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400th Post

This is my 400th post.  I knew this number was fast approaching and I was wondering what I might write about, whether to think up something a bit different, something a bit special.  But no, I thought, I will just write about the usual things I write about, it’s too hot to tax my brain right now with anything more complex than my visit to Totnes this morning.

The reason I went to Totnes was to visit my hairdresser. I went last week and had my highlights ‘done’ but whereas a lot of women like blonde highlights, I prefer silver highlights in my grey hair but quite a lot of last week’s highlights were slightly brassy.  The brassy look is not something I aspire to.

If you have blonde highlights in grey hair, to me  it looks like you have blonde hair that is going grey; indeed, quite the reverse of the effect you are trying to achieve.  Anyway, I contacted my lovely hairdresser and she said to make an appointment and the highlights would be put right, and now they have been, they are silver once more, so thank you so much to my dear hairdresser and her excellent staff.

I’ve used this photo before, but it won’t hurt to use it again, showing my hairdresser’s lovely salon

Close to my hairdresser’s salon there is a café with a few outdoor tables and chairs under the shelter of the trees (top photo).   On the far left is the road which leads to the old bridge over the River Dart.  It was a pretty scene this morning but it’s hard to take photos with so many people seated or buzzing around; you don’t want to appear to be taking uninvited photos of people, so this is just a quick snapshot.

I couldn’t resist popping into the supermarket (which isn’t Waitrose, I might add) to see the flowers they had.  Sadly, not many took my fancy because so many were in large bouquets of mixed flowers and mixed colours.  Who decides on these things, I wonder? Do they not think we can put the colours we like together?  Who on earth thinks that these lurid shades look good together?  Would we decorate our homes in this fashion, with every primary colour under the sun thrown together and vying for attention? Well, some might, of course, but I think they would be in a minority.  This effect only looks good in municipal parks and gardens, when a huge splash of colour is required, but never in the home. It’s not as if the bouquets are colour-coordinated, either, so you could have shades of pink to purple in one and salmon to flame in another.  Anyway, this is what they looked like …

However, with a bit of rootling around, I managed to find a couple of bunches of deep wine red and paler mauve alstromeria and a bunch of deep pink roses.

I have put the alstromeria – they are a bit droopy, so I hope they will revive – in the kitchen and the pink roses have replaced the spray carnations in the sitting room …

The spray carnations are now on my dressing chest in our bedroom, but I found that the floral jug didn’t look right in there, so I swapped that for another jug, this time a white one …

When I returned home I saw that the post had been, and with it another book, this time a nice clean copy (2nd hand) of Maeve Haran’s The Froth on the Cappuccino.

This is just my kind of book … short essays on small pleasures, such as a new magazine, buying flowers for oneself (yay!), even painting your toenails!  (And of course, the delicious chocolatey froth on a cappuccino!)  This is just a fun book, it’s the literary equivalent of a cream-filled meringue, but how can one resist a cream-filled meringue!

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. Congratulations Margaret on reaching your 400th post. That is quite an achievement, thinking up new and interesting things to blog about. Thank you.

    I look forward to another 400.


    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Jayne. I enjoy writing my posts, many of which are photo-led. But even I am amazed that I’ve written 400 in under two years (the anniversary of my blog is 16th August, so I’ve another month to go before the first two year anniversary happens.)

  2. Congratulations! That amounts to a lot of photographs and plenty of enjoyable articles – I regards a read of your blog to be as much of a pleasure as reading through my favourite glossy magazine.
    Enjoy your cream filled meringue!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Elaine! I’m now off to read more of the book, it’s a delight (and I’d love a cream-filled meringue right now!)

  3. Happy 400th 🙂

    I love the pink roses. I’m not usually a fan of roses in vases, I prefer them in the garden, but those are lovely. Are they scented? That would be the icing on the cake 😉

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Alison. I have enjoyed writing those 400 posts.
      Sadly, the roses have no scent, but they do look pretty in the black coffee pot. I like to see roses, indeed any flowers, both in the garden and in the house, they really do enhance a room.

  4. Congratulations on your 400th post, Mrs Powling! I think I have read every single one of those and I can say what a pleasure it has been. From your lovely photographs to your descriptions of local sites, it’s been wonderful, and I feel very happy having been a part of this journey 🙂 Here’s to many more!!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you so much, Kavitha! That’s so lovely, that you have read every single post and have enjoyed them. I had no idea what I was going to write about when I started this blog, it’s grown organically, so to speak. And I hope to write many more posts, too.

  5. I agree, Margaret, flowers do indeed enhance a room. I worked part time about 10 years ago, arranging flowers on a cardboard holder, to sell at the main fruit and vegetable auctioneers, and then sold onto shops. It was a change from being in business, and good for a while. I loved working amongst all of those flowers. Everyone did. Somehow, those flowers just made us all happy. Well, us workers, anyway.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      How lovely to have been able to work with flowers, Ratnamurti, but very hard work, too, I would think but very different from being in business. I don’t know what it is about flowers, but they really enhance our lives (provided we don’t suffer from hay fever from their pollen!) – I think it’s their fleeting beauty; they demand to be admired because in a short while they will have withered and died. It’s their very ephemeral nature that makes them so special.

  6. 400! That’s a large number!
    Not sure how I first came across your blog……but so glad I did.
    Keep them coming. Always a delight.

  7. Here’s to the next 400. Such an enjoyable post; as always. I hope the alstromeria perked up.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Jill. And yes, the alstromeria have perked up, they’re looking fine today. I don’t usually have large blooms like that in the kitchen (mainly through lack of space) but they do look pretty on the end of the worktop next to the sink.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Jill. Yes, the alstromeria perked up and are looking good in the kitchen, especially yesterday evening when the sun was shining in the kitchen from the west – we only have sunshine in the kitchen late in the afternoon/evening, which makes it a little dull during the day, but at least it’s cool in there in summer when I’m cooking.

  8. Many congratulations on your 400th post Margaret, finding a new one on your blog is always an enjoyable part of my day so thank you for all the effort you go to.
    We are footsore and slightly sunburnt today after a day spent at the races yesterday, a good excuse to put on a pretty dress and people watch to my hearts content behind my sunglasses.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Elaine. How lovely that finding a new post of mine is an enjoyable part of your day, what a lovely compliment. Oh, a day at the races sounds lovely, but not quite so lovely if you are now sunburnt!

  9. Congratulations on your 400th post Margaret! Always enjoy reading your blog and seeing the lovely photos.
    Thankyou so much for the time and effort which you put in for us.
    Looking forward to the next 400! X

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Dot. I really enjoy writing my blog and taking photos with which to illustrate it and if readers enjoy it, then that’s great.

  10. And to add to the other comments above congratulations, your blog is a joy to read and brightens up my day!

  11. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Four hundred posts…amazing! Well done on always finding something interesting to say.
    I’m not keen on mixed colours for flowers either, other than sweet peas but then they are usually multiple shades of the same basic pinky-purple colour. Tulips are also ok mixed, but I still prefer a single colour bunch. I like white, purple, orange in that order.
    I read that Maeve Haran book a while ago but can’t remember much of it. It’s nice to have a ‘dip-in’ book sometimes.
    Looking forward to post 401 and on and on!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, sweet peas are wonderful, they don’t count as mixed colours really as it is a single type of flower and their colours always blend beautifully, no I mean having sunflowers in their bright yellow with those small headed bright lime green chrysanthemums and perhaps something else thrown in for good (or bad!) measure, all bright colours but nothing which really looks right together. I also love those mixed tulips that you sometimes find, they are in rich jewel shades, I wonder why they look right together and yet mixed floral bouquets seldom do?
      The Maeve Haran book is OK, as you say a dipping-into book. I read it in an evening and the essays are very short indeed.

  12. Congratulations on your 400th post! I have to confess I often like mixed floral bouquets, BUT I do not like it when people plant annual flowers and they’re a mixed “mess” – for instance, orange marigolds with pink petunias and red geraniums and white with a bit of purple pansies. Yikes, is what I always think? To me, it looks like one just picked a bunch of random things and set to planting them. Or like the arrangement was done by a kindergartner.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your good wishes on my 400 posts, Jeannine. Oh, I totally agree over mixed ‘messes’ in the garden – we stick to one or two kinds of annuals and in complementary colours. I particularly dislike orange-coloured flowers, and yet orange (or flame as I prefer to think of it!) is a very difficult colour, but can look spectacular if teamed with purple, for instance I’ve seen purple and bright flame colour tulips in terracotta pots at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens in Kent, the wonderful gardens created by Vita Sackville West and her diplomat husband, Harold Nicolson. But regimented rows of bedding plants in a suburban garden look truly awful.

  13. Congratulations on your 400th post, Margaret. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment so haven’t commented for a while but I do look forward to reading each new post and of course your photos are always lovely.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your kind words, Pamela, and I hope your busy and stressful time will soon pass. So glad you enjoy my blog and my photos.

  14. Congratulations on your 400th post. I have read and enjoyed all of them. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into them for our enjoyment. I think we are all curious beings to some extent and enjoy learning about others’ lives, surrounds and day-to-day experiences. I echo others’ comments about how you always have something interesting (and fun) to write about and your photographs are very much appreciated xx

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Again, my thanks for your kind words re my posts, Lara. I enjoy writing and I might include some more of my previously published pieces before too long even if I edit them to bring them up-to-date. Yes, we are curious about how others live, how they arrange their homes, their likes and dislikes, it’s what makes us human I suppose.

  15. Babioli Lillington

    Good evening Margaret, congratulations on your 400th post. I have enjoyed reading about your life in Devon so much and share your love of good home magazines! I have read many of the books you have shown us, and have read many more on your recommendation! I have now just ordered Froth on your Cappuccino and can’t wait for it to arrive. Here’s to the next 400 posts. Love Babs

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Babioli, and I’m so glad you have enjoyed reading my posts. The book, Froth on your Cappuccino, is a very pleasant but a very light read, something to dip into, I think, but most enjoyable. How coincidental that you also enjoy reading some of the books I’ve shown on my blog and the various home magazines. I hope you will enjoy my latest posts, including one today on the history of suburbia.

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