Pumpkin progress, trip to Reading and walk in Boveney

Well, the pumpkins are turning orange albeit very slowly. I think we’ll be having Halloween at mid to end of November at this rate 🤣. They seem to go orange from the bottom up, interesting stuff.

Apart from watching pumpkins turn orange, we’ve been having a relaxing weekend at home. Yesterday we had a trip on the train to Reading to go to the Apple shop to get a new battery for my phone. The new battery including service/fitting cost £49. A good service and much cheaper than a new phone.

We had lunch at Las Iguanas while we were there, which made a nice change. A chicken burrito bowl for me and chicken wings plus mushroom quesadillas for David. Reading seems to have a number of shops I thought didn’t exist any more. They have an HMV, a Bella Italia restaurant, House of Fraser.. I though all these shops had closed down? Obviously not in Reading. A few shops had ridiculous Christmas decorations!!!! in October… ?!? (I quite like the Next ones which are paper trees) and there was even a Christmas themed outside bar with Xmas trees, pods, reindeer and baubles, I kid you not.

Apart from the phone battery, I didn’t buy anything else and David got some jogging bottoms in M & S for £16. Last of the big spenders we are.

Today we had a walk in Dorney/Eton Wick area including seeing Boveney lock. It was what I call a nothing weather day today… no rain, no sun, not hot, not cold, not windy. I enjoyed looking at the River Thames and some leaves on the trees. Not many leaves are changing colour yet, it has been extremely mild weather for October.

The little old church.

The River Thames.

Fields and space… and breathe!

This is a particularly nice gate for my friend at The Rambling Sloth.

This area reminds me a bit of The New Forest. There is common ground with cows roaming free. This one was in no hurry to move out of the way for our car. Moo-ooove! 🤣

“Mmm, what delicious grass.. keep your head down, keep munching, I don’t think they’ve seen us”.

That concludes today’s Waffle for you before I go all Animal Magic on you voicing all the animals. Hands up who in the UK remembers Animal Magic with Johnny Morris? Great stuff! 😊Xx.

Flowers + the kitchen refurb begins

Hi. How are you? I’m just killing some time while the plasterer does our kitchen ceiling. Have you noticed that whenever you say the word plasterer, someone says “oh, that’s a very skilled job?” I’m sure it is, but it’s a bit like when you mention a swan and someone invariably says “a swan could break your arm, you know!”

Anyway, the plasterer seems very happy. He arrived early, of course, these workmen like an early start do they not? Whistling, smiling, radio on. All a bit much for me first thing, but a lot more positive energy than we usually have in our house first thing. Neither David nor I are morning people. I am probably an afternoon person and David is a real night owl, coming alive at about midnight.

The yellow dahlia photo above I took one lunchtime last week in Windsor. Such a cheery colour. This October weather has been crazy for us. 20 degrees C, wasps everywhere, daffodils wanting to come up. Not autumnal at all really.

I also had some lovely flowers from David last week for our wedding anniversary, 18 years, wow!

They look even better now that the lilies have come out. Both David and I are really pleased with them. And of course we are also very pleased that we still like each other, after all this time!

Plasterer’s ceiling is not drying but he’s still happy, still whistling and singing along to his tunes! Are we paying him too much money?? 🤔!! No one is this happy in their work 🤣.

The ceiling plastering is stage 2 of our kitchen refurb project. I’m quite liking doing it in dribs and drabs so we have some time off in between. The ceiling spotlights we had put in about a week ago. Today is the plastering. Next will be probably the replacement cupboard doors and quartz worktops on top of the existing worktops. We chose to replace the doors as our existing cabinets are quite sturdy, they just look outdated. Also it’s better for the environment to keep and reuse what we can and a lot less disruptive, a bit cheaper than a whole new kitchen. Our kitchen is quite small, although much bigger than the one in our previous house; it’s all relative. We have no room for a table or an island or anything like that, but that’s fine.

The doors will be pale grey gloss. The worktops will be a white flecked quartz. Dark grey sink. We have now chosen our tiles..white with dark grey grout from Wickes as below.

We saw some of these tiles in places we stayed on holiday recently and we like the fact they are not flat, they have bevelled edges, if that is the expression. I think sometimes they are called underground tiles, like The London Underground stations. These tiles were such a bargain from Wickes: £9. a pack. We needed 5 packs including extras, so £45. total. The company who replace the doors are going to do the tiling for us.

Fingers crossed it will all turn out as good as it looks in my head so far!! The Waffle Kitchen will be fit for TWW blog. Watch this space. It could be done by Christmas… maybe… I don’t want to jinx it as we are going gradually. We should be maybe only one day without cooking facilities when they switch the gas off. That’ll be the microwave moved into the garage. Sorted!

For today I have the kettle in my study, and the fridge in the garage filled with drinks and snacks. I had a cup of tea, a banana and a kiwi yoghurt for breakfast. Fizzy water and Cadbury’s brunch bar for elevenses. Lunch will be smoked salmon sandwiches I made last night. I think he’ll be gone by then, but I also have Connie the Caterpillar cake bars in store for tea time! I feel like I’m camping with my emergency supplies, and chuffed I was organised enough to set this up last night.

Just looking for a fridge picture and this popped up. What a weird photo! Halloween…? ! What a sad fridge, even though it’s orange! 🤣

What’s your kitchen like? Have you had an update? What colour scheme did you go for….? Bye for now Xx 😊

Pumpkins, Foxes, Twinkletoes and Trees…

Hi everyone. Do you like my pumpkins 🎃? I grew them myself. I know they’re supposed to be orange. I’ve now brought them into the house as apparently that will help them to turn orange. They are clean, warm and cosy next to the kitchen window for sunlight.

I was planning on making curry and soup from them. David has got excited about making a lantern out of the biggest one, so I guess that will be fun, and the scooped out flesh of that one will have to be soup. Two weeks until Halloween. Progress on orangeness will be reported here on The Waffle.

Yesterday morning I saw a gorgeous little fox in the field behind my house. As I looked out he/she leapt high off the ground above the long grass. He/she was so cute and full of beans!

Just afterwards David drove me to work and on the way I spotted a little boy in a fox cub outfit. He had a fox head motif on his top and the word “CUB” down his leg. Also very cute. What’s going on with the foxes appearing in my life? I think they’re supposed to be lucky. When I got home from work the little fox was sitting in the long grass with the horse in the field wandering around next to him. They appeared quite harmonious together. No sign of foxy today, although the grass looks wet from the rain overnight. Maybe he’s not keen on that.

On a completely different subject, this week I discovered shoe jewellery. I never knew this was a thing before. I’ve been invited to a dinner dance in December and started to think about my outfit for the same. I have wanted some sparkly party shoes for a while, but haven’t found any that I like. Then I discovered these sparkly shoe clips on eBay, £6.50 a pair. I’ve tried them out on a few pairs of my shoes. What do you think?! Twinkletoes?

These are my old work shoes below, now transformed with a bit of bling! I really like this idea as it fits with my capsule wardrobe ethos. Who needs a pair of shoes they only wear twice a year?

There are many different styles of these shoe clips. Why not check them out for yourself for your Christmas parties? They are really easy to clip on and remove and seem completely comfortable with the clip inside the shoe. I do love a bit of sparkle.

Back to nature this afternoon. David and I went for a walk in Windsor Great Park; one of our favourite walks. It was quite nice and quiet today.

Fabulous trees. I love this tulip tree.

Who lives here?

And some cows. Lots of cows today, and calves.

Have a GREAT weekend everybody. Thanks for reading TWW 😎XX

Last stop = Ely

This is Part 3 of our recent staycation in the UK. We stayed 1 night in Ely on a barge hotel.

Ely is a beautiful place (about 15 miles from Cambridge) dominated by its very old and interesting cathedral. Thanks to Tina for recommending Ely as I was originally looking at Bury St Edmunds or Newmarket as a stop off on our way back from Norfolk. Ely did not disappoint.

You have to book tickets in advance to visit the cathedral. We also went to the stained glass museum there. Both were awe inspiring. I love stained glass. They are pictures that tell a story, and so pretty! I also love the magnificence of such grand historical architecture.

This is a Royal Air Force themed window.

You always have to look up in Cathedrals. Ely has some great ceilings.

A medieval face? Love these.

And look down to the floor.

Such a beautiful space.

In the evening we dined at a restaurant called The Old Fire Engine House. It was very good. We both had the roast lamb and they asked if we wanted seconds! The homemade ice cream for pudding was delicious. I’d definitely recommend this restaurant. Also the car parks in Ely as they are all FREE! Yippee!!

The barge hotel was exciting! We enjoyed this. I’d never slept on a barge before. I think it cost £129. for our room including an enormous wonderful breakfast.

It’s a 1906 Dutch barge and it’s moored on the River Great Ouse. Such a peaceful setting. On arrival we were given a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy on our own private deck. Lovely! We watched some birds on the river; a grebe fishing and a swan. There is a pub very nearby called The Cutter Inn.. in front of the barge in this picture.

David was in charge of the wine!

We enjoyed train spotting as they crossed the bridge behind the barge. Lots of freight trains and also passenger trains. The trains didn’t bother us at night. It was peaceful and we slept well.

We both banged our head on this doorway – ouch!!

We had our own double bed (accessed by climbing up a ladder) that was really comfy, and a full bath.

The rubber duck was cute, but toppled over in the bath, like they always seem to 🤔. Not a good sailor.

I cannot tell you how enormous the breakfast was… it was very good… sausages, bacon, poached eggs, black pudding, big field mushrooms, tomatoes, tea, orange juice, toast and marmalade. We did not eat again until the evening 🤣. It was served in our living room quarters which I think was part of the communal area of the boat, but we never saw anyone else. We had bar stools on the right overlooking the water.

Happy memories. I hope you enjoyed the Ely tour. 😊X

Cambridge, Cromer and Ely (part 2)

Last week David and I were on our little break away in Cambridge, Cromer and then Ely. It seems an age away since I’ve been back at work for a week. Anyway, let me update you on some of the pics before I succumb to an afternoon nap, subject to noise from my resident guitarist.

Do you think I should find this couple to sell them their romantic beach pic?! They have no idea I took this in Cromer.

David and I found a great cocktail bar/microbrewery just around the corner from our rented flat. This is some sort of fruity margarita I had.

I’m getting into taking pictures of boats.. I think these were in Sheringham. It was cold and blustery there.

My sister asked me to keep an eye out for seals. We visited Blakeney point but it started raining so we didn’t fancy going on the seal spotting trip. So the only seals I spotted were on this mural in Cromer by the seaside.

This bookshop was so cute.

This is the Cley windmill. You can hire it for parties and accommodation.

The best thing in Cley, apart from the windmill, is this gorgeous smokehouse shop.

I bought some chilli smoked mackerel (delicious!) and David had a tub of smoked mussels. This place delivers in the UK and I have a voucher for 5% off Christmas orders so I’m thinking of placing an order nearer the time for a buffet for Christmas Eve or Boxing Day. They also currently have 10% off all orders until 17 October. You can check it out here. So many yummy looking fish products as well as homemade pies etc. Spoiled for choice.

We did a gorgeous cliff top walk from Cromer to Overstrand Beach.

We passed the lighthouse. Yep, still not raining here!

At the end of the walk we reached this cliff top café a lady at the start of the walk had recommended to us. It didn’t disappoint.

We shared an enormous piece of cookies and cream homemade cake. I think there were 10 different cakes in total. I wanted to do the walk 10 times to try them all! The tea shop lady made me the best cup of tea, just the right strength, in a lovely big mug. Cromer is considerably cheaper than Windsor for eating out at cafés and restaurants. We got lunch for two including soft drinks for about £12. each day in Cromer. In Windsor this would be more like £20.

This was my favourite beach hut.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.. this was one of the Runtons.. ?East Runton.

Cromer..

Next stop Ely… to be continued in Part 3. 🤗 X.

“No time to die”/ or blog…

Hi. It seems difficult to find the time to blog today.

This evening I went to see the new Bond film “No time to die”; the last one with Daniel Craig. I enjoyed this film.. gadgets, car chases, snazzy cars and planes, sexy ladies, martini shaken not stirred and a tuxedo, of course.

I do love the cinema. Odeon Limitless is fab at the moment. So far I’ve seen 5 films on my membership which started at £9.99 a month then going up to £12.99 a month. The most expensive part is the rip off car parking courtesy of RBWM council.

This was the lovely sunshine in Windsor today.

Back soon Wafflers! X

Trip to Cambridge, Cromer and Ely (Part 1)

Hi. I’m back! David and I have had a very enjoyable 5 nights away in the UK.

First stop was Cambridge for 1 night. We stayed in a B & B about 15 minutes’ walk from the centre of town. We were excited to be in Cambridge again as my clever niece is just starting Uni there to study Natural Sciences. We just missed her this time as she only arrived in Cambridge yesterday in the rain to move into her College.

We enjoyed wandering around Cambridge. It’s a beautiful historic place.

The entrance to my niece’s new home/student life!

Our dinner venue, The Ivy, Cambridge.

We had a good meal here. The decor was also very beautiful. I had the duck curry and David had the rabbit and langoustine pie.

Such beautiful architecture.

We drank in a couple of historic pubs, but I don’t think we found the best ones. Next time The Eagle and The Anchor I think. Overall we prefer the pubs in York, they are amazing olde worlde little places down every little alleyway.

So I wish Hazel all the best in her new life in beautiful Cambridge. After that we were on to Cromer on the Norfolk coast for 3 nights.

We stayed in a stylish, peaceful flat in the town centre of Cromer. Luckily we’d got enough petrol already in Windsor as the queues for the same in Cambridge area were horrendous.

It was our first time in Cromer which is a traditional Victorian seaside town. It is a bit old fashioned, very reasonably priced for food and drink compared to Windsor. The locals were friendly. They are famous for their Cromer crabs.

We tried crab Thermidor and crab Mornay. David is still raving about the Mornay….

We went to the variety show on the pier on our last night. It was a typical seaside show I think, although I’d never been to one before. There were acrobats, a magician, singing and dancing. The Mary Poppins songs were my favourite… Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

The theatre is right at the end of the pier.

The gorgeous British seaside… and not even raining until the day we left! I ❤️ beach huts.

Cromer seaside mountain goats…! I am not joking, I did not expect to see goats here. They are right next to the promenade overlooking the sea.

To be continued…. Cromer and last stop Ely on the barge hotel. Hope you found the tour so far entertaining! Xx 🙂🤩

The busyness continues…

Life is busy but good for me at the moment. How are you?

This week as well as working every day I went out several times. Firstly I went to book club at The Swan pub on Tuesday night. There were only 3 of us this time (2 ladies and 1 man) but we had a great time chatting about our book for this month, “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell, and also life, the universe and everything, a bit like The Waffle I suppose. I liked the second half of this book a lot more than the first that kept going off on tangents and jumping about. I probably wouldn’t have persevered with it had it not been for book club, but I’m glad I did.

There was white wine and takeaway pizza as the pub isn’t doing food yet.

That was quite a late night Tuesday… Then back to work and on Wednesday night it was off to the cinema as usual. My friends and I now have the Odeon Limitless membership which is fab. At the moment it’s £9.99 a month for unlimited films at any Odeon cinema except Central London. I have already seen 4 films this month…..Our Ladies, The Courier, Respect, The Many Saints of Newark. The Courier was by far the best film out of these and in my opinion was worth the £9.99 monthly fee on its own. It’s about being a spy during the Cold War and Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent. This week we also visited Noodle Nation in Maidenhead beforehand. I had a huge bowl of Singapore rice noodles with chicken, pork and prawns and a Diet Pepsi. My friend Sue has commented that one of the main reasons to go to the cinema these days is to relax in their reclining almost lie flat seats for a couple of hours a week. It’s like flying club class and always amusing mid film when I turn over and manage to get the seat out of control by pressing the button by accident with my hip/bum! Such fun 😂.

Haha we don’t feed each other popcorn….! Cinema is our girls’ night out away from the husbands who moan about sitting through the adverts and in my husband’s case any film that isn’t sci fi.

Yesterday I went to London for the day… yippee! I love London and consider myself a Londoner as I grew up in Richmond. I love the slow train to London.. Windsor and Eton Riverside to London Waterloo. The first part of the journey is really scenic often seeing sheep, herons or rabbits. (Actually none of these on this occasion as I was busy reading my book!). Then crossing the beautiful River Thames at my old home town of Richmond. The trains from Windsor come in to platforms 20-24 at Waterloo which are the new platforms where Eurostar used to be.

So this was a proper girls’ day out with “the Swansea girls” as I call us as we all met while studying at Swansea University many years ago. We hadn’t seen each other for about two years due to the pandemic and we had many big birthdays to catch up on.

You can tell by the big smiles (me: back right) we were all very pleased to be back together again. We had lunch at Bill’s in Clink Street near Borough Market, then went for a walk over the Millennium “wobbly” bridge and back, and then back to Bill’s again for tea and cakes. None of us live in London.. we all come in by train about an hour or so each from all directions.

Hi girls! You’ve made it on to The Waffle. Hope that’s ok?! 🤞🤞I love the funky decor in Bill’s and the food was quite nice too.

We’re already planning our meet up for 2022. Maybe a weekend away in Swansea. We like to do this once a decade!

So the girls nearly fell off their chairs when I told them I wasn’t rushing back to go out for dinner with David yesterday night. They know we (and especially David) are creatures of habit and it’s most unusual for us not to be dining out on a Saturday night. Instead we enjoyed a seafood box at home from Côte and a bottle of champagne that was a present given to my boss who doesn’t drink. It was great champagne and so good with the seafood. We had masses of king prawns with a garlic aioli type dip followed by 3 juicy scallops in their shells each with garlic butter with a crusty baguette. Tonight we’re having the rest of the box which will be half a dressed crab each, half a grilled lobster each, more crusty bread and butter. I’m also going to do some roast potatoes, it being Sunday! For pudding there will be vanilla ice cream and possibly sticky toffee pudding if we can manage it. The Côte seafood box costs £75. including delivery, but the stuff is really good quality and lasts us for 2 nights.

We also got a complimentary lobster tea towel which I really like, as much as one can like a tea towel!!

I’m pleased to report that David and I have also successfully managed to procure some petrol for our car.. for those of you not in the UK we have a shortage of lorry drivers to deliver such things which is leading to a bit of a panic. I’m sure this is only the start of such consequences of Brexit which I didn’t vote for (oops, politics on The Waffle again!). Food and wine shortages to follow in time for Christmas but I’m sure we’ll still have plenty and meeting up with our nearest and dearest and avoiding Covid is obviously the priority.

I’m going off to be busy doing other stuff at home now. The Waffle will be on pause for a week. Back next Sunday for some more chit chat and pics! Au revoir! Xx

Busy week!

Hi. This is a super quick blog post to say I’m having a very busy week both at work and in my social life, but I am thinking of you. Of course!

This was our quick and tasty dinner tonight. Chicken breast pieces cooked in this curry sauce with basmati rice.

We’ve had Holy Cow sauces before but maybe not this one. It was very tasty and dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

Time for some green tea with lemon… my evening drink of choice.. and a little chocolate. That’s me sorted. Back soon hopefully 😊.