Not a very inspired title to this post, I’m afraid, so let’s hope the content is an improvement!
First of all, a map of much of Torquay (one of the three towns which make up the Borough of Torbay, along with Paignton and Brixham) to help those not familiar with this area see just how much shoreline we have.
On Saturday morning we called in at Waitrose on our way to the Headland Hotel. Husband and I both thought we’d like to go over there at much the same time – believe me, the times when we think the same things, or are about to say the same things, are more than uncanny. But after being together since 1962 perhaps this isn’t so unusual. In Waitrose we bought chocolates for our elder son’s birthday on Sunday (we gave him wine as well, plus money for new golf shoes and towards a mini-break for them in Cornwall later this month), a few groceries and our free newspaper, and then we drove on to the Headland Hotel.
By now it was after 11 o’clock and this hotel doesn’t serve breakfast food after 11 o’clock and doesn’t start serving lunch dishes until after midday. Therefore there is a one-hour gap when you aren’t able to purchase food (unlike the sister hotel in Paignton – the Palace – which serves sandwiches all day, but then there is little to no passing trade at the Headland, unlike the Palace Hotel.)
So I asked the barista if she would kindly ask the kitchen staff if they wouldn’t mind toasting us a teacake each which we’d like with jam and a pot of tea for two? And before long this arrived. I do think much depends on how you ask people. I understand why they have this hour free of cooking; they do need some time to clear up after breakfast and prep for lunch. Anyway, we had lovely toasted teacakes and a pot of tea. We must bear in mind now to arrive before 11 am or after 12 noon (or go to Avon Mill Garden Centre which offers a delicious menu for brunch at the weekend.)
Unable to find any flowers that appealed to me in Waitrose I suggested to husband that we pop into Tesco (one of their smaller convenience stores, not a large supermarket) on the way home, and I was glad I had because I found a gorgeous bunch of autumn-coloured flowers: chrysanthemums, gerberas and a single rose. I don’t usually buy mixed floral bunches, but his one was so fresh and the colours so perfect for autumn I decided to buy it.
I don’t know why, but all my cameras have struggled with the colour red, and this photo is no exception. The colours are much more russet than bright red, I’d not have bought flowers that screamed brilliant red as these appear to do.
My plan was to break the flowers down into sprigs and put them in the copper lustre jugs on the mantelpiece, but when I saw them in this glass jug (in which I put them so they could have a good drink) I thought no, I would keep them as they are. However, yesterday, while husband had a hospital appointment (I left him at the hospital as parking there is nigh on impossible at 3 pm in the afternoon) and I drove the short distance to Lidl, where he said he’d find our car/me in the car park afterwards. I looked at Lidl’s flowers and bought just one bunch of salmon pink roses, just £1.89 for eleven blooms. Now that is a bargain to me. And so I have put these in two copper lustre jugs, with a little extra greenery.
For much of the weekend both husband and I were glued to the TV coverage of the Ryder Cup and I’m delighted that the European team won.
Not only that, Sergio Garcia (far left) has now scored the most points in Ryder cup competitions. Next to him above (left to right) are Ian Poulter, Tommy Fleetwood (who won 4 out of his five games) and Justin Rose.
Their (non playing) Captain, Thomas Bjorn receiving the trophy from the French Sports’ Minister, with N. Ireland’s Rory McIlroy looking on.
A very happy winning team, just after the prize giving
(photos from the TV)
And now to a few other hings …
Today, there is an article in the paper which states that pigeons are more intelligent than dogs. Yes, the humble pigeon is in the A stream while our pooches need some extra coaching. You’d not have thought this if you’d seen a pigeon’s nest that collapsed onto our lawn a couple of years ago. It was a pathetic construction, twigs all higgledy piggledy, it wouldn’t have held a sparrow let alone a family of pigeons. I know they only have their beaks to build with, but other birds somehow construct nests of a much better quality, conforming to bird nest-building standards. But then, when you think of it, homing pigeons must be quite clever to find their way home, often released hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. And, of course, pigeons were used as ‘carrier’ pigeons in the two world wars.
Right now we have a pigeon who is eating the berries on the pyracantha which grows at the side of our house. It is very prickly, so he must take great care how he lands on it!
I have booked for us to see the film The Wife (starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce) at Dartington’s Barn Cinema on Friday afternoon. Oh, I love a matinee at this little cinema. I’ve heard great things of this film and even that Ms Close might, at long last, be in line for an Oscar for her performance. The film is from the book …
… which I’ve photographed on its side, to make reading the title and author more easy. I’m trying to read it before we see the film but somehow I’m not really enjoying it, although the clips I’ve seen from the film are more enticing. So I’m debating whether to stop reading and just enjoy the film.
Last night I started reading the second of the two books I bought a week or so ago, thrillers set in Venice. I loved the first one and am now enjoying the second one. Each story features a young honorary consul (and his bad-tempered cat!) who somehow manage to get involved in crimes … the first story was about art theft and it also had a good smattering of music and food in it as well as descriptions of art. You could say it was right up my calle.
And now to food …
Today I made French Onion soup for our lunch, but I didn’t take any photos (too busy making it and eating it!) I made croutons from toasted baguette with Gruyere cheese melted on top (the photo below was taken at least a year or so ago, but it looked much the same today.)
I also made an apple pie. Not made one for years – yes, lots of baked apples, apple crumble, and toffee apple cake, but not an apple pie. It was very tasty and I made custard to go with it.
Mind you, there was a complaint … husband said he preferred thicker pastry! Most people say they want crisp, thin pastry (which this was) but no, Sir wants thicker, softer pastry. So I’ve promised I will make another pie and make softer, thicker pastry just for him! But believe me, it was good even though I say so myself (you can see the custard was hot, it’s steaming in the glass jug.)
And finally, the walnuts are still falling from the tree and husband is still collecting them and we’re drying them on the windowsill in the sitting room. As soon as they are sufficiently dry, they will be transferred to a large wicker basket so at least they will look more presentable than on newsprint.
And the small pink cyclamen plants I bought a week or two ago are looking pretty:
And now to make supper. Not sure what yet, but I will go to the fridge and seek inspiration! I sort-of envy those well-oranized people who meal-plan for the week. I sometimes did this when we had our sons at home, but now we tend to eat what we feel like eating on the day. It works for us.
Until next time.