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Mainly Books & Flowers

There’s nothing quite like a new bunch of tulips, is there?  Such elegant flowers and if one bunch makes me smile, then three bring a broad grin to my face.  I bought them in Lidl as they are such good value there.  Three bunches of tulips, one bunch of roses, and two bunches of daffodils.

Before I go further, though, an announcement:  soon after husband drew out Beth in USA as the winner of the re-draw for my books giveaway (and I had informed Beth) I had an email from the original winner, Margaret Simpson.  She hadn’t seen my blog announcement that she was the original winner, and my three emails hadn’t reached her.   It was by pure chance that she saw my name on another person’s blog and therefore was reminded of my own blog and thus got in touch.  I posted the books to Beth yesterday and also another book to Margaret, the original winner, who had kindly said not to worry about sending her a book, but she was the winner and a book she will have. I hope both Beth and Margaret enjoy the books once they arrive. 

Right, that announcement made, to continue … after Lidl we drove on to Waitrose and inside the door the display this week is all about making soup.  Oh my goodness, they were speaking to the converted, weren’t they?  I already make soup as you all know!  But surprisingly, some people don’t make their own soup, they just open a tin, a packet, or a carton.  I’ve done this in the past – I used to love Campbell’s condensed Tomato Rice soup which they discontinued (the story of my life; bet your bottom dollar if I like something, it will be discontinued!)  But there’s nothing as lovely as home-made soup and I was delighted to see Waitrose promoting this, if only the ultimate goal was to sell more produce.

As soon as we’d finished our shopping we took our ‘free’ Waitrose coffee and a pack of prawn mayo sandwiches to what is now our regular spot, facing the sea at Meadfoot beach (photo above).   The tide was out and although the sea looks relatively calm here, it was a little choppy.  But the sun shining through the clouds really did remind me of the quotation from Shakespeare’s Richard II “This sceptred isle … a precious stone set in a silver sea …” for the sea did look silver.

We came home and I found that two new books had arrived. I say “new” but you know what I mean, I’m sure.  New to me.  Secondhand, via Amazon.

This is an interesting book on the subject of display but mainly for displaying photographs.  I enjoyed a quick look through and I will no doubt read parts of it, but I don’t feel that I will love it as I do the books of Ben Pentreath, Ros Byam Shaw or William Yeoward.  But a nice book to add to my collection.

The other book is a novel by Hilary Boyd which I have started reading and, so far, am enjoying.

All that was missing from the photo was my cup of tea!

While in Waitrose I saw Zoflora disinfectant.  My attention was drawn to this by a ‘story’ on someone’s IG account.  I had totally forgotten about Zoflora and it took me right back to the early 1960s when my parents had a hotel  and we used this disinfectant there.  There was only one floral fragrance then, I think, but now there are several. I bought …

It is a lovely fragrance, much nicer than the strong smell of Domestos (but there again, it’s disinfectant, not bleach.)  You can add a little to water to wash floors, or you can use it neat, on a cloth, to wipe over surfaces.  It is a small bottle, I don’t think it will last long, but it wasn’t expensive.

I also spied this miniature rose in Waitrose, reduced from £4 to £1.99.  It has lots of buds and so it might be planted in the garden once the weather warms up.  I have put one of the bunched of daffodils in this coffee-pot-minus-lid (I broke the lid some time ago)  They will look lovely when they bloom.  The other bunch is on the table in the hall.

And so to the other flowers I bought yesterday …

They do make a lovely splash of colour, I love purple and orange or flame-colour tulips together.  And at the other end of the room …

I  have cut-down the alstromeria which I bought on 7th February, so they’re doing well. I don’t think they will last much longer but they look pretty in the hearth …

And in our bedroom, pink roses …

And now to re-heat some cauliflower and blur cheese soup that I had in the freezer, with a crusty baguette.  Then feet-up time, with the paper and my new books.

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. Ooh I’m the first to comment ! Those tulips are so very beautiful. I’ve mentioned before that tulips – indeed many types of flowers – are expensive in Australia. I watched a documentary once about cargo shipping in Europe and they talked about the huge quantity of tulips and other flowers shipped from The Netherlands each day. You are so lucky to be able to buy them at such good prices. I’d have to mortgage the cat to buy three bunches of tulips 🌷!

    I picked up a book for $2 in a local op shop recently called ‘Fat, Forty and Fired’ by Nigel Marsh – a humorous account of an Englishman living in Sydney with his wife and their four children under 9yo who quits work for 12 months. He decides to ‘take stock’. It’s quite funny and I take my hat off to him for being honest about his shortcomings. I’ve had a quiet, restful afternoon reading the short chapters. It’s probably not to everyone’s taste but I’m enjoying it. An afternoon spent with a book and cups of tea is very nice xx

    • Margaret

      Yes, the tulips are inexpensive here, even if I buy them in Waitrose (at double the price of Lidl, a ‘cheaper’ supermarket) they really aren’t without fiscal reach. I paid £1.89 a bunch, and under £2 a bunch is great value for such lovely flowers, I think. The book sounds great fun! I like that kind of book every so often, how someone ups sticks and moves to a totally different environment and how they cope (or don’t cope!) I have enjoyed the books of Karen Wheeler, a journalist/writer who moved to live in France – her first book is Tout Sweet, and three other books followed.

  2. I use Zoflora. The bottle is very small but concentrated so you only need a few drops in water and so it lasts a long time.

    I was trying to think of something nice to say about tulips. But I still can’t! Oh, yes, lovely colours – how is that? Good job we don’t all like the same things 🙂

    • Margaret

      Oh, that’s funny, Lara … something nice to say about tulips. But you either like them or you don’t. I shall have to take care I don’t over-use the Zoflora, it’s such a lovely smell!

      • Are you getting random names again or is that a typo? This is Alison, not Lara. Not complaining just saying in case that problem is cropping up again.

  3. No problem 🙂

  4. The tulips are lovely, Margaret and I love the vivid colours. I purchased some pretty red tulips at the supermarket yesterday but they are much more expensive here than in the UK. I have never heard of Zoflora but I do use Dettol and like to add it to the water when I am washing a floor or cleaning a bathroom. It does smell very antiseptic but it also smells clean and fresh to me. My late mother was a nurse and from Ireland and to her Dettol was an essential in the cleaning cupboard!

    • Margaret

      I always used to use Dettol when our children were little, it’s the trust disinfectant, that and Savlon, for around the home. Dettol and Savlon have lovely scents of their own, I think, nice and clean, but Zoflora is a very floral smell and I don’t think everyone would like it. Dettol is useful too for washing a wound such as a graze when little ones fall over, too. And not to put too fine a point on it, when I cam home from hospital after having our sons, the district nurse who then called to check on me each day poured some Dettol into the bath for me, so your mother was quite right, Dettol was an essential in the cleaning cupboard.
      Well done on buying lovely red tulips.

  5. I’m sorry to hear that I received Margaret’s books, but relieved to hear that you worked out another arrangement! Beautiful flowers in beautiful containers, and now you’ve got me wanting some soup and crusty bread!

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