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A Wet and Windy Monday

This is a photo of the tower of All Saints’ C of E Church in Babbacombe, Torquay.  It was built between 1868 and 1874 in the Victorian Gothic Revival style.  I’m not a great lover of this style of architecture but at least it looks elegant and has stood the test of time which is more than can be said for many buildings which have been erected in the last century.

We were in Babbacombe this morning (after a visit to Next to order some wellington boots for our grandson) as I wanted to visit several charity shops that are in the main shopping street.

Photo taken in the summer of 2014 

I was on the look-out for any books, games or toys which I might buy to have at home for when our little grandson calls.  He’s now at the stage where he can read fluently and so I must find books which aren’t too babyish for him and yet, on the other hand, not too advanced.   I have ordered him a children’s encyclopaedia for a present for World Book Day on the 8th of this month. I loved my children’s encyclopaedia when I was a child and although I know a lot of information changes by the hour so that such a book is already out of date on publication, some information remains present-and-correct, we might say.

Having found a couple of books and a set of draughts – I can’t think what happened to all the games our boys had, but we certainly don’t have them any longer – we decided instead of calling at the golf club for morning coffee we’d drive over to our The Palace Hotel on the sea front for a shared beef sandwich, a portion of chips (again to share) and a pot of coffee for two.

The sun put in a brief appearance as I photographed this, but don’t let those chips fool you – they were not as delicious as they look here.  Indeed, they tasted awful and so I mentioned this to the waitress who had served us (or should that be female waiter?) and she said she’d mention it to the manager.  When I came to pay he was at the desk and said we’d not been charged for the chips.  I thanked him and said that they arrived so quickly after we had placed our order that even had they been microwaved, they could not possibly have been freshly cooked, and that they tasted as if they had been cooked in stale cooking oil.

He didn’t say anything – perhaps he didn’t understand me; I think English was perhaps his 2nd language – but he just turned tail and walked away! I said to the young assistant standing close by that an apology would’ve been nice and she said, “Oh, I’m really sorry …” and I said, “Oh, not you; good manners start from the top and the manager should have apologized for the poor quality of the chips.”  In the hospitality trade, surely the least we can expect is hospitality?  [I would add here that two biscuits per person are always served with a pot of coffee, which is a nice touch, and also when any meal is ordered – even a simple sandwich – you are given a small dish containing given peanuts and olives.]

We then drove home and I found that the latest copy of my favourite magazine, The English Home, had arrived, along with the Sarah Raven catalogue …

And later this evening, two books arrived, rather timely as I finished a Ruth Saberton novel yesterday evening.  I know I have plenty of reading material here, but there’s nothing quite like a couple of new books to whet the reading appetite, is there?  It has been such a cold and wet and windy day that I poured us a small glass of port each.  We are not regular wine drinkers, but a glass of port now and again, or the old lady’s drink, port & lemon, is rather nice and warming on a very chilly evening.

The daffodils that I bought on Saturday and which I thought were white doubles have turned out to be singles, but they are still very pretty even though I know that they won’t last long.  But for £1-a-bunch they are worth every one of the 100 pennies.

A short post today about nothing very much.  I am now going to curl up by the fireside and start to read one of the new books … I wonder which one?

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. Kay in Cornwall

    Oh dear, Margaret! That’s yet another book I’ve ordered after seeing your recommendation. But how could I resist a book set in Cornwall – especially as tomorrow is St. Piran’s day! 🙂

    • Margaret

      I had no idea that tomorrow is St Piran’s Day, Kay! I expect there will be loads of Cornish flags flying tomorrow, then! I loved The Letter by Ruth Saberton and also I loved the short novella (is that tautology?) The Season of Second Chances, a lovely book to read around Christmastime.

  2. Port and lemon an old ladies drink?! A long long time ago when I was sixteen port and lemonade was my tipple. Sun is shining here Margaret whether it lasts I don’t know,probably not. Lost letters book looks intriguing let me know what you think.Enjoy your day.

    • Margaret

      Yes, I’ve always thought of port & lemon as an old lady’s drink, the sort that they would drink in the snug of an old fashioned pub! I’ve started reading The Women of Heachley Hall and so far am enjoying it. The rain has ceased for the moment, but we are staying in today, lots of housekeeping to do (when I can get my nose out of my book!)

  3. The Sarah Raven catalogues are so lovely to look at, will you be treating yourself to something Margaret? I tend to get ideas from the photos, the dahlia groups are in beautiful colours. I’ve bought some new Dahlia tubers recently, not planted yet, so will have to stick with what I’ve got!

    • Margaret

      The trouble with the Sarah Raven catalogues is that everything grows whereas in our garden the opposite is true! Our walnut tree grabs all the nourishment and moisture and only really hardy plants grow, others I put into pots and grow anually. I love the dahlias she has, but experience has taught me not to plant them directly into the soil – they just disappeared last time we did this, roots and all. But hope usually wins over experience and I might buy something!!!

  4. Our hot weather continues so I enjoy seeing your photographs of trees without their leaves and descriptions of being cosy indoors. We are now supposedly in autumn (australians regard the 1st of March as the first day of autumn whereas I know you have commented before you celebrate the 22nd or 23rd) but I’m still wearing my summer dresses and have every fan on in the house. The Daily Connoisseur (aka Jennifer L Scott) has set her ‘Chic March Assignment’ and one task is to start this season’s ten item wardrobe – I’m longing to wear jean, ballet flats, 3/4 sleeve T-shirt’s and scarves but not while it’s 28 deg.C and 80% humidity. First world problem, I know 🙂

    • Margaret

      To think it’s that hot in autumn … unbelievable to us here in the UK, but then we do have global warming and things are just going to get more unsettled, perhaps much colder winters for us and hotter summers for everyone. I’ve not read Jennifer’s blog for a while, must have a look, but I’m not in the same league, i.e. I couldn’t possibly change my wardrobe even for ten items each season. It might be a capsule wardrobe, but it always seems new or almost-new to me and not bargain basement prices, either. The Met Office tends to think the 1st of March as the beginning of our spring, but I still go by the old traditional quarter day, which is the 21st March, and in June and in September and in December.
      I’m just off now to watch part 4 of the series Shetland on TV. We’ve not watched this series before (I think this is the 4th series) but we have rather taken to it.

  5. Nothing to do with this post, but Shock, Horror, have just read that your Waitrose store is closing in June, you will be devastated, no plans to close our Truro store, YET apparently.

    So glad you enjoyed your book based in Cornwall.

    So enjoy your blog, get worried when you don’t post..

    • Margaret

      Yes, I heard this this evening, Kathy. The Torquay one is closing and also the Teignmouth one, the nearest I expect will be Exeter. We could perhaps manage a trip there once every five or six weeks, but once we get used to going somewhere else I don’t expect we will. But no more lovely coffee ice cream, no more Cranks bread (for our son) as I don’t think any of the other supermarkets stock that. There are many own-brand items that we will miss, which of own-brands are second to none. I was only saying to my husband yesterday, we just get used to something, something we like, and it is removed from stock. We never expected the whole shop to go!
      Yes, The Letter was a lovely read. I’m not sure about The Women of Heachley Hall, it’s something of a ghost story and I’m not keen on those. Not that I think they are frightening in any way, only I’m simply not keen, so have started reading The Lost Letters instead and so far am enjoying that.
      I’m so glad you enjoy my blog. I expect I will post tomorrow. We had our little grandson to tea this evening, so I made pasta with a home-made tomato sauce and then lemon drizzle cake which I gave him with custard and he enjoyed that. Then we sat on the sofa and he read one of the Horrid Henry books to me. He reads to well that it’s a pleasure to listen to him read, and then watch him roll around laughing as ‘gets’ the jokes.

  6. Those daffodils are beautiful. So springlike!

    • Margaret

      Yes, I love daffodils, Joy, and they have such a relatively short season so I like to make the most of them. I hope there will be some in the supermarket today.

  7. Another few days of similar weather and you could have a whole ‘Wet and windy’ series!
    I have fond memories of a holiday in Babbacombe when my daughter was two (she is now approaching thirty three). I also pay £1 for daffodils – they really are incredibly good value. I don’t suppose they will be around for much longer.
    I don’t think I could cope with a ten item wardrobe – I like choice – lots of choice!

    • Margaret

      No, the daffs won’t be around much longer, Eloise. I almost didn’t buy some today as the ones in Waitrose (boo hoo, the branch closes in June and there won’t be another Waitrose between Truro and Sidmouth!) today as the ones in a bucket looked dead already, so I scouted off to another till while husband bagged up and just before I paid and found a bunch that looked just about OK, it was £2 but it was two bunches together, but still good value. I have only a small selection of clothes, we have only one wardrobe and that makes sure I don’t over-stuff it!

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