After several days of rainy weather today dawned sunny and bright.  I suggested to my husband that we drive to Topsham and those who have been reading my blog for a while might recall that we went there about a month or so ago when we visited the Quay Antique Centre and I bought three chubby cut glass tumblers, a cut glass jug and a small Vaseline glass basket.  

Today we were in search of a cut glass tumbler (or two or more) for our elder son but we didn’t see anything that quite fitted the bill.  But that’s the nature of looking in such places; sometimes you just happen upon something that is lovely and the right price, but if you actually go in search of something in particular rarely do you find it. Never mind, we enjoyed a good browse.  I even saw two more Vaseline glass baskets, identical to the one I bought on my previous visit.   I left them there, though, as they were much more expensive than the one I bought (£49 the pair) perhaps because they were a pair and pairs invariably are more expensive than single items.  And, of course, different dealers often charge different amounts, it’s not an exact science. 

After a good mooch around we went in search of a light lunch.  It’s a pretty little town and on one shop windowsill were pretty cowslips (photo above) a real sign of spring.

We decided to have lunch in the Salutation Inn ( www.salutationtopsham.co.uk ).  This is a former coaching inn but it was thoroughly refurbished a few years ago.  We have not eaten there before;  today was our first experience of the place.  And it was a good one. We will return!

This is called the Glass House café (it isn’t the main dining room) and we were met by one of the female waiters who welcomed us and showed us to our table.  This area had obviously been a courtyard before, perhaps – judging by the arched entrance – where coaches and horses would’ve entered, but which is now covered by a glass atrium-style roof. 

We didn’t want a large lunch and so chose from the light lunch menu the Mini Platter of Creedy Carver Duck which was prepared and cooked in three different ways (which is the current style of cooking):  confit/crispy/parfait, and we decided to share one portion, each of us having small appetites.  With a cup of excellent Americano it made for a delicious light lunch. 

I made the suggestion – whether this will be adopted remains to be seen – that they could make this into a proper sharing platter by presenting it on a slightly larger board, adding a few extras, and charging just that little bit more.  The duck parfait was in the lidded jar and in the bowl was a delicious chilli sauce. 

I hope you like the borders I am now adding to the photos, and I’ve even ‘shadowed’ the above food photo – this is getting all a bit arty, isn’t it?  Perhaps I should just stick to a plain photo!

At the table next to us the female waiter was explaining to a couple about the desserts, and then she brought a platter showing some of the individual cakes and pastries (there were other desserts but I was quite captivated by these – well, who wouldn’t have been been!)

And so we decided to have a different one each, and then cut them in half so we could try two of them that way.

We both agreed this was an excellent light lunch.  We then made our way back to our car and drove home.  What a lovely time we had had.

Do you, like us, sometimes share a meal?  I do think that it is usual these days, unless in fine dining restaurants, to be over-faced with too-large portions, so husband and I often order one meal and ask for an extra plate.  It just seems sensible to us. 

 

 

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If you think three glossy magazines each month is rather overkill, plus of course the Radio Times and the magazines that arrive with the weekend papers, plus the Waitrose magazine, free for loyalty card holders, then think again.  I only have three monthly glossy titles now.  I used to have at least eight.

My excuse was that I wrote for magazines and therefore had to keep up to speed with what the markets required.  That was my excuse. The truth was I loved monthly glossy style magazines.  And I still do.

Is it any wonder?  As I have mentioned before, I was brought up in my parents’ newsagent’s shop and therefore from a very early age was able to look at all the newspapers, magazines and books that I desired.  I’ve mentioned the comics I had – School Friend and Girl – and the monthly magazine, Young Elizabethan and later, as a teenager, the new magazine, Honey.  And I have mentioned, but only touched on, my love of the monthly glossies. 

Of course these magazines were not as glossy in the 1950s as they are today, and they were only partially in colour, but I loved them.  I also read the weeklies, such as Picture Post, Illustrated, John Bull, and Everybody’s, but was sniffy about rags – and my apologies to those who enjoy these publications famous for the three Rs but which have little to do with the education curriculum; they are for Royalty, Romance and Recipes – such as Woman, Woman’s Own, and as for The People’s Friend, Women’s Weekly, Home Chat and Home Notes … well, even at eight or nine I knew they were not for me.   As for The Lady – it had far many adverts for cooks and nannies. 

There were the female-oriented monthlies – Everywoman, Woman’s Journal, Vanity Fair and good old Good Housekeeping which his still going strong – and She when it was introduced to the market, and the upmarket magazines such as Country Life, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Queen, and the specialist magazines such as those for D-I-Y enthusiasts, or Horse & Hound for the horsey community and even Cage Birds Monthly.   

It didn’t take me long to learn that most of all I loved the style magazines featuring lovely homes and of those my favourites were Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home (I also liked House & Garden but not as much as the other two.)  So much so that I persuaded my parents to allow me to have my own copies. I just wish I had those magazines from the 1950s now! 

Of course, in those days, most of the homes shown were not in full colour – although I distinctly remember the home of actress  Adrienne Allen (mother of actress, Anna Massey and her brother, actor, Daniel Massey – her father was Raymond Massey, who was Dr Gillespie in the long-running series, Dr Kildare) being shown in Homes & Gardens in full colour and, oh, how I coveted Anna’s bedroom, with pretty pink and blue floral quilts on the twin beds.  And, if I remember correctly, they converted the “coal hole” into a small TV room in the days before this rather ugly piece of furniture (it is still an ugly piece of furniture even today) was permitted to invade our sitting rooms.   In Anna Massey’s autobiography – Telling Some Tales – she mentions moving to this house, No 2, The Grove, Highgate, and that Samuel Taylor Coleridge had once lodged at No 3.  She says that her mother later sold the house to Yehudi Menuhin, who in turn sold it to Sting and Trudie Styler.  She says her bedroom was in blue and white, but I distinctly remember shades of pink in there, too. 

Of course, then, as now, and as with all my comics, I kept my magazines in orderly piles in my book cupboard.  But sadly, they were thrown away when we moved from the shop to my parents’ new venture, a seafront hotel.  And when I was newly married, I permitted myself one monthly magazine – Ideal Home – and these were similarly consigned to the tip when we moved to our present home. I also had Nova when that was first introducted, but it was a very short-lived publication, sadly.

I now have another sizeable collection of magazines but sooner or later they must go.  Eventually, I will take them to various charity shops to allow others to enjoy them and compare those form the 1980s with those of today, more than 30 years later. 

And so to today’s carrot:  The English Home, one of my three monthly magazines, has arrived.  It dangles before me, in full carrot-like fashion (I’m speaking metaphorically, of course) and now I must do some housework before I allow myself even a glimpse.   

Do you have a favourite magazine or magazines?  Or do you just choose one from the newsstands when you fancy a light read?

 

 

 

 

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I expect many of you will already know of Shire Books or even have some of them on your bookshelves. 

For more than fifty years Shire has produced slim, inexpensive, non-fiction written by experts and enthusiasts on a wide range of specialist topics, some decidedly recherché and perhaps the only books on their subjects. 

I admit to being a complete Shire junkie, having collected them for over 25 years, from their rather quaint black and white original format to their full colour ones of today. 

The Shire Story

1962 saw the beginning of Shire Books.  There were originally two partners in the venture – John Hinton and John Rotheroe, both of them in full-time employment in advertising in London.  Their first book was just 24 pages long and called Discovering East Suffolk and it was John Hinton who suggested the name of Shire for their small publishing company.   Several more Discovering titles followed and when, in 1967, Discovering Brasses was an immediate success, John Rotheroe commissioned several authors to write for his Discovering series. 

From 1974 until 2007 Shire was based in the twin-gabled 17th century Cromwell House in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.  The staff saw the list expand massively – some titles were published only once but some, such as Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings, sold in excess of 100,000 copies, so that by the 1980s, Shire Books had become something of a British institution. 

In 2007, after 45 years, John Rotheroe retired, selling his company to Osprey Publishing, a company noted for its military history books.  The list was expanded, the Albums (another series) were updated, and there was a total makeover:  more pages which would allow each subject to be covered in more depth and with colour printing throughout.   

And then along came more expensive, larger format Shire Books …

And some lovely social history Shire Books …

In 1972 a second series – Lifelines – was launched.I had a quick count of my collection the other day and surprised even myself as I have 280.  Many were very inexpensively purchased for pence, some were rather more expensive but never more than  two or three pounds, and some of them were review copies from Shire when I was needing information for my magazine articles (and, of course, I always credited Shire Books for such information.)  Another plus, and not one to be overlooked, is that because they are slender volumes, you can fit a substantial number of them onto your shelves without their taking up too much space!

Shire Books are now published by Bloomsbury Publishing and I understand they are now printed-on-demand. They will remain, though, my first port-of-call when researching a new-to-me topic.  My goodness, there are even now Shire USA titles, such as Airstream, King of the RVs, and Route 66.  But whatever subject you are interested in, there will undoubtedly be a Shire Book for you. 

Have you any Shires on your shelves?

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I have posted before on how I don’t mind housework or, as I prefer to refer to it, housekeeping.  In other words, keeping our home looking clean and tidy and welcoming.  But sometimes I’d really rather prefer to lie in bed, especially on a wet Monday morning, with endless cups of coffee and my favourite magazines and a good book. Well, who wouldn’t?

One of my favourite magazines is above (there are others, but I won’t post about them now, but save that for another time) and this month it has surpassed itself as instead of a lot of quirky interiors (of which I’m non too keen) it shows some elegant, antiques’ filled places I love.  It is also obvious that the must-have colour for the coming season is a vivid shade of something which falls between blue and green. Believe me, it’s all over the pages (and the houses) like a rash. 

But to the point of this.  The magazine above and this book below were my ‘carrots’ today …

The magazine arrived on Saturday but I’ve not yet read all of it, and Joanna Trollope’s latest novel arrived this morning.  I was itching to read both.  I know I will enjoy Joanna’s book –  when have I not liked a novel by Joanna Trollope?  Indeed, she won’t remember this, but I interviewed Joanna way back in 2002.  She was staying in Bath, and was to be a speaker at the Bath Literary Festival later that day, after our interview in her hotel. I had exactly an hour with her, but our time together didn’t feel at all rushed.  She had just had Girl from the South published and had been to America to research that novel and she told me all about that experience.  We had a lovely conversation and my write up was in a magazine a month or so later.  Unlike some people I’ve interviewed in my time (no names!) she was kindness itself, concerned that the room we were in might be too cold for me, and had I had sufficient to eat? (Lovely biscuits had been served with the tea that she ordered for us).  What a truly gracious interviewee she was.

But no, I put the magazine and the book to one side, got up, showered, dressed, put on my make-up as I always do, spritzed with perfume, and decided that today I would clean the shower room. 

I will admit here this is the housekeeping job I like the least (so in a way this is the “stick”, the magazine and the book being the “carrot” – I said to myself I’d not look at either until the  shower room was clean!)  

I think the reason I don’t care for this job is because it is a very small room indeed (there is a further bathroom upstairs) just a shower cabinet, a basin with mirror above, a loo, a little cupboard and some glass shelves and a couple of mirrors.   Not a lot to clean, you say?  No, but it always takes me ages, lots of places for grime to invade … window ledge, the corners in the shower, the glass shower cabinet, the glass shelves, the sanitary ware, the skirting board and the floor … and then I wanted to clean out the cupboard in which we keep the toiletries as I don’t like things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, eye drops, cold sore cream, Savlon and so forth on display.  Nor do I like my makeup being on display, so that all goes into a small wicker basket, and that also needed a clean out and old makeup discarding. 

I haven’t taken any photos of my cleaning efforts today, but everything is now spic and span:  clean sanitary ware, polished taps, gleaming mirrors, makeup cleaned and ordered, fresh towels out, a new bar of soap … the only thing which would make it look really lovely would be fresh flowers and I would’ve gone into the garden for at least two or three hellebores, but it has been raining non-stop and I wasn’t going to get soaked for hellebores!

But here is a little collage of what the tiny room looked like when we re-decorated it four years ago, and it’s looking nice and clean again today. 

You can’t see the shower cabinet here, but it is to the left of the basin (I do wish people on programmes such as Escape to the Country would refer to “basins” in bathrooms and not “sinks” as sinks are in kitchens – OK, I’m being pedantic, as usual!)

My husband made the little corner cabinet which holds all the toiletries and put wallpaper on the front so that it doesn’t obtrude too much visually. 

And with this little room clean, this afternoon I took up my “carrot” – the magazine and the book!

Do you have similar ploys to get you to do the jobs you’re really rather not do?  For example, no cups of tea until the job is done? 

 

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The top photo is what the drive to Shaldon and from there to Teignmouth via the coast road should be like. The bottom photo is what it looked like today.  Indeed, we have been feeling the full force of the latest winter storm, Storm Ewan. Who thinks up these ridiculous names?  I thought storm names were all female, but no, we’ve now met Ewan.  (And just so as not to cause offence to any Ewans reading this, I mean it’s ridiculous to call storms by people’s names; what’s wrong with just storm number ten of the winter? Why personalize them?)

We usually enjoy the drive to Shaldon, which is a small village on the Torbay side of the River Teign. 

Here, again, is what it looks like in summer – this is the hill down into Shaldon and from there you drive past the entrance to the Homeyard Botanical Garden,  This, too, is a lovely place for a stroll in the spring and summer.  Here is what it says on a plaque inside the garden:

Mrs Homeyard had a special tea house built, in the style of an castle.  Sadly, it’s now a ruin, but it is easy to imagine what taking afternoon tea might’ve been like in such a lovely setting …

 

This is the view of the Shaldon Bridge (just seen through the trees on the left)  from Homeyards Botanical Garden (a pity the tide was out … the River Teign is tidal at this point, the area you can see here, with the boats at anchor is known as The Salty, for obvious reasons.)

From Shaldon we crossed the Shaldon Bridge, heading towards Teignmouth,  when it should’ve looked like this …

But instead it looked like this …

But as we approached Bishopsteignton, on the Teignmouth side of the River Teign, the sun put in an appearance for just long enough for me to photograph a field where there were sheep and lambs and some daffodils by the roadside in full bloom …

After visiting our younger son and his girlfriend we returned home when the view of the Ness at Shaldon (the cliff jutting out into the sea) should’ve looked like this, but obviously didn’t – by now the rain had really begun to hammer down.  This photo was taken heading towards Shaldon over the Shaldon Bridge.

And a year or so ago we drove with our son and his girlfriend to a place high above where they live to gain an even better view of the area, but again it was a misty day …

Since returning home the weather has become even worse, high winds and rain, and so, feeling sleepy I gave in to an afternoon by the fireside …

And with a cup of tea and my book, I spent a very relaxing, cold and windy Sunday afternoon …

I wonder how you have spent your Sunday afternoon?

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I met a friend for coffee this week.  I say “friend” because this is how I think of her, but this was the first occasion we actually met in person.  We have been emailing each other for several months and it just so happens we live close to one another – indeed, we can see each other houses.  But we chose to meet for the first time in a local sea front hotel.

This hotel is a favourite venue for visitors to the area and locals alike, and it is always busy.  However, it was a blustery day – Storm Doris was doing her worst in other parts of the country – and I have to say it didn’t look quite like it does here on this summer-time photograph.  In summer it’s lovely to have morning coffee, afternoon tea or lunch on the veranda or in the garden under the awnings.

The hotel was once the home of … 

My new friend and I enjoyed coffee and biscuits and chatted like we’d known each other for several years, not several minutes!  But that is what happens, sometimes, isn’t it? when you find yourself on the same wavelength as someone.  And then another friend – who just happened to have been the person that had brought my new friend and I together, as she knows both of us – walked through, with one of her friends!  I hope that makes sense to you!  As I said, this is a meeting place for visitors and residents alike! 

While I love to meet and chat with old friends – my oldest friend (not in years but in the length of time I’ve known her) and I met in 1951, we met on my first day at school in Torbay.  She is the person I’ve known longest other than my cousin – but it’s also good, especially as we get older, to make new friends, too.  Not replacing those who have died (I don’t use euphemisms, they didn’t pass away, we didn’t lose them!) that would be impossible, but adding to our store of nice people to be with and with whom we are comfortable, and with whom we can exchange views and opinions and even learn new things. 

I felt rather guilty as my new friend had brought me a lovely bunch of Lisianthus (top photo) which are now looking lovely in our sitting room.  And so the coffee was my treat.  What a lovely morning we had. 

PS  Specially for Eloise who has kindly left a comment, here is a photo (taken some years ago) of some purple Lisianthus in our sitting room.

 

 

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I know, I know.  It can be tedious to go shopping.  First we need to check the contents of the fridge, the freezer, the larder, see if we require any toothpaste, loo rolls, kitchen rolls, polythene bags, foil, baking parchment, kitchen caddy food waste bags, and cleaning products.  We then need to make a list to ensure we don’t forget anything (and we need to stick to the list in order not to overspend.)

Then we have to drive to the supermarket, find a parking space, remember a coin for the trolley (if it is coin operated), remember to take shopping bags( otherwise we will be charged for them) and once we have all our purchases, we have to drive home and put everything away.  You know all this – little wonder then that we tend to grumble about the whole procedure and also cringe when we see how much we’ve spent. 

We did our shopping today.  Although I’ve called this post “The Weekly Shop” we only shop when we need sufficient items to make driving to the supermarket worthwhile.  We tend to eat more fruit and veg than anything else, so that when the chiller drawer in the fridge is low in stock, that means we need to stock up. 

On the photo above is what we bought today.  We had a one-stop-shop, i.e. we didn’t need to go to another supermarket for the items we buy there (coffee, and cleaning products other than the new one I’m trying here, Wild Mint & Green Tea Clean-ology all purpose cleaner.  Ok, Ok, I was seduced by a prettily-shaped bottle with an enticing name demonstrating I’m as susceptible as the next gullible person to the power of advertising!)  The only thing that is missing – again not on the list, but it would’ve been had we known that it was going to be there, if that makes sense! – is a lovely fritillary plant for the garden.  But other than that, we stuck to the list. 

You will notice the name of the supermarket and I will say here and now that I’m not advertising this particular supermarket as we shop in three different supermarkets; this just happens to be the one we went to today. 

And so, why have I chosen to write about something as ordinary as doing the weekly shop? 

It is this.  We all tend to grumble about doing the shopping and yet we should be delighted to do it.  Because in going to the supermarket (or the market for that matter) we are demonstrating first and foremost  that there is a supermarket to go to, a place where we can find good quality food, and plenty of it.   It also demonstrates we have the wherewithal to pay for these items.  We should really be very glad that we have supermarkets and clean, fresh food if not on our doorstep, then not all that far away. 

Yes, you will say to that (well, perhaps you won’t!) but there are also a lot of people who can’t afford food even in a country as rich as ours.  And yes, this is also true and it is totally reprehensible.  I find it very sad that we need food banks in this day and age but while we need them I will support them and place items in the food bank container each week:  if I am able to buy in this particular supermarket, I can also afford to buy some extra items for the food bank. 

I know lots of people dislike supermarkets, how they’ve run the small traders out of business, but to them I would say this. I was a child in the 1950s. I can remember when food came off ration after WW2. We really had very little to eat and what there was was boring in the extreme.  Furthermore, the food wasn’t always fresh.  Very often, cheese – which was often what I would call ‘mousetrap’ Cheddar or Cheshire, with some Danish Blue if you were lucky, and that apology for cheese, i.e. a packet Kraft Cheese Slices – was often dried out or showing signs of mould; potatoes and other root veg were often weighed with a good dollop of soil still attached; and milk from the local dairy was often on the turn.  Indeed, when milk was delivered to the doorstep, it had often been on the milk float for several hours – in summer this meant that it was almost butter, in winter it was frozen solid.  Indeed, birds would often peck the foil from the top in order to get at the cream and no one wants a pint of milk that the birds have had their beaks in.  There were no ‘sell by ‘or ‘use by’ dates, indeed, there appeared little control over what was sold and the ingredients weren’t always listed on the packets.

Some people today also moan that there is “too much choice” and I’ve sometimes been one of them.  But compared to what the shops had on offer when I was a child, I’m simply delighted to be able to shop in the lovely clean and bright and airy supermarkets we have today, with their abundance of choice and, for the most part, food that is fresh and safe to eat. 

And with the store card for this particular supermarket we are entitled to a free newspaper, so I picked up The Times (different from our regular paper which we have each day), the supermarket’s own weekly paper, the supermarket’s monthly magazine, and the John Lewis latest catalogue.  Plus a free carton of coffee each.  (I say “free” but we do realize that we pay for the paper and the coffee in the cost of our groceries. )

So yes, a nice thing to do is to do the weekly shop.  Of course, you might totally disagree. 

 

 

 

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It has been a very dull and drizzly day here in South Devon.  If it has also been like this where are you are,  I thought we could all perhaps benefit by a cheerful sight, and so here is a pot of crocus which are currently in our garden.  I took this photograph on Monday, which was a gloriously sunny day when we did some tidying up in the garden.  Since then, it has been dull, cold, dark and damp, and they have remained ‘closed’, as if to say, wake us up when the weather improves! 

 

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After a sunny and mild day yesterday – when we even managed to do some gardening  – just a little limbering up, nothing too strenuous to start the gardening season – we soon realized we needed a new lawn rake.  Our old one … I will re-phrase that:  our very old one, had parted company with the handle.  Husband had mended it on several occasions but there comes a time when items need to be replaced and this was one of them.

We drove to a garden centre about ten miles. There are two garden centres closer to home but we thought we’d enjoy seeing the countryside even though it was a dull and chilly day. 

Fermoys started life in a small way in 1977 and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.  Of course it is now much more than ‘just’ a garden centre, for you will find a delicatessen, a butcher’s shop, a pets’ centre, summerhouses and greenhouses, everything that a garden or gardener could possibly require, household goods, garden furniture, houseplants and, of course, a café. 

It was to the café that we went first.  We had not long since had our breakfast and so we only wanted coffee and perhaps a scone.   It is a perennial complaint of mine that cafes produce scones which are simply too large. They are more mini-loaves.  The scones were HUGE and so we simply shared one.  I say make them smaller and reduce the price accordingly.  

We then went in search of the said garden rake and found just what we were looking for, one that is good quality or we hope it is and that it won’t part company, the tines with the handle, when put to use clearing up leaves in the autumn. 

I also bought some Bishop of Llandaf dahlias to plant in a couple of pots because whenever we plant dahlias in the ground, something eats them – we’re not sure what, but they dahlais always disappear, totally, and without trace.  We like this dark red single dahlia not only for its flower but also for its dark foliage.  Indeed, I’m not keen on red flowers in our small back garden, but I make an exception for The Bishop!

Bishop of Llandaf dahlias at Kingston Lacy (National Trust), Dorset, more than a decade ago (taken with my 35mm print camera)

That done, we bought steak pasties at the delicatessen counter and I fell for the spiel of the sales’ assistant who was promoting a cheddar cheese called Black Bomber (no doubt because it is contained within a black casing.)  She explained that it came from Snowdonia in Wales.  She gave me a small piece to try and of course, it tasted so good I just had to have some.  It will be delicious with crusty bread and chutney.  Indeed, it was unlike any other cheddar cheese I’ve tasted, as it was soft and creamy but still packed a cheddar punch.

Close to the delicatessen counter there are areas for fruit and veg and also olives, cider and all things foodie. 

 

 

As it was rather chilly we decided not to wander around the plants’ area out of doors; this can wait for a warmer day!

Just before we left I popped into the butcher’s shop, and bought skirt beef with which to make a beef casserole (for those living anywhere other than the UK, ‘skirt’ is a cut of beef ideal for long, slow cooking.) 

An elderly woman was being served and she turned to me and said, “I’m a terrible cook!” So I said, “Oh, I’m sure you’re not …”  And then she said, “I’m going to make a shepherd’s pie!  We don’t have red meat often but when we have it I do like to know where it’s from!” 

I put all those exclamation marks in because that is how she spoke!  When the butcher explained to her the meat came from a farm close to Exeter she said, “Oh, that’s OK … my daughter used to live near there!” As if her daughter living near the farm made any difference to the quality of the meat … oh, people are so funny!  I love this kind of close encounter!

The weather wasn’t very pleasant, it wasn’t exactly raining but it was damp and cloudy and rather chilly.  We then drove home and enjoyed our pasties with a glass of Katy cider (i.e. cider made from a single apple variety, Katy). 

Do you enjoy a visit to a garden centre? 

 

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First of all, I would like to thank all who commented not only on my two posts on my favourite comics, but also on my book collections.  I have loved hearing about your own book collections and the comics you read as children.

Above is a type of carnation that I really like, not only for their colour but their scent.  It is one in a bunch of spray carnations I photographed some years ago, pure white with crimson ‘pinked’ edges. 

And then recently, when I saw some pillow cases on the Sophie Conran website which were white with coral scalloped edges, I thought that they might look good in our bedroom.  I think there is a similarity between the flower and the pillow cases.

However, I wondered, whether the floral silk cushions I have on our bed during the daytime would look a bit ‘washed out’ against this vibrant coral colour.  So I placed the cushions against the Sophie Conran website page displaying the pillow cases on my computer screen and they looked fine.  And so I ordered them.

When they arrived, I ripped open the parcel, ironed the pillow cases and popped them onto the pillows on our bed. 

 

I think they look lovely.  These photos (above) were taken at night;  the colours of the walls appear slightly darker at night, but during the day (photo below) they are a much softer colour …

The pillow cases are also available with plain white edges or pale green edges.  I appreciate that pillowcases are relatively insignificant things, but when putting a room scheme together without spending a lot of money, small items such as pillow cases – incluidng those you can find in charity/thrift shops or antiques centres – can make a big difference.

 

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