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Catching Up

It’s been a busy week Chez Powling, but I took some time to have breakfast in bed on Tuesday morning.  OK, I had to get it myself, husband (already up and about) was making himself porridge but I knew that there was a croissant in the fridge waiting to be warmed, how could I resist taking it back to bed with apricot jam, some strawberries, and lovely strong coffee? And my book, of course, which I’m enjoying (as I have Karen’s previous three books.)

Our main job on Tuesday was to collect Barry-the-dog and look after him for the day as our younger son and daughter-in-law were off for a celebratory lunch for her father’s 80th birthday at The Pig at Combe – a lovely restaurant/hotel, one of a chain of ‘Pig’ hotels, and this one used to belong to dear friends of ours who sold their hotel in 2015 and decamped 12,000 miles to the otherwise of the world and now live in western Australia. The weather was simply gorgeous and I managed to take some photos en route to our son’s house:

The golden fields against the blue sky looked lovely.  Who would not wish to be in England when the weather is as lovely as this?  (I took these photos as we joined a small traffic queue and crawled to a standstill just as this lovely view emerged, therefore I quickly put the car window down and whipped out my camera.)

Once we had returned home with Barry, and after he had had  his lunch, he spent the rest of the day idle, as most dogs do, first watching the garden through the patio doors in the study …

and then having a little snooze on the sofa …


I don’t usually allow him on the ivory-coloured sofa but he beat me to it, and I hadn’t the heart to move him.  I did ask him if he’d care to write a guest post on my blog, but he said he just wanted to get his head down.

Later, after Barry had been collected and had gone home, we decided that as it was such a gorgeous evening we’d go out for fish and chips.  This is unusual for us as we know that fish and chips aren’t the healthiest of foods and also they usually give us chronic indigestion as we’ve not used to fatty foods, but now and again they are irresistible!  Especially if from the award-winning Hanbury’s …

This is  a map of Torbay showing the three towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.  Hanbury’s is in Babbacombe, just a short stroll from Babbacombe Downs from where you have the most marvellous views – even at dusk – of the whole of Babbacombe Bay, which is part of the larger Lyme Bay.

This view is on a level of where the word BABBACOMBE is on the map above

We just bought the smallest portion each of cod and chips and took them to eat on the Downs in the evening sunshine (by now it was around 7.30pm)

Babbacombe Downs which overlooks both Oddicombe and Babbabacombe Beaches

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the Downs, looking towards the little Babbacombe Theatre at the far end of the Downs – those are my husband’s and my shadows on the grass.  I’m pleased to say that neither of us had any repercussions by way of indigestion,  and it was lovely to have a stroll of a summer’s evening.

Yesterday, Wednesday, we went to our younger son’s house for lunch. This was a family gathering, an extended birthday celebration not only for the 80-year-old but also his 13-year-old grandson (they have birthdays on the same day) who was staying with his parents and younger brother at his grandparents’ house – difficult to describe without naming names. There were ten of us in total. Unfortunately, the wife of our elder son, our grandson’s mummy, wasn’t able to be there as she was working. It’s really difficult, isn’t it, to find days when everyone can get together unless it’s a public holiday.  The two young boys, the 13-year-old and his 9-year-old brother, played with our little 5-year-old grandson and the three of them had a great time, playing with Barry, or running around in the garden.

Yesterday saw the arrival of the book which reader Elizabeth recommended after having read my post on the history of Suburbia.

Inside there are some lovely illustrations of the various styles of house that have been built during this period (1840-1960). This is just one of many such illustrations:

There is so much to read, and all so interesting, even uniform for servants!

And today, more books arrived.  I’ve mentioned the books by Alison Bruce recently; she has written several crime novels which are set in Cambridge (UK).  I’m now looking forward to reading these:

Today, we did our Waitrose shop in which I included some deep burgundy-coloured gladioli.  The photograph doesn’t accurately show their colour; they are a wonderful shade, not red or purple but somewhere in between:

And I also bought a bunch of white lisianthus:

Both the gladioli and the lisianthus will look even better as the buds open.

And after last weekend’s rain, we have sunshine again.  Summer has returned.  Wherever you are, I hope you are having a good week and that you will have a lovely weekend, too.

Until next time.

PS  I almost forgot! I said to Kavitha that I’d post a photo of a sausage roll as she didn’t know what these looked like.  Here is one of the ones we have bought at Me and Mrs Jones’ deli.  Usually they are longer and not as wide as this, Kavitha: they have sausage meat in them and various seasonings, often with apple (as apple is a traditional accompaniment to pork here in the UK):


We were having our sausage rolls (they are cold, not hot) in the car after shopping at Waitrose, enjoying our ‘free’ Waitrose coffee with them.

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. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Well, here I am logging in only a few minutes after you’ve posted instead of being one of the stragglers! Good timing.
    Lucky Barry…lying on the pale upholstery. You are a soft touch, Mrs P. It must be nice to be able to just put ones head down whenever one feels like it. And to theink that the expression ‘a dog’s life’ usually implies something not very good!
    Fish and chips from the chip shop is a wonderful treat. We very rarely have them at home but always treat ourselves to haddock and chips at ‘The Golden Fish’ on The Strand in Brixham. We’ve tried several over the years but this is our favourite as we always have to wait for the haddock to be specially cooked so it’s really fresh tasting.
    When I lived in my Victorian house, it looked very like the one second from left in your picture. It had original sash windows and black marble fireplaces with original hand painted tiles.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, how I envy you your Victorian home, Eloise! High ceilings and sash windows! The book is a joy, it really is, something I shall dip into for many weeks to come.
      I don’t know The Golden Fish on the Strand in Brixham, so perhaps husband and I might venture over there. We’ve been thinking of going on the bus to Brixham (using our passes for about only the 3rd time) having lunch – crab sandwiches by the harbour or fish and chips and then coming back on the Western Lady ferry, cross Torbay from Brixham. A lovely round trip, but it would take an age and the weather would have to be good!

  2. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    That sounds like a lovely trip. Do report back on it.
    Rockfish offer battered whiting which is delicious (it’s rare to be able to buy whiting but it’s a lovely flavoursome fish) but I don’t rate their chips at all.
    The house was gorgeous, Margaret, but that was another life. Better a small box that’s happy than a big beautiful one that’s not.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I quite agree with your sentiments, better the small happy home than the large unhappy one. We’ve not yet tried Rockfish – there is one in Brixham and one in Torquay.

  3. Fish and chips is so delicious, especially eaten in the fresh and salty air. I’m so glad there were no repercussions for you!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, we enjoyed our evening of sunshine, sea air and fish and chips, Joy, it was lovely! With no indigestion, that was a bonus!

  4. There’s nothing better than fish and chips at the seaside. I last had them in May and I hope to have them again next month 🙂

    Sounds like a busy week but lots of fun too. Barry is so sweet, no wonder you couldn’t make him get off the settee.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Barry is here again, today, Alison, and right now is behind me on the chair here in the study. He can’t be tired already, surely? It’s only 10.40am!!!
      I hope we have fish & chips again before summer’s gone. It was a nice, simple, inexpensive treat.

  5. Barry is a handsome fellow – Toby is green with envy, on two fronts – Barry has lunch (that is the big one) plus he managed to sneak up onto the sofa and was allowed to stay! I have explained that when you are small and cute you can get away with almost anything!

    The house book looks like a superb read and a visual delight. Fish and chips eaten on the seafront – what a lovely treat. I must add that to my list, it is far too long since we last indulged.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Barry gets away with a lot of things that a large dog wouldn’t get away with, Elaine, he just puts his head to one side and puts his ‘appealing’ look on …
      Yes, the house book is excellent. I’m really enjoying reading it. I have a number of books on Suburbia and I was going to part with them, but something held me back from sending them to the charity shop (hardly worth my time to sell them on Amazon or eBay, I’d rather give them away, they’re not valuable books) and I’m glad I didn’t; I might decide to offer a piece on Suburbia to another magazine in the future. After all, it’s where the vast majority of people live.
      Yes, we loved our fish and chips! But the view also helps, and not everyone has a view like the one we have from the Babbacombe Downs.

  6. So many posts to catch up on! I don’t think we needed to go away with the beautiful weather we are having although I find our heat very sticky and humid. Whilst you were having 32 degrees we were experiencing 40 degrees! If this weather is to be typical of our summer weather in future do we need to travel abroad?

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I think our summer has been exceptionally hot, Margaret, but husband and I don’t seem to bother to go away. We don’t really need to, living in such a lovely area, and when I think of all the hassle to get away, trains and airports and so forth, I know I just prefer to sit in our garden and read, or have a stroll along the sea front, or perhaps a river trip up or down the River Dart, which is most relaxing. 40C would just about kill me, neither husband or I are happy with temperatures over 23C, and happiest when they are around 20C.

  7. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to move Barry off my couch, either. Dogs have such a way of making themselves comfortable and the fact that he uses the cushion as a pillow just makes him even more adorable. The first photo shows his crooked little teeth and cheeky smile so well 🙂

    The book about suburbia looks very interesting. The sketches of the maids’ uniforms and their descriptions also. It would be nice to have a maid at times – especially when you’re comfy on the couch with your cat – or dog – and fancy a cup of tea but don’t want to disturb your four legged friend. The lisianthus flowers are very pretty. I bought myself a bouquet of gladioli (3) and asiatic lilies (3) yesterday. The lilies have no scent – my husband can’t bear the pale pink variety with the strong perfume – and one has opened overnight. I had only meant to buy a dozen eggs and came out of the shop with those and a small chocolate bar for my husband. I felt I deserved a treat 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, Barry (like many dogs) has a way of endearing himself! I hadn’t the heart to move him from the sofa! He knows I’m a soft touch!
      I often say I would like ‘staff’, i.e. a servant to do all the work or a maid to bring me things, but husband says I don’t need them as he does all the running around for me (cheeky monkey!)
      Oh, I often do that … go into a shop for one item and exit with a basket filled with things I didn’t think I needed! I can’t bear the smell of lilies, either, I find it overpoweringly sweet and sickly, but they are such beautiful flowers. I like the pure white ones best, rather than the pink ones (Stargazer) which I’m not keen on at all. I’ll bet your husband enjoyed his chocolate bar.

  8. Thank you so very much for posting that picture 🙂 I’m sure the rolls are delicious, they look it. Thank you also for the map of your area, I always try and visualise where everything is.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, sausage rolls are rather tasty, Kavitha, but high in their fat content so we don’t have them often. Glad the map is of help to you. I have been to Totnes this morning (to the hairdresser) which is a little way inland, on the upper reaches of the River Dart.

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