Featured

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.

Purple berries

Hi. Aren’t these amazing? I spotted these soon after the pink berries. Even better in my opinion.

I also found some great holly, very festive. Ho Ho Ho. 🎅🏻

I’m pleased to report I am feeling so much better than last weekend. I have a cold but I’m not in a mental slump any more. I decided not to visit my Mum at the care home this morning because of my cold symptoms. Last night and overnight I was a bit feverish. My Covid test was negative but I thought I’d go to see her tomorrow instead if I feel better and I’m still negative. It’s tricky as when I wear a mask my Mum always politely asks me to remove it as she can’t hear properly without lip reading. I spoke to her on the phone this morning and she said she wasn’t very well herself. She said she was dizzy and weak and hadn’t seen anyone for ages and ages. She seemed to still be in bed at 11 am. So I’m a little concerned but I’ve promised to go in tomorrow all being well. She was very pleased about that.

My Dad seems to be doing OK at the moment, so that’s a relief. He is getting into the swing of decluttering the house. About time. He sends me frequent text messages with photos of things he can’t decide what to do with. There is a lot of stuff.

I haven’t bought anything in The Black Friday sales, have you? I think I’ve got enough stuff already in my life. David meanwhile has bought a second hand iPhone which is actually going to be my Christmas gift to him, and I’ll be having his old iPhone which is better than mine as my Christmas 🎁 gift. David really loves techy stuff. He’s also bought a big new TV screen for using with his flight simulator. He is very happy with it, although the first time he demonstrated the new screen in action to me he crashed the plane into The River Thames 🤣🤣.

So that’s all The Waffle from me for today. My GP surgery just texted me inviting me to do a survey about my appointment yesterday. Err, no thank you, I hate being constantly bombarded with survey requests. Important nap time instead 💤. Have a great weekend everybody! Xx

Pink berries

Hi. I enjoyed seeing these pink berries on my walk today.

I also saw these white ones which were OK but not as nice as the pink ones.

Then I saw these which I think are little flower buds rather than berries.

It’s amazing how much is still in flower past the middle of November this year as it’s been so mild. There is a begonia out in bloom again in our garden and also a plant with some pretty white flowers.

David’s just popped in to show me his new physio neck exercises. There was an awful lot of crunching going on inside his body. Hopefully they will help. He currently has some neck issues and an arthritic knee. I am OK except the last few days I’ve been feeling quite out of sorts. Trying to SNAP out of it and pull myself together! I went to see my Mum at the care home this morning, she was absolutely fine but I came home and burst into tears. I am not coping. Obviously. Tomorrow we are going to see David’s Mum who is fine but also very old. My weekend is filled with the elderly again. I will phone my Dad tomorrow or Monday, but I don’t plan to see him this weekend. I also have financial admin tasks to do for him and my Mum.

So folks I really must stop fretting as it’s Saturday night and time to party 🎉🥳🍹… or at least nearly time to enjoy some delicious food and drink and relax a bit. Before that I will try to read some of my next book club book as it’s such a huge book, it’s going to take some time..

My copy has a whopping 718 pages… 🤔… book club on 15 December. Quite a tall order but I’ll give it a go.

Hope you’re doing better than I am. Earlier today I declared I was in a slump… like the economy….which made David laugh. Back soon with my happy face 😊 hopefully Xx

A little overwhelmed

Hi. Today I’ve felt a little overwhelmed with all the stuff to do for my parents. After a day with my Dad yesterday and bringing home several bags of my Mum’s clothes to sort through I woke up early thinking of the piles and piles of accumulated stuff in my parents’ house and I had a migraine.

The migraine tablets I take tend to make me a bit nauseous which I still felt when I set off for the care home to visit my Mum. Usually I see her on a Saturday which I hadn’t done due to seeing my Dad yesterday. I didn’t think she’d notice but she exclaimed “I feel like I haven’t seen you for ages and ages!” She looked good, hair brushed and tidy, a nice outfit on with a soft grey cardigan I’d taken in last time and one of my old blouses. We enjoyed doing the third Winnie the Pooh jigsaw together. It was Winnie and friends playing basketball this time. We’ve already done the golf and the football one. Each one is square and has 49 pieces. As she had been looking forward to the new puzzle she after completion said “oh, but now we don’t have a new one to do any more” but she soon cheered up when I promised to buy a new set of 3 puzzles to try. It’s a funny thing dementia. Sometimes they remember things when you don’t expect them to.

While I was there a new carer came in to check on us and gasped when she saw the view of Windsor Castle. My Mum’s room has the most amazing view of the castle. My Dad used to joke she had a better view than The Queen. I chose the room for her when we arrived at the home. The manager had swiftly given me the task of choosing the room when my Mum started to cry and then I started to wobble too. I did a good job as the view is incredible and my Mum loves it, constantly watching to see whether there is a flag flying or not.

She also loves to watch the traffic and spot different coloured cars and plane spotting too, lots to see from her window.

So it was a good visit today and she didn’t cry when I left which was a relief. My migraine lifted and rest of the day has been fine too. I’ve taken several bags of clothes to the Fire Station collection bin. But I do feel guilty. I have to decide what my Mum keeps and gets rid of. These are hard decisions and I know she would choose to keep everything if I asked her.

Tomorrow is the ongoing “Battle of Barclays”, don’t ask, just don’t ask…

Also work tomorrow which now seems like a doddle compared to my home life tasks, yet it used to feel so difficult.. perhaps I always have to find something challenging in my life?!? Is that who I am?

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of our short walk in Windsor Great Park today. The light and the sky was very beautiful. I also marvelled at the rich reddy brown colour of the cows, gorgeous!

I just love trees more and more..

The pheasants were very noisy!

Bye for now Xx

Back Trak

So this was last night, bonfire night. David’s band, Back Trak, played outside at The Swan pub in Clewer, Windsor. It was a great night. Lots of people. Lots of dancing. Good fun. This is what a happy retirement looks like for David, away from the corporate world he used to inhabit. He also teaches guitar part time and does some voluntary work a couple of afternoons a week. I’m very pleased to say he’s also learned how to do the housework while I’m out at work 😊. I still do shopping, cooking, washing and ironing. Not that there has been much cooking going on for a while. It mainly seems to be heating things up, waiting for what happens next with my parents.

Tonight we’re having roast pork, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding from the freezer, carrots, green beans or broccoli and gravy. Pots & co chocolate mousses for pudding. I guess I do still usually cook on Sundays. I love that chilled out Sunday night vibe, even though there’s work tomorrow.

I will not be serving my roast pork on a chopping board. I am not a fan of eating off chopping boards. Give me a plate anytime. Very good invention, the plate!

My poor Mum ended up in hospital again last week after falling into a cupboard door and giving herself a black eye. She is doing OK though, back at her care home with her new friends, worrying about her autumn/winter wardrobe and putting in multiple requests for me to get things for her that I’m trying to keep up with. My Dad is a lot of work too in different ways. I don’t mind as long as they’re both safe and there’s not a crisis. A phone call from the care home at midnight to say my Mum’s got to go to hospital (again) was just awful. Let’s hope there are no more of those ever, but I guess the reality is there probably will be.

I do hope you’re keeping well. I’m sorry for the sporadic nature of my waffling these days. I will keep on waffling as and when I can. Bye for now Xx.

Fulham Palace

Hi. How are you all? I’m not sure my last post had uploaded properly so I’ve just hit the publish button on “Autumn Leaves” again so you may or may not get 2 new posts today.

Yesterday I visited Fulham Palace with my old school friend Sarah. We’d been meaning to go there since lockdown and finally got around to it. It was the first time visiting this place for both of us. Sarah lives quite nearby and I travelled by train from Windsor to Putney and then walked over Putney Bridge and a short walk on to the Palace.

It’s definitely more of a house than a palace. It’s the historic home of the Bishop of London since way back to something like 870 AD. The house and the gardens are completely FREE to enter. Yippee!

The house I toured by myself before Sarah joined me. I found myself the only person touring the house where I seemed to come across possibly more toilets than exhibits 🤣. There isn’t that much to see inside. The great hall and the chapel are quite nice, other than that there are quite a few empty rooms and it’s a bit confusing which way to turn next.

If I was a little underwhelmed with the inside bit, the outside more than made up for it. It was such a gorgeously sunny autumnal day. There are many species of interesting old trees and plants. One of the Bishops, Bishop Compton (1675-1713), had been an avid tree and plant collector half a century before the founding of the botanic gardens at Kew. There is an absolutely charming walled garden that reminded me of Chelsea Physic Garden including a cute barrow with small produce for sale with an honesty box for payment.

I honestly had such a relaxing time in the sunshine of the walled garden, beautiful vibe, a few other peaceful people but not busy at all.

Such wonderful blooms. Wow wow wow!

There was a 500 year old tree in the grounds called a Holm Oak. It’s leaves didn’t look very oak like to me. Apparently it’s an evergreen.

Stunning!

The café was very good. Sarah and I both had homemade quiche and salad and a glass of wine. The cakes looked good too. Here’s the main menu..

We had a lovely table outside looking out at the grounds and trees. It was quite quiet for London and easy to find a space. I am DEFINITELY coming here again!

So what a great and relaxing day and a good catch up with one of my oldest friends. I thoroughly recommend this place 😎.

Bishop Compton introduced trees such as the magnolia tree never before seen in England. These are very popular now. I wonder where they came from originally? 🤔

Posing squirrel!

Back home over Putney Bridge. Back soon Wafflers Xx.

Autumn leaves 🍁

Hello. I’ve gone a bit crazy for all the gorgeous leaves that are around at the moment. Red, yellow, brown, orange, mahogany, rust, amber, cerise, scarlet, multicoloured little beauties. I get particularly excited about a tree with multiple colours on or an individual leaf with different portions of colour. Nature changing in front of your eyes. I love the leaves on the trees and the leaves in a carpet on the ground and crunching underfoot. I simply love them all!

Wow wow wow 🤩. I hope you love them as much as I do? Xx

Waffle tips: Stamps and tennis

Hello everybody. Mainly for those in the UK…

If you mention postage stamps changing, most people think of the change to King Charles III heads on our stamps and coins. Now that’s going to be a gradual change, and The King will face the opposite way from The Queen. Apparently this is the custom. Who knew? But you don’t need to worry about this yet, if at all…

There is another much more urgent change to Royal Mail postage stamps that many are unaware of:

From 31 January you will no longer be able to use old style stamps without a barcode on.

So you need to use up your existing stamp stock pronto, or you can swap them out for new ones with barcodes on as I have started to do. You cannot swap them in branches of the post office itself, oh no, that would be far too logical for today’s potty society. No, you have to fill in a Stamp Swapout Form to send off and swap up to £200. worth of stamps. There is another form for a higher value than this but you have to pay postage sending them this way so I’m doing mine in batches the Freepost way. The form is linked on this website. You might wonder why I have so many leftover stamps and the answer is I used to do surveys testing the post office service and I was paid in books of stamps. I did it for a few years and accumulated more than I could use immediately.

Why do we need these larger stamps with barcodes added anyway? You might think that it is to make the sending of letters more efficient but again that would be logical and the world is not. No, my friends, it seems to be more about the ability to send an attached video message via the barcode on your stamp eg to say Happy Birthday to someone. Why you wouldn’t just send a What’s app or text to do this I have no idea. I personally have never wished my postage stamps to be more interactive. The current message on the barcode is apparently Shaun the Sheep, if you are interested.

Your stamps without bar codes will no longer be valid after 31 January 2023, so get the form and get swapping my friends. Either that or extend your Christmas card list to some random people you happen to have addresses for eg someone you sold something to on eBay?? The tax man??! Your local pub landlord? Estate agent?! 🤣

The second Waffle tip of the day and much more exciting is that the Wimbledon tennis ticket ballot has opened today. So happy. I love Wimbledon. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told you. Please don’t enter the ballot. All the more chance for me! 🎾🍓🍹.

Swansea weekend away

Hello. After my Houston trip I just managed to have ANOTHER mini break! Life is good. I went to Swansea for 3 nights with some of my Uni friends. We were supposed to be 5 girls but sadly ended up as just 4 rather than the famous five as Sally had a last minute emergency at home. Sally, if you’re reading this, we missed you loads and I hope all is as well at home as it can be at this stage. Meanwhile Emily, Jo and Sarah, thanks for your great company as always in Swansea.

We had the best weather and two of our pack even ended up swimming in the sea at Caswell. Brrrrr! I wimped out of that one.

We did LOADS of walking. The Gower is so beautiful. We also walked all over Swansea… the excitement of Wind Street on a Saturday night, revisiting all our old haunts at the University and our student accommodation. We even ended up back in the campus library for a laugh!

We had dinner at the top of Swansea tower at Grape and Olive, fabulous view.

We stayed at Morgan’s, always good at Morgan’s. I love the bar area.

We visited Swansea market and ate hot Welsh cakes. Yum. Jo and I also enjoyed Swansea market pasties on the way home on the train.

Just look at the blue sky?! October sunshine is the best.

Brangwyn Hall, scene of our graduation, many years ago..

The happy paddlers..

The happy walkers..resting…

Selfie on the Uni steps.

I haven’t asked anyone’s permission to put them on The Waffle (oops!), so I hope you don’t mind girls. You all look fabulous anyway, especially your smiling faces. See you all and Swansea again soon hopefully XxX 😎

Trip to Houston, Texas

Hi all. I’m back!

David and I have been away. We spent an enjoyable 6 nights in Houston, Texas. We had a good holiday and used some of our air miles.

I’m now back to work and my busy life looking after my parents etc but the break was very beneficial and it turns out both my parents were fine without me, which was a relief. I’ve been dithering about whether I’ll be able to keep up the blog now. It certainly won’t be 3 times a week as it was originally, but instead I’ll be posting a little as and when I can.

So without further ado, here are a few snaps from our holiday in the USA. It was very hot and sunny and 35 degrees C every day. We managed to keep cool 😎 in the good A/C in our hotel, in the downtown tunnels and all inside spaces in the city. The locals were very friendly and helpful to us.

We loved our visit to the Space Center and spent 5 hours there.

We visited lots of interesting places. We went on a tour of the Astros baseball ground at Minute Maid Park. The Astros are a very good team.

We had some tasty food of course. It was expensive especially with the current exchange rate. We ate quite a lot of fish and seafood which we love. We had steak once which was nice but not out of this world, maybe as we didn’t go to the best steak houses. We saw a few steaks at the smallest 8oz size for a whopping $59. without accompaniments which is now £59. That was more than we were prepared to pay, especially with the US tipping culture which is a lot more than the UK. In the UK we usually tip 10-12.5% and maybe not much at all for poor service. In the US you can’t really tip less than 15% in a restaurant without offending someone. The pancakes for breakfast were delicious.

Unfortunately I’ve been getting quite a few migraines recently, including at the start of the holiday and today. I’m not sure if this is stress related or hormonal. I’ll just keep taking the tablets and hope for the best. No alcohol for me tonight.

This was a very interesting museum. We liked the shells, the gems and the dinosaurs.

This is an ancient giant sloth. Made me think of my blog friend at The Rambling Sloth.

We also visited the aquarium which was rubbish.. just a fish tank inside a restaurant which wasn’t even open. Nil points.

We saw a show at The Hobby Center called Ain’t Misbehavin based on the 1920s/30s music of Fats Waller. We enjoyed that. It was a massive theatre.

I liked all the murals in the city. We travelled around on foot and also using Uber. We had some helpful friendly drivers.

The zoo was good although very hot 🥵. The elephants were extremely thirsty.

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed the Houston holiday tour. We made some nice memories. I’m off to cook the roast chicken dinner and talk to my Dad re house sales etc. Bye for now Xx