Would you believe that I’ve not bought a book today, World Book Day? However, we did buy our little grandson a children’s encyclopaedia which we hope he will enjoy looking at, all in wonderful colour and not too much information but enough to fire his imagination on a wide variety of subjects. He was here for his tea yesterday and kept mentioning how much he liked the Horrid Henry story books, and so I said, “Would you like to come and order some with me from Amazon?” and his little face lit up like a beacon, “Oh, yes please Granny!” So off we went into the study and I ordered three for him. He devours books faster than I can eat an ice cream, so he’ll have them read in next to no time, but they are books he can put away and re-read and then pass on to a charity shop or to the school’s library.
He was a lucky little boy, too. There was a raffle at his school to win an outfit for World Book Day because, as happens in many schools, the children go dressed as characters from books. He only went and won it, and so went along dressed as Willy Wonka.
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I have some sad news. No, no one has died, they’ve not even been taken ill, but nonetheless it is sad news. Our branch of Waitrose is to close in June. Apparently, one of the assistants (sorry ‘partners’ as they are not employees but partners in Waitrose and John Lewis) told me today that they had been told that their store “wasn’t viable.” The Waitrose store in Teignmouth, about twelve miles away, has suffered the same fate, and will also closes and so there won’t be any branches of Waitrose between Sidmouth in east Devon and Truro in Cornwall.
As well as being upset on a personal level (as we enjoy shopping in Waitrose) husband and I are upset for the staff who work so hard and are helpful, friendly and professional. I don’t know what the reasons are for the closures; it could be insufficient profitability or even the move by Ocado, the distribution network, to link up with Marks & Spencer rather than Waitrose. Who knows? But we will be very sorry not to be able to shop in such pleasant surroundings as there just isn’t a supermarket like it. Yes, others are good, and we certainly won’t starve but none that we know has the ambience of Waitrose. We were in one not that long ago and the noise was deafening, with musak blaring from the sound system, the tills beeping loudly, and children running around, screaming, not to mention all the noise of the customers. We are now going to visit some supermarkets and find which is the best for us. I don’t expect many to tick the quiet-and-pleasant box!
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(The shopping, brought in from the car and dumped on the kitchen floor – Waitrose items in the three trolley bags (the 4th trolley bag is in the car); chiller food in the chiller bag (top right), Lidl cleaning items in the large bag on the right, flowers in my basket and milk from the local shop on the floor – all to be put away before I could sit down with a cup of tea (and before I put the food away, I clean out the fridge, check to make sure any veggies and fruit aren’t going off, and tidy the larder.)
We first went to Next this morning to collect some wellies for our little grandson who needs two pairs: one to keep at home and a pair to be kept at school for their outdoor lessons. While in Next I bought a couple of little shirts for him for an Easter present (he will, of course, have an Easter egg as well.)
Next have some lovely children’s clothes at very reasonable prices. I have Gift Receipts so if these don’t fit, or aren’t suitable, our son and daughter in law can return them. I remember when our sons were little how very expensive children’s clothes were compared with our earnings. Today, you can buy them in supermarkets when we had to go to what were called baby linen shops.
We then went to Lidl to stock up on their lovely Bellarom ground coffee and on cleaning products before heading to Waitrose. We bought tulips and roses in Lidl but when I got home I found, as I have found in the past, that one of the stems of the roses didn’t have a flower. They are so tightly bunched and crammed into the buckets in the store that the blooms – which the growers try so hard to get to the peak of condition – are squashed. But even so, the nine remaining blooms of the white roses look nice (top photo) and I’ve put the pink roses in our bedroom.
For the sitting room, I chose my favourite purple and red tulips. I was going to buy purple and white for International Women’s Day tomorrow, but I love the purple with the red so much more …
They will look even better once the buds open.
The daffodil season is gradually coming to a close and there were few daffs to be had in Waitrose today, and the ones that were there looked half-dead already – this is because for health & safety reasons the flowers aren’t in water (in case water droplets fall onto the floor and customers skid and hurt themselves) – but I did find some in one bucket which looked like they might survive until I could get them into water …
Meals have been very easy this week. On Tuesday lunch was leek & potato soup that I’d made the day before, re-heated, and eaten with crusty bread, cheeses, mini pork pies (wicked!), tomatoes and chutney …
Those white daffodils are now over and have been replaced by those in the previous photo.
Yesterday, we had a veggie curry for lunch. Oh, I love veggie curry, and if it is thickened with lentils, you are having some protein with the veg, too.
It isn’t an easy dish to make look presentable, it looks like dog food, but I can assure you it tastes wonderful. This curry contained onions, spring onions, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, courgette, leeks, red pepper, courgette, some raisins, tomato puree, apricot chutney, red lentils, veggie stock, mild curry powder, dried cumin and dried coriander. I use Basmati wholegrain rice even though, once cooked, it has the appearance of white rice.
Yesterday, for our main meal I made a rich tomato sauce which I served with penne pasta and cheddar or parmesan cheese for little grandson and myself (he came to tea) and macaroni cheese for husband, who isn’t keen on tomato sauce, home-made or not. For pudding, I made a lemon drizzle cake and we had that with custard (we don’t always have a pudding, but as grandson was coming, this was a special treat for him. Of course, we liked it too!)
My magazine today … and also, I took delivery of a couple of lovely Roger & Gallet soaps (Carnation fragrance, one of my all-time favourites.)
Husband has just made us some hot chocolate, so I’m now going to have that, and perhaps have an early night, too.
Wherever you are, whether it’s late on Thursday or early morning on Friday, may you have a good weekend.
Until next time.