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Autumn Has Arrived

Today is the first of September. According to the weather people on TV, it is also the first day of autumn but I always understood the seasons changed on the 21st day of March, June, September and December, and so accordingly autumn (or if you live in the USA, the fall) doesn’t start for another three weeks. I think I will go with the traditional quarter day and so, if you live in the northern hemisphere, we’ve got three more weeks of summer left to enjoy.  Make the most of them!

However, autumn flowers are now appearing in the shops, and I bought asters last week.  They were still in bud but are now beginning to emerge and showing their pretty, daisy-like flowers.

One bunch gave me two jugs of flowers, one for the sitting room, and one for the kitchen.

Our new smart TV arrived on Thursday afternoon.  We have yet to work out (and therefore use) its various ‘functions’, such as You Tube, Netflix, etc.

We didn’t want a huge TV and while the screen is larger than our old TV, which was a 37″ (this is a 43″) the overall size of the TV  actually slightly smaller as the frame for the picture is much narrower than on the old TV.  I hate huge-screen TVs taking over a room, but it is what it is, a TV, and they are great black hulks (unless money is no object and you buy one which can be hung over a fireplace and looks like a mirror until you want to use it as a TV – personally, I’d not want a screen hung so high, it would give me a stiff neck having to look up!)

There is it … in the far left hand corner.  I hope there are sufficient things of interest in the room so that it doesn’t monopolize the room!

We also collected our watercolours from the framer’s on Thursday. Oh dear. I think I’ve made an expensive mistake.  What I should’ve done was to take a picture with me to the framer’s with a mount that I liked but I didn’t, and when I chose the mounts for these pictures, I agreed they looked lovely with the pictures, but when we got them home, they did not look terribly good against the wall colour!

But they were too expensive to change them, and so we’ll either have to put up (literally!) and shut up, or hang them in the hall, on the staircase wall, where they will look good against the buff/terracotta wallpaper.  The other alternative, to lessen the impact of these too-buff-not-quite-cream-enough mounts is to have one of the pictures on either side of the fireplace, rather than hanging together, and then a shorter picture next to each of them.  We shall see.


Husband says, “Oh, you’ll you get used to them …” – a typical male reaction ha ha!  And get used to them I shall because even I am not spendthrift enough to get another set of mounts made!

I’ve not been doing much cooking lately, we’ve still been having mainly porridge for breakfast and salads for other meals, and yesterday was no exception when we had a corned beef salad.  I’m not a huge corned beef fan (I think only people of a certain age eat corned beef!) but husband enjoys it occasionally, and what we have left from the tin will be turned into corned beef hash this week.  But we had it with new potatoes, cherry tomatoes (kindly given to us by my computer man, from his greenhouse) with sea salt flakes, cucumber, cheddar cheese, a pickled onion each, beetroot salad, chopped spring onions, curried peach chutney, and slices of red pepper (with a fresh fruit salad for dessert.)

Today we have had friends in for a cup of tea and cake, and I made a Victoria sponge sandwich (sandwiched with just raspberry jam, nice and simple). I served it with some strawberries and whipped cream.

I was in such a rush to get ready (doing other things and not keeping eyes on the clock) and so I quickly used the two blue bowls for the strawberries and the cream, when usually I would find something other than our cereal bowls out for guests. I love a simple Victoria sponge (this is a 4-egg mixture, i.e. weigh four eggs and then weigh out the same amount each of caster sugar, margarine, and self-raising flour) and it doesn’t take long to make as it has just four ingredients, plus the jam to ‘sandwich’ the two halves together and sifted icing sugar on the top.  Traditionally, it is actually caster sugar for the top, but I prefer to use icing sugar.  I used raspberry jam rather than strawberry which I find a little too sweet, even though I love fresh strawberries to eat – hence some with the cake.

Regarding the ‘rogue’ email addresses which some readers are finding are attaching themselves to their comments, I have had a word with the webmaster at Fiver, who has helped me several times with my blog troubles, and he says the following: 

“I just checked screenshot [two readers have sent me screenshots of this] and it is user’s own PC issue as it’s showing Autofill by user’s own browser. This is not an issue and you shouldn’t worry about this.”

Therefore, I really do not know what else I can do to get rid of this problem, I wish I could help.

Have a good weekend, what’s left of it.

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. Hello Margaret, what a lovely cake you prepared for your guests! I made your rock buns this morning and they turned out great; I love the idea of using the brown sugar. Thank you again for the recipe. Your new mats for the paintings look very nice. From the photo you shared, it appears that they go very well with the colors in your decor. The mat color picks up the color from your Persian carpet and also the fireplace. I know how expensive custom framing is but I think I’m spoiled as I have a frame shop in Turkey that does wonderful work at extremely inexpensive prices. Unfortunately, everything that I had framed there is kept there at our home. Also, your new TV looks great and no it doesn’t take over the whole house. I know what you mean about TVs. We have one in the family room and one in the upstairs TV loft but no where else. Recently, we viewed a property for sale and there was a huge TV hung on almost every wall of the home! We’re having a relaxing day at home since our weather is pleasant and not too warm right now. I’m off to sit by the pool and knit for awhile. Enjoy your evening and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Pat xx

    • Margaret Powling

      I’m glad you approve the mounts/mats for the paintings, Pat. We didn’t have the frames themselves changed, they are fine, just the mounts and now they have double mounts. How lovely you have found a good framer in Turkey, where you have another home that you visit.
      Fancy having huge TVs in every room, or on every wall as you say you saw in a recent house for sale! Why do people think they are so important? Perhaps we are the only critical ones who don’t think the programmes are worth spending oodles of money for huge TVs!

  2. Hi Margaret,

    If that was the case re. the comments box it would happen on all WordPress sites, but it only happens on yours. I don’t use autofill so his response doesn’t explain why the problem is affecting me and also, it didn’t happen on your site before the recent problem with your photos etc. I feel for you as this seems to be one of those niggling problems that are difficult to resolve.

    Anyway on other matters, I think the new framing suits both the prints and your room. I don’t like the huge TVs either. Most of them are too big for the room and you can’t sit far enough away from them – I speak from (not too pleasant) experience as a couple of friends both have enormous TVs in fairly small rooms and I always get a bad headache.

    • Margaret Powling

      You are right, Eileen, and I will go back to him with your comments … it only happens on my website. I must try and get in touch with my host, too, although I spent 3/4 hr speaking to them last week, a long distance called from the UK to Arizona, which will cost a pretty penny, unfortunately. Instead of forever going for more electrical gizmos, I do wish the ones we had were more reliable!
      I’m becoming more used to the mounts on the pictures. The frames are the same, but the mounts have been changed from a deep blue/green (done in the 1980s) to a double mount – about a centimetre of green next to the picture and the main mount a sort of beige/buff colour, much the same colour as the Wills tower in one of the pictures.
      I can’t stand huge TV screens, our 37″ was fine, but strangely, this one although it has a larger screen, actually looks smaller – very odd!

      • Hi again Margaret. In regard to the long distance phone call from the UK to the US, do you have a smart phone? If so, you can download Viber and the party you wish to call can also download Viber. You can call for free to a Viber recipient from your Viber account (it’s basically using the internet to make the call). At least it’s worth a try as this is how I communicate with my son who lives overseas. Also, when I go to fill in my info for the comment page, it shows another’s person info; name, email and website if they have one. Regards, Pat

        • Margaret Powling

          No, I’m not modern enough to have a smart phone, Pat! I have a very old phone as I’ve never felt the need for a smart phone and zillions of apps and so forth. I just want to be able to receive a phone call now and again (which is rare as we use the landline) and to be able to text our two sons. But what you suggest about Viber sounds a good idea. I will get a smart phone eventually, but I will be so sorry to say goodbye to my 9 year old phone! And you also get these rogue names and addresses … it’s truly awful, Pat. I will be working on this later today … asking the webmaster to help yet again.

  3. I think your new mounts look very attractive, Margaret, and the paintings are so much more visible now. Is the buff-looking color in your blue carpet about the same? It all seems to blend well, but I know that often photo colors aren’t the truest colors. Your flowers are lovely, and so is your Victoria sponge!

    Well, I also get someone else’s email info each time, which seems like an invasion of their privacy (which does rather make it somewhat of an issue). I don’t know how the trouble could suddenly be with the computers/browsers of readers who come to your blog, but strange things can happen. It’s a conundrum. But out of curiosity, I checked your site via three different browsers (Chrome, Explorer, Firefox) and the incorrect email info shows up on all of them. What does your new host/server say re this problem? I don’t suppose turning off your comments and then back on would help (if only things were that simple in life!). Also, I checked, and my Google Chrome autofill isn’t even on; or so it shows. Sending good thoughts your way for a resolution.

    • Margaret Powling

      I think I will get used to the colour of the mounts, Bess, over time. And there is a buff colour in the rug in front of the fireplace, too, as you say.
      I am really concerned by the addition of all these email addresses, although when I look at my own blog, they don’t appear, but I know that for some readers, they most definitely are there! Again, I must return to my host and see what they say. I do wish I knew more about computers, Bess!

  4. I think your bowls are quite lovely, why not use them. I don’t find your TV a problem at all. I see what you mean about the pictures (this from someone who liked the green you previously had), but I don’t find it that much of a problem. I guess I’m with your husband, “you’ll get used to it”. That is a husband for you, but I guess I’m the same, in this case. As for the auto-fill on the comments section. I don’t understand your computer person’s explanation. I, too, see the auto-filled names and emails – and they’re different every time I comment! I, myself, have never checked the auto-fill button. This problem was never there before your recent issue. I fear he/she does not know what they’re talking about!

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, the bowls are pretty, Jeannine, and they are such a useful size … we use them for cereal, soup, or as I did yesterday, for a few strawberries and cream. I think I’d just become rather used to them as since I bought them last year, I use them so much … which shows how I like them!
      Yes, now we have the new mounts in the pictures, I’m thinking I was a bit hasty and I now preferred the green mounts, but I will get used to them!
      You are right, the computer problem wasn’t there before the last problems I have had. I will have to go back to him, or find someone else who can sort this out.

  5. Hello Margaret, I have been visiting your beautiful country for the past 4 weeks and really enjoyed your warm summer and abundance of beautiful berries. I found all the berries so full of flavour which is really missing from ours. I think your pictures look lovely but web colours can be deceiving.
    By the way we begin our seasons on the first of the quarter and spring has definitely not arrived; it is cold, windy and raining but not where we desperately need it.

    • Margaret Powling

      I’m delighted you have been visiting the UK, Pieta, and have been enjoying being in our country.
      The colours on the web are fairly close to the reality of the pictures, which isn’t always the case, I know. So sorry it;s cold and windy with you, but what you really need is rain (our reservoirs are currently 50% full, but when we’ve had drought before they went down to 25% full (or as I prefer to think of it, 75% empty!) Glad you have been enjoying all the lovely soft fruits of summer, much of which is grown in England, especially the lovely strawberries and raspberries.

  6. I too have a different name each time I want to comment. Today’s name is Jane Powell with her email viv.roue@blueyonder.co.uk and so since it’s from the UK and I’m from the US I don’t believe it would be from my end. We have a long weekend so it will continue to be a lovely weekend with beautiful weather. Have a great week Margaret. Always enjoy your blog. Lucy

    • Margaret Powling

      Lucy, this is awful, that yet another name has attached itself. I will go back to my webmaster fellow and get him to look at this again. And also try and contact Blue Host about it. This should not be happening.

  7. Margaret, I too have a different name and have to erase it and the email address before I can send it to you. They are UK email address and I’m in the US so I don’t believe it is from this end. Lucy

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you for sending me the example, Lucy. This is truly awful, it seems my website has been invaded with a virus of some kind. I will contact the webmaster today.

  8. I too, like the frames; everything looks very tasteful. I am thinking that if autumn has arrived in your corner of the world, then spring must have officially arrived here in NZ. Judging by the daffodils, calves and lambs …. yes, it has. Ahhh… summer soon

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, spring has arrived for you Ratnamurti! I’m most envious as that is my favourite season and we have the long autumn and winter months to get through before we can see spring again, the season I love with all the green shoots and spring blossom and flowers. However, I will try and embrace autumn, I will make soups and casseroles, I will buy autumn-coloured flowers and even invest in a new throw for one of the sofas and some new coloured candles (although I doubt whether I shall light them because candles are not healthy things to have lighted, unfortunately.) But on, roll on spring!!!

  9. I purchased Asters like your from Tesco and made them into 4 small posies, I added herbs from the garden with grey foliage and the recipients was dead pleased with them.I hate modern TV’s so when mine dies I shan’t bother again. Plenty of books to read.

    • Margaret Powling

      Hello, Edna, and how lovely to find asters in Tesco and make them into four small posies – it is lovely and economical to ‘stretch’ a bunch of flowers like that, isn’t it, especially if you have herbs and foliage in the garden. We were in two minds about spending on a new TV (although it wasn’t a very expensive one) as we watch few programmes – I like Uni Challenge and any arts programmes (I’m especially enjoying the one with Bendor Grosvenor on BBC4 on Wednesday evenings, I think, hidden masterpieces) and we might enjoy Vanity Fair this evening (and watch The Bodyguard on catch up). As there have been so few programmes we wanted to watch throughout the summer we have decided to have Sky Sports on a trial for just 9 months to see if we like that – it gives us tennis, golf, rugby, cricket and football, so lots for husband to see (and I will enjoy watching the Ryder Cup at the end of this month, too.) But you are right – plenty of books to read.

  10. My husband makes a very yummy corned beef (or corned silverside) which delicious hot with mashed potato, steamed greens and white sauce and also lovely as cold leftovers for sandwiches. I’ve seen tinned corned breed many many years ago – a boyfriend’s parents were English and his mum served it to me – but not since although it may well be in supermarkets here in Australia.

    Your sponge looks delicious. I hope your guests appreciated having something homemade. I would be delighted !

    It’s a shame you don’t like the new mounting on your pictures. I think they look lovely in the photo but you know yourself. Another option is to paint or wallpaper your sitting room to match – I’m only joking 😉

    ps no rogue name or email address appeared below 🙂

    • Margaret Powling

      First of all, thank you for saying that no rogue name or email addresses appeared below your name, Lara.
      Yes, it’s tinned corned beef that we use, but you can buy slices of corned beef in the supermarket – or you used to be able to – from the deli counter, but the branch of Waitrose that we go to doesn’t have a deli counter, it’s a small branch and they did away with it and now use the space for other goods.
      We changed the pictures around last night so I might show those on my next post. I am happy with them now as we have separated them, they are either side of the fireplace rather than together.

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