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Welcome to my blog!

Hello and a very warm, waffly welcome from Windsor.

That is Windsor, Berkshire, UK, home of the Queen in case you were wondering. But no, I don’t live in a wing of her Majesty’s castle.  

Just starting off with this blog… I am new to it all so please bear with me!  I hope you enjoy reading my content.

Pumpkins, Foxes, Twinkletoes and Trees…

Hi everyone. Do you like my pumpkins 🎃? I grew them myself. I know they’re supposed to be orange. I’ve now brought them into the house as apparently that will help them to turn orange. They are clean, warm and cosy next to the kitchen window for sunlight.

I was planning on making curry and soup from them. David has got excited about making a lantern out of the biggest one, so I guess that will be fun, and the scooped out flesh of that one will have to be soup. Two weeks until Halloween. Progress on orangeness will be reported here on The Waffle.

Yesterday morning I saw a gorgeous little fox in the field behind my house. As I looked out he/she leapt high off the ground above the long grass. He/she was so cute and full of beans!

Just afterwards David drove me to work and on the way I spotted a little boy in a fox cub outfit. He had a fox head motif on his top and the word “CUB” down his leg. Also very cute. What’s going on with the foxes appearing in my life? I think they’re supposed to be lucky. When I got home from work the little fox was sitting in the long grass with the horse in the field wandering around next to him. They appeared quite harmonious together. No sign of foxy today, although the grass looks wet from the rain overnight. Maybe he’s not keen on that.

On a completely different subject, this week I discovered shoe jewellery. I never knew this was a thing before. I’ve been invited to a dinner dance in December and started to think about my outfit for the same. I have wanted some sparkly party shoes for a while, but haven’t found any that I like. Then I discovered these sparkly shoe clips on eBay, £6.50 a pair. I’ve tried them out on a few pairs of my shoes. What do you think?! Twinkletoes?

These are my old work shoes below, now transformed with a bit of bling! I really like this idea as it fits with my capsule wardrobe ethos. Who needs a pair of shoes they only wear twice a year?

There are many different styles of these shoe clips. Why not check them out for yourself for your Christmas parties? They are really easy to clip on and remove and seem completely comfortable with the clip inside the shoe. I do love a bit of sparkle.

Back to nature this afternoon. David and I went for a walk in Windsor Great Park; one of our favourite walks. It was quite nice and quiet today.

Fabulous trees. I love this tulip tree.

Who lives here?

And some cows. Lots of cows today, and calves.

Have a GREAT weekend everybody. Thanks for reading TWW 😎XX

Last stop = Ely

This is Part 3 of our recent staycation in the UK. We stayed 1 night in Ely on a barge hotel.

Ely is a beautiful place (about 15 miles from Cambridge) dominated by its very old and interesting cathedral. Thanks to Tina for recommending Ely as I was originally looking at Bury St Edmunds or Newmarket as a stop off on our way back from Norfolk. Ely did not disappoint.

You have to book tickets in advance to visit the cathedral. We also went to the stained glass museum there. Both were awe inspiring. I love stained glass. They are pictures that tell a story, and so pretty! I also love the magnificence of such grand historical architecture.

This is a Royal Air Force themed window.

You always have to look up in Cathedrals. Ely has some great ceilings.

A medieval face? Love these.

And look down to the floor.

Such a beautiful space.

In the evening we dined at a restaurant called The Old Fire Engine House. It was very good. We both had the roast lamb and they asked if we wanted seconds! The homemade ice cream for pudding was delicious. I’d definitely recommend this restaurant. Also the car parks in Ely as they are all FREE! Yippee!!

The barge hotel was exciting! We enjoyed this. I’d never slept on a barge before. I think it cost £129. for our room including an enormous wonderful breakfast.

It’s a 1906 Dutch barge and it’s moored on the River Great Ouse. Such a peaceful setting. On arrival we were given a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy on our own private deck. Lovely! We watched some birds on the river; a grebe fishing and a swan. There is a pub very nearby called The Cutter Inn.. in front of the barge in this picture.

David was in charge of the wine!

We enjoyed train spotting as they crossed the bridge behind the barge. Lots of freight trains and also passenger trains. The trains didn’t bother us at night. It was peaceful and we slept well.

We both banged our head on this doorway – ouch!!

We had our own double bed (accessed by climbing up a ladder) that was really comfy, and a full bath.

The rubber duck was cute, but toppled over in the bath, like they always seem to 🤔. Not a good sailor.

I cannot tell you how enormous the breakfast was… it was very good… sausages, bacon, poached eggs, black pudding, big field mushrooms, tomatoes, tea, orange juice, toast and marmalade. We did not eat again until the evening 🤣. It was served in our living room quarters which I think was part of the communal area of the boat, but we never saw anyone else. We had bar stools on the right overlooking the water.

Happy memories. I hope you enjoyed the Ely tour. 😊X

Cambridge, Cromer and Ely (part 2)

Last week David and I were on our little break away in Cambridge, Cromer and then Ely. It seems an age away since I’ve been back at work for a week. Anyway, let me update you on some of the pics before I succumb to an afternoon nap, subject to noise from my resident guitarist.

Do you think I should find this couple to sell them their romantic beach pic?! They have no idea I took this in Cromer.

David and I found a great cocktail bar/microbrewery just around the corner from our rented flat. This is some sort of fruity margarita I had.

I’m getting into taking pictures of boats.. I think these were in Sheringham. It was cold and blustery there.

My sister asked me to keep an eye out for seals. We visited Blakeney point but it started raining so we didn’t fancy going on the seal spotting trip. So the only seals I spotted were on this mural in Cromer by the seaside.

This bookshop was so cute.

This is the Cley windmill. You can hire it for parties and accommodation.

The best thing in Cley, apart from the windmill, is this gorgeous smokehouse shop.

I bought some chilli smoked mackerel (delicious!) and David had a tub of smoked mussels. This place delivers in the UK and I have a voucher for 5% off Christmas orders so I’m thinking of placing an order nearer the time for a buffet for Christmas Eve or Boxing Day. They also currently have 10% off all orders until 17 October. You can check it out here. So many yummy looking fish products as well as homemade pies etc. Spoiled for choice.

We did a gorgeous cliff top walk from Cromer to Overstrand Beach.

We passed the lighthouse. Yep, still not raining here!

At the end of the walk we reached this cliff top café a lady at the start of the walk had recommended to us. It didn’t disappoint.

We shared an enormous piece of cookies and cream homemade cake. I think there were 10 different cakes in total. I wanted to do the walk 10 times to try them all! The tea shop lady made me the best cup of tea, just the right strength, in a lovely big mug. Cromer is considerably cheaper than Windsor for eating out at cafés and restaurants. We got lunch for two including soft drinks for about £12. each day in Cromer. In Windsor this would be more like £20.

This was my favourite beach hut.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.. this was one of the Runtons.. ?East Runton.

Cromer..

Next stop Ely… to be continued in Part 3. 🤗 X.

“No time to die”/ or blog…

Hi. It seems difficult to find the time to blog today.

This evening I went to see the new Bond film “No time to die”; the last one with Daniel Craig. I enjoyed this film.. gadgets, car chases, snazzy cars and planes, sexy ladies, martini shaken not stirred and a tuxedo, of course.

I do love the cinema. Odeon Limitless is fab at the moment. So far I’ve seen 5 films on my membership which started at £9.99 a month then going up to £12.99 a month. The most expensive part is the rip off car parking courtesy of RBWM council.

This was the lovely sunshine in Windsor today.

Back soon Wafflers! X

Trip to Cambridge, Cromer and Ely (Part 1)

Hi. I’m back! David and I have had a very enjoyable 5 nights away in the UK.

First stop was Cambridge for 1 night. We stayed in a B & B about 15 minutes’ walk from the centre of town. We were excited to be in Cambridge again as my clever niece is just starting Uni there to study Natural Sciences. We just missed her this time as she only arrived in Cambridge yesterday in the rain to move into her College.

We enjoyed wandering around Cambridge. It’s a beautiful historic place.

The entrance to my niece’s new home/student life!

Our dinner venue, The Ivy, Cambridge.

We had a good meal here. The decor was also very beautiful. I had the duck curry and David had the rabbit and langoustine pie.

Such beautiful architecture.

We drank in a couple of historic pubs, but I don’t think we found the best ones. Next time The Eagle and The Anchor I think. Overall we prefer the pubs in York, they are amazing olde worlde little places down every little alleyway.

So I wish Hazel all the best in her new life in beautiful Cambridge. After that we were on to Cromer on the Norfolk coast for 3 nights.

We stayed in a stylish, peaceful flat in the town centre of Cromer. Luckily we’d got enough petrol already in Windsor as the queues for the same in Cambridge area were horrendous.

It was our first time in Cromer which is a traditional Victorian seaside town. It is a bit old fashioned, very reasonably priced for food and drink compared to Windsor. The locals were friendly. They are famous for their Cromer crabs.

We tried crab Thermidor and crab Mornay. David is still raving about the Mornay….

We went to the variety show on the pier on our last night. It was a typical seaside show I think, although I’d never been to one before. There were acrobats, a magician, singing and dancing. The Mary Poppins songs were my favourite… Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

The theatre is right at the end of the pier.

The gorgeous British seaside… and not even raining until the day we left! I ❤️ beach huts.

Cromer seaside mountain goats…! I am not joking, I did not expect to see goats here. They are right next to the promenade overlooking the sea.

To be continued…. Cromer and last stop Ely on the barge hotel. Hope you found the tour so far entertaining! Xx 🙂🤩

The busyness continues…

Life is busy but good for me at the moment. How are you?

This week as well as working every day I went out several times. Firstly I went to book club at The Swan pub on Tuesday night. There were only 3 of us this time (2 ladies and 1 man) but we had a great time chatting about our book for this month, “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell, and also life, the universe and everything, a bit like The Waffle I suppose. I liked the second half of this book a lot more than the first that kept going off on tangents and jumping about. I probably wouldn’t have persevered with it had it not been for book club, but I’m glad I did.

There was white wine and takeaway pizza as the pub isn’t doing food yet.

That was quite a late night Tuesday… Then back to work and on Wednesday night it was off to the cinema as usual. My friends and I now have the Odeon Limitless membership which is fab. At the moment it’s £9.99 a month for unlimited films at any Odeon cinema except Central London. I have already seen 4 films this month…..Our Ladies, The Courier, Respect, The Many Saints of Newark. The Courier was by far the best film out of these and in my opinion was worth the £9.99 monthly fee on its own. It’s about being a spy during the Cold War and Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent. This week we also visited Noodle Nation in Maidenhead beforehand. I had a huge bowl of Singapore rice noodles with chicken, pork and prawns and a Diet Pepsi. My friend Sue has commented that one of the main reasons to go to the cinema these days is to relax in their reclining almost lie flat seats for a couple of hours a week. It’s like flying club class and always amusing mid film when I turn over and manage to get the seat out of control by pressing the button by accident with my hip/bum! Such fun 😂.

Haha we don’t feed each other popcorn….! Cinema is our girls’ night out away from the husbands who moan about sitting through the adverts and in my husband’s case any film that isn’t sci fi.

Yesterday I went to London for the day… yippee! I love London and consider myself a Londoner as I grew up in Richmond. I love the slow train to London.. Windsor and Eton Riverside to London Waterloo. The first part of the journey is really scenic often seeing sheep, herons or rabbits. (Actually none of these on this occasion as I was busy reading my book!). Then crossing the beautiful River Thames at my old home town of Richmond. The trains from Windsor come in to platforms 20-24 at Waterloo which are the new platforms where Eurostar used to be.

So this was a proper girls’ day out with “the Swansea girls” as I call us as we all met while studying at Swansea University many years ago. We hadn’t seen each other for about two years due to the pandemic and we had many big birthdays to catch up on.

You can tell by the big smiles (me: back right) we were all very pleased to be back together again. We had lunch at Bill’s in Clink Street near Borough Market, then went for a walk over the Millennium “wobbly” bridge and back, and then back to Bill’s again for tea and cakes. None of us live in London.. we all come in by train about an hour or so each from all directions.

Hi girls! You’ve made it on to The Waffle. Hope that’s ok?! 🤞🤞I love the funky decor in Bill’s and the food was quite nice too.

We’re already planning our meet up for 2022. Maybe a weekend away in Swansea. We like to do this once a decade!

So the girls nearly fell off their chairs when I told them I wasn’t rushing back to go out for dinner with David yesterday night. They know we (and especially David) are creatures of habit and it’s most unusual for us not to be dining out on a Saturday night. Instead we enjoyed a seafood box at home from Côte and a bottle of champagne that was a present given to my boss who doesn’t drink. It was great champagne and so good with the seafood. We had masses of king prawns with a garlic aioli type dip followed by 3 juicy scallops in their shells each with garlic butter with a crusty baguette. Tonight we’re having the rest of the box which will be half a dressed crab each, half a grilled lobster each, more crusty bread and butter. I’m also going to do some roast potatoes, it being Sunday! For pudding there will be vanilla ice cream and possibly sticky toffee pudding if we can manage it. The Côte seafood box costs £75. including delivery, but the stuff is really good quality and lasts us for 2 nights.

We also got a complimentary lobster tea towel which I really like, as much as one can like a tea towel!!

I’m pleased to report that David and I have also successfully managed to procure some petrol for our car.. for those of you not in the UK we have a shortage of lorry drivers to deliver such things which is leading to a bit of a panic. I’m sure this is only the start of such consequences of Brexit which I didn’t vote for (oops, politics on The Waffle again!). Food and wine shortages to follow in time for Christmas but I’m sure we’ll still have plenty and meeting up with our nearest and dearest and avoiding Covid is obviously the priority.

I’m going off to be busy doing other stuff at home now. The Waffle will be on pause for a week. Back next Sunday for some more chit chat and pics! Au revoir! Xx

Busy week!

Hi. This is a super quick blog post to say I’m having a very busy week both at work and in my social life, but I am thinking of you. Of course!

This was our quick and tasty dinner tonight. Chicken breast pieces cooked in this curry sauce with basmati rice.

We’ve had Holy Cow sauces before but maybe not this one. It was very tasty and dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

Time for some green tea with lemon… my evening drink of choice.. and a little chocolate. That’s me sorted. Back soon hopefully 😊.

Meals of the week

Hi guys. I have not had pizza this week. David doesn’t really like pizza. What’s not to like? I don’t know. (He does, however, like cheese on toast 🤔…. pretty much the same thing I think). So, I’ll show you instead what we have been eating this week. The cooking has been all pretty quick and easy. And guess what? We’ll be having takeaway pizza at book club next week… 😋.

Monday: leftover roast pork curry

I wanted to use up the leftovers from our roast pork joint from Sunday. I made up this quick curry and it was very tasty. Firstly I fried a chopped onion in a little olive oil, then added chunky pieces of the leftover roast pork and about a tablespoon of hot curry powder from a jar. I fried this up for a bit, then added a bit of stock made with bouillon powder with boiling water from the kettle and stirred in a tablespoon of tomato purée. I simmered it for a bit on the hob while I cooked the basmati rice, and added some frozen petits pois to the curry in the last couple of minutes. Yummy. I want to eat this again right now.. but it’s gone! Nada.

Tuesday: Nigel Slater’s garlic mushroom tarts

These were also very good and are a regular in the Waffle household for a meat free meal for a change. The recipe is from Nigel Slater’s “The 30 minute cook” book. The pastry is ready made puff pastry. The new potatoes were prepared by M & S and I popped them in the microwave for 4 minutes. Simples!

Wednesday: pre-cinema meal at Noodle Nation Maidenhead

I was very happy to learn that Noodle Nation is open again. They’ve had a refurb, looking good with booths rather than open benches now. I had the prawn and chicken pad Thai. It was delicious although I was slightly defeated by the portion size. Afterwards we went to see the new Aretha Franklin film for our girls’ night out. David was at home heating up an M & S butter chicken. The film was quite good but very long….

Thursday (tonight): salmon steaks with broccoli and potato wedges

Well this picture above doesn’t look that good does it? Mine will be better than this sparse looking plate. I like to cook the salmon in foil in the oven for 20 minutes. I used to add butter to the parcel, but it doesn’t really need it and is better for us without. We have fish at least once a week and really enjoy it. The wedges will be super easy straight from the freezer. Plus fresh broccoli.. another healthy addition.

Friday: ready made bacon and cheddar quiche with baked beans

This is just a really easy ready meal heated up in the oven when I’m tired on a Friday night. I like the sauciness of baked beans with the dryness of the pastry. If we’re not going down the pub I will have a glass or two of chilled white wine and chat to my Mum on the phone while this is in the oven. If I’m going down the pub, I’ll save myself for wine or cold lager at the pub.

I am so hungry now, all this talk of food! Hope you enjoyed my meals. I’m off to the kitchen now. Bye and Bon appetit! Xx

Are you really happy or just comfortable…?

Hi. I’ve been thinking about the concept of one’s comfort zone since I climbed up and over the O2 in London on Wednesday. This activity was slightly out of my comfort zone and I wouldn’t have wanted to try it without a friend by my side. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it wasn’t scary at all, just fun 🤩. I was pleasantly surprised that my ankle held up having sprained it badly in January when I fell down the stairs. It’s still not as good as the other side, my ankle I mean.

If you want to try this climb yourself, it costs £32. each and they give you a harness and shoes to wear. You leave your bags and stuff in a plastic crate which they lock away for you. You can take your phone for pictures only in a zipped up pocket so they give you a gilet to wear for this. It’s all very well organised and well worth it. If you don’t like heights, I reckon it’s much less scary than the cable car we did afterwards. That is really high up and you can see the drop down much more so than on the O2 climb. Still loved that too. That’s £5. one way you can pay with any contactless card. What a glorious day 😎.

One could say that many people have a narrowed comfort zone since Covid started. Since lockdowns they have got used to not going out, not talking to people, not experiencing new things. I love this quote “are you really happy or just comfortable?”.. Here’s another one: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

So how about you? Are you out and about again now like me since vaccination? Are you doing all your old activities again or are you trying new ones? If you are not trying new ones, why not???! I challenge you this week to at least try a new food you haven’t tasted before, or walk a slightly different way to work perhaps, mix it up a bit! It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut. I do love a routine, but hate a rut.

So Julie and I are now thinking about what to do next. Any ideas? You want something that challenges you a little bit, but that’s not so far out of your comfort zone you start freaking out about it. That would not be pleasurable. So far Julie has suggested indoor sky diving, although I’m not sure about that. I have thought of a life drawing class with a nude model.. ha ha.. nude stranger is definitely out of my comfort zone as is my drawing ability for people and their naked bits!! Also a graffiti workshop sounds quite cool. Give me a boiler suit and some spray paints and I’ll be off! Still thinking. Open to suggestions for the next challenge. I told Julie to write me a list of activities and I’ll tell her whether I would consider it yay or nay. Life begins after lockdowns.

Have you changed physically since the pandemic? Or do you feel like a new person in other ways? I have long hair now, after so many years of a bob. It’s a nice change. Like a lot of people I’m a little bit fatter now… not such a nice change! I do really enjoy eating and drinking as you know. Nothing to worry too much about. Worrying is overrated.

This is the sky of Windsor today, interesting…

We went out for a little walk earlier stopping off at Budgen’s for emergency ice cream supplies for tomorrow. Ocado are out of stock of ALL ice cream products including individual ice creams and lollies, frozen yoghurt and in fact ALL frozen desserts eg Apple strudel COMPLETELY. What is going on.. Covid? Brexit? Lorry driver shortages? It seems we may be short of wine choices and turkey/chicken at Christmas- oh la la!! I reckon I could be happy with a salmon or beef en croute, some sort of alcohol.. whatever is available. There’s enough to keep us going for a long time in the Waffle cocktail cabinet… and I’ll just have to start making my own ice cream if that’s going to be a permanent thing. Right, that’s me sorted. No stress. Back soon my happy Wafflers 😊❤️.