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A Lazy Weekend

A lazy weekend indeed, well for me.  Husband carries on working on various projects and indeed made breakfast for us this morning (just scrambled eggs on toast) but I’ve felt a general lack of motivation. I think I’m just a bit under-the-weather but you’d think, having had a course of antibiotics the week before last, that would’ve clobbered any bugs, wouldn’t you, and I’d be fighting fit?  But I’ve a nasty cold sore on my lip and just feel tired, so am taking it easy this weekend.

We had a bit of shopping to do yesterday.  We wanted to go to Waitrose but, as I said to husband, we really must wean ourselves off Waitrose; the place will close in a few weeks’ time and we will then have to shop elsewhere, like it or not.

So off to Sainsbury’s and while we don’t like the store (either the one only a couple of miles up the road or the larger one in Torquay) at least we have been able to find just about everything we usually buy with the exception of coffee ice cream.  Coconut, even peanut butter ice cream (can you think of anything more disgusting?) but no coffee.

Once the shopping was done we popped down to the Palace Hotel for hot chocolate and croissants.  We had been to their ‘sister’ hotel last week, the Headland, and also had croissants, but the ones yesterday at the Palace weren’t a patch on those served at the Headland – they were cold when they should’ve been served warm.  Indeed, we should’ve asked for them to be heated once we’d realized they were stone cold, but should we have to do this?  Should not an hotel know that these should be served warm?  After the experience with the awful chips at the Palace a few weeks ago and now these cold, rubbery croissants, we might have to cross the Palace off our list.

The flowers in Sainsbury’s are rather a mixed bag.  They look fresh enough but so many of them are bouquets of mixed colours:  there were mixed colours of roses, mixed colours of alstromeria, etc.  I don’t want mixed colours as if I’m in capable of deciding for myself which colours look nice together.  Some flowers look lovely in mixed colours. Take anemones as an example, all their rich colours look lovely together, but bunches of alstromeria in pink, red, white, magenta, and orange quite frankly look frightful.  But I managed to find a bunch of white alstromeria, so popped those into the trolley, and also some pink roses (the pink here looks quite bright but in fact, they are a pale coral and look rather pretty.)

Having had no success with the new foundation I bought in the Boots No 7 range, I sent for my old favourite, Stay Perfect foundation, only to find (silly me) I’d chosen the wrong colour, Cool Beige instead of Cool Ivory.  But I truly can’t be bothered to return it and so, having now ordered Cool Ivory, I will blend the two so that both are used.  I might even like the effect!

One thing I must cease doing is looking at Instagram accounts of people who are as book mad as I am!  My attention has been drawn to several books and some I’ve simply not been able to resist.  The latest books to arrive are …

I understand it’s the first of a trilogy but I’ll just have to see how I enjoy this one. It was published in 1964, the year I was married, but I expect 55 years later it will seem very dated by today’s standard of writing (which I think is much improved, generally speaking.)

As I’ve been enjoying the third crime novel set in Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones, I decided to buy …

which is the story of how he and his wife gave up their jobs in the UK and decamped to Venice, to live and work there.

And another book arrived this morning, again one I’d seen on an Instagram page somewhere …

a re-print of a novel (there are others in this series) from the 1950s.  I want to like these novels from a by-gone era, for that is what the 1950s and 1960s now are; time out of mind to some of us, or before our time for others!  Whether I shall like these 1950s/1960s books remains to be seen.

Yesterday was the Grand National.  Younger son phoned and suggested he put on a bet for each of us, so I said, “Just choose a couple of horses for us!”  He did that.  Husband’s fell at the first, mine fell at the 20th.  About as profitable as buying a lottery ticket or a scratch card, but it was fun – for all of five minutes.  I now owe son a tenner – we don’t go mad on such things!

And today it’s the Oxford/Cambridge University Boat Race.  The race takes about 15 – 20 minutes but the programme comes on at 1.30 pm and repetitively maunders on until 4 pm.  In the 1950s when I was a child at school, we used to go around sporting dark blue or light blue ribbons and people would shout, “Light blue? Dark blue?” (Light blue for Cambridge, Dark blue for Oxford).  The Race was talked about for weeks and weeks before the big day; people really were excited by it.  These days the first we’d heard was a few days ago when we learned that Olympic oarsman, Sir James Cracknell, the oldest man ever to row in the Boat Race at 46, was taking part.  Other than that, zilch.  And I’m afraid I can no longer get excited by it.

And now for a late lunch of various salads – crispy lettuce, cress, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, tabbouleh, what Sainsbury’s refer to as ‘cocktail’ beetroot (i.e. they’re small!), hummus, coleslaw, new potatoes and, for husband, a slice of ham as well.

I hope you are having a good weekend, and for those of us in the UK, we have Line of Duty on TV to look forward to this evening.

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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31 comments

  1. Hello Margaret. What a shame about the service and food at the hotel. I understand your frustration. Instagram can be so much fun but I was getting a bit of an overload for knitting ideas. So, I know what you mean about all the book ideas you can find. I read the Miss Buncle series by D.E. Stevenson and thoroughly enjoyed them. Hopefully, you will find your new books a great read.

    • Margaret

      I tried Miss Buncle’s Book, Pat, but I just didn’t get on with it, when I rather thought I would like it. But that is just one by D E Stevenson, I hope I enjoy this one instead.

  2. I do agree with you Margaret about mixed bunches of flowers, though if given as a gift I do appreciate them. I also agree about anemones and tulips being fine in mixed colours. I share your problem with seeing recommended reading everywhere and wanting to read them all! I can certainly say I’ve seen plenty on your blog which appeals. Do hope you feel on top form soon.

    • Margaret

      Thank you, Margaret, I’m just taking it easy today. I’m enjoying reading and not doing much else although I have changed the bed linen and got the washing machine on, I’ve emptied the dead flowers, washed all the vases, put the new flowers into vases, made lunch and am now going to make us some coffee, so not been entirely idle. Glad you agree re mixed colours of flowers, some are lovely, but some look just wrong to me. Oh dear, I’m leading readers astray with the books I show on my blog, too!

  3. Brooke Sheridan

    Margaret, I hope you are feeling better soon. I love looking at your floral arrangements, both here and on Instagram. Sorry to hear about your Grand National wager! Never bet against the magnificent Tiger Roll!

    • Margaret

      I had the winner I think it was the year before last, One for Arthur, as my dear late uncle was called Arthur. I think I won something like £84, not a huge sum, but worth having! Yes, thank you, I’m sure I will feel better soon, I just feel very lethargic. I need to get out in the fresh air and walk, but I just felt too tired even to contemplate that today. Glad you like my floral arrangements – if they can be called ‘arrangements’ as I don’t use anything to hold the flowers in place, I just put them into vases or jugs. No chicken wire, no oasis (the florist’s foam).

  4. So sorry you under the weather Margaret. I find antibiotics (though lucky enough not have had any for several years) cure the infection but bring me ‘down’.
    On the supermarket debacle I would enjoy Waitrose for as long as you can. Best wishes and take care and thank you for the posts and pictures on Instagram. I’ll be trying Philip Gwynne Jones.

    • Margaret

      It could be that the antibiotics have brought me down a bit, too, Jill. I’m sure I will bounce back shortly. Yes, maybe we should be enjoying Waitrose while we can, but we know their number is up, so to speak. Very sad. I don’t think they’ve done the right thing, I am sure Torbay is a large enough area to suppose a lovely new Waitrose store. I just with I could tell the powers that be at Waitrose this!

  5. So sorry to hear that you’re feeling out of sorts. Even after anti-biopics have done their bit we can still need recovery time so do carry on taking it easy this week.
    My own weekend has been an uneventful one too. Reading, cooking and a bit of sewing. It’s rare to have a whole weekend free.
    I too remember when the boat race generated more interest than it does now. My mother was always gripped!
    Taco flowers are better than Sainsburys locally (apart from the multicoloured chrysanthemums which I don’t like) but I exspect it varies from store to store.
    I hope you’ll be feeling back on form soon.

    • Margaret

      Oh, multi-coloured chrysanthemums and those awful dyed flowers … tacky, or what? I shall get used to stores other than Waitrose in time, it’s just that I used to enjoy shopping for food and now it’s just-a-job-to-do which saddens me. I don’t like shopping in a building that looks like it could double as an aircraft hangar or sporting venue.
      One other thing I miss in Sainsbury’s … the quality magazines. Far too many women’s weekly rags in Sainsbury’s and few quality style magazines, certainly no copes of The World or Interiors. Never mind, I’ve now subscribed to that and am awaiting my first copy. I used to have this years ago when it was first published, so I thought I’d try it again (I still have my old copies from the 1980s – I think it was launched in 1981/82).

  6. Margaret, I am particularly interested in your comment about writing having been much improved since the Stevenson novel was published. I much prefer “older” writing as I find common errors in today’s books and also find that the author hasn’t done enough research to notice that certain expressions were not spoken in earlier time periods (when they are writing a period piece book). But then I do not read as much as you do. Hope to fix that when I am retired. I’m not disagreeing with you outright but I’m curious as to why you think this is so as I think of you as an excellent writer. Agree that Instagram can make one spend money on books – there are so many charming versions of my favorite books out there – I had no idea about some of the wonderful publishing houses until Instagram! Hope you feel well soon.

    • Margaret

      I used to think as you did, Donna, that the writing years ago was better until I tried to re-read an early P D James novel and some D E Stevenson novels, and also Mary Stewart, and I found they hadn’t stood the test of time. I don’t know what it was about them, but they just seemed rather simplistic in their story lines. Today, common errors are made – in one novel set during WW2 (and by an otherwise excellent novelist) the heroine travels in a bus from Cornwall over the Tamar Bridge into Devon which wasn’t built until 1961, that kind of error – and as you say certain expressions were not spoken in earlier times. This is down to lack of knowledge and also bad editing. However, I still think, though, that overall our modern writers if not better than earlier writers are more mature in their writing; story lines do seem more believable to me – for example the relationship novels of Joanna Trollope. But it’s lovely that we can discuss these things and even disagree; and also, this doesn’t mean that I don’t always enjoy an earlier novel; I absolutely love Rosamunde Pilcher’s romantic novel, April (this never appears on any book list, it was published in 1957) of which I have a very tatty copy from when I was 13 and Mrs Pilcher signed it for me when I interviewed her, but it’s truly not a good novel. I only love it for I associate it with the girl I was back in 1957. It has not stood the test of time.
      Thank you for saying you think of me as an excellent writer, that is such a lovely compliment when I’ve never written a book, ‘only’ hundreds of published articles for a wide range of magazines. Thank you also for your get well message, Donna.

  7. I would be trying to enjoy Waitrose as long as possible. After some research, we have concluded that Waitrose Colombian coffee ice cream has no equal, so stock up whilst you can!

  8. I was just thinking the same – overload – only it was about quilting ideas on Pinterest! Don’t I have enough ideas saved (more than enough actually as when am I going to make all these quilts that look tempting?!). As for your lovely Waitrose – I say keep going there as long as you still have it. Why deprive yourself just because it’s going to leave you? Soon enough you’ll have to go, by force, to your not nearly as nice second choice.

    • Margaret

      Wise words, Jeannine. The only good thing is that it’s costing us far less (on average £20 per shopping trip) to shop in Sainsbury’s and our daughter in law says we would save even more money by shopping in Morrisons. But that is noisy in the extreme and I don’t want to actually begin to hate food shopping. It’s bad enough in Sainsbury’s aircraft hangar.
      I’ve not signed up for Pinterest, being on Instagram is bad enough, I mustn’t develop any more habits which would make be buy more books!

  9. On the antibiotics: they only work on bacteria, so if, for instance, a virus is what is ailing one antibiotics are not going to do the trick. So there’s that. Hope you feel well very soon.

    • Margaret

      Yes, Jeannine, I understand that anti-bs only work on bacteria, rather than a virus, but I’d have thought that I’d have felt better, not worse, after a week on anti-bs. Maybe I’m just run down. I’ve felt very tired today and hopefully will bounce back tomorrow. Thank you for your good wishes.

  10. Well,who do you think the photo was of!? Do you think Hastings is involved? Mystery deepens.

    • Margaret

      No, I don’t think it’s Hastings – someone called Hunter was mentioned earlier on, but that could be a red herring, of course. As for the photo, yes the mystery deepens. But it certainly keeps us on on the edge of our sofas! Love it. But I was reading a review in the paper and it said there was no such dept as AC-12 in the police, investigating corruption, and that no actual city is mentioned in the series, so that it could be anywhere. I understand it’s filmed in N. Ireland. But wherever and how true to life or not true to life, it’s certainly an excellent series, we love it.

  11. Think about picking up some probiotic capsules and take them for a couple of weeks after a course of antibiotics. I’ve been on them for over two years since having the dreaded CDiff (it developed after a course of IV antibiotics had been completed).

    The coffee ice cream? Ask at the supermarket if they can add the flavour to their stock. At my local supermarkets they love suggestions to expand their ranges. I’ve even found chocolate covered coffee ice cream bars.

    It’s been sunny here, and husband reports that there are Tulips poking through under the apple tree.

  12. I hope that you pick up soon, Margaret. It’s unpleasant feeling ‘down’. I have had antibiotics when a virus has then caused a chest infection; sometimes things do just drag on and on. I love older stories, it takes me back to a time was easier.

    • Margaret

      Yes, some of the older stories are lovely, Ratnamurti, I think the times were perhaps simpler but not always easier. And there have been so many improvements in my lifetime. Gay people not being prosecuted, the death penalty abolished, equal pay (well, that’s a moot point, but for the most part it’s much better now than it was when I was working), and so forth. And all the things we have that help us in the home that weren’t even invented when I married in 1964. Even things like soft loo paper compared with that hard stuff I remember as a child! Sometimes, though not always, we regard the past through rose-coloured spectacles, I think.

  13. Jan (in the UK)

    Hello Margaret, I’ve not been commenting due to arthritis in my hands, typing has had to be put to the end of the list of the must do jobs. I’ve still been reading all your posts and love my visits here.
    I’m sorry to hear you’re still under the weather, have you ever tried taking Metatone? It can be bought at chemists and some supermarkets, I usually find it where the paracetamol and such things are. A liquid formula in an orange and white box. It’s a tonic “to restore health and vitality” and I’m a bit sceptical about the word ‘tonic’ but it does work for me. A combination of vitamn B1 and four essential minerals. “For use after illness and when you’re feeling tired and run down” as stated on the box. It was recommended to me some years ago when I was recovering from a nasty chest infection and I’ve used it several times since and really think it works. Perhaps worth a try for you, it’s horrid feeling under the weather when you want to be getting on with things. I hope you’re soon back to your usual self.

    • Margaret

      Right, I shall seek out Metatone, Jan. Indeed, we might be going to the chemist this morning as I need to collect my meds. It’s worth a try, indeed! My cold sore is healing, gradually, and I do feel a bit better this morning.
      I’m sorry your arthritis has meant you haven’t been able to type, but please don’t worry, as long as you enjoy my blog I don’t mind at all, and just hope that the pain will cease. I feel we have a nice community of readers here, everyone welcome, and virtual coffee or tea being served 24/7 as they say!

  14. Hope you’ve perked up a bit today Margaret! Can’t help you on the coffee ice cream front except to say maybe you could make your own, something easy like “Nigella’s” no churn version, or a Mary Berry one? You could add a few nuts and chocolate sauce on the top and, yummy, I’m feeling hungry at the thought! 🍿🍿🍿

    Yesterday I planted some Alstromeria in the garden, I’ve seen them growing elsewhere so thought I’d give them a go. I’m a mixed colour fan with these flowers (I know you’re not) as I like their subtle shades veined with green blending together. Anyway I’ll see how I get on with my own home grown varieties. They looked a bit strange when they came out of the bag so I don’t hold out much hope, I should perhaps, have planted some ready grown plants.

    I’ve just read Posy Simmonds comic strip story, Cassandra Darke, a deep tale of dastardly goings on in the moneyed art world and more…quite a story, I love her drawings.

    I remember enjoying the Boat Race on Black and White TV, it’s been such a long tradition but I forgot to watch it this year!

    Hope today is going well for you.

    • Margaret

      I had thought of making my own ice cream, Heather, even just putting Kelly’s vanilla into the liquidizer with a dollop of Camp coffee essence, mixing it and re-freezing, just to see what it was like!
      I don’t dislike mixed alstomeria in the garden, but it was the colours of the mixed bunches in the supermarket I disliked. What I do like are two almost-the-same colours but not-quite-the-same, they can look great, say red and bronze, but I don’t like colours that are quite a long way apart, if that makes sense?
      I used to love Posy Simmonds comic strip in the Guardian and have a couple of her books, they were such fun. Her drawings are great.
      Thank you, I’m feeling much better today (Tuesday).

  15. I hope you’re feeling better by now. Cold sores can be such nasty things and usually a sign that we’re run down so you’ve been wise to take it easy….. We’ve had some lovely rain today. I washed my car yesterday so that wasn’t such a great move on my part but the car looked pretty good for a few hours. I had my regular monthly remedial massage today (helps me deal with old injuries) and the therapist commented that it was perfect weather for a massage. I told her I think any day is a good day for a remedial massage as I always leave feeling taller and more limbered (not sure if that’s a word ?) 😃

    • Margaret

      I’ve never had a massage, Lara, but it certainly sounded to have done you good. And why is it that when we wash the car it always rains, a bit like having the windows cleaned? You can bet your bottom dollar that once the window cleaner has been the heavens will open! My cold sore is healing, but it’s taking its time. I feel a little better each day, thank goodness.

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