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Out and About on Thursday

Recipe for Relaxation:  first buy our sandwich in Waitrose, fix yourself a free cup of coffee from their coffee machine, take to car.  Drive to Meadfoot beach, park and gaze out to sea, while eating sandwich and drinking coffee.  Result:  happiness!

Seriously, it doesn’t take much to keep us happy.  This morning I had the third appointment of three this week: Tuesday, manicure; Wednesday, hair; today, podiatrist.

I was all prepared to drive myself there and I had it in mind to have a good browse in the various charity shops close to my podiatrist’s surgery.  Then husband said, “I’ll come with you!”  I didn’t like to say I wanted to go on my own, I was going to look in the charity shops, so I accepted his offer to drive me there and wait for me.

However … I had some things to take to the Rowcroft charity shop in Babbacombe, the sister shop to the one we usually visit in Wellswood. That would, at least, get me through the door, I thought. Not that he minds me having a look-see, it’s just that he thinks it a pointless exercise.

So we took in the items and I had a very quick look around. I always feel I have missed something when I do this, do you feel like this? That with a few more minutes I might find something really beautiful/useful for a bargain price?  Not that I need to add anything to our home, indeed I part with more things than I buy, but it’s just the thought that something lovely might be waiting for me.

This particular charity shop, for there are several more in the parade of shops in Babbacombe, while supporting the same charity as the shop in Wellswood (the Rowcroft Boutique as it styles itself there) has more bric-a-brac than the Wellswood shop.  This is obviously very much a store filled with 2nd hand goods while the shop in Wellswood could be selling brand new items, the way they are selected from the goods donated, and then displayed.  But each shop caters for a different clientele, I’m sure, and those seeking vintage items would surely find them in the Babbacombe shop.

Then it was over the road to the podiatrist and now my little trotters are all smooth again.  No matter how much foot cream I use  – and I use a special one which my podiatrist advises – hard skin forms and needs removing every few months.  More than the manicurist/pedicurist can deal with, so I visit both the manicurist/pedicurist and the podiatrist turn and turn about.

My lovely podiatrist supports a charity herself, the Lion’s Club, one of many such clubs in the UK, which help various people in all kinds of ways.  To support them she accepts 2nd hand books and you can just take them and leave a donation to the charity.  I had a quick look and saw a Clare Chambers novel which I hadn’t read so took this and handed over my donation.

As we were fairly close to Waitrose but as I didn’t need much in the say of shopping, we popped in for a few items, including a prawn mayo sandwich and our free coffee and took them to Meadfoot beach again, parked where we parked last week, but today the sun was shining.  My photos just don’t do the view justice, the sky was much more a milky pink than is on the photos, but it was such a subtle colour the camera has chosen to ignore it.

And there we sat and enjoyed our shared sandwich and coffee before driving home.

Once home I noticed that the post had arrived, including another Roy Strong book. I have his book on the making of The Laskett, his garden in Herefdoredshire, which he and his late wife created, but I didn’t have the later book, and as it was very inexpensive via the main 2nd book website, I treated myself.

It is difficult to take pictures as the book doesn’t open and lie flat, but the photos are truly beautiful and record exactly what it says, the remaking of a garden …

The other book which had arrived is one which I will be able to dip into as and when.  How could I resist a book about living by the seaside!

And now I will put the shopping away and then we’ll have a cup of tea.  I had planned to do so much when I returned home, but my goodness, I do think we need to rest and relax at this time of the year, so I will be doing just that instead.

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. Curious now. The book sounds like a great read since I live near the Gulf of Mexico. I’m definitely going to have to look for a copy of Beside the Seaside. Also, I adore reading about your outings with your husband…talk about relationship goals!

    • Margaret

      Hello, Diana. I’ve just had a look at the book and it’s about the British Isles’ resorts, so how relevant it would be to you int he Gulf of Mexico I really couldn’t say. I think you can take a look inside the book if you go to Amazon. I’m so glad you like reading about our outings, even to the supermarket!

  2. I like Clare Chambers book ‘In a good light’. She hasn’t written a book for ages. I wonder why. I do enjoy a mooch around a good charity shop but hate to feel hurried. My husband will always tell me to take as long as I like but I feel pressured to hurry up. We don’t have great charity shops locally but Alcester, a few miles away, has some better ones. I invariably come away with something even though I am (in theory) downsizing.

    • Margaret

      Husband doesn’t say anything he just ambles around and then I see him walking out and I feel that my time’s up! I know I could stay longer, but I just feel uncomfortable … best to go on my own! Indeed, I only like shopping on my own for things other then food, and with the food, I have the List and Himself pushes the trolley. We’ve got that well sussed! But really, although I had a look-see today, there was nothing I felt I really liked enough to consider buying it. I always have a quick look at scarves just in case they’ve missed a Hermes, but that would be rare these days as I think charity shop people are a bit more clued up to items of quality.

  3. Husband here says plenty when I go into charity shops!! He reminds me of my dislike of clutter. I only ever look at the china, glass and books as I have an irrational horror of second hand clothes particularly jeans and trousers. He is very good when grocery shopping however. Like you I have the List and into the trolley the items go and nothing else. I found a Liberty silk scarf in a charity shop a few years ago and picked it up for £1. You are right, most charity shops research their items now and use selling sites such as Ebay to price items. I actually feel that some charity shops are getting quite expensive. One, in Exeter, I found mugs by Emma Bridgewater which normally retail at £19.95 and they were wanting £20 for two!!!

  4. I’m a huge fan of charity shops, both for donating and for buying. I also volunteer one day a week sorting donated goods (a real eye-opener I can tell you!). I find charity shops far more interesting than ordinary shops and have had some wonderful bargains over the years, and knowing that the proceeds go to a worthy cause means that it doesn’t feel too self indulgent. Like you, I always browse the scarf section, with the result that the scarf section of my wardrobe is always bulging. I like the fact that a scarf always fits without having to be tried on, and that it doesn’t matter if you change shape!

    • Margaret

      How great of you to volunteer one day a week, Margaret, sorting the donated goods and yes, I’ll bet we’d be surprised at what some people think suitable to donate! I took into the shop today some stylish monthly magazines that I’d been given so they were already 3rd-hand but in mint condition, a pair of Per Una jeans (hardly worn, washed) as they were brown and didn’t suit me; and a packet of pretty ladies hankies, an unwanted gift. And I took the book from the selection in my podiatrist’s and gave her money for her chosen charity. So I have both given and bought today. Yes, a scarf always fits!

  5. A couple of years ago I saw a lovely hand knitted cardigan in one of our charity shops, obviously not worn, I expect the knitter found it didn’t fit well or something so I bought it and enjoyed wearing it, now it’s gone back for re-sale still looking good. I get a once a year letter from that particular shop stating how much the items I’ve donated have raised, it’s surprising sometimes to see the amount. A friend used to buy second hand toys to keep at home for her visiting grandchildren and another friend equipped herself for a cruise with evening wear that she happily handed back on return. Looks like you are near some good charity shops Margaret, they do vary a lot but yours look interesting.

    • Margaret

      Yes, we have this letter saying how much we’ve raised for them, too, even with the option to have this money should we request it, but of course, we never do, it’s for an essential charity (our local hospice.) How lovely to have found that hand-knitted cardigan, you’ve now enjoyed it for a while, and someone else can now enjoy it. I returned a red Jane Shilton bag recently I bought a few years ago in the same charity shop, I’ve used it a few times and now someone else can enjoy it. Charity shops vary a lot, but I do like the Rowcroft Hospice ones (they have then in several towns), they do get some lovely things donated. Remember that Dartmouth pottery vase I found not so long ago, to match the one I already had?

  6. I love your 3 “me” appointments this week. I used to frequent a local church shop which was held once per week. But I couldn’t understand why the clothes were so yuk. Until the day that I saw one of the ladies who worked there, going through a donated bag of clothes. She was taking out the pieces that she liked and stuffing them into a cupboard. I never went back to that one.

    • Margaret

      Yes, you are right, three “me” appointments and all completed now, but next week it’s Specsavers for eye tests, too. It’s turning into a couple of expensive weeks, Ratnamurti! Oh dear, I’m sure that goes on among some staff in charity shops, they eye up the good items, a’hem, but I think most are pretty good at being honest and putting all the suitable items out for sale. I like to think so, anyway.

  7. What a very lovely day, full of the small things that make life so very pleasant.

    • Margaret

      Yes, it was a nice day, Joy. And I enjoy visiting my podiatrist, she’s a lovely person and we always enjoy a good chat. Then a shared sandwich by the sea, with our free Waitrose coffee … we know how to live, don’t we?

  8. I always enjoy seeing your photos of the front windows and insides of the charity shops, as well as your descriptions of the items. Perhaps you could pass this onto your husband, adding that continued trips to these charity shops are deemed necessary for your website. Given that I’m all the way over here in Australia – never likely to be able to see those places for myself and, as I’ve already stated a curious person by nature – he may just accommodate us 😉

    ps and if that doesn’t quite do the trick, be sure to tell him that I was one of the people who said he looked quite handsome !

    • Margaret

      Oh, yes, I will certainly tell him about how necessary the windows and contents of charity shops are for my blog, Lara! Indeed, yesterday, the lovely young manager of the shop said, “Oh, do take photos of the windows, we now sell lovely handbags!” Hence the pic of the bags in the window, but I didn’t find the 2nd window quite as interesting yesterday and if you asked me, I wouldn’t be able to remember a single item that I saw. Which is unusual as the windows always look lovely. Yes, I’m sure husband will be very accommodating! Oh yes, he’ll succumb to flattery, I’m sure!

  9. I have The Remaking of the Laskett, and just acquired his Small Period Gardens for all of $4 US. The latter is over 25 years old, so that was a lucky find in a used book shop.

    • Margaret

      Those are bargains, Christie, and I hope you enjoy them. I really like Sir Roy’s writings. Another lovely book of his is called Strong Points, published in 1985, with delightful illustrations by Ian Mackenzie-Kerr. I really enjoyed the first essay in this book, My Perfect Day, in which he says, “To wake up and find myself master of Hardwick Hall or Knole would suit be admirably as a start to the day.” Yay, to that! Mind you, those wouldn’t be my houses of choice, I would prefer something just a little less grand but none the less beautiful, such as Kingston Lacy in Dorset or even the summer residence of the D’Oyly Cartes at Coleton Fishacre in Devon, or going upmarket again, Saltram near Plymouth which received a Robert Adam makeover. Another lovely book of garden essays is Garden Party, published in 2000.

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