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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.

One Tuesday in September

Hello and welcome to one Tuesday in September of my life. How are you all doing?

It’s been a good day overall. Not too much pressure at work for a change. A few things worked out better than I expected them to. The sun shone this afternoon. All is right with the world, apart from the ****** virus, of course.

One day I will venture somewhere new. When I started The Windsor Waffle back in February who knew how Windsor centric my life would become. I know my local housing estate very well these days. I’m familiar with all the front gardens, extensions and garage doors. We have walked round and around and up the hill so many times over the last six months. We now have a few set routes. Sometimes we even do them in reverse, just to mix things up a bit, oh we really like to live!

So for today, my Waffle friends, you have more photos of Windsor town centre, from my lunchtime walk. I try to find interesting or beautiful things to photograph for you, something different. I don’t want you getting all bored of me and going off to read someone else’s blog, that will never do!

So here are the pics of the day:

Nice puffy clouds..

Before the sun came out, a moody church..

One of my favourite trees in the whole wide world, cedar in St Leonard’s road, Windsor.

Leaves in a hedge. Any improvement for you on leaves on the ground from last time?

I like the textures and how they’re just sitting there, being autumnal, just doing their fallen leaves all over the place thing. Also the contrast with the vibrant green hedge they’re resting on. Have I lost the plot? Probably.

After returning home for my tea and hot cross bun.. thankfully the new kettle had arrived from Amazon…

Let’s hope it lasts longer than it’s predecessor. Don’t buy a kettle from Logic, it must have lasted a year at most. Fingers crossed for the Breville…

Anyway, after that, I noticed how tidy the garden’s looking, not my handiwork but looking good.

And some nice pots full of healthy foliage..

Right, that’s the estate wrapped up for today. For dinner we’ll be having Nigel Slater’s toad in the hole, yum, yum, yum. Off to the kitchen I go to don my apron. That is a very weird word, “don”. I do hope you’ve been donning your mask all over the place and at all the appropriate times. See you in October xx


Acorns

This is David’s little autumnal arrangement. We collected the acorns on our walk in Windsor Great Park yesterday. I love how smooth the big, green acorns feel and how tidily they sit in their little cups.

Here are some other views from our walk. I never tire of this stroll. What a majestic oak!

Sweet chestnuts.

Such a lovely, fresh colour, this tall beech tree.

Yellow flowers on the crops in the fields. I’m not sure what this crop is. I don’t think it’s vibrant enough to be rapeseed.

The ground! David asked me if I took this shot by accident. I did not. I like the dried, brown oak leaves. England’s pleasant land.

As the sun goes down behind the ash tree behind my house, I reflect on a quiet, pleasantly uneventful weekend.

Last night we quaffed champagne, David’s gift to me for reaching 100 followers on The Windsor Waffle. Cheers and thank you my dear followers, much appreciated! I do love to chat to you all.

I think David may also be celebrating the new electric garage door. He wanted one of these for ages. It looks very smart and is easier to get our bikes in and out.

The roast chicken is in the oven, roast potatoes too. Yum yum.

This is an M & S chicken from Norfolk. Last time the M & S chicken seemed to slice more easily, was less crumbly than the Ocado equivalent. We will also be having cauliflower, carrots and gravy.

For dessert… love is giving your only chocolate mousse to your husband.

I cannot describe how delicious these little chocolate pots are. I know there’s no way David will share. He frequently says he needs to write to the company as he needs an ENORMOUS serving of this, not just a little pot!

Meanwhile, I am left with a lemon & lime posset, substituted by Ocado instead of a second chocolate mousse…

Maybe it will “Wow” me. Time will tell. I will keep you posted on this and other very important matters. Bye for now everyone and thanks again for helping me reach Waffle champagne status. 🤗xxx.

Pretty in pink

Hello Wafflers. Say hello to my new cyclamen. Pretty isn’t it? I bought this at the garden centre today after I met my friend for coffee and catch up. It was a lovely sunny morning. After coffee we had a wander around the garden centre shop, donning our masks, of course. They also have an aquarium and we enjoyed looking at the colourful fish and also baby sting rays that had beautiful brown and white markings. I love the way they move. I think they were about £300. each. We didn’t buy any!

The cyclamen is now on the patio. It needs to go into a bigger pot or into the border. I was going to do this this afternoon but felt quite tired and drained so have left it for the weekend. I’ll probably put it in one of the sweet pea pots as they are pretty much dead now.

Here was the view from coffee break.

And this was the walk home.

I did find enough energy, however, to prepare the slow cooker supper of beef and anchovy stew. Last time I made this we gave it a * marking in the book. This means we thought it was absolutely delicious. Fingers crossed for this time too. It looks and smells great. I’m going to serve it with mashed potatoes.

I like to get all the ingredients out on the side to start.

Obviously the sultana bran flakes, cake and packet of chocolate digestives were already lurking on the side, they are not part of this stew!! For some reason I also got the cardamom pods out of the cupboard. They are also not in it! (Honestly, Gail, get a grip… ). I also realised I’d forgotten the important ingredients of red wine and butter for this line up.. and added them later.

Once prepared for the slow cooker, it looked like this..

And now, many hours later, it looks like this…(it’s a shame I can’t put the amazing aroma on the blog… you’ll have to imagine it).

Hopefully the Marks & Spencer’s beef will be nice and succulent. Half of this we will probably eat, and half will go in the freezer for another time. I’m not sure there is much room in the freezer, I’ll have to do some rearranging. There’s probably some weird old stuff in the bottom that can be chucked away, there usually is.

We had a quick walk around the block before tea and I spotted another beautiful pink rose I though you might like, on this pretty pink Waffle day.

We do eat well I must say. Last night we gobbled up homemade mushroom tarts with baked beans.

These are so tasty. It is Nigel Slater’s recipe using ready made puff pastry. The mushrooms are fried in butter and garlic, parsley added and then put on top of the pastry and baked in the oven. Gorgeous! Clean plates all round.

Well I hope you’ve had a nice day. We came across this half mast Union Jack on our walk today. What’s that all about? Brexit? The virus? Something else…..? 🤔



Tuesday night post yoga quick blog

Since the pandemic we’ve always got some chocolate on the go.. and biscuits. I can’t give David a cup of tea without him requesting where the biscuit is these days.. which very much reminds me of my Auntie Jean. In the care home suffering from dementia, whenever anyone offered her a cup of tea, “will there be a biscuit with that?” she asked with her cheeky smile. I could tell you a lot of food stories about my Auntie Jean. She always fed us extremely well, too well. She hated to put leftovers back in the fridge. I once witnessed her sliding half a cheesecake onto someone’s plate as she couldn’t put “that little bit” back in the fridge!

We haven’t finished the caramel aero yet, but I wasn’t a big fan of that. This is much nicer, in my opinion, the Smarties sharing block. Yum. I like the texture with the crunchy smarties in it.

Nothing much else to report for today. I’m all elongated from yoga. I’ve got to make the sandwiches for tomorrow and get my work clothes out for the morning now. I hang them on the back of the spare bedroom door, all ready to put on in the morning daze. I am not an early morning person, or a night owl. I am (very unusually I think) a late morning/ early afternoon person. Anyone else one of these?! 😴

It’s not over yet

The virus. The summer. My sunflowers 🌻. None of these are over yet. Look at this amazing new sunflower about to burst open with vibrancy and life. Let’s focus on that and not all the rest of the depressing stuff.

I do hope you’re in the mood for pretty flowers, as there are a lot of them coming up on the blog today. Imagine the gorgeous scents, admire their beautiful shapes, the wonder of nature. Here we are…a little selection from the last two days on my local estate I’ve put together for you..

Are you feeling calmer yet? Just pondering the pretty petals? No? Oh, alright then, I’ll show you the resplendent roses, and if that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.

Aren’t they wonderful? I love them all. Maybe the pale pink one above is my favourite though, so delicate.

Here are a few more specimens of nature that caught my eye..

Well, that’s me all relaxed again. How about you?

Duck is roasting in the oven. Yum.

The packet says it is “wonderfully effortless”. That suits me. I wish you all a wonderfully effortless week. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers! 😊Xxx

Very quick blog!

Hi, I’m just checking in after an extremely busy day at work, then lovely relaxing pub and dinner with friends.

I’m a bit worn out now. Just having coffee and a bit of this aero caramel chocolate. I’m not a big fan of this, I’d rather have just normal flavoured chocolate. But it’s chocolate you know, so I’m sure I’ll force it down.

So ready for the weekend but one more day of work. Head down, get on with it, and try not to oversleep like I did this morning! Oops!

Ps I haven’t seen my sunflowers today. I miss them. Wonder if David watered them….? 🤔x

Sunday’s Walk

Hello. Yes I am aware it is TUESDAY not SUNDAY today, but I ran out of time to tell you about Sunday’s walk around Boveney/Dorney. Also I have not much to say regarding Monday and Tuesday. It was WORK, WORK, WORK. Tonight I’ve been to my new yoga class. So relaxed. I’m in another zone at the moment. I do enjoy a good lie on the mat focussing on my breathing. What else happened? Oh yes, we put the bins out tonight… NOT INTERESTING GAIL !! Since lockdown we have a bit of a bin lottery in Windsor. Place your bets please on which bin they will collect tomorrow morning.. could be the big grey one, the big blue recycling one, or the little food waste one… or any combination of the above. Our Council like to keep us on our toes. They are supposed to collect all of them every week again now but so far they only manage one at a time and not in any kind of routine it seems, and certainly nothing matching any information they’ve given to us in expensively produced letters mailed out to every household. The poor Council do not blame themselves at all for this..apparently it is all their contractors’ fault and not their responsibility at all. We Windsor residents are not amused. Well, that was quite interesting after all (maybe?!), me having a little chilled out rant about bin collections. I must do more yoga. Clearly I still have “issues”!!

Before I go off on another one, here are the lovely pics of lovely Boveney. I was well excited that the little old church was open this time. We’d never been in it before. It’s really old and so cute. I really like churches but am not religious at all…figure that one out. I love the tranquil space and calm in churches, and the architecture of big churches especially cathedrals. I really love a cathedral me. My this blog does take me down all sorts of unexpected paths of my mind. It’s a real labyrinth in there!

So simple inside. A sort of plain, rustic charm.

The font.

Some soldiers to remember.

Creaky door.. actually not sure if it was creaky, but it looks like it!

A few wild flowers outside.

Stained glass, so pretty.. see beautiful blue glass headline picture and below. I love stained glass.

BTW There’s a lovely stained glass window at work I should photograph for you some time. It always cheers me up.

The majestic river Thames.

We ended up in Dorney, home to the 2012 Olympic rowing and canoeing events.

We assumed this area around Dorney Lake was open to the public again after its lockdown during lockdown (if you see what I mean?) due to antisocial yobs, parties and littering, as we entered through an open gate with some other people. But when we tried to exit at another entrance/exit we hit this locked gate. Mmmmmm.

Faced with a long walk back around, we found a sneaky solution nearby. David climbed over a wooden fence and I managed to climb through it with my long skirt on. Found out my back is getting pretty flexible with all this yoga going on. I also managed to put a conker I’d found in the front pocket of my little rucksack by stretching my arm completely behind me without taking the bag off my back…. an amazing Mr Tickle-like move with space in my shoulders. Thanks yoga teachers!

Well I hope I’ve stretched your mind a little this evening with my Waffle. Remember to be extraordinary my friends. “Normal” is overrated. Reach for the stars! ❤️Xx

p.s Extraordinary cows in the road.. we don’t see this often in Windsor area. It’s ancient common land here in Dorney. Honestly, some creatures would do anything to get their pic on The Waffle….




Happy Weekend Waffle

Hello my dear Waffle friends. Have you had a nice weekend? Mine’s been good. The lovely summer weather is back and we’ve had some delicious food and enjoyable activities.

Friday night we chilled out at home and I cooked chicken liver pasta. It’s basically just onions, chicken livers and single cream. It’s really quick to make and really tasty. Here is stage one..

Then you add the cream and it goes on to look something like this (steamy photo!) before you stir through the pasta.

I served it with a nice bottle of red wine and we watched TV on the sofa afterwards.

Last night we ventured out into Windsor on our bikes. We stopped off at The Swan (see headline photo), our favourite local pub, for a delicious, chilled, locally brewed beer on the way into town. After 10 minutes of cycling I feel one deserves some refreshment 😂….

We then went on to Boatman, by the river. This was our first meal INSIDE a restaurant since lockdown.

With hindsight we picked a stupid night to do this for the first time, everyone was out and up for a party on Saturday night before the rule of six starts tomorrow. We were shocked to see a closely seated table of nine inside, and another table of about eight young lads outside with no attempt at social distancing. The restaurant was well aerated, however, with the big doors to the conservatory open. But it was extremely noisy, which meant I had to shout at the poor waitress who was wearing a mask, but I don’t think shouting in people’s faces is a good idea at the moment. There were three separate tables who sang/shouted “Happy Birthday to you” (projecting possible Covid across to their neighbouring tables) during the evening. I must be a killjoy as I think singing Happy Birthday inside noisy restaurants should be banned until the virus starts to go in the right direction. Whispered versions only please!

Of the 40 new cases in Berkshire this week, 22 of these were reported yesterday in Windsor and Maidenhead area. I am not surprised. We’ve got off quite lightly so far in this part of the country, this cannot last. In Birmingham there were 500 cases this week, so we’re not up there yet, but we can’t go around pretending it’s gone away as clearly it has not. This virus is not done with us yet.

My worries aside, the food was delicious. We both started off with the scallops and then David had a steak with blue cheese sauce and new potatoes. He said it was really good and his plate was completely spotless afterwards. I had the chicken and chips with gravy and green beans which was also excellent. I gobbled up all the yummy chips but was slightly defeated by the two succulent pieces of chicken. A big portion!

David went on to have vanilla ice cream for pudding and I wimped out and had a cappuccino before the cycle ride home.

After some jobs at home this morning, we had a nice lunch outside at Stubbings garden centre. This was my choice.. roasted vegetable and brie quiche with salad and potato salad. It was a good choice! And the sunshine was so lovely. I had to get a summer skirt out this morning as my autumn “capsule” failed me in such pleasant but unexpected weather.

We had a beautiful walk round Boveney/Dorney this afternoon. I have lots of great photos of that to share with you, but I think I’ll do that next time as I have rabitted on about food a lot today, so I might as well just finish off with Waffle news of tonight’s dinner and then leave you all to go and get your cup of tea/snack/dinner/glass of wine 🍷.

We get our supermarket shopping delivered from Ocado which now includes M & S instead of Waitrose food. So far we’re enjoying the change and it doesn’t appear to be more expensive, depending on what products you select. The extremely chocolatey sponge roll is particularly good. I get the feeling the scales are not going to be kind to me tomorrow for my Monday morning weigh in 😂, but the way my job is at the moment I probably need lots of energy to charge through the challenges of the week ahead (that’s my excuse anyway).

Tonight we are having these M & S lamb shanks for the first time. They look promising.

There is a sachet of sauce you have to add later on…

We’ll be having these with boiled potatoes, carrots and mint sauce. 😋 Bye for now. Back Tuesday night with some more load of old Waffle xx

Anyone lost a pair of shoes?

I saw these shoes at lunchtime on my walk. I guess it’s a student prank as it was near the College, although I’m not sure the students are back yet. Made me look and smile, not what I expected to see up there.

For regular Waffle readers who read my last post, you will be pleased to know I am back at the dining room table, with my obligatory glass of water on hand. I didn’t sleep well last night (combination of wine last night at the paella garden party and worrying about work in the early hours of the morning). I was tempted to do some more horizontal blogging on my bed today, but I don’t want to get into sloppy habits. Before you know it I’ll be like Winston Churchill doing most of my work in a drunken stupor from the bed in my pyjamas. That really won’t do. This is Windsor you know?!

Since the pandemic I don’t take a proper lunch break at work and David picks me up a bit earlier than I used to leave. But I do try to fit in at least a little walk around the block. Today I saw the shoes up high, and also a few nice bits of nature.

I thought this plant was very pretty. Looks a bit like jasmine but I don’t think it is. Does anyone know what this is?

There are some nice bright berries around now too.

This is one of my favourite trees, ever. This is the one I helped to save when the Council called it “actionable nuisance” and were going to chop it down.

Then I was excited to find the ginkgo tree again. It’s in someone’s front garden and last time I looked I couldn’t find it. Ginkgo is a very old species of tree, some fossils dating back 270 million years.. wow, that’s old! I used to like the ones in Kew Gardens where I had my student holiday job in the book/gift shop. We sold earrings in the shape of ginkgo leaves, and I was often directing tourists to look at the real trees that were not that far from the shop. In those days, the shop was in the Orangery building which is an amazing space. Now it is a restaurant and the shops are elsewhere. When I visited Kew with my Mum last year I was chuffed I could still find the ginkgo trees, waiting for me all these years.

You can see how the shape would make good earrings. I think they were silver.

So that was my little lunchtime stroll. I then came home to see what was what in The Waffle plot.

Guess what? I found a new sunflower in bloom. Yippee! This one has a slightly smaller flower but is gorgeous. Look at it! It’s like tie dye…

Unlike this one that’s been in bloom for a while and is so tidy with its colour.

There are some good berries now in the garden.

Very Christmassy! (Oops I just used the “C” word on the blog in September, I do apologise, far too early for any of that nonsense). There was even a robin posing in the holly the other day.

These red leaves are newly out too, very autumnal. They will coordinate with my capsule wardrobe with the red theme 😂. I have bought some bright red trousers, have I mentioned them before? They are so funky. Goodness knows when I will wear them. My trousers are much brighter than this.. better get your shades ready people of Windsor!

It’s chicken and bacon turnovers for dinner tonight. Looking forward to that. Better get cooking! Here they are from the last time I made them. 😋x

Bed time Zzzzzzzzz

This picture obviously has nothing at all to do with bed time, and hopefully won’t give you nightmares. It is a moth in my garden on the garden hose I noticed the other day. I’m torn between thinking it’s quite cute and interesting, or quite creepy and a bit too furry moth like. It was quite big. If you weren’t already traumatised, here’s another shot of it.

It’s been a busy day, but good and productive. So I now find myself for the first time ever blogging in my PJs in bed. Seriously! Usually I’m all set up sitting at a chair in the dining room, fully clothed and with a glass of water on hand. I have a little OCD habit in that I absolutely cannot start the blog without the prepared glass of water, just in case. I don’t know what I think will happen if I have to interrupt my blogging train of thought/masterpiece (?!) to go to the kitchen for some water, but I seem to have an ingrained fear of this happening… strange but true.

So now I’m off to sip my delicious water next to the bed (I do love water), quickly blow dry my damp hair from the bath and have a good sleep. Work and paella garden party tomorrow. Thank goodness for going out again.. with mitigations. Really had enough of the cooped up life last week.

Here’s my duvet by the way… in my subdued bedroom lighting.

Oh so snuggly. I ❤️bed time. Night night xx