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Joining Up!

Before I explain further the title, Joining Up, I will mention the last few days.  Well, there’s not a lot to mention, really.  We visited the garden centre on Friday and didn’t go out at all on Saturday or Sunday and then, yesterday, Monday, we spent time in the garden on leaf-sweeping duty.  Yes, it does seem a bit pointless sweeping up leaves from the lawn in our small back garden, especially as there are thousands more leaves still to fall, but it’s lovely to clear them and have a reasonably tidy garden if only for a few days.  I know we mustn’t clear up too much; it’s good for wildlife to have little piles of leaves in which to curl up and keep warm, and we do leave some small areas untended, just in case toads or hedghogs decide to pay us a visit.

Husband has a good way of clearing the leaves.  He does it with the lawn mower which shreds them up, they go into the box on the mower and so they take up less space, finely chopped up, in the black waste bags which he then empties at the tip (sorry, the re-cycling centre) in the ‘green waste’ area.  Meanwhile, I sweep the paths, behind the summerhouse, on the terrace, and behind the garden pots.

Then, we stop for tea and chocolate digestives (photo, top.)

Breakfasts are usually simple affairs during the week, but on Saturday I made a cooked breakfast for us, starting with fruit and then egg and bacon – just egg and bacon on toast, nothing more – no mushrooms, no tomatoes, and certainly no baked beans (would I serve baked beans?  This is not a ‘greasy spoon’, ha ha!)

I really don’t know what we’ve done other than the leaf-sweeping and some housekeeping, and ironing.  Yesterday, I cooked the Gressingham Poussin, spatchcock style, which I bought in Waitrose, and it was very nice and I would certainly buy it again.  I served it with small roast potatoes and sliced leeks & courgettes  in a cheese sauce.

The roses which my friend gave me a week ago today are still looking lovely …

This is just one of the two copper lustre jugs on the mantelpiece in the sitting room

And so to the title, Joining Up!

No, I’ve not gone into uniform but we decided to join the local golf club as social members.  Our son is currently a full member and many years ago – I’m talking more than half a century ago – my parents were members and I was a junior member.

It felt strange walking into the clubhouse where I’d not been since the early 1960s, and where on a Tuesday afternoon I would often go, after I’d returned home from school, to meet my mother as she came off the course on what is traditionally Ladies Day, and have afternoon tea with her and some of her golfing pals on the veranda.

In those days the veranda (not an open veranda, but more a conservatory veranda) was filled with Lloyd loom tables and chairs, I don’t think it could’ve changed much since the 1920s.  Today, the area is totally different, with a new (well, new to me) bar, and a large open-plan area with tables for morning coffee, lunch, etc.

I rather stupidly didn’t take a photo looking out from this large room through the windows to the course, but next time I go I will try and remember to do this.

We chose a table close to one of the large ‘picture’ windows and the view out took me back those 60 years in a trice.  A grass cutter was out on the course, as it often was in those dim and distant days, and the scent of cut grass almost brought tears to my eyes, not because of the pollen but the happy memories of those times spent there with my parents so long ago. (I once recall a glider coming down on the first fairway, en emergency landing, the pilot then packing the plane up and a lorry coming to take it away!)

This is the view looking down the 1st fairway.  In the foreground there is a practice putting green.

Looking to our right, some chaps are about to tee-off from the first tee, which is just beyond where they are standing.

And back inside the clubhouse, this is the bar.

The view from where we were sitting … on the left a serve-yourself coffee machine, although we ordered coffee and had a pot instead of just a cup from the machine, and also, there is a serve-yourself electrically-heated cauldron with hot soup, with nearby, a basket of rolls. Today the soup was spicy tomato.

What a great place to go and spend an hour or so, relaxing, watching players, reading the paper, and having a bowl of hot soup in the winter or a cool drink in the summer.  And there is a Sunday lunch carvery and also a carvery on a Wednesday evening.

And this was the lovely cake we enjoyed …

Husband had a banana and walnut cake, I had coffee and walnut cake – both slices were delicious (and very large!)

We had parked our car in Cary Park, and had walked to and from the golf club.   I have always loved Cary Park. It is where, again when I was young, I used to play tennis in the public courts which are now all-weather courts.

The tennis courts are immediately behind the hedge on the right.

We drove from here to Wellswood via what we call ‘the back road’ which brings us down a hilly road to Wellswood village, but before you arrive in the village area, you catch a glimpse of the sea – I was a bit late getting my camera out, so the view isn’t as good as it might otherwise have been …

And then at the bottom of this hill, you turn right and carry on down to Torquay sea front, through Wellswood, where the trees are now losing their leaves …

And so we have ‘joined up’ … I think that a very profitable morning’s work! And, believe me, social membership is very inexpensive.

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. Looks like a lovely way to spend an afternoon Margaret, lets hope your husband doesn’t buy you golf clubs for Christmas!

    • Oh, perish the thought, Marlene. I could swing a club quite well when I was young, but not any more! I will be quite happy to sit in the clubhouse with a cup of coffee and a slice of that lovely cake!

  2. Sweeping leaves is good exercise and can be a good workout if you put your back into it. I used to have a large jacaranda tree – in the backyard of my previous home – which was forever dropping. Either leaves, flowers or stems. During its peak times I could easily spend an hour sweeping each weekend. At first I thought it a chore but then I realised I liked that I could easily see the effects of my labours and I was using muscles not normally used ! Talk about being a Pollyanna 😃 Jacaranda trees are beautiful but I wouldn’t wish for another….. As always your table is laid beautifully….. The interiors of your golf club look very inviting. Those pieces of cake were very large, perhaps designed to give the golfers energy to make it around the course ? Our house isn’t far from a golf course and I see people playing in all weather conditions – pouring rain, blazing sun, etc and think they must be mad or devoted. My uncle is a golf fanatic and since retired will not rise early for anything – except golf. He will play in any weather conditions and during one visit with us he played everyday for five days. He declared it the best holiday ever…. Your roses have kept well.

    • Yes, I enjoyed the exercise as well as the sweeping, Lara. I didn’t have to think about it, and the leaves from the walnut tree have a lovely scent, very aromatic.
      We were quite surprised by the size of the slices of cake in the golf club! A friend has emailed to say (she is a social member) that they sometimes buy some and bring it home for their tea!
      My goodness, your uncle is a golfing fanatic, playing every day for five days! Even our son wouldn’t do that, I don’t think!

  3. Joining up. Sounds like a good idea for both of you Margaret, somewhere nice to go and relax. Often golf clubs do good catering don’t they? We’ve used some in Scotland, I’ve sampled a meal at a coastal club in Northumbria and I must try out our local club as I hear it does a good Sunday lunch. All this and I’m not a player! Hope you enjoy your social membership, especially if it brings back happy memories.

    • I did play a little when I was young, or at least I was taught how to play and I know the basic rules of the game, etc, and know the difference between a driver and a wedge. But now we’ll just be social members, sit there and watch others play and have a cup of tea!

  4. Golf has never interested me but I have a friend who is, by all accounts, pretty good. The golf club about five miles away offers great food at its not particularly expensive. It also has a very pretty garden area just off the bar so it’s lovely for late afternoon/ early evening in the summer. I try not to go out once the nights draw in if I can help it. I think I have two personas -a summer one and a winter one!
    Your breakfasts always look so good. Mine are very simple -porridge and fruit. I did cook a brunch the other day (and included beans as I had little people who like them) but I only eat the on toast (i.e. Beans, not little people)! I think it’s easier to cook a roast dinner than a ‘Full English’. I never manage to get the timings to all come together.

    • I do love the game of golf now, but I didn’t when I learned how to play, aged about 12. I had lessons with the professional at the club and I was told I had a naturally good swing, but at 12 I preferred the faster game of tennis. Sadly, there isn’t a nice garden area just outside the club, but a terrace overlooking the first tee and the 18th green (they aren’t too far apart) but somewhere nice to sit in summer. I have been told we will receive a ‘pack’ and I expect that might say what and where we can go as ‘social’ members.
      Like you, we don’t venture out once the nights draw in; indeed, we seldom go out in summer evenings now.
      We have porridge during the week, Eloise, but I pushed the culinary boat out at the weekend. I like to keep my hand in; prove to myself I can still do a good breakfast, have it all timed correctly, the table laid, coffee or tea ready, toast made, fruit or cereal or yoghurt to have as a starter and then egg and bacon, or mushrooms on toast or something like that to follow. Yes, timing is key with a good breakfast, we don’t want cold plates or burnt toast!
      I will cook beans if grandson is here and would like them – he used to but then went off them! But I don’t put them on a cooked breakfast. We have had them in mini-ramekins on the plates in some B&B establishments, but I just don’t want them with a cooked breakfast.

  5. Social members, that is so clever. My grandparents lived for golf. Grandad, in the 1960s, wore a golf cap and plus fours, long socks, and a tweed jacket. Almost everywhere. Nanna made herself something that Mary Quant would have been impressed with, back-in-the-day: fitted shorts, more like cloth tights-to-the-knee, except not tight fitting, more form fitting. With a piece of cloth in front and also one behind, so that it looked like a skirt, but when she moved, all of the shorts showed. I loved them.

    • How clever of your Nana to make that shorts/skirt outfit! Mum had a golf skirt made for her by a local tailor. It was almost like a wrap skirt, but the pleat was fixed at the side, so that when she swung her golf club, it allowed a bit more space than the fashionable pencil skirt of the day. Your Grandfather would’ve looked very smart in plus fours with long socks!

  6. I can imagine how nostalgic the visit to the golf club must have been for you and now you have somewhere else to visit on your outings. I should think even in the depths of winter it will be lovely to sit and look out, or as you say, sit and relax and read the paper. We rarely go out in the evenings, only if it’s really necessary. I look forward to relaxing in the evenings and the older I get I look forwards even more to going to bed. Rest for the weary bones at last!

    • Yes, we look forward to going to bed to rest and read, too! Sometimes we’ll say, “But it’s only just gone eight, is it too early yet to go to bed?” Yes, we will now have another nice place to visit for coffee or lunch (they do light lunches, sandwiches and so forth) and it’s not far from some of the shops we sometimes visit, also our dental surgery.

  7. So good to see a lovely cooked breakfast without the dreaded baked beans 😉 I can only manage them if they are in a separate dish but I don’t actually want them at all with breakfast.

    I hope you enjoy your membership. I’m sure it’s just how I was brought up but I would never have the courage to go to a golf club, in my mind it’s too “posh” for someone like me. Although the cake did look good, if only they would leave out those pesky nuts….

    • Yes, the Dreaded Bakes Beans! You have it there. Now, I don’t mind them as a supper dish, on toast, as a meal in itself. Beans are nourishing, after all. But never on the breakfast plate. In my writing days I sometimes reviewed hotels and you never found baked beans on breakfast plates in the higher-end hotels. Similarly, although husband likes them, I seldom serve tinned plum tomatoes on our breakfast, always fresh tomatoes (grilled, often with a sprinkle of dried Basil).
      No, the golf club of today isn’t ‘posh’ at all. Of course, some clubs are, but not Torquay Golf Club (established 1909). Perhaps they had a cake without nuts? I don’t know. But they were very delicious slices of cake nonetheless.
      Now, you mustn’t think that places are too posh for someone like you! You are just as good as anyone else, and if you can afford membership – and as a social member, this is £45 a year, far less than a gym! – I am sure a golf club would welcome you as a social member. Sometimes you have to get someone to ‘propose’ you, but this isn’t always necessary, and as membership of golf clubs is falling, most of the old ones dying off and not being replaced by younger ones, newcomers are welcome. Well, at least at our golf club. I’m sure a lot of people are put off by thinking somewhere is too posh for them. We had friends who were even nervous of going into a hotel for a cup of coffee rather than a cafe. My husband once went on a business trip – many years ago when he was young -the older person with him said that hotels were often the best value for coffee or tea, and you had good service and a pleasant atmosphere, and he was right (if the hotel is open, of course, to non-residents.) He said it might be a shilling or two more (this was pre-decimal days) but it was worth it. My husband has never forgotten that very good advice.

  8. How lovely is that? I am sure you will get so much enjoyment out of it all and the photos are lovely.

    • Thank you, Joy! Already I am being inundated (well, perhaps that’s not a good choice of words, ‘several’ would be kinder!) with emails from the golf club about all their Christmas events, none of which we will be attending. They are, I am sure, really for playing members and we’re not golfing fanatics, we just wish to support the club and also enjoy having coffee or lunch there on occasion, especially when we are in that area.

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