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Champagne & Beer

The ‘champagne’ of the title of this post is not the effervescent kind, I’m sorry to say, but the colour of our bathroom suite.  I thought, as I showed photos of our small shower room yesterday, I’d show you our small bathroom upstairs.  I’m sure lots of people would go ‘yuk’ and rip it all out and install a pristine white suite, and yes, that would be nice, but to us it would be extremely wasteful.

The main reason it would be wasteful is that I’ve not had a bath since 2004!  No, I’m not stinky-poo; I shower twice a day, morning and night.  With arthritis in my hips, I can’t bend to get in and out of a bath.  Yes, I could have one of those contraptions to lower and raise me into the water, but really, that would just make me feel ‘disabled’ and, in any case, I love to shower.  So our bath is actually redundant.  We keep it there for/if we have guests.

What I like, too, about our small shower room (above) is that I can ring the colour changes with accessories.  Here are pink roses plus a cranberry glass jug and a box of Roger & Gallet soaps. Unfortunately (this photo was taken about four years ago when husband decorated the room) this toiletries company has since changed the pattern on this box and I much prefer the old one. I wish I’d now kept one of the boxes, but you never expect lovely designs to be changed, do you? Well, I thought it was a lovely design, the company obviously thought otherwise!

You might’ve noticed on the photos of yesterday, that there are none of our personal ‘implements’ on the glass shelves, only perfumes, colognes, and some of my makeup items too large to go into my makeup basket.  The reason for this is that husband made a cupboard which fits neatly into a corner above the loo (seen above.)  I asked him, instead of painting it, to wallpaper the door to match the walls, and in fact, when you are in the room you hardly notice this cupboard. Inside we keep all the things which are necessary but which aren’t pretty:  toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouth wash, foot cream, anti-perspirant and so forth (again, this photo was taken a couple of years ago.)

So, that’s our two small bathrooms dealt with.  The upstairs bathroom is wallpapered in pastel yellow and white wallpaper with a wisteria design.  I love it, but I think it’s been discontinued, if not completely at least in this particular colour.  It’s a Nina Campbell design for Osborne & Little.

I think it’s a combination of age and winter, but we are waking up very late each morning. Of course, not sleeping well doesn’t help, and although we both slept better last night we didn’t wake up until gone 9 o’clock this morning.  This meant that by the time we had ‘come around’ as we say, and had had our first cup of coffee (drinking it in the cosy warmth of bed) it was well gone 10 o’clock by the time we got up.  Another half hour at least before we got into the kitchen where husband made himself porridge and I cut up fruit for myself.  It was all we  wanted to eat this morning.

After that we each completed a few chores – I made the bed, filled the dishwasher, put on the first load of laundry to wash, emptied the recycling waste, changed the flower water, watered the cyclamen plants, washed the worktops in the kitchen and swept the kitchen floor, and washed the basin and loo in the shower room (something I try and do daily but don’t always succeed in doing daily) I felt I needed to sit down.  By then it was gone midday.  I sat down with husband to have a cup of coffee and watch the News on TV when the sunlight began to fade and the clouds rolled over. I began to feel sleepy again even though I’d only been up for a couple of hours at most.

And so I suggested that instead of lazing on the sofa a moment longer, we go down to ‘our’ seafront hotel and have a light lunch, just a shared round of beef sandwiches, half a pint of beer each, and then come home again.

Regular readers will recognise this photo (above) as I’ve used it, and similar ones, several times before, but for newer readers, this is the hotel we enjoy visiting on the sea front.  We can park there for free, and it’s a nice, inexpensive place for a snack lunch (lunches are mainly served in the conservatory you can see in the centre of this photo.)

As we have smaller appetites than when we were much younger, we tend to order a round of sandwiches with an extra plate, and then share it out between us. Today we had beef, and it comes with salad and crisps.  We ordered a portion of chips (not on the photo) also to share, and half pints of beer.   With the beer also comes a little dish of peanuts and olives, and they are always much more delicious than any I can find in the supermarkets!


This is what we share, plus the portion of chips (not shown here.)  It’s quite sufficient for our lunch.

After that we returned home and had a little snooze, but we felt all the better having been out, if only for an hour or so.  I then watched two lovely programmes on catch up TV, one on the River Nile and one on the River Mississippi.  I had seen the first in this series of three films, on the River Amazon.  Indeed, quite a lazy day.

Supper has been easy, too.  Just scrambled eggs, on trays on our knees in the sitting room.  Cosy and warm, winter food for a winter’s evening.

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 think your bathroom and shower room are very pretty. The wallpapers make the rooms seem much cosier. I would love to have wallpaper in a few rooms but my husband hates it. He’s pretty good at letting me choose most of the decor in our home, so I can’t complain.
    Your lunch looked very appealing and having a meal out in beautiful surroundings makes such a difference. We both need to lose weight and we’ve tried all the usual diets. After the initial success comes the inevitable regaining of weight very quickly. Of course, having very little exercise makes things harder, but I like your idea of sharing a meal. My particular vice is sweet, sugary food. I really need to accept that I can’t have anything sweet without losing control!

    • Margaret

      I think a lot of people, perhaps including your husband although not necessarily so, think wallpaper dreadfully old fashioned. They have this idea that it’s what old people have in their homes, along with chintz covers on their furniture and lace curtains at their windows. But this needn’t been the case and if he perhaps saw some books of interiors (but not the Laura Ashley 1980s flouncy look which was OK then but looks passe now) he might be persuaded to change his mind. Not all wallpaper is gross, I can assure him of that. We tried painting the walls when we first moved in, they were all builders’ magnolia. Some rooms this ‘worked’, in our sitting room for example where we’ve never applied wallpaper, but upstairs, with the dormer rooms, blocks of colour on the long, sloping celings/walls just didn’t look right until we papered the whole of the room, all over, with pretty pastel yellow paper. It wouldn’t suit everyone, but it looks right in these rooms. So much depends on the room and also person’s preference for a kind of decor (ethnic, traditional, modern, etc); some rooms look better plain, some with paper.
      Yes, lunch out like that made a nice break in the middle of the day. We’re very fortunate that that hotel is only a mile or two down the road, we can be there in five to ten minutes, and it’s inexpensive if we only have a snack lunch, a shared sandwich and half a pint.

  2. What a wonderful relaxing day Margaret,I love days like that,nobody to worry about except yourselves. I agree just getting out even for an hour or two perks you up.

  3. A great run of beautifully illustrated and interesting posts Margaret. I particularly like the journey of your flowers from stem length to position as they age. The champagne suite story is very amusing. We inherited and avocado and maroon bathroom which also leaked so it did get replaced but I applaud and agree with your attitude to kitchen and bathroom replacement but perhaps it is our generation?

    • Margaret

      Oh, my goodness, an avacado and maroon suite! You can’t imagine actually choosing such things, can you? I’ve even seen dark brown suites and midnight blue. Truly ghastly! Enough to give you nightmares! At least we had some choice, even though all the choices of colours and ot white, and chose the least offensive of the lot (or so we thought). I’m now looking forward to my next supermarket visit for a fresh lot of flowers, the Christmas pink spray carnations have not gone, and the yellow freesias weren’t as successful as the flame-coloured ones and ahve also died rather quickly.

  4. The sun doesn’t seem to want come out just now, I don’t blame you taking your time in the mornings Margaret. I smiled at your champagne story, we have finally relinquished a liitle champagne cloakroom and turned it into a white shower room. But I was quite happy with the old colour for many years. No more wallpaper for us, it’s all gone now but I like it in other peoples houses and places.

    • Margaret

      oh, how lovely to have a white shower room, Heather! That sounds a very good idea! Maybe, one day, especially if something goes wrong with the shower, we might change our shower room, but for now we’re hanging on to it (and our pennies, ha ha!) If it was being done out by a company with all new white suite, I mightn’t have wallpaper, it was just that we were doing it ourselves and I didn’t see the point of having the whole area tiled if it wasn’t actually a wet room. I’m sure your shower room looks fab-u-lous now, Heather.

  5. Hi Margaret,
    I am finally up-to-date reading your interesting blog. The holidays got me behind in checking in on you. I truly look forward to your daily updates.

    Don’t you think the change in time has something to do with our difficulty of sleeping at night?

    Love the colors in both the shower room and upstairs bath.

    We have had the most beautiful spring weather today and tomorrow face snow.

    Looking forward to spring.

    • Margaret

      I’m quite sure myself, Clydene, that the hourly change in autumn and spring really messes us up and I think in the fullness of time (no pun intended) this will be better understood. I feel out of sorts for weeks following the turning back of the clock in autumn, and even in spring, which isn’t so bad as the mornings and evenings are lighter, I am sure it’s not exactly good for us. Age plays a part too, especially for husband and myself, and we often wake at around 5 am and feel we’ve had enough sleep but it’s just too early to get up – if we did we’d be tired out by midday. So we go back to sleep, eventually, and then wake late and sluggish.
      I’m glad you like the colours of the bathroom and shower room – we’ve done the best we can with our elderly bathroom suites.
      Oh dear, snow for you. I’ve heard on the News this evening that lives have been lost in the Alps because of avalanches, which is so very sad. Yes, we are so looking forward to spring, too.

  6. Kathryn Hemstead

    I love both bathrooms. The one with the tub is just perfect. No need to change a thing. I am a bath taker and love the feel of the hot water around my hips! This was such a lovely snippet of your day. My husband and I seem to be sleeping a bit longer in the mornings as well. A little hibernating in the winter is a good thing!

    • Margaret

      Oh, thank you for confirming that a little hibernating in winter is a good thing! We are doing it more and more! And glad you like the bathrooms, too, Kathryn. Our three rooms upstairs are all decorated with the same paper. I thought as they all have sloping ceilings and the two bedrooms have the same beige carpet, decorating them the same would be a good idea. They even have the same light fittings, one room is a single bedroom and the other is a bed sitting room.

  7. Totally agree with the other comments that both bathrooms are so pretty! It would be a shame to go to the expense (and stress) to change something so nice already. Also, I, too, love pretty boxes. My sister gave me some lavender soap for my birthday, and we both said “and the box is so pretty.” I can’t throw them away!

    • Margaret

      Thank you for your kind remarks regarding our bathrooms, Kay. I’ve always loved pretty boxes and dislike having to throw such lovely ones away, but I simply can’t keep them all. I love the boxes that Roger & Gallet soap are packed. I have kept one box (now empty) that held Floris soap, too, in case they change the dark blue livery which is so smart.

  8. Your two bathrooms are lovely. They have character, and charm. I think that winter is a time when we are supposed to hibernate a bit. Sometimes we do need a snooze.

    • Clever title for this post Margaret – it certainly got my attention!

      • Margaret

        Yes, I suddenly thought of the connection of ‘champagne’ with our beer at lunch time, but of course the champagne in question wasn’t the liquid variety!

    • Margaret

      Thank you, Ratnamurti, we are happy with the two rooms although had I the choice I’d have a lovely white suite but we’re mindful of the upheaval and the cost and the wastefulness of changing something just to have a different look. We’ve been out this morning (more on my next post) and now feel like a snooze!

  9. Out of curiosity I googled my local sunrise and sunset times – they are sunrise at 6:01am and sunset at 7:48pm today. Not that I would even try and pretend that I’m up and about at sunrise – perish the thought ! Years ago when I worked full time and lived in Sydney where commuting in traffic or poor public transport is the bane of many people’s daily working lives, I would rise at 5:30am Monday to Friday. In winter time I would leave home when it was dark and return home when dark. I did that for many, many years. Just thinking about it now makes me cringe….. Waking at 9am in your winter time, especially if you don’t always sleep well, sounds perfectly acceptable for someone who doesn’t have to rush off to work or rush after children (or grandchildren). I think enjoying your first cup of tea or coffee of the day in bed is a lovely, civilised way to start the day. Even more lovely that you enjoy doing so together.

    Your lunch out looked very nice. Sharing one large portion between two people is a good idea. We’ve all banged on before about how portion sizes are usually oversized when eating out, thus contributing to food waste or us eating too much.

    I also prefer bathrooms where the colours of accessories/towels can be varied as you like. It’s much less cost (and effort) to change the colours of your towels, bath mats, etc than to change the tiles, vanity, etc.

    • Margaret

      I can’t wait for early morning sunrises such are you are experiencing. I love spring and early summer, and then I know once it’s high summer that autumn will swiftly follow and my energy will diminish, and soon it will be winter again and all the hype over Christmas. So I try and make the most of the spring days. I must get the house in order before then, so that we can be outside more, once it warms up a bit! My goodness, you did have an early start! I have never had to get up at 5.30 to go to work. 7.10 is about the earliest we ever got up. Husband had to be at work at 8.18am and I had to be at work at 8.30am (this pre-children, of course.)

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