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.

Bank holiday no.3 in May

Hi all. It’s the third bank holiday weekend in May here in the UK. The last one I thought was too close to the one before, but this one I’m ready for, bring it on!

The weather is great. Super sunny and gorgeous and all the surrounding nature looks so green and healthy. We are easing into our summer clothes a bit now. It’s really nice.

I seem to have been pretty busy of late. So it’s good to have some down time especially now we can get out in the garden. Here are a few random bits of Waffle for you:

1 The poinsettia from Christmas is still going strong!

This is David’s handiwork. He’s so good with plants. One of the first things that attracted me to him was how plants seemed to thrive under his care. His bachelor house garden was really beautiful and he brought me home grown roses on many of our first dates, definitely the way to my heart!

2 I’m currently reading… The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I’m liking this but maybe not loving it as much as others have done? Maybe the ending will convert me, I’ve not got there yet.

3 My next read will be One August Night by Victoria Hislop. I’ll be reading this for my bookclub. I wanted to try Victoria Hislop for a while as she’s got a good reputation as an author, but I get the impression The Island which comes before One August Night is the book everyone raves about. Well, we will see.

4 What’s cooking? Sadly not that much proper cooking going on at the moment due to busyness. Friday night is always a ready meal sort of night. Tonight we had sweet chilli chicken thighs and drumsticks from M & S with oven chips and petits pois.

Here’s the chicken before cooking..

I can’t show you it after cooking as we’ve already gobbled it up! Well, there are 2 leftover drumsticks I’m guessing David might eat as a post pub snack.

Happy weekend everybody! 😎Xx

It’s Christmas in Windsor (apparently!?) + Chelsea Physic Garden

This Christmas shop has sprung up in Windsor town centre, next to the Craft Coop shop in King Edward Court aka Windsor Yards. It seems to be closed on Wednesdays, not that I’m at all interested in Christmas shopping in May!

I’m trying to revive myself after a heavy nap 💤. Honestly I slept about 10 hours last night and then still needed a big nap this afternoon.

Yesterday I was out and about in London. I met my friend Sarah at Chelsea Physic Garden for lunch, which was lovely, both the lunch and the catch up. I only took a few photos this time. This place is a little oasis of calm a stone’s throw from the bustling world of the King’s Road. I love these little pockets of garden you can find in London.

I spotted this Dutch style building just outside the walls. It’s an iconic shape, if a little dark, and reminds me of the old buildings in Belgium or Holland. Sarah said she didn’t like it!

We both had the fish cake with salad for lunch with a glass of rosé sitting outside but under the awning. We had a stroll around the garden and then returned for coffee and cakes for pudding. I had a stripy layered cake that was yummy. Sarah had a lemon cake she also enjoyed.

It’s a nice sunny day, quite warm with a breeze in Windsor today. I hope you’re having fun, wherever you are Xx

Kew flowers for the weekend

Hi, wishing all you Wafflers a happy and restful weekend. Here are some more gorgeous flowers from Kew Gardens this week. Don’t you just love Spring?

This iris was breathtakingly beautiful, even more so as it was quite small. So delicate and perfect.

Bird of paradise flower in The Temperate House.

Not bluebells but camassia.

About to burst..

Daisies like a light sprinkling of snow..

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Hi, I’ve had the pleasure of a long walk at Kew Gardens today. It always brings back happy memories of my student holidays working in the gift shop there. I wanted to say to the girl on the till “I did your job in 1989” (summers 1989-1992 to be precise) but she looked a bit busy for my middle aged woman reminiscing. It was a lovely place to work, a little different back then as the book/gift shop was in the Orangery which is now a restaurant, correction, at the moment it’s a bit of a building site with scaffolding up. My Mum used to have a Friends of Kew membership, maybe she still has. I should look into that, she still has some unused direct debits. It’s a place she always enjoyed.

There are always so many highlights there. The trees are old, wise and beautiful. The same trees as my student days. I used to direct customers to where to see the ginkgo trees as we sold ginkgo shaped earrings in the shop. I’ve always loved ginkgos, such pretty shaped leaves.

Ginkgos are also a really really old species..

“The Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species in the world. It’s the sole survivor of an ancient group of trees that date back to before dinosaurs roamed the Earth – creatures that lived between 245 and 66 million years ago. It’s so ancient, the species is known as a ‘living fossil”

Cool or what?

The real “wow” of the day for me were the rhododendrons in bloom. I went expecting bluebells but was far more impressed with pretty rhododendrons. Petalled balls of delight.

Pretty gorgeous don’t you think?

As you can imagine, I have a ton of other photos from today, but for now I must get showered and changed and get the steak and kidney puds on for dinner before cinema tonight. I’ll just leave you with one shot of the iconic pagoda at the end of a path of magnificent trees. Enjoy! Xx

Bank holiday no.1 of 3 in May

Mayday mayday, there are 3 bank holidays in May for us in the UK this year. One too many I think, not sure we really need one next week for the Coronation, after all that is on the Saturday… just saying.

Anyway, the sun is shining so there’s no reason to be grumpy. David’s out pottering in the garden, the never ending task of trying to clear the moss from the lawn. I’ve just come in from having tea outside, eating homemade rhubarb cake, the first of the year, and listening to the birds singing. They sound very happy today.

As usual on a bank holiday Monday, it’s hard to find anywhere to go as there are people EVERYWHERE! We live in a very crowded part of the country. We tried to go for lunch at Stubbings garden centre near Maidenhead today but were scuppered by the queues of people. We ended up back in Windsor with free parking at my office and lunch at Monty’s café which is always good. I had a cheese and mushroom omelette with chips and David had a burger.

After lunch we wandered up the hill to the castle to see what was going on. Lots of people. Tourists everywhere. All the shops displaying or putting up coronation bunting and red, white and blue window displays. It’s a shame the castle itself is covered in scaffolding, not looking it’s best.

There are coronation banners.

So many people already. What will next weekend be like?

There are horse and carriage rides. This one looks like a competition for how many little girls will fit on the back of a horse.. 3 so far!?

+ a random man who has no idea he’s on The Waffle.. hello Mr having a pint on the phone!

If you zoom in on the girls I’m surprised how much stuff they took with them when they got up on the horse. One’s got her phone, and one’s got her bottle of J2O! Honestly, I’m so nosey, none of my business.

Some shop windows.. reflection of The Parish Church here.

Think I like teddy bears more than I like King Charles 🤣. Who said that? Off with their head!

Back in the suburbs, May is such a lovely time of year, full of vibrancy and hope for the nicer weather ahead, fingers crossed.

Aren’t these tulips gorgeous that have gone over now? They’ve opened up to proudly show their yellow centres to the world.

In The Waffle garden..there are bluebells.

The nice orange flowers we always forget the name of..

The azalea coming into bloom.

Plenty more rhubarb to come. Potatoes too. Yum yum. Still got some herb pots to fill.

Red robin waiting to be planted..

Last year’s lilies surprisingly coming up again in the pots.

New begonias no show so far.

By the way, this is the rhubarb cake recipe if you want to make it. It’s from The Seaside Baker. I know I’m always going on about this cake but it’s so easy and so good, if you like rhubarb that is.

Right, enough of this old waffle. Work tomorrow. Back next week with more news of The Coronation, aka The Chazzle Dazzle or Chas and Day Off 🤣🤣Xx

Cocktails in Windsor

Hello. Just been finishing off the birthday celebrations.

David and I visited this new cocktail/wine bar in Windsor. It’s called “The Cobbles” which is a good name for it as it is situated in the cobbled streets near the castle. This building, known as “The Drury House”, dates back to 1645. It has original wood panelling and feels seriously old and atmospheric.

It’s not cheap – I think we paid £12.50 each for our cocktails – but good for a special occasion. We both had the honey and orange margaritas which were delicious and I thought might be medicinal for David who is recovering from a heavy cold 🤣. The decor inside has an Art Deco vibe. I took the opportunity to display my new bright pink birthday handbag 🤣🤣

We moved on to a meal at “À la Russe” restaurant in the high street which sounds Russian but is in fact French. It’s always good there. I had the avocado and crab salad starter followed by the new Terre et Mer main dish which included big juicy king prawns and strips of beef in a rich brandy and cream type sauce. It was very good.

For pudding we shared the baked Alaska which is David’s favourite. It gets flambéed at the table in front of you.

I also got some beautiful surprise birthday roses at work on Friday. I am a lucky girl.

The photos arrived for my locket which the jewellery shop, Astley Clarke, had cut to size for me. I slotted in my Mum and Auntie Jean. I’m really pleased with this. Don’t they look cute?

The back of the locket was engraved with my initials.

So when I hand this heirloom down to the next generation via my niece, everyone has to remember me! 🤣

The locket was not a birthday gift but a gift to myself with my boss’s Christmas money.

Also for my birthday I received a new cork trivet from my friend Sarah.

I love the patterns on it. It matches the cork coasters she had given to me previously. They came from the RHS shop at Wisley. Thank you Sarah! And to all the other lovely people in my life who celebrated with me and delivered cards and gifts of course.

There are some wonderful tulips around at the moment, moving on from the daffodils. Spring has sprung. Yippee!

When I’ve not been eating, drinking, looking at nature or seeing my Mum, I’ve done a serious amount of sleeping and napping this weekend. Living up to my nickname of “the dormouse” Zzzzz. Zzzzzz. Have a great week everybody! xx

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hi. It’s been a busy birthday weekend for me. All lots of fun but then so tired today on my actual birthday, it must all be catching up with me. Big naps are the way to go.

David and I started off on Saturday night with a new tapas restaurant in Maidenhead.

The food here was amazing. Such rich sauces, ridiculously good, but so rich. We’d need to think carefully about the balance of dishes next time as all the ones we had were all very heavy but absolutely delicious. Never had such good patatas bravas. The food was from the Basque region. I highly recommend this restaurant.

Then yesterday we went to stay one night in the Castle and Ball Inn in Marlborough, Wiltshire, just over an hour’s drive from Windsor. One of the highlights was visiting the Wilton Windmill built in 1821. This windmill still works. We climbed right up inside it on a tour. The surrounding scenery was stunning, even on a dull day. The tour was £5. each which we felt was good value, very interesting and David’s knee held up on the steep stairs inside, almost vertical.

The granary, grain store.

Today’s highlight was spotting the chalk white horse in the hill in nearby Pewsey. There are 8 white horses in this area of Wessex carved into the chalk. They are mostly not that old. The Pewsey one is from 1937 but was made on the site of an older one.

When you’re on top of it, it doesn’t look very horse shaped at all! the green grass circle is its eye.

You can see the tail here, from above.

The scenery is stunning. We don’t have wide open fields like this in Windsor. I think this is oilseed rape.

The chalk path..

Annoyingly the hotel have overcharged us by £40. It was a genuine mistake but they seem unable to give a prompt refund and it’s been forwarded to their finance team to do today… no news yet. We will have to chase them up again tomorrow.

I’ve had so many lovely messages, cards and gifts today.

Back to work tomorrow so I’m off to make the sandwiches and get my clothes ready for work. Ready for a big sleep after the birthday shenanigans! Bye for now Xx

Happy Easter 2023

Hi. Happy Easter to you all. How are you?

It’s been a nice weekend so far. I have eaten a lot more chocolate than usual, of course.

On Friday I went to London to the Astley Clarke jewellery shop in Covent Garden to get my locket engraved and get the pictures put in. They did the engraving but were unable to do the pictures as they don’t have the right template on their pc yet as my locket is a new design. They were very apologetic and have my photos and will post them to me when they’re ready. I was impressed with the level of customer service in this shop and the jewellery seems of a very high quality and very beautiful. It’s expensive but some pieces, like my locket, are not out of this world in terms of £££££s.

It was good to be back in London. I walked over Waterloo Bridge which was my daily commute about 26 years ago!! I felt old when I figured that out. Stunning clouds. This is the contrast between going and coming home, it was sunny all day but the sky brightened up as the day went on.

Mystery person in front of the St Paul’s Cathedral skyline. He has no idea he’s on The Waffle ha ha 🤣! Hello mystery man.

It’s always great to go to London, but always great to come home back to Windsor too.

Such a glorious day it was. I picked up my Mum’s new watch from Timpson’s in Windsor which I’d left for engraving her initials on the back. It was a day of engraving. I bought my Mum’s watch in John Lewis. Actually I bought it online from John Lewis as it was a bit cheaper online. I got her the one on the left for her birthday. She was very pleased with it.

My Mum is 92 today. Happy Birthday to her. David and I saw her yesterday as my Dad wanted to go today. We took my Mum for a walk in the garden for the first time with her frame. She really enjoyed it and met lots of carers and people she recognised from the home en route. She was pretty fast walking with her frame. She told everyone “it’s my birthday tomorrow!” so I’m sure they’ve made a big fuss of her today. She also did plane spotting with David, she loves watching the planes, as does he. He has an app on his phone that shows where they’re going to and from. The care home is about 7 miles from Heathrow, so there’s a lot to see. She liked the big A380.

Today is Easter Sunday. My Easter tree was minimal effort this year. I just hung the painted eggs on my Christmas twigs 🤣🤣.

Yum yum yum I do like Lindor chocolate. You can’t see the egg any more in the packaging as they no longer have a plastic window. You have to trust there’s one inside! I used to like turning the half eaten egg around and pretending it was still whole… can’t do that any more, spoilt my fun but saved the planet I guess.

I nearly forgot, the most exciting news of the weekend is that I’ve got chiffchaffs! Sounds like some nasty disease 🤣 but they’re actually lovely little birds I spotted in our garden yesterday. They are quite delicate with a stripe near their eye and have a distinctive chiff chaff call. When I spotted them yesterday it was actually pretty stressful as a big ginger cat had arrived in the garden and was hunting them. The little chiffchaffs were squawking and panicking whilst flying very near to the cat’s paw in the chaos. I rushed out and shooed away the cat. Hope that’s the last we’ve seen of him. Meanwhile my sister sent me a photo of a gorgeous butterfly she’d spotted near her home only to witness a cat eat it a couple of minutes later. I’ve gone right off cats! Sorry cat lovers.

That’s it for today I guess. Roast chicken for us tonight and another whole day off work tomorrow. Yippee! 😎 Xx