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Summer in Autumn

Torbay from the Headland Hotel

I was up very early this morning, long before husband who was still sleeping soundly at eight o’clock.  I love early mornings when it’s sunny and bright and it was certainly thus this morning.  If only all autumn and winter could be like this.

Yesterday, there was a little mishap with the handle on our back door and we needed to buy a new one (a new handle, not a new back door!) as husband thought a spring had broken. It turns out that it hadn’t, but not before we had been out to buy a new pair of handles.  So our first port of call was B&Q, the D-I-Y store (or for those who are not as skilled as husband, D-D-I-Y, or Don’t Do It Yourself!)

From there to Waitrose, which isn’t too far away.  If you think this is overkill as we were only there on Thursday, we went because if you spend £10 you get a free newspaper and on Saturday the newspaper we buy is £2.20, worth having for free (we only buy a few things that we need iin order to bring our total bill over the £10 mark.)

From Waitrose we decided to have morning coffee at the Headland Hotel where we went a little while ago.

We’d not had breakfast and so ordered a bacon sandwich each from their 9 am to 11 am Breakfast menu, with a pot of coffee for two (which, as with their sister hotel on Paignton sea front, comes with two biscuits each.)

It was so beautifully sunny and warm and so we sat outside on the Gallery Terrace, with its view of Torbay.

Husband (in checked shirt) leaving the terrace where we’d just had bacon sandwiches and coffee

Just beyond the boundary of the hotel, marked only by a clear glass barrier, a pathway leads to Daddyhole Plain, one of the highest parts around the Bay.

The view from Daddyhole Plain (in 2016)

We then made our way home, via Torquay, where I took a couple of photos while sitting in a traffic queue near Torquay harbour …

Once home, husband dismantled the old door handle and replaced it while I made a cup of tea – we didn’t feel hungry enough for lunch as we’d had the bacon sandwich at the Headland Hotel.  No doubt we will have an early supper this evening, salmon and new potatoes, a meal which is becoming something of a regular for us – it’s nourishing and very easy to cook.

Yesterday I had a lovely surprise … a box of flowers arrived for my birthday last Monday, so I feel my birthday has been celebrated for a week – last Saturday our visit to the Avon Mill Garden Centre and Kingsbridge; Sunday with our son, daughter in law, grandson and younger son; a visit from a dear friend on my birthday (who also brought me flowers), flowers left by yet another dear friend; and cards which have continued to arrive all week, ending today with coffee and bacon sandwiches at the Headland.  The flowers from our friend and her daughter were not one bunch but six, yes six bunches of spray carnations …

The flowers, straight out of the box

I then had to find containers for them all … I put two bunches, well cut down, into a blue and white jug as these flowers look better well-timmed as they have small blooms and if left on tall stalks look a bit giraffe-like (well, I think so.)

Another bunch was similarly-trimmed and is on the kitchen table (I took the photo yesterday when it wasn’t as sunny as it is today)

Another bunch I trimmed and put in the pink glass jug in the sitting room …

I would like to mention the little picture (above).  My goodness, we’ve had this since soon after we married (1964).  My mother gave it to me. She had found it in a junk shop (today that would be called a brocante, but really it was just a junk shop – indeed, if it wasn’t a posh antiques’ shop, and I mean truly posh, a shop selling 2nd hand items was simply a “junk” shop in the 1960s, and it wasn’t considered particularly derogatory either).  It’s a painting on rice paper of a young Chinese woman, and it used to hang in our bedroom in our first home.  Every time I look at it, in my mind’s eye I see it in its original position all those years ago.

The pink cornucopia belonged to my late uncle and from him to my mother and from her to me.  It isn’t something I’d have bought, but it reminds me so much of my family I hadn’t the heart to dispose of it, and the woman holding up the horn-of-plenty is beautifully crafted in biscuit (unglazed) porcelain.

The fourth bunch of flowers, in a slightly deeper shade of pink, are here in the study, next to where I sit to write my blog posts.

I’ve not done much cooking of late, simple breakfasts, snack lunches out, easy suppers of salads or soup.  Yesterday, I made more of an effort for our breakfast and served black cherry yoghurt with some added strawberries, and some slices of melon to dip into the yoghurt, followed by scrambled eggs on toast, and then extra toast and marmalade.  Perhaps you are wondering why I always put one cup and saucer on the left hand side and not the right hand side?  Easy.  Husband is left handed.  But only when using one hand. When using two hands, such as using a knife and fork or playing golf or cricket, he is right handed, but is left handed when using one hand, such as drinking or writing.


And now time for another cup of tea and a read of the Saturday paper. I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.

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. Good morning Margaret. You certainly live in a beautiful part of the world and I’m sorry I didn’t have time to see it on my recent trip. What a lovely floral birthday you’ve had and your little pink carnations are gorgeous. Do they have any perfume? I find that so many of our beautiful flowers have lost their scent.

    • Margaret Powling

      Sadly, Piete, the spray carnations have little to no scent, but they are very pretty nonetheless. What a shame you weren’t able to visit this area on your visit to England, but never mind, I’m sure yu saw lots of other lovely places, and that you also had good weather for your trip.

  2. Greetings dear Margaret. I loved reading your post today and seeing the lovely area that you live in. How nice to spend quality time with your spouse. My husband and I too are together almost 24/7 since we’re both retired and we enjoy our outings, too. As you may know, I collect “dishes” for a simple term to describe my passion. I inherited this from my Mother and I love seeing the special pieces you have in your collection. Especially, the pear majolica dish. I found a similar one on Ebay but it likes $30 and it’s calling out my name! Haha…I was so upset this week when I found out that another blogger had “stolen” my photo and gave no credit to me. Please be aware of scammers out there in blogland. They steal our photos and other info from our sites and post them to their sites and to make matters worse, they monetize their blogs with advertising! I was so, so upset but I guess that the reality today being in blogland. I so look forward to each and every post you write. My best to you dear friend, Pat

    • Margaret Powling

      I’d not thought of others stealing my photos, Pat! When I started, my photos had my name on them, but I’ve totally forgotten how I did this! I don’t montetize my blog as I didn’t want to get into all that, if I wanted to sell something I’d start writing again and sell my articles to magazines (or rather pitch articles to magazines and then hope to gain commisisons; feature writing works different from fiction writing). I don’t suppose there is any way of preventing this happening, other than stating that people can use photos provided a credit is given, but even that wouldn’t prevent the lawless from using them un-credited.
      Yes, I like the little pear dish. It was made by Fieldings who called their wares Crown Devon.
      I’m glad you have enjoyed seeing my latest post and our visit to the Headland Hotel (once the holiday home of the Russian royal family prior to the Russian Revolution.)

  3. The weather is very good at the moment, we have to make the most of this sunshine, I am sure it won’t last much longer. Love visiting your blog Margaret, as you often bring back memories (me being a Devon lass as well). Yes I remember the hotel well.
    What a lovely surprise with the carnations, and they are one of the flowers which last for quite a while, enjoy!

    • Margaret Powling

      So glad you can remember the hotel, Marlene. Many years ago, when I was a teenager (and that was very many years ago!) my father, being a newsagent, and I used to deliver papers to many of the Torquay hotels and this was one of them. It was then called the Overmead and it was a Workers’ Education Association hotel. The entrance is much the same, but of course, where we were is a very recent extension, with bi-fold doors onto the lovely terrace. This is where our elder son and daughter in law were married just two years ago.

  4. Looks as though you were “in the pink” Margaret, what pretty flowers and containers. Nice to have extended your birthday for as long as possible. I don’t know if the weather has changed for you but it’s quite chilly here today so it’s good to see the sun shining on your morning out.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, very much “in the pink”, Heather! Very pretty little flowers. I could’ve put them all in one big bowl, perhaps for a stunning effect, but instead I split them and put them around the house in different vases.
      It’s not particularly cold here (Sunday, almost 1 pm as I speak) but it looks like it might rain any moment. We need the rain, it’s not rained in ages. We’ve been tidying the garden, putting it to bed for the winter. Husband has piled all the chairs under and on top of the garden table and then put the green garden tarpaulin over it and tied it all on so that, hopefully, if we have high winds in the winter, they will be secure. And I said that little animals could shelter underneath, and he said “Do you want me to cut a small doorway in the tarpaulin for them?”

      • That last comment made me giggle!
        Talking about little animals we set up a trail camera in the garden this year. It turns out that after the sun goes down our garden becomes like Clapham Junction for lots of creatures including badgers and foxes. So no doubt your tarpaulin will be of use as a shelter too.

        • Margaret Powling

          Oh, that’s wonderful, Heather, having a trail camera in your garden! We have had badgers in our front garden, many years ago, but not since. We didn’t see them (or I should say one badger) but a neighbour saw it. We wondered what had caused all the ‘digging’, and no doubt it was the badger. I’ve asked husband to make me a little insect ‘hotel’ as they are often now marketed in the pet shops and garden centres … whether he will remains to be seen. Right now he’s repairing some old garden chairs. Or rather he will see if they are repair-able, or whether they would be more use as firewood for his brother (who has an open fire in their living room.) I think the latter, but hopefully, the former.

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