully be put together even if you don’t own a manor house deep in the Cotswold countryside – a modern estate house in suburbia could be decorated in this way. It might mean replacing a modern narrow skirting board for a deeper one, and replacing the doors for panelled ones, but it would be worth it to achieve a country house look, I think. Well, if like me, you like this look. Not everyone does, of course.
Although, as I say, we’ve not felt 100%, we went to Waitrose this morning and I have bought the Mexican Lime Juice Cordial that Fiona recommended. Indeed, I have a glass of it beside me now, and it’s delicious and thirst-quenching. Thank you, Fiona, for telling me about this cordial.
It was about an hour later than our usual early start this morning, so more customers browsing and stocking up for the weekend. In the foyer this week, a display of Italian wine and sparkling water. I’ve never had Aperol and really, I wanted to try it (making an Aperol spritz with Prosecco and mineral water) but we also wanted to buy a bottle of gin and the one we drink, Plymouth Gin, isn’t the cheapest; also we needed to buy a bottle of something to give as a raffle prize at our grandson’s school, so I left the Aperol for another time. Has anyone drunk it? Is it similar to Campari?
It sounds like we’re right tipplers, but when we buy a bottle of gin it lasts for many months; we have about two a year.
The floral display looked lovely as always, and I was truly spoilt for choice, but bearing in mind I’d splashed out on gin plus the raffle-prize-Prosecco, I bought just one bunch of mini gladioli. I’ve not bought these before, but they are very pretty.
Not a good photo, they will look even better once the buds have opened
We drive to Waitrose taking one (inland) route and return home using another (sea front) route. We stopped in Ilsham Valley to enjoy our ‘free’ Waitrose coffee and then came home via Torquay sea front.
There is one promontory which I love, near the Livermead Cliff Hotel. But unless you are walking, taking a photo from the car as we drive past is difficult as the road dips down, and suddenly the view is obscured by the sea wall. This is the best I’ve managed, having tried to ‘snap’ this view many, many times. One day we will walk along here and I can then take some half-decent photos!
I think this is rather an Italianate view, even though I’ve never been to Italy, with the pine trees on the headland and some red roofs of houses on the coast. It is one of my favourite views in the area.
We also had to stop at red light near the 130-year-old Grand Hotel, so out came my camera so you can see this rather elegant chateau-like building. (I must reassure you that husband was doing the driving.)
The above is a postcard of the Grand Hotel so you can see the conservatory-style “Compass” lounge which is a pleasant place for morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Once home, I packed the groceries away, and then another book arrived …
Pellegrino the writer, and Pellegrino the sparkling water, and an Italian wine … all is Italian in the kitchen right now. Pass me an olive!
Until next time.