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Success (of a kind) and scarves (or rather, a scarf)

I know, I know … I said I wouldn’t open an Instagram account … well, we can always change our minds, can’t we?

I opened an account simply because I love looking at others’ Instagram photos but have been unable to add comments.

Thus, I opened an account and then found I wasn’t able to post photos simply because I haven’t joined the 21st century, i.e. I don’t own a smart phone or use a laptop or iPad.  My dear friend-across-the-road even came to assist me yesterday (but it was also an excuse for tea and cake and a good chat!) and even she wasn’t able to work out how I might download photos.  Never mind, I thought, I can still post comments on others’ pictures.

And then this morning another friend who has her own blog and an Instagram account told me of a system whereby I could post photos from my camera to my PC.  I use a large tower-system PC simply because I have a lot of work stored on it. My computer guru tells me a laptop or iPad just wouldn’t cope with the volume of information I have stored (and yes, I do have backup.) Anyway, I thought I’d have a go and lo! and behold, I’ve managed to download five photos and even posted comments.  Let it be known that silver surfers are alive and well and one of them is living in Devon!

No doubt you’ve seen the above photos on my blog, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is I’ve managed to achieve something technical on my own, without the aid (i.e. confusion!) of a difficult-to-understand manual! Oh, how I detest manuals, I just want things to work!

So, above are the fruits of my first Instagram photo download efforts.  Drum roll! Ta-da!

Right, next up, the second part of my title today, Success (i.e. Instagram), which is Scarves.  Or in this case, just one scarf …

My Joules silk square arrived this morning.  Not quite Jaeger or Hermes, but good-for-the-price, especially as I ordered it when there was a 20% offer off the price.  Strangely enough, it goes rather well with my red jumper, the ocrhe jumper, and the cream jumper.  There is only a little ocrhe in the scarf, but as it’s definitely there and it picks up the colour in the ochre jumper, and I think it will look good with indigo jeans and my new quilted coat (or my navy winter coat.)

In order to rest your eyes after such brilliant hues, the paperwhites have opened still further today.  They are so pretty that I now wish I’d bought more bulbs and planted them at 2-weekly intervals. Still, it’s not too late to nip to the garden centre and get some more.  Must make a note to do this.

It doesn’t seem possible that it is six months since I engaged Oven Kleen to come and clean my Neff double oven, but it is.  I use the oven on a daily basis, I wipe it out after usage, but after six months it really needs a good going over.  Yes, I could do this myself and save the money, but I could never in a zillion years get it as clean as the gentleman from Oven Kleen manages to get my 18 year old oven.  When finished it looks like a brand new oven.



It’s a large oven and I tend to use the top oven (both ovens have grills) as a warming oven for plates for much of the time.  I don’t have a microwave, I’ve never found one necessary.

On Saturday, so that we’d have some home-made cake for the weekend – I’ve not baked for ages – I made an all-in-one recipe for a light fruit cake. I’ve mentioned this cake before, the recipe was from an advertisement  for Stork Margarine from the early 1970s, but it works a treat every time.


All-in-one Fruit Cake

Using a 2lb loaf tin, greased and lined (I use a loaf tin liner)


4 oz margarine

4 oz caster sugar

2 medium eggs

8 oz self-raising flour plus 1 level teaspoon of mixed spice (or cinnamon) sieved together

12 oz mixed fruit (I use sultanas, raisins, glace cherries – washed, dried and halved – and some candied peel)

¼ pt milk less 2 tablespoons (i.e. a scant ¼ pt)  (If the mixture is a bit too sloppy, just add a little extra flour.)

Optional:  some walnut halves to put on top, also a teaspoon of cinnamon and some grated nutmeg in the mixture.


Put all the above ingredients (but not the walnuts)  in a large mixing bowl and beat together until well mixed.

Put mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake at 160C electric for approximately one and a quarter hours, but check before this time (test with a skewer – if it comes out clean, the cake is done.)  Cool in the tin.  Best to leave – if you can – until quite cold before cutting.

And finally, we are now well into soup weather.  I made leek & potato soup yesterday and we finished if off today. So easy to make: just a chopped onion, sauteed, three small potatoes peeled and chopped, one large leek, topped and tailed and then sliced, sufficient boiling water to cover, 3 veggie Oxo cubes crumbled into the mixture, and then simmered for 20 minutes. Then blitz’d and a little cream added, and topped with parsley before serving (never serve ‘white’ food without some greenery.)  Season to taste but I find this soup seldom needs any extra seasoning as Oxo cubes have sufficient salt in them.


Just a nice simple meal for Saturday lunch time.  Well, any lunch time!

Until next time.



About Margaret

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. Welcome to the world of Instagram Margaret, it really is so easy and fun to use.
    I love your scarves, with the several colours they would go with many a different outfit.
    Your cake looks delicious Margaret, if we lived nearer my husband would be around in a flash for a slice.

    • Forgot to say, how do you wear your scarves? I know there are several variations in how they are tied or placed around the neck.

      • I tend just to tie scarves very loosely around my neck. There are so many ways of wearing scarves, but most of the variations require longer scarves than this one. It’s actually smaller than the large Jaeger silk scarf I have, so I won’t be able to do much with it. I think it will be folded into a triangle and that put at the front, the ends then brought around and tied under or over the triangle. But I still think loosely tied and perhaps just to one side, is the most elegant way to wear a scarf.

    • Thank you for being so helpful, Marlene, pointing me in the right Instagram direction! I will have to find some interesting photos – even old ones – to post.
      The new scarf is really nice and colourful, I’m quite pleased with it. I don’t think I will be going out tomorrow, but next time I go out I think I will be wearing it!
      Yes, I gave some of the cake to my friend who called yesterday, for her husband and daughter to try. It’s such an easy recipe. I love it as you don’t need to cream this or blend that. Just give all the ingredients a good stir and then put it into the tin, voila!

  2. I’m so impressed with your new Instagram account!! I only have 1 picture and somehow have 2 accounts, plus – embarrassing – I’m not always sure how to access them both to sort things out. And, love your new scarf, too.

    • I put up five photos today on Instagram, one after the other, Ratnamurti, just to give myself practice – I wasn’t trying to “show off”, believe me! I knew if I left it at just one photo, I’d have forgotten how to do it by tomorrow – and I still might have forgotten by tomorrow, knowing my lack of skills with such things!
      Glad you like my new scarf. I will have to wear it soon, I love a new item, even if only a scarf or piece of costume jewellery such as a cheapie bead necklace – I bought a few of those in the charity shop a couple of years ago, around about £2 – £3 each, not valuable, just fun pieces.

  3. I will head over now and look at your Instagram photos, well done, that’s excellent.
    My, your oven looks good, could I ask about how much it costs?
    I am wondering if there is such a service over here in the US, I will try to find out, my oven needs a jolly good cleaning and I have been putting it off.
    The scarves are lovely, I have a lot collected over the years, you have encouraged me to start wearing them.
    Hope you are feeling better and your results of your examination arrive soon.
    Pam in YX.x

    • Hello, Pam. I don’t mind at all you asking me about the cost of having the oven cleaned. It costs £65 for a double oven, mo idea how that translate into dollars. The oven cleaner is here for approximately 2 hours cleaning it, much of the work is carried out in his van outside (well, it wouldn’t be inside, would it!) and no chemicals are involved. He is a very neat and tidy workman, too, quiet, polite, efficient, all the things you want in someone working for you.
      I think I made the error of showing my scarf as a collage with three jumpers – it is only one new scarf, Pam, but it ‘goes’ with many things.
      Thank you for your good wishes, I am feeling better.

  4. Well done on creating your Instagram account ! Very clever of you to work it all out. Thee are a few Instagram accounts I like to check from time to time but I’d have no idea how to create one….. YOur new scarf is very pretty and matches your new jumpers very well. Please include a photo of yourself wearing one of your new jumper, new scarf and new quilted jacket combo. I’m wearing a T-shirt and shorts with the ceiling fans blowing a cool breeze over me – the thought of being somewhere cool enough to need a jumper and scarf fills me with envy ! ….. Your fruit cake looks very tempting. I had planned to bake banana bread today but ran out of time. I’ll do so tomorrow. It’s just a packet mix – trying to bake gluten free goods from scratch hasn’t been successful in the past whereas the packet mix I use is failsafe. Mind you, I only eat one or two slices and my (non gluten-free) husband sniffles the rest but it’s nice to have some5ing I can enjoy with a cup of tea. Homemade anything is always lovely 🙂

    • Margaret Powling

      I still haven’t been able to work out some things, Lara, on Instagram; someone has asked to have a request to become a Follower and I don’t know how to do that, but I’ve no doubt someone will tell me.
      I guess I will look like a woman-mountain once I put on a jumper and my new quilted coat! But hey, it will keep me snug in the winter! Strange to think of you in T-shirt and shorts with a ceiling fan blowing while we have central heating on, but that’s the way of the world.
      I hope your gluten-free cake is better than the gluten-free bread used for the sandwich we once bought in Waitrose. It was truly awful! But if needs must, then that is what you must have. Best of luck with the banana bread!

      • I really don’t think you’ll look anything at all like a woman-mountain Margaret, you look so slim in the photo of you in your new red jumper. Whereas I, well I’ve got more than a few pounds to lose. Must get a grip and make more of an effort!

  5. I’ve started following you on Instagram, Mrs Powling, and I even commented on couple of your photos. My Instagram id ( is that what it’s called? ) is perfect picture 21. I think it’s a platform which is just right for someone like you who takes such wonderful pictures and also, whose pictures are often very descriptive. I have never posted anything so far but love following all my favourite people 😊

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Kavitha, for following me on my Instagram page! That is lovely to hear. I wasn’t sure whether to have an Instagram account and my computer man kept suggesting it to me, so in the end I thought, why not? Perhaps you will soon post some photos yourself, Kavitha, that would be lovely to see, but thank you for your very kind comments, I’m delighted you like seeing my photos.

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