I’m not a sporty person.  When I was young I learned how to swing a golf club, but having to trail around 18 holes proved  just too boring for words when I was 12 years old.   Of course, I now love to watch The British Open and the Masters from Augusta each year.  I also played tennis in my teens and, in my twenties, won a trophy for ten-pin bowling (the Ladies High Average) and took up squash in my thirties, until it did for my knees.

But I’ve always thought that running around and jumping up and down and playing football were things that you did as children in primary school, something you eventually grew out of, like last year’s school uniform.   So for the past fortnight the ‘Limpix’ (as our TV sporting gurus insist on referring to them) has been just a little boring for me (with the exception of dressage and yesterday’s endurance test, the men’s tri-athlon which was won yet again, i.e. gold and silver, by the wonderful Brownlee brothers).

I wonder … has the ‘Limpix’ encouraged you to take up a new sporting activity?  I certainly won’t be having a go at Tai Kwando (is that how it is spelt?) or boxing, both of which I consider legalized violence.   It strikes me that there are now too many events, ones that the ancient Greeks, on whose sporting prowess the modern games were based, would have laughed themselves silly over.  So what about the egg & spoon race? The sack race? The three-legged race? They might sound silly, but no sillier than some things I’ve seen.  I wonder what game/sport you might bring to the ‘Limpix’, or, more importantly, any that you would remove?



Here goes with my second post already.  Might as well strike while the typing iron is hot, eh?  But not as hot as London was in 1666, which is what I’ve been writing about today in this anniversary year of the Great Fire of London. What a conflagration that was, displacing more than 100,000 people and the estimated rebuilding of the city was the equivalent of more than £2 billion in today’s money.  It has been fun to research but as I’ve mentioned in the piece, two things have struck me and that is as soon as the embers were cooling (a) the displaced people, unable to contemplate that  the Fire happened accidentally, looked for someone or something to blame and (b) did what we Brits tend to do in the aftermath of some kind of catastrophic event … we formed a committee!

Two books on the subject stand head and shoulders above the rest: Adrian Tinniswood’s By Permission of Heaven, The Story of the Great Fire of London and T M M Baker’s London, Rebuilding the City after the Great Fire.  Both are extremely readable and the latter has line drawings of the Wren churches and other important buildings which rose from the ashes of the City.  It says in the blurb, ” … never before attempted in a single volume, the book re-creates much of the original appearance of London of the late 17th century, in some three hundred pictures.”

Therefore, I recommend these books on the subject of the Great Fire and the rebuilding, in the 350th anniversary year of this event.





Dear Friends,


“You must have a blog of your own!” so many people said.  And so I thought, well, why not?  So here is a trial post.  I don’t even know whether I can manage this.  My computer guru has set it all up for me and now I must simply get on with it.  I’m still unable to change the title from Magnolia (not my choice, an example by WordPress) to what will be my title DEVON DREAMING.

At this stage of the game I’ve no idea what I will be writing about, but I trust that you will bear with me on this very steep learning blogging curve.  I hope that the topics I write about, things which interest me, will also interest you, from books and historic houses and gardens, to clothes for the older woman who doesn’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb but also doesn’t wish to be togged out in the 21st century version of a crimplene cardie.

So, hang on in there, I sincerely hope there’s more to come.

Margaret P