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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.

Rest? What Rest?!

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Hi. This is just a quick post as I have some things to do for my parents. After announcing I was having a little rest, which I managed for a couple of days, we then had a family medical emergency.

My Dad is very lucky to be alive after having a ruptured aortic aneurysm. He was rushed to hospital for emergency key hole surgery and came home yesterday. This was all a massive shock as you can imagine as my Dad had no idea he had this aneurysm and was absolutely fine the day before. Last Thursday night at 7 pm I received a text from him along the lines of “in severe pain, please call”.. from where I called 111, a lot of to-ing and fro-ing then they sent an ambulance, taken to Kingston Hospital and transferred to St George’s for emergency surgery. At Kingston apparently they were initially preparing to send him home at which point my Dad managed to have the strength to say “I’m too ill to go home” and they gave him a scan which diagnosed the aneurysm. He was lucky on so many counts.

This is not well known and my Dad has never been called, but all men in the UK are supposed to be invited for a screening scan for abdominal aortic aneurysm at age 65. I am urging any of you in the UK who have friends, husbands, colleagues etc who are male over 65, to just check that they know about this and they’ve had a scan. It could save their life. The link is here for you to contact the NHS to book a scan if you’ve been missed. I do not wish any other family to have the last 5 days that I’ve have had.

The Waffle may be a little sporadic for a while depending on the help my parents need. Back soon hopefully xxx

Time for a little rest

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I never suffer from writer’s block with the blog, as I consider this simply chatting to my friends, so there’s always something to say and to update you all on. However, for the last couple of posts I’ve turned up at the page aka the iPad mini, feeling a bit brain dead, like I’m already running on empty. For this reason I’m going to give myself a little rest.. a week’s pause from blogging. I’m going to hunker down like a hibernating hedgehog 🦔 for a little siesta. I’ll be back in a week. Looking forward to it already XXX.

Biophilia

I learnt a new word this week – biophilia.

biophilia noun(according to a theory of the biologist E O Wilson) an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world.

So I am pleased to report that I have acute biophilia… connection with nature… which is much more pleasant than it sounds.

I went out for a photo walk this afternoon. The sky was just grey and cold. No interesting clouds. Even the trees looked a bit drab and sorry for themselves. I had to work hard to connect with nature, to see the beauty in in all, but I managed it. You have to look so much more closely in the winter. I hope you enjoy my finds below. Each one sparked a little joy in my heart.

So many different and gorgeous greens.

Pretty in pink.

This wins the tidiest tree in Windsor award.

This is just silly!

And this.

A heart gate for you ❤️❤️❤️.

Sometimes dead or dying things are beautiful and interesting too..

A few tiny flowers if you seek them out…

Some purple around..

And some man-made vibrancy..

Roast gammon with cheese sauce, roast potatoes and vegetables… probably cauliflower…for dinner tonight. Yum yum. For pudding is Wall’s Viennetta neopolitan flavour. We’ve not had that before. Have a good week everybody. May the vaccine come speedily to you and please may it work! Xx

New sunflower calendar

Hi. This is going to be a short blog as I need a rest. It’s been one of those days.

I thought you might like to see my new sunflower calendar. I bought this from Amazon. It’s got sunflowers on every page, because you can never have too many sunflowers, right? Some of you will remember the gorgeous sunflowers I grew in my garden for the first time last year. I saved some of the seeds from the tallest one and am planning on growing them again this year. The sunflowers were very popular on The Waffle, they could almost have had a blog site of their own.

This is the picture for this month. Sunflowers 🌻 always cheer me up.

On the menu tonight is sausages, fried egg and chips. There may even be some baked beans for a bit of nutrition.

I hope you are all doing OK. Let’s all plan to plant sunflowers in the Spring .. we can start a Waffle competition for the tallest, the prettiest and the biggest flower in diameter. Who’s up for that? XX

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Lockdown no.3

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Hi. Greetings from England and indeed the UK’s lockdown no.3. I predicted a long time ago we would have a total of 7 lockdowns in the end. “7??!” I hear you cry, yes 7 my friends. I hope I’m wrong, but we are constantly underestimating this virus and it’s certainly not done with us yet. None of the over 80s in my family have been offered a vaccine yet, with the government rubbing our noses in it every day at how fast they are supposedly progressing with this. This is going to take a looooooooonnnnnggggg time. And if you’re not really poorly at the moment, it’s likely you’re either really stressed or really bored or possibly both at the same time.

Today I am OK except I’m pretty tired. I was working and blogging in my head most of the night it seems (yes, I do do that, but not usually in the night time). Just when I properly got to sleep, David was shouting at me that it was 8.20 am and I’d overslept. I dragged myself out and off to work and I actually had a much better focused and productive day than yesterday, when I was in shock after the New Year break at all the new disastrous impacts of Covid 19 on my work. I am racing to undo most of the work I have put together over the last 3 months, but hey, I’ve still got a job, I haven’t got Covid 19 as far as I’m aware, and my New Year’s resolution is to stop moaning at work about work. Positive thoughts and positive vibes only. Watch this space. My colleague this morning said I might last 45 minutes. Honestly! The cheek of it.

I’ve nicked something from Jules aka The Rambling Sloth’s blog (hope you don’t mind Jules?x ). I like this chart with a little task each day from The Action for Happiness.

Day 1: Find three good things to look forward to this year? Mmmm. Tricky. I can’t say I’m looking forward to much as I don’t want to be disappointed. In the end I settled on David’s birthday in February, my birthday in April, and putting together my colourful Spring 2021 capsule wardrobe. All these things I can still enjoy even if we are in lockdown. We can have special meals and celebrations at home, and online shopping still works, although I’m trying to do a bit less of that with clothes, to achieve some sort of capsule. (Sounds like I’m off to the moon…maybe? now that’s an idea! ). I’d like to capsule David’s wardrobe but he’s not having any of it so far 😂.

Day 4: write a list of things you are grateful for and why. Oops I forgot to do why, but I think that’s actually quite obvious. I found this easy, I am grateful for so many things…. wait for it….it did make me feel all warm and positive writing it all down….

I feel grateful for..

Both my parents still being alive and reasonably well.

My sister.

David.

My nephew and niece.

David’s family.

My friends. 

My education.

My travelling experience.

My blog.

My blog friends and readers. All you fantastic people! Yes you!

My health.

My safe neighbourhood. 

My job.

My boss.

Knowing my colleague who died.

My current colleagues.

My financial situation.

My cooking.

My experience of different foods and cultures.

Nature.

The birds in my garden.

Yoga.

Living in a country with an NHS.

Sunshine.

Rain.

Clouds.

Sky.

My new pyjamas. 

Flowers.

My neighbours.

My house and garden.

Ocado shopping. 

My warm duvet cover. 

Cups of tea.

Wine.

All the restaurants I have visited.

Takeaways.

Chocolate biscuits.

The vaccine.  

The scientists who made the vaccine.

Selfless people. 

Happy memories of things I used to do. 

Not having too many grey hairs! 

My book club. 

Books and reading. 

My iPhone, my iPad.

Comfortable shoes.

Warm clothes.

My bicycle.

My lovely Christmas tree. 

My Christmas decorations. 

Not having to work my whole career in a job I didn’t enjoy. 

Being able to sew a bit. 

Playing the piano. 

Music. 

Fruit. 

Ice cream. 

Doing my education/being young when there wasn’t a pandemic. 

Doing my degree at a time when you didn’t have to amass a vast debt. 

My glasses. 

Good hand cream. 

etc etc etc.

Grateful for my meatballs and pasta I’m just about to cook, and my lovely made up duck curry from the leftover roast duck last night… pic below… more about that another time! Xxxx


Wot no cash point?!

This is where I went to take some cash out of the bank yesterday, the machine at the local post office. It was a shock to find it had er, gone. I had to go to the machine at Tesco’s instead, which is of course much busier with potential virus infected persons. Why did I need cash anyway I hear you ask? I haven’t used any for months, but our local Nepalese takeaway will only accept cash payments for deliveries. A Google search tells me the post office has closed about 600 cash points. How ****** inconvenient. They could have asked me first. Honestly!

As I hear more of my friends are suffering with the dreaded Covid these days, unable to fathom where they actually picked it up, which is scary, I hope you are all keeping safe and well, wherever you are around the world.

2021 was going quite well for me until I lost my house keys somewhere within the house or garden or out at the bins. 1 hour later in a state of extreme anxiety with David on the verge of calling out an emergency locksmith, I found them in my new apron pocket. Phew phew phew!! It would have been very expensive to replace all these keys, not to mention inconvenient. I have now ordered myself a little gadget from Amazon with some of my Christmas vouchers, which will enable me to find mislaid keys via an app on my phone. In the mean time I am now routinely double and triple checking the keys are still where I left them, like a crazed OCD person.

But for today, peace reigns, I still have my keys, and I woke up in my lovely new pyjamas. We’ve taken down the Xmas tree, cards and decs, had a big hoovering session and everything is looking shipshape again. Here are a few of my favourite cards this year…

This one’s called “Sunlight through the birch trees”. My sister knows me well.

On a wildlife theme, I also liked this wintry fox from Clare and Luke..

and these hares from Debbie and Chris..

The only snow we’re getting in Windsor is the snow on my Christmas cards!

I have to mention the handmade cards, thank you for your handiwork my friends..

This one was a couple’s effort from Suzanne and John, most impressive.

This was from Helen, always an artistic card from Helen..

And this one was from Gwen and Peter, made by Gwen who is a very talented calligrapher and teacher.

And last but not least, I can never tire of hearing what a Wonderful Wife I am!! Thanks David XX.

We received many other lovely cards, texts, e-cards and e-mails. All gratefully received especially after the year that was 2020.

I have an enormous duck to roast now. Ocado brought us one that was double the size I actually wanted. Duck curry anyone? 😊 Xx.

New Year’s Eve 2020 style

Well what a strange New Year’s Eve to end such a strange and challenging year. This time last year I’d just had my hair done and was getting ready to go out to our local Nepalese restaurant, Gurkha Royale, with friends. This year we decided we couldn’t even be bothered with a takeaway, as it might take ages to come.

The highlight of today for me was a visit to Budgen’s to get some extra bits for dinner. I was actually looking forward to going to Budgen’s for a couple of days, sad but true, as I don’t go into real shops very often at all.

This is a new Budgen’s and so much better than the old ? One Stop or whatever it was called. It’s nice and clean inside, never more than a couple of customers at a time, and they also they have a couple of freezers full of “Cook” ready meals.

Since Christmas it seems I’ve run out of steam/enthusiasm for much cooking, so we’re having a three course ready made dinner tonight. The menu looks like this:

Appetiser: Kir royale champagne cocktails with posh crisps…here are the posh crisps…

Starter: Meatballs from “Cook”. We’re going to share a 1 portion main course as a starter.

Main course: Chicken in red wine from M & S with new potatoes.

Dessert: Pots & Co hot chocolate and salted caramel lava cakes. We haven’t had these before but we really love the Pots & Co chocolate ganache mousses so these sound promising. I just need to microwave them.

Copious amounts of wine and champagne toast at midnight 🎉.

So that’s us sorted. What are you having for dinner? I hope it’s something nice. We can all celebrate still being alive at the end of 2020. You made it. Well done. Sadly one of my friends did not. Let’s hope the vaccine comes soon in 2021 to us all. Cheers everybody! Xx 🥂

A few more patterns of Windsor

Hi guys. I’ve been out and about around Windsor again. Well, only a little walk, we are in Tier 4 you know.

Today was a bit colder. Without snow, frost or ice, I can’t convey the sense of cold on the streets of Windsor, you’ll have to imagine it. The sky was cold, cloudy, pale grey, nothing exciting going on there. I did find a few more interesting shapes and bits of architecture to look at though. I’m sure people in the street must look at me and think “what on earth is that woman photographing over there?” when I’m crouched down next to a drain or something, but I don’t care really. What is interesting to me I hope is interesting for you too.

I can’t even remember what this was part of now, but I like it! The patterns and the shininess. I bet it felt cold (but I didn’t touch it).

This is a car park. I like the shapes. It’s a little bit Art Deco. I’m getting quite into the beauty of metalwork these days.

This is someone’s flower tub, on the wall of their house. Very heraldic.

Some sort of drain cover. I like the rustiness.

Oooo, a drain! I wonder how far down it goes and who lives down there? Big fat rats of Windsor most likely…

Nice windows.

Cute little family group. I hope none of them gets the virus.

Chequerboard steps. Reminds me of The Queen’s Gambit.

I was dying to give this one a clean… you can just imagine how nicely it would come up 😂.

Pseudo Windsor Castle.

Through the round window. This is part of the old fire station, now The Old Court arts centre.

A nice little pillar.

Back to some ironwork. I’m getting a thing about this now.

Knobs? Top knots?! You get the picture.

Little architectural motifs… is that what you call them? Don’t ask me what the flowers and the leaves mean.

One of my favourite trees of Windsor. It’s a cedar. Look at that magnificent canopy! You can get lost in dreams looking up there.

Close up of a gnarly bit..grumpy face?

I took this through someone’s gate… very festive!

Monty’s café had nice decs too. Shame it’s shut. I think they still do takeaways sometimes.

And back at my house, the Lindt reindeer and teddy have been trying to disguise themselves amongst the three wise men, trying not to get eaten.

Keep safe. Look after yourselves. I’m off for yoga practice then fishcakes 😀🐠. Xx

Happy Twixmas!

Hi, we’re working our way through the Christmas pudding, cold or hot, it’s delicious. The cake is not so good this year, it seems a bit undercooked in the middle. I’ve never done that before. I think I’m going to blame it on the pandemic.

This Twixmas period is usually one of my favourite times of the year, the chance to relax and potter about at home with no plans after the busyness of Christmas. This year is not quite the same, as I’ve already spent more than enough time pottering at home with no plans recently. We were quite excited to do a couple of Zoom get togethers yesterday, to see a few faces and hear a few voices different from our own.

We are lucky in Windsor that Storm Bella has been kind to us. The heavy rain beat down all night last night but by the morning things were easing and we’ve had a lovely, bright, sunny but cold kind of day. It’s going to get a bit colder over the next few days. That’s fine by me. It’s nice to have a bit of winter in the winter, if you know what I mean.

We’ve had a lazy day today but we’ve tidied away our Christmas pressies (well I have anyway), and we did go for a little walk this afternoon. Do you like my new pyjamas? They are Cath Kidston with a London print on them. They make me feel homesick for trips to London. One day.

Here are a few pics from this afternoon and the blue blue skies of Windsor (yes I’m back to trees and sky again folks!)..

Ps do you like my new socks?! The owls have landed. I also have some new ones with bicycles on.

Enough of this silliness! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, and if you didn’t, it’s nearly over now anyway. Keep safe.. vaccine coming soon… (apparently) Xx

Merry Christmas!

On this Christmas Eve 2020, my first blogging Christmas, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you and a very merry Christmas to all my blog friends and visitors from around the world. I love you all (and I haven’t even started drinking yet!) and I really appreciate the support you’ve given me this year.

I’m not sure I’m going to fit into my red Christmas trousers tomorrow as I’ve been munching on mince pies for a week or so at work. And after a very expensive but successful Ocado Christmas delivery, David and I have got PLENTY of Christmas fare to be tucking into over the next 10 days.

The headline photo is my Christmas wreath I made today. You may remember back in October I went to Hobbycraft and bought a circle of twigs to make my wreath, amongst other things.

I’ve never made a wreath before and I think it turned out really well. What do you think?

It took me about 20 minutes in the garden putting this together. I just shoved the sprigs from my garden into the twig ring and they stayed put. I love the variety of greens and the fact that it’s a bit deliberately messy. As I haven’t used glue or anything I’ll be able to reuse the ring next year. We’ve hung it in the porch and as you enter the house you can smell the freshness of it, gorgeous. I think I’ll spray it with a little water tomorrow as I think it might need this.

I’ve also iced the Christmas cake and put on the new decorations which are edible as well as a few of the old plastic ones. In the end I just decided to go for it and put everything on!! But I think it turned out really cute.

I use Tesco’s ready made royal icing which is such a relief after about 15 years of trying .. and not succeeding very well… in making my own.

Also today I made the brandy butter to go on the Christmas pud tomorrow.. I use Delia Smith’s recipe for this.

And I’ve retrieved the pudding from my cupboard ready for steaming. I usually steam it for at least an hour on the day.

On the menu tonight, unusual for a Christmas Eve for David and I to be at home, I’m making chicken liver bhuna. I’ve never made this before but it sounds nice and a little different. The recipe is here.

If the weather is clear later, we may get the telescope out and do some astronomy in the garden. For now I’m off for a little nap before the festivities of the evening and the big event tomorrow.

Cheers and A Big Waffly MERRY CHRISTMAS, stay healthy, to you all ❤️🥂🎄🎁🙂Xx