Chill-out time


We’ve been to Telford today. Possessor of the dubious title of ‘fastest growing town in the UK’ it’s not the prettiest town centre but it’s not bad for shopping and has a large and very attractive town park. It is also set amid some of the loveliest countryside in the Midlands. Foregoing the quickest route (motorways), we enjoyed a leisurely drive through several pretty Worcestershire and Shropshire villages.

After a delicious early lunch provided by my daughter who lives not far from Telford, we drove into the town where I stocked up on some Bare Minerals items I needed (said daughter keeps me well stocked with Debenhams vouchers for Christmas, Birthdays etc. for this very purpose), and bought a few tasty treats in the M&S food hall for later. The rest of the afternoon was spent in her lovely old cottage lazily doing not very much.

I have a few days off work. Nine to be precise. Whoopee! We have outings planned and I shall be enjoying lots of chill-out time with plenty of reading material to hand:
*Power Lines -an quarterly industry publication for staff, to keep me linked to my past career
*Saga Magazine – we have a monthly subscription
*Healthy – purchased today in Holland & Barrett
*The Lady -several back copies picked up at the ladies gym where I am a member (we have a bookshelf where members donate items for which others make a voluntary donation to raise funds for the local hospice – around £6,000 to date.
*Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriaty – also picked up at the gym
*Two e-books – Confinement and The Woman in the Picture by Katharine McMahon (author of several excellent novels including The Rose of Sebastol and The Crimson Rooms).

And, of course, the daily and Sunday newspapers.


  1. Western Power Distribution is the company that sorts out power cuts in our neck of the woods, and we have one about once a year in our Close.
    I also like The Lady and if it were a fortnightly rather than a weekly I might buy it, but I tend to keep my magazines and one every week, well the logistics of that are too voluminous to contemplate! I have written for them in the past – interviews with Prunella Scales and Juliet Nicolson (writer), and features on gardens and so forth.
    I actually complimented the Editor of Stella and her team not that long ago on a very good edition of the mag (I have voiced my opinion about strange fashions, though!) and they replied and said how much they had appreciated my email. But even though I enjoy the mag, especially seeing some of the homes featured, I stand by my criticism of the kind of models they use and the kinds of clothes featured with enormous price tags and yet they look (to me, anyway) truly ghastly, dahling! Let’s face it, you don’t see the Editor of American Vogue, Anna (Nuclear) Wintour, wearing such things, do you?
    Margaret P


    • Wow, how fabulous to have written for The Lady. I did pitch to them once but no luck. I know I should expend more effort in pitching. As for Stella, well dahling, they should listen to what you’re saying. If they read your blog, they’d know that you are a woman of taste!!
      As we so often see with the super-expensive clothes advertisements, money does not buy taste. Anna Wintour looked very elegant last time I saw her …. In the newspaper, not in real life!


  2. I have enjoyed all Katharine McMahon’s novels with the exception of After Mary (not my kind of theme.) But a good haul of magazines and books. Not sure that Power Lines would be my bag, but if this was your profession (electricity?) then yes, it would be interesting. My favourite mags are The English Home and Homes & Antiques, and I love reading the Stella magazine in The Sunday Telegraph which is full of the most ridiculous fashions at unrealistic prices, models looking like emaciated children wearing oversize garments they picked up in charity shops.
    I haven’t tried the Bare Minerals range of beauty products, so maybe I might try those when I run out of my usual No & Lift and Luminate foundation (another silly name for a products as it neither lifts nor luminates, it’s just a foundation which is quite light and evens up the colours of my skin, i.e. it does the job!)


    • I wonder what the publishers of Stella would think of your description of the magazine! I know just what you mean though. Yes, electricity. I worked for E.on in the Central Networks division. That part of the business was bought by Western Power (active in the South-West) and they wanted to reduce staff from c5,000 to c4,000 so I took voluntary redundancy. I like to look through quality home magazines too and occasionally some of those appear at the gym too. Last time I went on holiday I took a pile of The Traveller. It just depends on what people are getting rid of at the time. I like The a Lady for it’s variety of articles. I’ve not read After Mary. It’s strange how authors often write one ‘different’ book – I’ve thought many times that a particular book doesn’t fit with a writers usual style. Maybe they just want to experiment.
      I like to use either Bare Minerals or Benecos products because they have no parabens or SLSs in them and they also ‘do the job’. I wonder how some of these cosmetics companies get away with their spurious claims!


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