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Friday, and Very Welcome Rain

We have, as can be seen here, a very small back garden and this view is from our kitchen window (hence some reflection in the glass) about an hour ago.  It has been raining steadily for the past 24 hours, not harsh rain that would damage the flowers, just gentle rain that the garden loves.  Indeed, if I listen carefully I’m sure I can hear the plants slurping it all up, wasting not one drop of the precious H2O!

OK, I’m just being fanciful, but until last week the grass was looking very grim and now it’s beginning to look, well, like grass again.  There are some awful gaps in the garden, though, as last year husband removed a lot of over-grown plants and we still need to replant, but once the herbaceous plants grow up it shouldn’t look too bad.  Our garden is overlooked by several neighbours’ houses, but we don’t mind.  Once the walnut tree is in full leaf and we are sitting to the back of the garden, close to the summerhouse, we could almost be invisible.

Photo (above) of back garden last summer, when the walnut tree was in full leaf

I took the above photo early this morning from the patio doors in the study where I sit to write my posts. If I look to my left, this is my view.  We have, I think, about 12 pots of tulips, almost all of them are now in bloom, just about three or four to show their colours yet.

Yesterday, an ex-colleague of my husband was coming for morning coffee.  I had an appointment booked at ‘my’ podiatrist’s and so once I’d said hello and made him coffee, I left him and husband to have a good chat.  I then drove to Babbacombe and once my feet had been attended to, I went for a browse in the local hospice charity shop opposite her consulting room.

Our local hospice, Rowcroft, has a number of supportive charity shops in the area, not only here, in Babbacombe and in Wellswood, but elsewhere and each has its own style. In the Babbacombe shop there is a lot of bric-a-brac as it used to be called (when I was little all this kind of stuff was in what were called ‘junk shops’).  Although the Babbacombe shop is crammed with all kinds of things, from glassware and pottery to old clothes and jewellery, I didn’t see anything which shouted “buy me!”  and I did have a good look-see as husband wasn’t with me!  I did notice, though, a set of Poole Pottery (see photo below) in the same style as a Poole coffee service that we were given as a wedding present in 1964 by my husband’s office colleagues.  We have only the coffee pot and water jug left, and even these are damaged, and had this collection been in the pretty pattern that we have, then I’d have snapped it up, but instead it is a rather ugly and yellow and brown, so popular in the 1960s.

When I returned home I saw that the first copy of my new subscription to House & Garden had arrived, so something nice to look at during the afternoon.

And later in the afternoon, delivery of a book, the latest in a series by Philip Gwynne Jones, crime novels set in Venice.

I very much enjoyed the first two books in the series, so have great hopes for this third one.  I have to say, regardless of the contents, the covers are beautiful.

Lunch yesterday was so easy to make (photo below) just a tomato and courgette soup with garlic and parsley bread and parmesan.  This was so filling no dessert was required.

And today we finished off the soup, re-heated,  and served with croutons, bread, crackers (Carr’s Cheese Melts), butter, and three cheeses – Gruyere, Cheddar and St Agur.

This morning we had a little visitor …

I’m sorry that the photo is a little blurry but Barry moved his head as I took the photo. He’s getting on a bit now; he will be nine years old in October and is grey around his muzzle, like grey designer stubble on ageing film stars!

Now for a cup of tea and more of my book,

Until next time.

About Margaret

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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18 comments

  1. Barry looks as though he wants to say something Margaret!

    I had some of that two tone Poole pottery years ago, mine was a pale blue/grey mix so slightly easier on the eye. Someone gave it to me as a present but I passed it on later, I never really liked it very much although it had a lovely smooth texture.

    We’ve been out to see the Fishermen’s friends film today, enjoyed it a lot, the music and Cornish scenery did it for me, as they say, “a feel good film.”
    Lets hope we get some better weather soon, our garden has had a good soak and things are getting a bit too soggy.

    • Margaret

      He does talk to me, Heather! We have great conversations, he asks to go out, and then he asks for a biscuit and I say No, and he says “Oh, pleeeeeze, Gran!” and I usually give in! Seriously, he has lots of barking voices, and little whimpers, too. He is a right character.
      I remember the Poole in blue/grey, that was much prettier than this brown/yellow ware. The texture is lovely, sadly not the colour.
      I’ve not seen the film of the Fishermen’s Friends but I have seen a trail for it. I has to be better than The Favourite, ha ha! Yes, the rain has watered the garden sufficiently now … let’s hope it will now cease, i.e. turn off the tap in the sky.

  2. I love your description of Barry’s grey muzzle; actually I thought of George Clooney! I too had some Poole pottery given to me as a wedding present. Mine was blue and grey as well. I have no idea what happened to it.
    Your garden looks wonderful and even though autumn is may favourite season I do so enjoy pictures of spring flowers. I hope you have a lovely restful weekend.

    • Margaret

      Yes, I thought of George Clooney but I didn’t quite like to say in case I caused old George (or even Barry!) offence, ha ha! My goodness, the Poole Pottery must’ve travelled worldwide, Pieta! And yes, the pale blue and grey must’ve been very popular. I loved our coffee service, but all the cups and saucers were broken over the years, and we’re left with a damaged coffee pot and water jug. Thank you for your kind comments on our small garden, the rain for the past couple of days has done it the power of good, and it’s stopped raining this morning (I’m writing this at 7.24am on Saturday morning.)

  3. I laughed out loud at your description of Barry as an aging George Clooney with his designer stubble! Barry is a very good looking chap ……!

    • Margaret

      Pieta also thought of George Clooney, Margaret L!!! And I also thought of him, but I didn’t want to cause offence, as I say, to old George (or to Barry!) Barry is a lovely little dog, he can be excitable as terriers tend to be, but once he’s had a good run around the house (inside, I mean) chasing imaginary things, he settles down – unless of course I go to the kitchen and then he thinks he might get something to eat. Strange, but if I’m making something he’s not interested in, pasta with a tomato sauce, for instance, he seems to know and doesn’t bother me, but if it’s something tasty – say a ham sandwich – then he’s there, waiting expectantly!

  4. I do see things in your charity shop pictures that are calling my name! Those blue and white plates and platters on the wall in the one picture. Your garden looks absolutely lovely. All those tulips blooming, the bushes coming out, and that green grass. Still very brown around here, although some crocus are blooming.

    • Margaret

      Oh, yes, the blue and white plates … I did rather like those, but I knew I’d have nowhere to store them. Thank you for your kind comments regarding the garden, I love it when it ‘springs’ to life again. I adore tulips and spend quite a lot on those in the autumn – well, a lot for a tiny garden like this, I mean.

  5. It’s lovely to see Barry again. Might I say he’s improving with age and his grey whiskers make him look quite mature – a bit like George Clooney 😃 I’ve read your three most recent posts in a row and enjoyed catching up with your happenings. Lovely that you had the chance to browse through the charity shops at a leisurely pace. I took a large bundle of clothing and some bits and pieces to one of our local charity shops during the week. Our downsizing and decluttering had stalled and I was concerned that we had ‘dropped the ball’ but not so. It felt good to see empty coat hangers where previously unworn clothes had hung – items that no longer fitted me or had never flattered me in the first place (but bought on impulse ?). One or two items still had tags attached. I much prefer them go to someone who will wear them, than lie in wait in my wardrobe. I walked straight out of the shop, too, worried that I’d buy something when the plan is to be getting rid of unwanted items ! …… I’ve just read the comments and see that others drew comparison between Barry and George Clooney. How funny ! …… Lara

    • Margaret

      After so many comments about the elderly film star muzzle perhaps being like George Clooney’s designer stubble, I think Barry should be re-named George! On the other hand, perhaps not! I’d not want to insult the little doggy, ha ha!
      How lovely to part with things and give yourself some wardrobe space again, Lara. I think I need to part with a few more items, I keep hoping that I will be able to use them, but I think it’s hope over experience!

  6. Kay in Cornwall

    Such a pretty garden, Margaret. It looks very inviting. 🙂 We’re still organising our garden because when I met & married my husband almost 11 years ago, his bungalow needed complete refurbishing and the garden wasn’t anywhere near the top of our agenda. The front garden was tidy but completely featureless and the back garden was a mess that included leftover builder’s supplies. Now we have a laurel hedge planted around the front garden with an oval flower bed and several shrubs. In the back garden we now have a patio, raised flower bed (waist-high because we’re both disabled), a normal flower bed that the gardener looks after, some beautiful camellias and soon I hope to have my very own summer house! 🙂 Maybe even this year – it’ll be my 60th birthday present.
    I know what you mean about hearing the garden slurping up the rain! 😉 At times, I really enjoy looking out on our wet garden, appreciating the refreshed greenness. And knowing I can curl up with a good book.
    A wet garden in winter reminds me of the line in Jane Eyre about the wet shrubbery. I think it’s the opening line in the book?
    But, no washing line? Or do you have a rotary line and put it away for the winter?

    • Margaret

      Raised beds would certainly be the answer here, I think, Kay, but for the time being they will have to remain at ground level. More shrubs and just a bit of hoeing to get rid of weeds is another solution, not to give space for weeds to flourish!
      Oh yes, the first line of Jane Erye always springs to mind on a wet and dismal day … “There was no hope of walking that day …” wasn’t it something like that? I have the book but I’m too idle to go and check the exact words. It’s a very long time since I read Jane Eyre, I found it quite frightening as a youngster when I first read it when I was about 12 or 13. But these books weren’t written for children, I don’t know why children are given these classics to read, I really don’t.
      Yes, there is a washing line, between the walnut tree and the house. Indeed, two washing lines, but I don’t take photos when there is washing hanging from the line and sometimes I’ve asked husband to take them down before I take photos! I have washing line-drying as we speak. Oh, I do hope you have a summerhouse for your 60th birthday, that would be lovely. Even a small one would be better than none at all. Ours is very small, just 8ft by 6ft. As this isn’t a regular size in the garden centres for flat-pack summerhouses, husband designed and made it himself (double skinned so that it’s insulated, too.)

  7. A small garden it may be, Margaret, but perfectly formed! I wish ours was smaller – its size will be our key reason for moving house. We sold a few feet of it to a neighbour (one whose garden joined on to ours…obviously) but I wish she had wanted more. The ability of grass to recover is quite astonishing. Convinced that it really has died ‘this time’, I am always proved wrong.
    I received a Poole Pottery vase as a 21st birthday present and gave it away as I couldn’t stand it. It would probably have been a collectors’ item now. Thus is the folly of youth.

    • Margaret

      I think you either like Poole pottery or you don’t. It is, in many ways, similar to Honiton (they have a joint history) and Mum collected a lot of Honiton pottery which I still have, but it’s packed away in my Resources Cupboard. One of these days I will dig it out and perhaps have a new spring/summer display on the kitchen windowsill, it would make a change as it has (the pottery) quite a summery look. But I can understand you parting with the vase! And I reckon if you disliked it then you would still dislike it now.

  8. Greetings Margaret. I loved seeing photos of your beautiful garden. How lovely with the spring flowers. How we wish we had a regular backyard. Ours is itaken up with a pool which is standard for SoCal but what a pain to take care of. Luckily, we have a very nice fence with a view that Lilly can’t get through due to her “large” size! Speaking of our furry friends, Barry is adorable. What an appropriate description of his age. Wishing you a wonderful evening, Pat

    • Margaret

      No doubt a pool is essential in SoCal, but not in the UK thank goodness, it’s rarely warm enough (even with a heated pool which would be astronomically expensive to run.) Our garden is tiny and really very ordinary, just grass and a border and the walnut tree, but it suits us. Oh, poor Lilly, not being able to get through the fence, poor puddy-tat! Barry is quite a slim little fellow, and I’m always telling him what a handsome chap he is! Yes, you have a lovely day, too, Pat. It’s almost 9 pm here as I write this, and we’re going to have an early night, we’re both tired. TV is dire on Saturday nights – the programme makers think we want constant ‘entertaining’ with the most frightful reality programmes with lots of screaming and shouting and people who are called celebrities and I’ve no idea who they are or what they do. It must be an age thing!!!

      • Thank you Margaret for you kind reply. I just have to add that my husband and I feel the same way about TV here in the states. I don’t know who half the people are anymore! I hope your week is off to a wonderful start. 🌷🌷🌷

        • Margaret

          Much of our TV is dire these days, Pat. I think the downfall started when we started to have so many extra channels other than the four main ones, BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4. There used to be some good programmes but then along came multiple choices, so many channels both free and paid-for, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, Sky, etc. Some programmes are good. Homeland for Netflix and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel for Prime, for example, but just an occasional good drama series doesn’t make up for the rubbish that is constantly on now, reality programmes and games shows and also lots of medical dramas – been in hospital, don’t want to watch dramas about them! And, of course, fewer young people actually watch TV, they have their electronic gizmos. Nature programmes are well m ade, but there’re just so many David Attenborough programmes I can take, and with animals (of all kinds) they are either feasting (having just killed their prey!) or furthering their species! What else is there for animals to do? So I read instead!

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