Yesterday was a bright and beautiful day, cerulean sky, warm sunshine. It couldn’t have been nicer for autumn, believe me. Husband was working with elder son on some home repairs and so I had the use of our car and drove to Waitrose for the shopping. The entrance had an attractive display of pumpkins and other decorative things for Hallowe’en (and I bought some bags of sweets for children who might knock on the door on Hallowe’en.)
Nothing on the shopping list was truly essential but as we’ve been ‘promised’ much colder weather this weekend, I like to be prepared. Call it ‘siege mentality’ if you like, but there’s nothing as reassuring as a full larder/fridge/freezer when the weather suddenly turns too cold for us to venture out. And when you are older, as we are, “too cold” can just mean a chilly wind; it doesn’t necessarily mean four feet of snow on the ground.
Our usual modus operandi when shopping is for husband to grab a trolley while I get in to the supermarket as quickly as possible to look at the flowers while he then gathers our bags and our beakers for the ‘free’ coffee. We whip around the aisles and are then off to Ilsham Valley or somewhere with our ‘free’ coffee and a sandwich A S A P. But yesterday, on my tod, I really enjoyed browsing, something I’m not in the habit of doing.
However, browsing has a sting in its tail: although I had my list, because I wasn’t paying sufficient attention to it, I forgot several things. How could I, when they were clearly printed on the list? That’ll teach me to saunter and allow my eyes to wander all over the pretty boxes of Christmas goodies, won’t it?
Once home, I put the food away and put the beef cassserole I’d made the day before into the oven to re-heat. Then I prepared some new potatoes and peas to go with it, ready to pop on to cook when husband came home. I’d had my ‘free’ coffee sitting in the sunshine in the car, with an egg & cress sandwich. After I had tidied up the kitchen I sat down and watched Escape to the Country on TV and then opened the latest Period Living magazine, which you will see spread across my knees in the photo above.
This is the first of the December magazines I have bought, and as always it just seems odd to be faced with Christmas trees when we’ve not yet had Hallowe’en. But it was ever thus, and next month, entitled the January 2019 issue, there will still be lots of Christmas items in it, I’m sure.
With the magazine there is a supplement on cosy ideas for this time of year and, not only that, a pretty calendar for next year …
I bought just one bunch of flowers as I have the pretty roses from my friend from Tuesday, and also the cyclamen in the pink lustre bowl are still looking good. I chose deep wine red roses this time and they will look even better when they open from their tight buds …
Having an afternoon in which just to sit and relax is lovely at any time of the year, but in autumn, when I switch on the lamps and have a cup of tea, coffee or even hot chocolate and a new magazine to read, it is most enjoyable. I then decided to crack open a few of our home-grown walnuts …
I’m not as good at shelling them as husband is, I tend to crack them so fiercely that they come out of their shells in tiny pieces, but they still taste good! (And that is water on the glass, by the way!)
I stocked up on fruit in the supermarket and while much of the fruit ‘lives’ in the fridge (the extra packet of tangerines, lemons, pears, apples, strawberries and raspberries) I put some of the fruit into a bowl in the kitchen, and I suddenly thought how pretty just an ordinary bowl of fruit can look, almost like a 17th century Dutch interiors painting …
Today, we drove to Totnes and visited Morrisons supermarket to buy the items which I’d overlooked yesterday. The weather was fine but much colder than yesterday, and when we came out of the supermarket we decided – instead of going for a walk, as planned – to drive back via the little Devonshire village of Berry Pomeroy (best known for it’s ruined castle, said to be one of the most haunted in the country) and go to Otter Garden Centre for hot chocolate. I took the photos below (through the car windscreen, hence some reflections on the glass) of the road from Totnes to Berry Pomeroy.
At Otter Garden Centre we made our way to the cafe where we had scones and hot chocolate. I have to say the hot chocolate was very sweet, rather too sweet for us. I must remember next time to have coffee or tea!
We had a quick look at the plants, although we weren’t intending buying any today. Although I’m not keen on what I tend to call ‘knick-knackery’ I thought the display of robins rather attractive, even though you’d not find me buying anything like this for our garden or Christmas tree.
I wont show you the Christmas Reindeer that are back this year for a repeat performance (they are ‘singing’ reindeer and really they can’t help but bring a smile to your face) or the shop which has now been decked out with Christmas trees and fairy lights – I think it’s a bit premature for such things, but no doubt they have to do what they can to bring the customers in. Even the Christmas Tree farm nearby has now opened up with a Grotto and Christmas shop. Instead, I will leave you with this lovely display of winter-flowering shrubs …
I hope you have a lovely weekend wherever you are.
Until next time.