Hi. This is the recent progress on my fruit and veg challenge:
78 baby sweetcorn
79 ? Name?? Fibrous veg (cut into strips in Thai green curry, not sure what it was!?) = ? mooli
80 rhubarb ( home grown, stewed, gorgeous!)
82 pak Choi
83 spring onions
84 pea shoots
90 soya beans
93 passion fruit (I bought this preprepared in a pouch and had it with Greek yoghurt).
94 dried dragon fruit (just don’t do it, horrible, might need a dentist now!)
So as you can see, only 6 more to go, I am on track. Well done me.
In other Waffle food news, this week I cooked a sausage and potato pie, very tasty. I’ve made this many times. The recipe is Nigel Slater’s.
Glaze with a bit of beaten egg and milk.
Into the oven et voilà!
David enjoyed the leftovers cold for his lunch the next day. I think there may have been Worcestershire sauce with it.
I also made mince and tatties from The British Cook Book.
This was a Scottish recipe. I’ve made mince and potatoes before but not quite like this. It was cooked in a beer called Porter that I’d never seen before. I bought it from Ocado, along with all the other ingredients. It made a very rich, deep gravy.
I tried a bit of the leftover ale. It was pretty tasty, and I’m not usually an ale drinker. I’m loving making these traditional British recipes.
Next week I’m planning on making something with asparagus and something with leeks as those are 2 vegetables still to go on my list.
What have you been cooking or eating recently? Anything good? Xx
Hello everyone. It’s feeling a bit warmer now. Still raining. I’ve still got my vest on, but you know, it’s quite warm today. Hurray! Spring at last. I’ve been limping along through these winter months. This is so welcome.
The fruit and veg challenge is ongoing, and becoming more challenging. Here is this week’s progress:
62 cannellini beans
63 Brussels sprouts
65 broad beans
66 dried fig
67 butternut squash (in ravioli)
68 baby kale
69 baby chard
70 kidney beans (yummy home made chilli con carne)
72 Jack fruit chips (a bit hard and get stuck in your teeth 🤪)
73 pinto beans
74 borlotti beans
76 sweet potatoes (I like to make half and half normal and sweet potato mash 😋).
So, 24 left to go by the end of March. Will I do it? Well, yeah, I reckon I will. My Mum said to me once that I have a steely determination and she didn’t know where I got it from. I am determined to reach 100, so she is right, I probably will 😊.
Talking of mothers, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow in the UK. I’ll be going to see my Mum in the care home; I see her every weekend. Every visit now is a special occasion where I appreciate her and she appreciates me. We are aware that time is precious and she’s now in the final chapter of her story and the end stage of our relationship, where in some ways I am the parent now. I was going to make her a card with a photo of her parents’ beautiful garden, but when I just got out our pack of greeting card photo paper I realised it was faded and yellowed over time and looked awful. So I’ve thrown that away and I’ve bought her a card instead. The card I bought in the Post Office. I looked for flowers in Tesco’s but there were only a few dishevelled looking offerings left, so I left it. I’ll try again in Windsor town centre this afternoon when I’m having my hair cut.
Here is a very old photo of my Mum in a dress that she made herself. I think she’s 21, at home in her parents’ garden. I have a new locket for myself I bought with Christmas money and I’m going to put this photo and also her younger sister, my Auntie Jean in it. This is one of my favourite pictures.
Here is the rest of the garden at the family home in West Sussex. My grandfather was an amazing gardener. Here he is with my Grandma.
How about these for sweet peas? I remember pots of them in the house.
The view from the upstairs bathroom/loo!
My sister and I used to run up and down by the flower beds. There were fir trees and pine cones at the very end. I now think how lucky we were to have such a beautiful garden to visit and run around in. It was kept immaculately by my grandfather, Poppa. Here he is again!
Inside the greenhouse..
I know some of you have seen these photos before, but I thought they were worth showing again. Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow to all Waffle Readers’ mothers, still with us or not XxX
Hello. What a surprise! A big bouquet of flowers arrived for me today. It’s not my birthday, it’s not Valentine’s Day… who could they be from?! Clue: they’re not from my husband..
They’re from Skipton Building Society 🤣🤣. And who says romance is dead?!
I’ve had a lot of hassle with my Mum’s money. Skipton have made some mistakes but they’ve been not nearly as bad as Barclays in my opinion. I’ve been feeling pretty sad at times recently, so these flowers were lovely to receive. They still need to send me a form, which is the duplicate of a form I already completed last September, just don’t ask! Wondering if they could have couriered me the form which is stuck in the post, rather than the flowers, but I won’t look a gift horse (or flowers) in the mouth. Thank you Skipton, I suspect Matthew from Skipton, who I spoke to on Thursday.
Barclays, up your game please! Where are my flowers??? My compensation cheque? OMG I’m turning into a diva.
In other matters, I’m hoping I can improve both my physical and mental health by eating healthily. I’m on a target of consuming 100 different types of fruit and veg this month. Bearing in mind it’s only 11th March, this is going really well, albeit getting harder as time goes on, it’s getting more challenging to find ones I haven’t already eaten. Since my last blog, where I was up to no.33 = swede, here’s the progress:
35 green beans
43 black beans
47 green chillies
50 petits pois
51 red chillies
57 chestnut mushrooms
58 oyster mushrooms
59 portobello mushrooms
60 button mushrooms
So only another 39 to go, but as I said, it’s getting a bit harder now. I still haven’t had any cauliflower but will do soon, or butternut squash… or leeks… so lots of yumminess still to come. If they happen to be smothered in a cheese sauce, c’est la vie!
It’s still pretty cold, brrrr, doesn’t feel very Springlike and I can’t wear most of the clothes in my Spring “capsule” wardrobe yet as I’d freeze. My capsule needs work. I am aware that a capsule wardrobe is supposed to be about 38 items, but I find about 80 per season works for me, and there is an overlap of many items between the seasons. This season my first attempt is at 102 items. As I say, a work in progress and it’s not really working for me yet. Before I started this a few years ago I had something like 300 + items of clothing including shoes and coats (not including accessories) bulging out of my wardrobes at any one time yet nothing to wear 🤣🤣.
I’ll leave you with this Spring blossom from earlier today, let’s hope the Spring warmth will be with us soon. Keep smiling 😊 Xx
Greetings Wafflers. I’ve decided to challenge myself to some healthy eating in March. Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to set myself a goal of consuming 100 different types of fruit and vegetable this month. Also I’m trying to be mindful of my alcohol habits and maybe drink a little less.
I’m off to a cracking start, only 4 days into March. I’m making it up as I go along, but dried, tinned, frozen as well as fresh produce counts. Salad counts but herbs do not. Small amounts of fruit included in cereal bars do count. The quantity is not so important as the variety. I’m pushing myself slightly out of my comfort zone and usual habits here. When shopping I’m looking for mixed bags and tins of things. When I’m eating out I’m looking for items on the menu with a bigger list of ingredients fruit or veg. Otherwise this challenge would get really expensive and there would be a lot of waste, neither of which I’m aiming for.
So, this is my achievement so far in March:
1 dried cranberries
(? Red onion and capers – listed on menu but not sure they actually were in the wrap)
(? Does raspberry jam count??!)
(+ Parsley and thyme though herbs don’t count!)
17 baked beans – yup, I’m counting those
18 dried apricots
19 dried sour cherries
20 dried goji berries
(+ chicory fibre?? whatever that is!)
22 red pepper
24 yellow split peas
26 dried orange
(Does thick cut orange marmalade count?!)
27 mixed leaves salad
28 white cabbage
29 red cabbage
30 red onion
Can’t believe I’ve eaten all this in only a few days!! I haven’t eaten more than usual, just more variety. Only another 67 to go… yum yum, watch this space! I haven’t even had any mushrooms yet, I love mushrooms. I pretty much enjoy all fruit and veg, and all food generally except nuts, I’m not that keen on nuts.
What are you eating at the moment? Keeping healthy and varied or stuck in a rut..?
I’ll leave you with a photo snapped on my walk up the hill today of the beautiful Spring blossom. Life is good 😊
Hello. I only worked on Thursday and Friday this week, so that was nice! My boss is away on holiday in New Zealand. I took a few days of annual leave with not much planned to do. I feel so much better for having a little rest.
I reset myself by getting back into the kitchen this week. I have been using my new cookery book..
There are some great recipes.
Chicken balti (yes, that’s a British dish, curry made for the British palate). So tasty, although unless David and I are particularly greedy, the quantities are incorrect as this was stated to serve 4 people and we easily ate it between 2. I served it with basmati and wild rice (it comes in a mixed bag from Ocado/M &S).
Next there were Empire biscuits. OMG so tasty. Like two relatively thin, melt in the mouth shortbread rounds sandwiched with raspberry jam and iced with a cherry on the top. This is biscuit heaven. I’ve really enjoyed these. 2 out of 12 biscuits left and I’ve definitely eaten more of them than David, although he likes them too. 🐷
Then back to the savoury with a sausage and bacon casserole..
Cooked in cider amongst other things. A rich, sweet sauce with succulent sausages and veg. Mmmmm 😋. I served this with new potatoes with the skins still on in big, deep dishes.
I found the cooking especially therapeutic and hope to carry on next week.
I also got to go swimming which was lovely. How sweet is this donation/collection point at the entrance to the leisure centre in Staines? It’s called a “wall of kindness” to leave or collect coats and scarves. Let’s all keep warm!
I met a friend for a double coffee and catch up session at Gogos Waterfront 😊 ☕️.
I’ve been walking, cycling, reading and mending some clothes. I also went to see “Avatar: the way of water” at the cinema with Sue, which we both enjoyed very much. In February I’ve seen 4 films: Avatar, Marcel the shell with shoes on, The Fabelmans and The Whale. Not bad for my £14.99 a month membership.
I’ve also started to benefit from the £2. single bus fare special offer. I never knew about this before. The usual price return Windsor to Maidenhead on the bus is a ridiculous £7.20. so £2. each way is obviously much better! And I’ve discovered this is for most buses in England and extended until the end of June. It is a government subsidised scheme and even includes the Green line 702 bus Windsor to central London so that’s an amazing price and we can go for walk and coffee in Kensington or Hyde Park next time! Check it out below..
Now if you’re state pension age you can travel for free anyway on the bus, but why not take your younger friends and family like me without them paying through the nose! (What a funny expression that is!)
Hope you’re all well. Let me know if you take a bus where you end up and what adventures you may have! 😎 Xx
Hi. I do love a cup of tea and a piece of cake, don’t you? For me the tea is usually English breakfast or occasionally Earl Grey, with semi skimmed milk and no sugar. I have caffeine whereas David has decaffeinated. I don’t know why really as he drinks Diet Coke which contains caffeine, but it’s up to him. I’d find it hard to get through my working week without my little caffeine coffee and tea hits, not that I drink a massive amount, usually 3-4 cups a day. In the evening I usually have green tea with lemon. What am I waffling on about?!
The weather is sunny and bright today. Spring seems to be coming. In the garden we have snowdrops and crocuses.
The rhubarb has started to grow again.
Yum yum rhubarb crumbles here we come 😋.
The herb wall really needs tidying up after the winter, what a mess.
I’m looking forward to getting out here again and clearing it up and planting new stuff.
Yesterday I started chitting my potatoes. There was some merriment in the house when I told David I was chitting.. of course he misheard 🤣, he didn’t know what chitting was. You put the seed potatoes into egg boxes, I use the plastic egg trays from the fridge, with the eyes pointing upwards, ready to start sprouting. I use Arran Pilot seed potatoes. They’re an old variety David’s grandparents used to grow in Swansea. They’re usually delicious.
There is gorgeous blue sky in Windsor today.
David and I went for quite a long walk up to St Leonard’s Hill and back, good to stretch the legs a bit.
Last night we tried a couple of new bars in Windsor. Firstly was the Two Flints Brewery in the arches. I love this new place. Great beer locally brewed in a funky industrial type setting with the brewery equipment on view. They were selling burgers from outside too. I had the amber lager. It was delicious. We’ll definitely be coming back here.
We also tried out La Planchette which is a French wine bar behind the theatre in Windsor. On entering there was a bit of a damp smell, but overall we liked it there too. If you order a large glass of wine you get it served in a mini carafe which is very cute. The French ladies running the place were good hosts and friendly. They do some boards with charcuterie and cheeses on but while we were there people were only drinking.
Time for tea now so I’m off to put the kettle on. Waffle over and out! X 🫖🍰
Hi everyone. I hope you’re all OK. I have struggled this past week. I’ve been really sad about my Dad and the way we have ended up with no contact at all, our relationship broken down after a very intense period of helping him over the past 6 months since he went to hospital and my Mum went into care. I’m worried about him but can’t help him any more. My Mum was also not good last weekend; still in bed, depressed and crying when I went to see her.
I think I’ve also got the February blues. Fed up with winter, desperate for Spring.
This blog is heading for depressing reading, and we don’t want that, so I’ll try to focus on the positives:
1 We celebrated David’s birthday. There has been champagne and A LOT of chocolate cake going on. He is pleased with his new watch. He should be as he chose it!
2 The birds have been enjoying my birdseed I put out in the garden. Whenever I look out there’s a fat pigeon or a smug looking squirrel knocking the seed onto the grass and then hoovering it all up below. David assures me there have been numerous smaller birds such as great tits visiting when I’ve not been looking…
3 My Mum was really good today 😊. She had great carers Hayley and Cathy today. Whoever is on shift that day really seems to make a difference. She was smiling, walking extra voluntarily up and down the corridors with her frame, in a good mood generally and looking good. She enjoyed her parcel from Japan from her ex student Yuh who still so kindly thinks of her and sends her gifts.
4 The best news of all, my epic 5 month battle with Barclays is over. At last! It nearly broke me and I have a sense of complete exhaustion and disbelief at what I’ve had to go through to extract the money that my parents saved. My Mum should now have enough care home fees for her lifetime. It’s so expensive. So stressful when you don’t have access to the money. I know many families are suffering with similar worries. Anyway well done me! Hip, hip hooray! Such a relief to get the money in the end.
5 David’s band will be playing again soon… I’m really looking forward to that. They play 60s, 70s, 80s music. They are all retired and David is the youngest. They are super talented and practice so hard. You can tell they perform for the love of it not to make a living. Any money they do make gets invested into more equipment. Boys and technology, eh?!
Walking and nature usually is the best medicine. Here are my photos from Bray Lake in the sunshine on Wednesday and Boveney lock this afternoon. I’m finding the stillness of water very calming at the moment. I’m getting into looking at reflections and photographing them too.
This is a very old little church..
I hope you enjoyed my local picture tour. What have you been up to this weekend? Xx
Hi. Just waiting for the roast chicken to finish roasting in the oven.
Yesterday David and I went for a walk in the Home Park in Windsor. David noticed the nice reflection of this house boat in the River Thames. I’m quite pleased with this photo I took. It seems well balanced and I like the bright blue of the boat against the greyness of the day.
This afternoon I snapped some trees at Wellington College, Crowthorne as we walked through their grounds.
Spotted my first daffodils… Spring is coming 😊🎉
Then some pretty purple crocuses in Crowthorne. Gorgeous light today.
And here’s another commissioned by David, the holly and the berries…don’t you just love that glossiness of holly leaves?
So that was a lovely look at nature. I’ve decided my Spring (sort of capsule) wardrobe will be colourful like Spring this year. This morning I went to a Vintage fashion pop up sale at Windsor racecourse. A bit out of my comfort zone, in a good way. I cycled down there looking for some colourful bits. Quite an interesting experience. First of all you had to queue for ages even with a ticket. Inside it was cramped with rails of stuff and extremely crowded with people, mostly a lot younger than I am. It was a bit of an organised bun fight. In the end I quite enjoyed it but felt a little out of control grabbing things off the rails in the bargain frenzy!
It was £2. entry and then that was deducted from your purchases which were weighed and cost £25. per kilo. I spent a total of £39.95 for 7 items so that makes it under £6. per item. You couldn’t try them on and there wasn’t even a mirror so I knew I wouldn’t keep all of them. When I got home I’ve ended up keeping 4 out of 7. One was too small and two were unflattering. I still need to wash them and work out what goes with what, but I think I got some good bits, and it was quite fun to do something different.
I think the bright yellow top is my favourite. It’s really pretty and vibrant and fits me well. It goes nicely under my new jacket which I had no intention of buying at all. I’ll try to do some styling photos later on 🤣🤣🤣
I had a lovely cappuccino, carrot cake and chat with my friend at the Imperial Park café in Windsor. The sun had kindly put his hat on which was very welcome. Gorgeous views. A few little dogs but no big scary ones. We walked several laps of the park after coffee. Just what the doctor ordered, I honestly wanted to do this for so long but was too busy with my parents’ work.
We heard a woodpecker, but couldn’t see it. We saw a cheeky squirrel who didn’t want to pose for a photo, too busy running about in the trees. There was a pretty little bird, a goldfinch I think.
Then it was back home to reality and more heated words with Barclays on the phone before I burst into tears and hung up on them. I have now registered a complaint about their complaints service. You couldn’t make it up.
The evening was saved, however, by a steak and kidney pudding, new potatoes, mixed veg and extra gravy, followed by a visit to Maidenhead Odeon cinema to see The Fabelmans, which Sue and I really enjoyed.
Hi. It’s Sunday. I’ve had a busy, sociable weekend. I took this picture of teasels today by the Dorney river. The weather’s warmed up a bit now, not so cold.
Yesterday I was out for lunch and out for dinner. What a greedy girl!
In London I met up with my Swansea Uni friends for lunch, all except Emily. But we did spot an Emily lookalike, so that was quite exciting. We also saw Matt Hancock in Oxford Street, one child on his shoulders, another next to him. I actually only saw the back of him after he’d passed us by!
I do love a day out in London. I got the train to Waterloo and walked to Soho, stopping off at Waterstones coffee shop in Trafalgar Square on the way..
St Martin’s in the Fields.
I had a good catch up with my friends over lunch and a little wine, then back to Windsor for a quick wash and change and out in Windsor with local friends for drinks, Thai food at The Giggling Squid etc. It was all a lot of fun and I woke up happy today.
This morning I visited my Mum at the care home who was quite good. On the way I had to walk a big detour to avoid a car on fire just before the roundabout. Big flames coming out of it. Scary stuff. The family seemed to have got out OK but one of the little girls was crying. The fire brigade were soon on the scene. My Mum was craning her neck to see the action from her room, but it was just out of sight!
Pork is now roasting in the oven for Sunday night’s roast dinner. There will be roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, green beans and gravy followed by sticky toffee pudding. Honestly the eating and drinking this weekend and socialising has felt like Christmas again. It’s a long story but I have more time for myself now as my Dad no longer wants my help with anything. I’m actually quite heartbroken but I’m trying to move on with my life and focus on the positives around me, for which I have many.
How’s your weekend been? The bleak month of January is almost over my friends. And I’m down to the last 16 items of my 200 item Orjenise target for January 😊🥳