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A Day at Home

There is nothing I like better than a day at home.  Of course, I don’t enjoy it quite so much after several days at home, by which time I have cabin fever and can’t wait to breath fresh sea air, but after days of going hither and thither (even if only to the supermarket or for  fish & chips at the golf club) it’s nice to be at home.

However … the day didn’t start too well as we didn’t wake up until well gone nine o’clock this morning.  No, the time police won’t prosecute us, but such a late start made both of us feel spaced out, a bit dozy.

By the time we had both showered, dressed, and so forth, it was gone eleven o’clock by the time I was clearing up the breakfast things.  I then listened to Prime Minister’s Questions from Parliament at midday (yet more Brexit discussion!) after which I made tomato and courgette soup for a very late lunch.  It’s such an easy recipe – just 2 or 3 very large tomatoes (or several smaller ones), 1 quite large courgette, 1 large onion, 1 shallot (simply as I had some shallots), 3 or 4 veggie Oxo cubes, fresh or dried Basil, boiling water, and some creme fraiche or cream (and a pinch of sugar to remove the excess acidity.)

To go with the soup I made croutons (a small dish of these each), grated some Cheddar cheese, and cut up some granary bread. I actually used the crusts of the loaf as husband particularly enjoys the crusts in his soup.  I swished in some cream before serving and added some fresh Basil leaves, too.  After this we were quite full, so just had a clementine each.

(I should add here that husband was busy all morning in the garden, on leaf-clearing duty.  He goes over the leaves with the mower – he can even do this on a gravel path – which cuts up the leaves which then go into the grass box on the mower. Husband them empties the grass box into black waste bags ready to take to the tip (sorry, re-cycling centre.)  He took a car-load of bags today and just happened to arrive when he was first in the queue for the green waste section and thus was back home within 20 minutes.  There are still loads of leaves to come off the tree but it would simply not be possible in such a small garden to leave all the leaves until they’d stopped falling, there would be just too many, we’d not be able to open the back door for the leaf mountain!)

I really should have been doing some writing today (deadline Monday) but experience has taught me that I can’t do writing when I feel dozy, it just doesn’t work. I need a clear head for writing work. So I left that and ‘did’ the flowers I bought in Lidl on Monday – I’m ashamed to say they were still in their cellophane wrapping in a jug of water in the kitchen.  But they now look pretty in the sitting room:  two colours of roses, one jugful of plain pink ones and the other which are pink edged with a darker pink.


This afternoon I watched I Escaped to the Country which is about couples who actually bought one of the homes shown to them on this programme.  I liked both houses that the two owners had bought, but definitely preferred how the second house, a Regency coach house, had originally been decorated and furnished. The new people had ripped out what I thought had been a delightful kitchen in order to put in a stark white modern one (which, being so modern, will look passe sooner than something a little more traditional.)  By the time ‘modern’ is in the shops, the designers are already onto the next big thing, believe me.

Once I Escaped to the Country was over I returned to the kitchen to fill the dishwasher after which I cleaned the worktops with a new product … new to me, I mean, from Waitrose. It was only £1.99, much less expensive than my sending for the product I had previously been using and paying postage, too.

On the way home last week, this product had leaked but, fortuantely, hadn’t ruined any food, thank goodness.  I blame You Know Who who had packed the groceries – I always try and keep such things as washing up liquid, bleach and cleaning products UPRIGHT, but of course, men don’t think like that – they chuck such things into the bags willy-nilly, just glad that the shopping trip is almost over!  (But at last the chap here is learning to put all the freezer/chiller things in one of the trolley bags so that I can decant them to the chiller bag once we get back to the car.)

I don’t know what the white mark on the tile is because the tiles are clean – perhaps a reflection from something?  Anyway, this is the Waitroce ECOlogical Multi Purpose Cleaner, and it is scented with grapefruit and eucalyptus and smells just that bit different from the usual products which  tend to be orange, lemon or pine.  The cups were already out – I didn’t put them there specially – as the kettle was on the boil for a cup of tea.  But I’ve just notice that they ‘go’ with the biscuit tins. This is certainly more luck than judgment!

I hope you’ve had a good day or are still having a good day, whether at home, at work or away.

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. I haven’t used that cleaner but I did try the liquid wash in the same range when it was new on the market and reduced and it smelt really lovely and fresh. I use wash tablets in the machine but I keep a small bottle of liquid wash for when I have just one article of clothing or something I’m not sure of. I used to handwash the cat’s blanket because there was no way on earth that hairy object was going in my washing machine – the blanket, not the cat 😉

    I like the roses with the pink edge.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, I use dishwasher tablets in the dishwasher – I use those from Lidl and sometimes Astonish tabs from The Range, less expensive than Finish but they give just a good a result. I use liquid detergent from Lidl for the washing machine, one for coloured items, one for white items, and this, too, gives excellent results. I think your cat would object to being put in the washing machine, Alison!
      Yes, I like the pink-edged roses the best, they are really pretty.

  2. Hello Margaret,
    It is easier to get cabin fever this time of year if your stuck in when the weather is not good, even if you just go for a coffee somewhere its a break from the norm. I haven’t made soup for a while and really fancy some.
    The cups and saucers and cake tins are a good match, really pretty.

    • Margaret Powling

      Go on, Marlene, make some soup! I actually love chopping veg for soup, I find it relaxing. You don’t have really to think hard about making soup (only taking care not to slice one’s fingers, of course!) I wonder what soup you will make? We have lots of the tomato & courgette soup from yesterday and we’ll have that for lunch later on. Yes, the cups and saucers and the tins do go well together, I use them for biscuits. There is an even small blue tin but that one just doesn’t seem to go with the other two.

  3. Those cups and saucers are very pretty. I recently went to a cafe with friends and was delighted to see they served tea in beautiful teacups and matching saucers. Whilst each cup had its matching saucer, the patrons at each table were served different pieces. Mugs were available for hot chocolates. I had a cheese scone and slathered it with butter. The cheese was throughout the scone, as it should be, and was delicious. I have a lovely teacup and saucer which belonged to my late grandmother and which I drank from at her home but I never use it these days. I would be too upset if it chipped or broke so it sits on an open shelf where I can see it. These days I drink my tea (rooibos this morning) from a china mug given to me a few years ago from my best friend’s mother. It was a lovely and unexpected gift and I think of her each time I use it. The best type of gift, I think 🙂

    We have Aldi in Australia, like your Lidl, and their dishwasher tablets were rated as number 1 (out of many many brands) by an Australian independent consumer organisation (called ‘Choice’). Their tablets are a fraction of the price of the leading brands (such as Finish, Fairy, etc) and produce a good result everytime. The flap on the powder compartment in the door of our dishwasher broke several years ago and the quoted price to have it fixed was ridiculous so I simply changed to using the tablets. After years of using the premium (ie expensive) tablets I switched to the Aldi brand and haven’t looked back, as they say. A boring topic, I know, but one of life’s necessities :):):)

  4. Margaret, those Lidl roses are very attractive. If I was nearer to a Lidl I would buy their flowers as they are fresher and last longer than other supermarket type flowers and they are a better price too, so a good value purchase.
    The mornings have been quite dull and dark this week, no wonder you woke up later than usual.
    I had to get some help in to start picking up our leaves this week and if it stays fairly dry we can get our new and very cheap sucker and blower to finish the task, noisy but does the job! Luckily we can compost ours at home but it’s good to have the composting facilities at the local tip too. Does yours re-sell compost when they’ve done it?
    We were at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire yesterday, we spotted an unusual tree with what looked like conkers, as I approached to read the label I got showered in them! Anyway it was a Chinese Horse Chestnut and we’re going to try and grow some of the seeds. Nice to discover new things.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, Lidl really do offer value-for-money with their flowers. I’m not keen on the mixed bunches of luridly-coloured blooms but the roses and spray carnations are lovely.
      We had one of those sucker-uppers but it was too heavy and too noisy. Now we find the mower does the job just as well, it doesn’t cut the grass if you set it high enough, and cuts up all the leaves so they take less space in the black waste bags.
      I’ve no idea whether the tip re-sells the compost, I haven’t heard of them doing this.
      Oh, I’d love to go to Mottisfont when the roses are out … I once heard of this lovely garden in a novel, of all places! But I’ve not heard of a Chinese Horse Chestnut, so I will now have to look-this-up!

  5. Don’t want to be a party pooper Margaret, but Alison’s details are appearing on both of your latest articles. No need to respond unless needed.

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, dear, Heather … I thought this had all ceased. I’m afraid this is beyond me, I can’t see it, I’ve told my webmaster (my last bill was 75$ to sort things out) and I phoned Blue Host at the beginning of all this and they couldn’t do anything, either. It’s so annoying, I really hate things not being right, but I don’t know what else I can do.

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