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Shopping, Gardening, Ordering

Isn’t this a lovely card? I received it today from a dear kind relative as a birthday card. It shows a tile in The Taggart Tile Museum, Huntingdon, and I just love it.

As husband had an appointment at our local Health and Wellbeing Centre (they put Wellbeing as one word when I think it should be hyphenated, but what do I know!) which used to be called a ‘hospital’.   The hospital closed and the local clinic moved into the building.  This silly title is the result.  I am sure I’ve mentioned this before, I don’t wish to be accused of repeating myself like a lot of old biddies are accused!

After his appointment we decided, as we were already out and about, to do the food shop.  So off to Waitrose.  The floral display is now taking on a distinctly autumnal look, and oh, I did fancy a bouquet of chrysanthemums, but how could I justify £12 for flowers when I still have a sitting room filled with flowers?  The simple answer is I could not. I left them there.

I suggested to husband that one day we ought to start at the end of our shopping list, and go around the store in an anti-clockwise direction, so to speak, just for fun! We could start at the bottom of the List and work upwards, we might then get a totally different perspective on the store that way!

But he wasn’t up for it and really, neither was I – it was just one of my more silly moments (of which I have many.)

So we started by the flowers, then bought a sandwich to share (to have with our coffee after we’d completed our shopping), then on to fruit, then veg, then cheese, then chicken, salmon, around the corner to dried figs, chilli sauce, Oxo, and on to … ah, wait for it … a Battenberg cake and a little packet of Eccles cakes, then around the next corner for a bar of Lindt chocolate, bypassing biscuits (we have more than enough), around the next corner for Badoit water (yes, a luxury, but when we don’t drink wine it’s nice to have something tasty to put into our glasses, and this water is lovely, with just enough sparkle without being ‘fizzy’) and finally to coffee ice cream and toiletries.  (If that sounds like too many sweet things, cakes and chocolate and ice cream, I loaded the trolley with fruit and veg but I’ve not itemized them.)

And then I spotted that L’Oreal Age Perfect moisturizer was on offer at £8.15, when it is normally over £12.

I was glad to see this as I’m coming to the end of my current pot of L’Oreal, for which I’m highly delighted.  This is because I fell for the advertising campaign, I believed the nonsense that this one …

… their Golden Age version, would provide me with a healthy glow (well, words to that effect; I’m no copy writer, but it was something like that.)  No, it hasn’t provided me with a healthy glow. I’ve needed to put foundation over it all through summer (when I thought the moisturizer would be sufficient on its own) because instead of a “healthy glow” I looked as if I was having very late hot flushes!  Not a nice product at all, but it did the job, i.e. to mosturize, so I was reluctant to bin it.  I just put up with looking as if I’d just emerged from a hot bath.  I wonder if anyone else has used this and suffered from the same effect?   So back to my usual one,which I’ve used for years.  I refuse to buy anything else more expensive.  It does the job.

We had our coffee and half-sandwich each in Ilsham Valley again before returning home, where (I’m whispering this; I wouldn’t like it to get out that I’m buying junk food!) we bought a pizza!  I hope this isn’t offensive to those who buy these regularly,  but this must be the first pizza we’ve bought in more than a dozen years.  We thought we’d have one as a snack lunch as the plan was to do some gardening.  What is more, we quite enjoyed it.  We had half before the gardening and have just had the other half but we will have some proper food later.  As husband said, “It’s nice, but it doesn’t fill you, does it?”  At £4.50 for a basic Margarita, those won’t be making their way into our trolley again.

Once home I packed the food away, and then picked up the post.  How strange that cover colours often are much the same on whatever books/magazines arrive.

Everything today was blue, from deepest navy to teal … I love the cover of Sarah Blake’s book. I confess that this lovely cover ‘sold’ the book to me!  You see, I’m as guilty as the next woman, being seduced by a pretty book cover and Dame Helen Mirren showing us that we can have such a healthy glow when using a pink-tinted cream!  And the awful thing is, I know I’m being manipulated by those selling these things.  If the book had a cover showing an old biddy in a real post office, rushed off her feet with a queue buying stamps and filling in car tax forms, I don’t think it would’ve sold many copies, do you?  I’ve never seen a postmistress as glamorous as this, but perhaps I’ve not visited the right post offices!

After I put the food away, after we’d eaten our pizza, husband began to do some cleaning and waxing of our car and I emptied some of the garden pots of the old summer bedding, planted some violas (just to have a bit of autumn colour before I plant the bulbs in the pots) and generally tided up.

As for the Ordering part of this post (see title), I have ordered some tan winter boots  from Van Dal.  I know it’s not always successful, buying shoes on line, but when I bought my brogues earlier in the week I asked in the shop if they stocked Van Dal shoes?  The assistant looked at me with what I can only describe as an incredulous expression, as if I’d asked for pantaloons and a bonnet!  Van Dal are so yesterday, my dear!  But this company still makes good shoes and boots (well, if you get the right style and not something that looks like a cheaper version of the ‘classic’ black shoes that the Queen wears.)   These casual boots are called Betsy (why do they have to have names, why not just a number? Someone must spend hours thinking up suitable names?  What a total waste of time and money) and they have proper flat soles and heels, like a man’s shoe, so if they fit (a big if) they might be just what I want for winter.  I don’t want to go out in all weathers with ditsy heels.  And tan looks good with navy or black, my staple colours.

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. It really is a lovely card. The Taggart Tile Museum used to be in a nearby village to me here in the district (former county, of course) of Huntingdonshire. It was well worth a visit but sadly closed down around eight or ten years ago when the owners left the area.

    Best wishes and a belated Happy Birthday to you Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling

      What a coincidence that you know the actual Taggart Tile Museum, Kate, but so sad that it closed.
      Thank you for your kind birthday wishes, it still feels like I’m celebrating, with a card arriving today and people still giving me their good wishes, it’s lovely.

  2. Margaret, you do have a good sense of humor! I am not complaining, but I noted that you did not reply to my comment on your last post and all I’m wondering is: did you not see my comment? I think you are wonderful to reply to all the comments you receive, but since the recent trouble with your blog I’m just wondering if you missed my comment. I do wish we didn’t have the mosquito trouble that we now have as I have so much work to do outside and I’m such a magnet for mosquitoes that it is almost intolerable to be outside! For several days we had a lot of rain (a week or so ago) – all told we had over 12 inches of rain!

    • Margaret Powling

      Glad you like my sense of humour, Jeannine. I often wonder (nay, worry!) that perhaps when I say something in jest, some readers might think I’d not being funny at all and take me seriously, but so far I think readers understand my humour (infantile at times, I admit!) I’ve now found your comment and responded, I’ve no idea how I overlooked it because, as you know, I do my best to reply to everyone (and have done as far as I know since I began my blog.) Of course, if I had hundreds of comments I wouldn’t be able to, but as this is unlikely as I don’t advertise my blog nor ‘monetize’ it as is always being suggested from various sources, I can easily manage to reply to those who do currently leave comments. It’s not a chore, I enjoy it. Ugh, mozzies! I’ve never lived anywhere where they are a nuisance, thank goodness. Maybe the rain will wash them all away (or perhaps it has the opposite effect, they enjoy a good bath and then rise up again, refreshed, ready to make a nuisance of themselves for another day!)
      Speaking of insects, when I came into the study this evening and put on the light a spider ran across the floor and hid under the wall-to-wall desk (husband’s construction for our computers many years ago). The poor thing must’ve had such a fright, me suddenly putting the light on and walking across the room while it was having a nice little snooze! Anyway, I didn’t bother to look for it – I’m much bigger than it is, I’m not frightened of it – we don’t have any poisonous ones in the UK – and when we eventually went to bed (I have got up again for a drink of Ovaltine and hot chocolate mixed) I came in and said “Night, night, Spider!” I must be going barmy!

      • As for the mosquitoes – the over 12 inches of rain we had is what brought them out! We were really doing pretty well in that regard all summer (no mosquitoes), until we got all the rain. Rain like that is their breeding ground. Now it is just misery! Glad you found my comment.

  3. I have taken to borrowing (fiction) books from the library based on their front covers. It has been a mixed bag but most have been a success. We have two great public libraries within 15 minutes drive and the librarians display some of the books with their covers facing out, hence my new system. ‘Chick lit’ can be a derogatory description of the genre but I don’t care, I’m enjoying the escapism 🙂

    I’m with you on not buying into the-more-you-pay-the-better-the-results palaver that is the marketing world of cosmetics and skin care. I only buy those with a high SPF and I can’t cope with many perfumed products these days. Minimising sun exposure (easier said than done in Australia) and no smoking is the best thing you can do for your skin – and smiling !

    • Margaret Powling

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with reading what is referred to as ‘chick lit’, it’s no worse than watching a rom-com movie, and often the books are a lot better. Yes, I confess to being seduced into reading books with attractive covers, some you win, some you lose. We have a good library in our town, and in the Borough of Torbay there are four public libraries although I no longer use them as often as I used to. Yes, I would think a high SPF factor cream would be essential in Australia. I have one with a reasonable SPF factor in it, so get at least some protection all year round. Thankfully, I’ve never smoked, not even tried it. I must be unusual in that I never wanted to smoke, I thought people with a white stick in their mouths which they set light to simply looked silly, and the cigarette smoke smelt vile. I also never wished to become addicted to something that I felt I must have.

  4. Belated birthday wishes Margaret (sorry) I only just saw the birthday post.
    You had some lovely gifts.

    That is a beautiful card, I have often thought of framing a few cards, there are some lovely designs these days.
    I love the loreal products, I often use them myself.
    Have a good weekend.

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you so much, Marlene. As I received yet another present today, a wonderful lot of spray pink carnations from the Isles of Scilly (the producer, not the giver) my birthday has lasted the best part of a week!
      I have started to use the new L’Oreal moisturizer, it’s the one I’ve used for many years and I will use up the last bit of the pink-ish one on my feet (well, they work hard, the’re “worth it” too!)

  5. I love your sense of humour!! As I read I could visualise your trip round Waitrose only too well, one I have made many times!! I’m afraid I got introduced to Clinique skincare 30 years ago by my first boyfriend’s mother. I’m not sure I’ve ever paid for any – I usually get it for birthdays and Christmas – I like to make life easy for husband here!!!!! Having said that, I’ve just found out that Clinique have moved production to China where they still use animals for testing. So, sadly after 30 years, I’m having to find something else. You have made a slight typo in your post – you’ve ordered tan ‘ winter books ‘ from Van Dal. I’ve imagined you walking round Waitrose with books on your feet – sorry that tickled my sense of humour.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, if a husband or partner knows the skin products you like and use, it does make it easier for them at birthday and Christmas time, doesn’t it! We haven’t given each other proper birthday or Christmas presents for years, but we are both happy about this. It would be OK if one partner felt disgruntled about this (how is there never a ‘gruntled’, the opposite of ‘disgruntled’?) We have more or less what we want during the year, so we feel no need to splash out twice a year, but this wouldn’t suit everyone. I’ve never tried Clinique, but I know it’s recognised as a good make for beauty products.
      Oh, how funny, Van Dal tan books! I do wish my fingers could spell! Glad you like my sense of humour! But that is awful, that Clinque has moved production to China where welfare of animals isn’t one of their priorities.

  6. I love that card too!
    Van Dal do indeed make good quality footwear. I have some myself. I hope the boots fit comfortably. I like wearing boots and have several pairs – I find that M&S Autograph leather ones are very good quality and wear well.
    I hope you won’t mind if I defend the manufacturers who use names for their styles . As someone who worked (and you will remember, very much disliked it) in a shoe shop, when a customer had pointed out three of four pairs that she wanted to try, it was a lot easier to remember the names than several numbers! I don’t suppose they actually do it for the benefit of the staff though!
    I read The Postmistress a while ago, but can’t remember the story. I bought it because I liked the picture on the front. This is not the first time I’ve done that and have found it to be a reasonably successful method of selection!

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, how funny – you bought The Postmistress because you liked the picture on the front, just as I have done! And yes, I can well understand now how a name for a shoe (or item of clothing) would help the sales’ staff. I’d not considered that.
      I’ve never bought any boots or shoes in M&S, but it’s certainly worth my consideration. I have very few shoes and only two pairs of boots – I had to part with four pairs of lovely boots as I simply couldn’t wear them … OK, they were old but little-worn and still reasonbably fashionable, and one pair by Gabor was lovely, in deep chocolate brown. But they all had small heels and I go over on such heels easily. I now know my limitations and go for flat shoes and boots.

  7. Deep chocolate brown Gabor boots…five beautifully paired words!
    How hard it would have been to part with them. I have shoes which date back to the 80s. They’ll never be worn again as too uncomfortable, but I get pleasure out of looking at them. Seriously weird, I know! Back to M&S boots – they also do a range of wider fit Footglove ones which might suit you.

    • Margaret Powling

      You would’ve liked them, Eloise, they had small heels and were pleated in the front, really smart, wonderful with a long skirt or trousers. And chocolate brown and black look so stylish, I think, too. They were expensive, of course, and looked so smart, but were awful to try and walk in, so I had to part with them. The other boots were black, aubergine, and tan, all the same style by Clarks but very smart. I will look at boots in M&S when I psych myself up sufficiently to go there!

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