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Out and About on Monday

We had an appointment in town this morning at our solicitor’s.  It was to update our Wills, something I think we all need to consider. We first made our Wills when we were first married, myself at 20 and husband at 29.  But while they have been up-dated since then, we just wanted to make sure that they were still in order, hence this appointment.

So many people put off making a Will, and really, that is rather silly.  A friend died without making one and you’d think she’d have learned her lesson as her mother hadn’t made a Will, either, and it caused quite a lot of problems within the family.  So while it’s a sobering thought, considering one’s demise, making a Will is something which really needs to be done.

As our meeting was early morning – well, ten o’clock is now early to us! – we’d not had any breakfast and so we decided that instead of going immediately to do the weekly shopping, we’d first call at the hotel where our elder son married, where there is a lovely view over the Bay.

I have mentioned it before, but it won’t hurt to mention it again for newer readers, but the Headland Hotel was originally built as a holiday home for the Romanovs, the Russian royal family.  Later, in the 1950s, it became a WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) hotel and in more recent times it became a rather nice 3* hotel.

The area to the right of the entrance has been extended with bi-fold doors (see photo above) and this is a cafe area and it is also where our son and daughter in law’s wedding reception was held, with the doors open to the terrace and the view of the sea.

We only wanted something light to eat, so chose coffee and croissants. They were cooked to order, taking about 15 to 20 minutes, and because we had to wait for them, they gave us each a complimentary small apple Danish as well, and they were truly delicious. I’d certainly go there again for coffee and croissants!

The croissants are quite small, so having two of them wasn’t being too greedy.  But they were excellent quality.

From there we went to the large out-of-town Sainsbury’s for our shopping.  We thought a Monday morning would be quiet but it was still very busy.  It’s a huge place … well, huge compared with Waitrose.  Yes, I’d have much preferred to have shopped in Waitrose (who wouldn’t!) but we have to get used to going elsewhere and when it came to paying we were more than pleasantly surprised at our bill which, again, was about £20 less again than Waitrose, and that even included a new £20 frying pan.  So what Sainsbury’s lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in prices.

I must also give credit to the staff members to whom we spoke – they were all polite and very helpful.  It’s just that the store is huge and also, no doubt because it gets so busy (and also lacks any sense of style) it does get a little untidy.  But, we managed to find all we wanted (with the exception of coffee ice cream) so can’t really grumble, especially when I’m left with more money in my wallet.

When we arrived home, the latest copy of The English Home was waiting for me. How I love this magazine, truly my favourite. I’ve taken out a subscription for House & Garden magazine, but the first one of my subscription order has yet to arrive, but that’s something for me to look forward to.

As I had been given flowers for Mothering Sunday, I only picked up a small bunch of pink tulips today as I want to replace the roses – now on the point of collapse – in the bedroom.  Once I’d put the food away and made a cup of tea and a sandwich for our lunch, I sat down for half an hour to look at my new magazine.

What’s not to love about this magazine?  Beautiful homes, wonderful decorating ideas, just my cup of tea.

By the way, yesterday I finished reading Vanessa Robertson’s first novel, Death Will Find Me, and I do recommend it.  A new Lady Kilpatrick novel will be published in the autumn and I know that as soon as it appears on Amazon, I shall be pre-ordering it (I know:  that’s tautology; one simply orders things, but, well, it’s Amazon and this is how you order something from them. You pre-order it, ha ha!)

I am now reading Jacqueline Winspear’s latest Maisie Dobbs novel, The American Agent.  If you’ve not read this series, I do recommend it, but do start with the first in the series, Maisie Dobbs, and then read them in chronological order as, unlike many series, Maisie becomes older as the years go by.  The series starts around the time of WW1 and now we’re in the midst of the Blitz of WW2.  An excellent series.

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. We just returned home from an appointment to make new wills. Funny that you should be doing the same. We, too, had our wills done when we were much younger, but we hadn’t done any updates.

    • Margaret

      What a coincidence, Jeannine, that you have also been sorting out your Wills! But these things really do need addressing. They have just been updated.

  2. Brooke Sheridan

    Margaret, I agree, The English Home is a lovely magazine. I don’t have a subscription to the print copy ( i’m not sure if we can actually get it easily in Canada) but I visit their website often for inspiration.

    • Margaret

      My latest copy of The English Home arrived yesterday, Brooke, and I have been sitting in bed this morning reading it. I have no idea whether you could take out a subscription in Canada, but it really is my favourite magazine. Some are too modern, and some too Victorian-ditsy-lots-of-lacy-frilly-things.

    • I’ve bought this magazine. Try Chapters or if you are in the western provinces Save On Foods. They have an great magazine selection in most stores.

  3. Christie McCann

    Chiming in to say that I have a subscription to The English Home and live in the U. S. I see that the Canada subscription office is listed as being in Windsor and there is a phone number listed: 1-866-926-0260. That’s the same as the U.S. subscription phone number. I hope that helps!


  4. Absolutely right regarding wills, Margaret. Not only do we have Will’s (astonishing how many people don’t and just assume that it will all work out), but we have also paid for our funerals. By this I don’t mean one of those ‘over 50 plans advertised by the likes of Michael Parkinson, which is actually a poor imitation kof a life insurance policy which can end up costing more than you get back and which is nlikely to cover a funeral cost. What we have a proper funeral plans from the company Golden Charter (along with those of around a million other people). The money is held in a trust and all our requirements are held by our chosen funeral director. We bought them for less than £2,000, and the same costs over £4,000 now. My mother had one and I was so glad not to have to worry about the cost pre-probate.

    • Margaret

      We’ve not thought that far ahead, but a good idea. Two grand for a funeral is excellent, but does this price hold good even when the prices of funerals go up?

      • Yes, the price holds that’s the reason for pre-paying). The only variation is in any council fees (e.g. crematorium fees). The funeral director costs (by far the largest part of a funeral cost) including cars etc are fixed at the time of purchase. Funeral prices have doubled in the past eight years, and predicted to double again within the next eight. Golden Charter has been around for many years and the trust fund is legally protected.

  5. I am also amazed when people don’t have wills. My late grandmother was always very matter-of-fact, probably due in part to having been a nurse for decades, and was open with us about her will and what she did and didn’t want for her funeral and so on. She insisted we all read the documents and spoke with each of us about her reasoning. When the time came, there were no disagreements or confusion as we all knew what she wanted and that was that. I had my first will prepared in my mid-30s and was shocked by my many friends who claimed I as ‘too young’ to worry about such things. It’s particularly important to update your will when your circumstances change such as marriage, divorce, having children and so on. So many have second and third marriages creating ‘blended’ families. I’ve heard horrible stories about adult siblings fighting over their late parent’s estates. Awful…. Those garden beds in the top photos are very pretty. You’re lucky to live in an area where the council looks after the public garden areas so well. With our record-breaking summer being so lengthy (as well as so hot), most gardens are in survival mode and the local council has been kept busy trying to keep the lawns alive. We had some good showers in the past week but could do with more. Our mornings are starting out cool, a sign that autumn is finally here. Certainly my favourite season. We don’t have many deciduous trees around us, mostly natives and others which are evergreen, so we don’t get the autumnal foliage but the slightly milder temperatures are very welcome indeed. The past few days have been 25 deg.C which is quite comfortable. ….. Lara xx

    • Margaret

      How wonderful that your grandmother sorted out not only her Will but also what she wanted for her funeral. This saves so much stres for the family at what is always a very stressful time.
      We are fortunate in the Bay that the Council sees that a lot of the public areas look good for the summer tourists, but there are, of course, other areas which aren’t as well manicured. But there are hundreds of areas in the Bay which need attention, it must be very difficult keeping all green spaces looking great (and costly.) Your temp of 25C now sounds quite reasonable – that would be hot to us!

  6. I made a lengthy comment then noticed the ‘name’ and ‘email’ boxes were blank. Both are usually prefilled. I hit ‘post comment’ and it disappeared. I hope it’s only a temporary gremlin ! Lara x

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