Monday, October 26, 2009


At the beginning of this month we thought we'd check to make sure that our central heating was in full working order before the colder weather arrived...sadly the radiators refused to heat up, so an engineer was called...he came, but couldn't fix it. We were told that the system needed flushing-out and we'd need to book an all day appointment, but that a plumber couldn't come out for at least a fortnight.

That appointment finally came round and our central heating system was flushed through...but even after that, we were still without heat when it didn't solve the problem, so another engineer was booked to call on the Friday just gone...
The man that came on that occasion actually made things worse; not only did he not fix our central heating, but her broke the hot water system too! He said we'd have to be without both all weekend, as someone else with the spare parts wouldn't be able to attend until Monday.

That was the last straw! We'd got used to wearing an extra layer and lighting the fire in the living room every evening, but to not be able to have a hot bath all weekend...
So on the spur-of-the-moment hubby and I decided to book a B&B and go off for the weekend. Luckily our youngest had already arranged to stay with her friend over the weekend, so we were free to choose where we'd like to go...not a difficult had to be Devon, didn't it? A few quick clicks on the www and we were booked in for the Saturday night at Ashburton.

Bright and early on Saturday morning we headed off on our not-so-long-anticipated holiday!
We arrived in the town mid-morning and after a quick cuppa in our favourite cafe it was time to visit the lovely Ros at 'The Snug' - My absolutely favourite shop, run by this gem of a lady.

Sat in the window at the back of The Snug is this gorgeous and glamorous gal (not for sale, or I would have been first in line...;-))

A beautifully put together red and cream corner...
and a lovely assortment of vintage treasures next to it...some of which came home with me!

After saying our farewells to Ros, we took a leisurely wander along the rest of the high street.

Ashburton really is a relaxing little town, where all the shop keepers are very friendly...we even managed to get some insider information about the local car boot sales that would be running on the Sunday from the lady in 'The Shambles' - a fab antiques shop near to Sara's Lavender Box.
The weather made us feel very welcome too...hours of warm sunshine and blue skies.

Later in the afternoon we checked-in to the B&B, then went for a short walk along one of the public footpaths before our evening meal.
(That night, having a centrally heated bedroom took a bit of getting used to, but the hot bath was most welcome!)
Sunday dawned and we checked out of the B&B and headed to the car boot sale at Newton Abbot racecourse. There was a mixture of stalls, some very expensive, but I did come away with a few treasures.
After that we then went to Totnes and a walk along the ramparts to The Guildhall.


Then back to the high street for a light lunch.

It was then off to another car boot sale, near Paignton, which opened at 1pm (very civilised!) I bought a very pretty pair of Victorian hand painted pictures on glass, which I shall show towards the end of this post. It never ceases to amaze me what turns up at car booties!
And was that the end of our little foray? No, we packed in more!! (Sue is always saying how one night away equates to one week in her book, as she has so little time-off from work, and I can see what she means...its surprising what can be done with a few hours away from it all.)
Our next stop was Stoke Gabriel, a pretty village where we have holidayed before, and a hot cup of tea sat looking out over the estuary...

Whilst we were there, a RNLI lifeboat was called to rescue the ferry boat, thankfully not the ferryman, which they towed out to safety.

And then all was quiet once more...

Finally, our journey home had to begin, but we did so by calling in at Budleigh Salterton for a quick walk along its pebbly beach before the sun went down...


Back home and the gas engineer came back again today (this time bringing the boss as well!) and we now have heating AND hot water!! Joy! We have to invest in some new radiators, which will be fitted next month, but at least for now we are warm.
Whilst they were in my workroom working on the boiler, I sorted through my purchases from the weekend. This is the pair of Victorian paintings on glass that I mentioned. I'm very pleased with those...
A pretty pair of paisley eiderdowns came from Ros.
As did this beautifully hand embroidered linen tablecloth.
This adorable plaster figure was from The Shambles.
And some of my other treasures included some striped cotton sheets and pillowcases...

A framed wedding photograph from a century ago (wouldn't you just love to be able to see what colours these ladies were wearing? - I'm sure they would have all been so pretty in their lace embellished outfits and millinery creations)

And an old book from a similar time to the wedding photograph was another of my favourite finds and the perfect souvenir of a special weekend away with my lovely hubby.

Hope you had a fab weekend too!
Now I need to catch-up on some work after having so many days with central heating engineers working in my space this month...I have two more rag dolls I really need to finish off before the V&H fair on the 14th. Working on them without me having chilly fingers will be most welcome!
Niki x


  1. What a good idea - I bet you enjoyed it more because it was an unexpected treat. I wanted to get in touch when I saw these a few minutes ago and thought of you - Item number 200396294118 glass flowers - not long to go on ebay. Thought of you when I saw them

  2. Hello Niki, How wonderful to have such a last minute get away, i love your book at the end of the post.
    Hope you get all your sewing done in time.
    Have a great week.

  3. What a wonderful husband to suggest a couple of days away and what great shops. Just the kind of place we love visit...Lucey xx

  4. How lovely to have an instant holiday! Not good about the heating sounds like our ongoing "Aga saga" - the engineer willbe coming out for the 4th time this month to try & get it working. He gets it going & a few hours later it switches off again.

    Lovely new goodies too.


  5. leilani8:23 pm

    What a lovely jug of lemonade you made from a basket of sour lemons!

  6. What an absolutely wonderful post!! You had a perfect day!! I'm sure I say this every time I leave a comment for you but I'll say it again. You have the most wonderful pictures and I never want them to end!!! I truly mean that!! There is something about England that I have always been drawn to. Actually European life in general. I went to Ireland several years ago and I just fell in love with everything about it. The architecture, the land, the streets, the store fronts. I could go on and on. I just love your blog!! Can you tell?!!? :)

    ~ Wendy

  7. Isn't serendipity a joy in life? Your weekend could have been so dreary but instead you turned it into a dreamy weekend.

  8. Wonderful post - lovely places visited, lovely finds and and beautiful images. Just delightful.

  9. An unexpected getaway....the best kind, I think! Lovely finds and a lovely place you visited! I'm glad you now have heat and hot water! Blessings...both.

  10. Well, that was an action-packed 48-hour week wasn't it!!!!

    Glad to hear you're warm (and clean!) once again.

    Sue xx

  11. Hello Niki, thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of your weekend, I enjoy so much traveling around with you and knowing so many beautiful places from England. You have bought many beautiful treasures and I would give my kingdom for those paisley eiderdowns!!!!! so, so pretty.
    Have a wonderful and warm week
    Muchos cariños
    María Cecilia

  12. What a good excuse for a getaway! Best wishes Betty x

  13. I feel for you niki we were without heat and water for a week and had to wander down the street in towels to a neighbours every night, I felt awful imposing on dont know how much you appreciate the warmth and hot water until you dont have it. Perched on this cliff with the wind whistling by I am plucking up the courage to go for a shower...its quite a primative campsite...but the view is lovely...

  14. You visited my very favourite places,Niki!
    I have not been to Ashburton for ages.We used to go every week and then I got Ros is probably wondering what has happened to me.
    I love The Snug!
    Glad you managed to find some delightful treasures.
    I don't usually have much luck at Newton Racecourse!
    See you soon ;-)

  15. This is my first visit to your blog and this post alone tells me you're a 'glass half full' person. How wonderful that the lack of hot water gave you this lovely weekend instead of a good old moan (as I probably would have done as hubs is very much a planner and not spontaneous) and I'm really impressed with your car boot haul. Where have these lovely things been hiding? And why are the owners selling? Yippee for us, of course, but it does make you wonder. xx

  16. Hi Niki, maybe your heating/hot water system knew that you needed some ‘me’ time, even if you didn’t. I’m glad to hear that all is warm and toasty again but by the look of your photos it was a very fortuitous breakdown as a wonderful weekend was the result. You were making me very jealous with the tales of you car booty. We only have one or two car boots here in Guernsey so I would love to see the ones you are able to frequent. Thankyou for sharing your lovely weekend adventure

  17. Niki,
    I always think spur of the moment ideas turn out to be loads more fun than long awaited pleasures. What a lovely weekend you had.

  18. What a lovely weekend despite the heating/water issues. Sometimes things done on the spur of the moment work so well! May see you at the textile fair in Bth on Sunday? Have a good week.

  19. Oh Niki - I'm sorry to hear about your heater, but what a fabulous excursion you had! With the added bonus of new treasures! And Budleigh Salterton!!!... I must tell you something in a little email... =)

  20. Hello Niki

    An unpleasant situation turned in to a much nicer one! What a good idea going away to Devon. Our boiler is very old but each year we keep hoping it will manage to keep going a bit longer still.
    You have brought back some lovely things as usual!
    I do look forward to going to those 2 shops when I am next in Devon, I was so disappointed not to have been able to go last time I was in Devon.
    Really like the vintage striped sheets, Something I keep buying every time I see any!
    Isabelle x

  21. Hi Niki
    What a great time you had! It sounds as though you managed to do as much as possible in just one weekend and still had time to be leisurely and enjoy tea with a view! Lovely! I've not been to Ashburton but will visit when possible - it does sound delightful from your post. I bet you've got a busy couple of weeks leading up to the V&H fair - good luck with all your prep and I can't wait to enjoy the fair this time - the last two I've missed due to prior engagements!
    Happy days
    Denise x

  22. Aren't you a gorgeous 'glass half full' kind of couple! Thanks for sharing your lovely, lovely pics. Suzy x

  23. What a delightful show and tell journey. It was almost like it was meant to be that you'd have all these issues with the central heating..what a great little respite adventure. Your treasures are just awesome...what fun you must have had. Good to do these things, for freshness and newness.

  24. A weekend without hot water! I would DIE, lol I like your idea of a B&B.

  25. Hello Niki, me again; I have nominated you for an award (please visit my blog to find out more). I would like to say that you should not feel obligated in anyway to participate in this if you do not wish to but I was surprised to be sent this award so I thought I would like to let the bloggers whose work I love know that they are appreciated :)

  26. WOW! Didn't you manage to pack a lot into that weekend.Have been to Devon many times but never visited time!
    Love all your finds,especially the eiderdown.Had flushing problem too,but not as dramatic as yours.Glad all ok now.


  27. Oh you clever pair! The last time our heating went bonk I remember ice cold morning showers! Your plan is much better! Lovely treasures too! t.x

  28. Hi Niki
    Lucky you having a break in Devon. Ashburton is also one of my fave places to visit. Glad your home is back to working order. Have a good weekend. Liz xx

  29. oh goodness gracious! Your poor thing without heat! But you certainly made the best of it and it sounds like you had a fabulous getaway!!

  30. Goodness me.. you did pack a lot in your day away..and all of my favourite places too.. I am sure our paths crossed somewhere in Devon as we were down there too..
    I must ask you where you stayed in Ashburton.. I think It might be a place I have hankered to stay in for a while now..??

    Hope your nest is warm and snuggly now that the weather has turned.

    Michele xx

  31. Darn, I wish that I could think up a a good idea for HAVING to go away on a break!! :) It looks fabulous.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx