Sunset behind my favourite tree

Greetings Wafflers. How are you all doing? I’m managing to hold it all together and am having a relaxing weekend so far.

This morning David was teaching a Zoom guitar lesson, so I decided to go on a little “coffee walk” as my sister described it.

I walked, bought a takeaway cappuccino from Costa and then walked along drinking it, as you’re not allowed to sit down and drink it.. until next week when you are allowed to, and then you are even allowed to join a friend in doing so. Are you keeping up with the rules? As of next week the schools go back, so I’m not looking forward to more traffic on the roads. This sign outside our local primary school just about sums it all up.

Our local Council has been busy spending money on these signs outside every school in the borough..

No idling. Just carry on walking with your coffee. Stopping to take photos is not really exercise is it? Oops I broke the rules a teeny bit.

There’s some pretty blossom out now.

I noticed yesterday looking through some pics from last year, that Spring is a bit later in Windsor this year compared to last. This photo from 1 March 2020 shows our camellia already out in all its beauty. It featured in one of my first ever blog posts…and is still one of my favourite photos ever posted on The Waffle.

Contrast this with early March this year, the camellia is still firmly in bud.

The rhubarb is also behind in its growth, compared to last year. This was early March 2020.

Compared to 2021.

So I thought that was quite interesting. Spring doesn’t feel later, but it is according to the trusty Waffle archive. Have you noticed any difference this year?

On tonight’s menu at home for two, we have sparkling wine cocktails with nibbles to start. There is a choice of Kir Royale, a fizzy brandy and bitters type drink, or one I haven’t made before with Disaronno, orange juice and sparkling wine, sounds good!

Photo by Sabel Blanco on Pexels.com

The whole meal is from Budgen’s I bought today. We have “Cook” meatballs to share, followed by “Cook” boeuf bourguignon with new potatoes and a side order of “Cook” macaroni cheese. For dessert there will be Wall’s Viennetta, the normal one. There will definitely be wine. Maybe red eg Merlot or Malbec to go with the beef. I hope you also have something delicious on your menu tonight. Keep smiling. Back soon Xx.

Are you cracking up?

These walls of Windsor clearly are. 😂

I spotted this one below on a day I was feeling a bit, well, a bit like this wall really… still intact, but at risk of fracture. Although how many would notice this? Me, or the wall?

This one has clearly had enough.

Is this how you feel? Maybe it feels like the virus has dislodged you from your old life, a part of you is now separate, and you’re not entirely sure whether you like being separated or whether you will try to fit back in to where you were before…?

I got quite into letterboxes the other day. I’ve always got my eye out for a new local photographic subject to inspire me. I enjoyed my little letterbox trail.

This priority post box means you can send your postal Covid test back to the NHS here.

Look how high up in the gate this one is!

This one below is outside a very posh house in St Leonard’s Hill. I don’t think they spotted me photographing their rusty, old letterbox!

So there we go. Who knew letterboxes could be such fun?! Do you have any interesting ones near you? Take a look. Take a picture. I dare you!

I’m just about to sit down and plan the menu and Ocado shopping list for next week. I’m trying to make some healthier choices at the moment. Last week this meant I bought raspberries, blueberries, a ready made mixed bean salad, and some crumpets to eat instead of iced cupcakes. I’ve been enjoying all of the above. David meanwhile has rejected all of these except the crumpets which he has toasted with marmalade on, whilst I have honey or home made rhubarb jam on mine. I also like crumpets with plain butter, marmite, melted cheddar cheese or fish paste or pâté. The choices are endless. What would you have on yours?.. 🤔😊Xx


My favourite daffodil, 36th February!

Hello folks. Let me start by explaining 36th February… well, actually, I have no explanation. David woke up on Friday morning and his bedside clock was like this…(excuse the blurry photo)..

Friday 36th February?! How weird is that? My clock meanwhile was 10 days’ behind showing 26th February. Oh well, panic over, the clock has now put itself right, and David and I both seem to be in the same reality… most of the time, anyway.

Spring is springing and I am walking again, with a little spring in my step. All the daffodils have come out in my garden, and this is my favourite one…

So gorgeous, don’t you think? I love it!

I’m pleased to get some good shots of daffodils. They are definitely harder to photograph than crocuses. Still photographing them too though! Wow!

Perfect!

Some dark violet ones have appeared too

We also still have snowdrops, going strong.

The camellia is looking glorious in bud.

Today we had a longish walk up to the top of St Leonard’s Hill and back. Here are some pics from Friday night, yesterday and today. Friday we had the most amazing full moon and cloud combo.

Nice tree reflections, it’s a hornbeam.

Can you see the two baby elephants here? One facing left, the other facing right?

Mini daffodils with orange trumpets.

I like these clouds. The big one I think looks like a whale with two little baby whales at the back.

Open space with tree shadows. Everyone looked happy to be out in the sunshine.

A few more daffs (not as good as mine though!).

Happiness is a big old tree in the blue, blue sky.

Because one tree is never enough..

Very posh house had a very rusty, interesting letter box. More letterboxes coming soon, I’m getting quite into them recently! (#lockdown boredom).

Well I hope you enjoyed reading The Waffle as much as I enjoyed writing it today. Last night we had takeaway sushi and sashimi from Ichiban. Delicious. A refreshing change. Tonight it’s roast chicken with all the trimmings. I may even do stuffing balls. Chocolate mousses for desert. Back soon my Waffle friends Xx.

So whose round is it anyway?

Photo by Hana Mara on Pexels.com

Hi there. I am getting very excited about coming out of lockdown. More specifically I am getting super excited about going to a pub garden for my birthday in April. I have taken the week off work, week beginning 12 April, and plan to visit a different pub or restaurant outside each day in Windsor if possible and weather depending. That’ll be 7 birthday lunches for me! Last year was a big birthday for me… I should have been sunning myself in the Caribbean, cocktail in hand, snorkelling amongst the pretty fish, eating delicious food and relaxing my socks off. Instead I was at home in the first lockdown, just grateful that kind friends had managed to get me some cards and pressies when all the shops were shut. So this year I may go a little crazy. The pandemic does that to you.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

I know lockdowns are hard for us all. I am a very sociable person who likes going to the pub, which I’ve really missed. I used to go to the cinema once a week, pub every Friday and Saturday and restaurant every Saturday night, as well as the odd lunch and coffee out with friends too, trips into London on the train to visit museums, art galleries and theatre, not to mention monthly book club and going to the swimming pool and yoga classes. I realise now that there is a little sniff of freedom in the air, just how bored I have been, trying to keep busy at home. And on and off (especially recently) in a low mood at times. I’ve been really struggling to keep myself motivated at home. Keeping going at work with no holidays or proper weekend Friday feeling to look forward to has been tough.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Don’t get me wrong, I am still terrified of this virus. We have consistently underestimated it and I do not think it is done with us yet, not nearly. Further mutations are pretty much guaranteed and I firmly suspect we will be in another national lockdown by the end of the summer. Tens of thousands more people are going to suffer and die. I do not know if this will include a friend or family member of mine, David or even me. Ever since my friend Angela died I look around thinking “who’s next?” like we used to do but in a fun way trying to predict which of our friends might get married next. My previous prediction of 7 lockdowns in total still stands. I made that prediction before we had a vaccine available, but I’ll stand by that. Lockdown no.4 will probably be by the end of the summer. I do hope I’m wrong.

Enough of the pandemic blues! I have much more important things to show you, like this daffodil in my garden….This morning it was still not open…but trying hard….

But in the (intermittent) sunshine this afternoon it decided to come out to play.. yippee!

I did a little daffodil worship dance around the kitchen and garden… David just raised one eyebrow. He was vaguely excited and said “oh yes, that’s nice” or something along those lines. “Nice?!” It’s absolutely spectacular! I have been looking at these buds FOR WEEKS… waiting… waiting ….waiting for Spring. Sooooooooooooo 😛 excited! Their friendly yellow faces are so welcome. And there are more to come soon.

I have some more good wall photos and even some letterboxes to show you my friends, but for today, it’s all about happiness, nature and Spring, so that’s what you’re getting.

Guess the no. of crocuses here…..

David was quite excited about these snowdrops, as he spotted them first on our walk in Windsor Home Park. So happy I can walk again on my ankle, so happy 😀.

I’ve decided crocuses, and in particular purple crocuses, are the most photogenic of the UK Spring flowers.

Pretty little yellow trumpets.

What a canopy!

Mistletoe.

I still really love trees. I think this is a plane tree. Lovely bark, lovely shape, great height and stature.

Clouds of Windsor.

That’s it for now. Prawn and lentil curry from Good Food magazine tonight… 6.5 weeks til pub garden time… can’t wait! 😋Xx

Crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils

I am so in love with my crocuses. Aren’t they wonderful?

The snowdrops are just perfect too, don’t you think?

My daffodils are still not out yet, but there are a few around locally looking gloriously cheerful.

This bunch will be good when they come out, looking promising..

I liked these daisies too.

I find myself struggling a bit today, but the flowers are always welcome. How are you getting on? Living through a pandemic is tough! It just goes on and on and on. It is difficult to keep motivated enough to keep busy at home. The days blur together, don’t you find? I am walking so much better now though. I was able to walk pain-free up the hill and back, so the physio is really helping. Tonight we are having an Indian takeaway from The Binoy, our local curry house. Yum yum. Poppadoms are always my favourite bit. Poppadoms and a nice, cold lager… looking forward to that. 😊😋xx

More pretty flowers, a couple of good trees and some walls!?!

Hello. There seem to be quite a lot of purple crocuses around at the moment. I am loving them all, with their cheery spring faces. These are my neighbours’ crocuses again, not mine.

This is one of my favourite local trees, it’s one of a pair of hornbeams. I love their structural shape.

And this is my all time favourite ash tree behind my house, in the twilight this evening. Gorgeous light.

Going back to the structural form of trees, I love the fact that they are so solid and strong yet so flexible in the wind. Regular Waffle readers will remember I also like looking at the shapes and structure of local architectural details from time to time. I like looking at the little bits you walk past every day, without ever really noticing them, pausing to take a look.

Well, the other day I started noticing walls. And then thinking about each wall (I know I’ve been a bit stressed recently, but keep with me on this…!). Each brick laid by hand by a person, some of them many, many years ago, building up the structure, each individual brick placed in an honest day’s work. I’m now looking at walls trying to imagine who built them and when.. were they young? old? experienced? Or was this their first wall? Strong or tired? Fat or thin? What were they wearing? How much did they earn from this work? Did they get a sense of satisfaction lining up the bricks and sticking them on? (I’m sure that’s not the correct term, “sticking”😂, but you know what I mean). How many did they do before lunch? Was it hot or cold? What did they have for lunch?! (always back to the food, me).

Anyway, without further ado….and before I trot along to the kitchen to cook sausages braised in white wine 😋… I’ll leave you with the walls of my pondering so that you can enjoy pondering them too…. or not?! … up to you my friends! Xx

The first daffodils

I’m cheating a little bit here, as these are not my daffodils, mine are still in bud. But I was very excited to spot these on my little walk today outside one of my neighbours’ houses.

I also spotted some gorgeous snowdrops. I’m still very much into snowdrops.

When I got home I also had a little stroll in the garden to check out my favourite crocuses again. Loving the purple/yellow/green combination.

I’m currently on the sofa, feet up on a cushion on the coffee table, catching up with a bit of the Australian Open tennis. Our British guy Norrie is putting up a very good fight against the awesome Nadal. Go Norrie! 🇬🇧. Tennis is my favourite sport to watch, and the only one I watch regularly, other than the Olympics when they’re on. I’ve been to Wimbledon many times and Queen’s a couple of times. I love the battle of the minds, the intensity of the game mentally and physically, especially in the men’s singles, the modern day gladiators. I believe England have just beaten Italy in the rugby today, so well done to them too. I don’t usually follow rugby or football.

Tonight we’re staying in (of course!). No takeaway for us tonight. We are having a “Cook” ready meal of tomato and pesto chicken which I’ll stir through fusilli pasta, followed by an M & S jam sponge pudding which looks promising. We may have Kir Royales to start, as I’ve just bought a new bottle of cassis, but David seems to be on a sudden health drive trying to drink a little less, so we shall see.

I’ll leave you with a few photos from the other really sunny day you haven’t seen yet. Have a nice evening/day/afternoon wherever you are.. thanks for stopping by the Waffle 😊Xx

I love the way the light hits this leaf.. stunning! What a beautiful leaf.

The bird feeder – the seeds keep sprouting so I have to keep digging them out so the hungry birds can still access the seed. A few robins recently.

Arty farty reflections of my house in the puddle on the patio seating covers.

The patio seating looking a bit sad this time of year.

Errant pebbles..

Very cold veg patch/shivering rhubarb.

I wonder what I’ll grow in my pots on the wall this year… 🤔

A picture perfect day in Windsor today

Hello everyone. The sun shone and the sky was blue in Windsor today. I had a relaxing-ish day.

I managed an 8 minute walk, yippee! But my ankle is aching a bit now. I think it was the over enthusiastic physio at home this afternoon rather than the walk though. I’m trying not to let my parents and associated worries about them take up all of my free time, so I’m trying to get back to cooking properly and blogging properly again. Tonight we had Nigel Slater’s lamb’s liver with onions in sherry vinegar. I served this with new potatoes and green beans and it was very nice. Last night we indulged in champagne and takeaway Italian from Don Beni via Deliveroo for David’s birthday. That was very tasty too, especially the seafood risotto with king prawns, mussels, clams and squid. Even just the risotto rice itself coated in the tomato sauce was really moreish and tasty. We were both defeated by the portion sizes.

Without further ado, I’ll show you the photos of the day. I hope you all got to enjoy some sunshine too.

Fantastic clouds and sky..

A plane… (metal bird of the sky)

Remnants of snow.

My favourite tree…

The sunset tonight (behind the same tree). This tree seems old, wise and majestic to me.

If you do one thing tomorrow, look at a tree, I mean really look at it. Preferably a big, old looking one. You won’t regret it!

PS more photos from today to follow soon folks…. Xx

I went for a walk

Usually this would not be news, but for the first time in 2 weeks I have managed to walk very slowly to the end of my road and back. I did this both yesterday and today. My ankle is definitely a lot better. Going upstairs is OK now, downstairs is still a bit of a challenge. I have physio tomorrow.

Yesterday I took a few pics while on my little walk. Going so slowly, I noticed a few plants I’d never noticed before.

This one smelt so lovely…

Rosemary…

I didn’t take any pics today. There was a light snow in the air.

Hope you’re all doing well. I feel a bit emotionally shell shocked from trying to care for my parents and their resistance to the same.

Back soon. Xx

The rhubarb is coming!

I’ve just had a saunter around the estate, well more of a hobble, but I am walking a little better this afternoon. At last! I still don’t think I’ll be up to going out for a walk for a while. It’s so boring being injured.

Enough of my grumpiness! The garden is looking a little springlike in places and that is lovely. And pretty exciting. Look at all this rhubarb coming up.. that’s nearly enough for a rhubarb cake yippee!!

The purple crocuses are coming up in leaps and bounds now.. so pretty.

I didn’t know when I planted these that I was going to decide on my spring capsule wardrobe accent colours (get me!) being purple, green and orange this year. It’s going to be a jolly spring. I always feel that wearing bright colours lifts my mood. My capsule I intend to put together to start wearing on 1 March, and that should last me for 3 months until the end of May.

Don’t you just love the shape of snowdrops, their perfect little bells?

There are also a few cheerful little yellow flowers in the hedge. I do not know what they are called. A type of broom maybe?

This is usually the blue tits’ house, but no one has moved in yet.

There will be more yellow when the many daffodils bloom. They’re getting ready.

I think these are mini daffodils; narcissus.

And these will be gorgeous pale pink camellias.. you have to use your imagination at this stage, but the glossy green leaves are spectacular anyway.

Meanwhile, a little bit of cooking has recommenced in the Waffle household. On Monday we enjoyed this curry I made with the leftover roast pork.

I started by frying a chopped onion, added a tablespoon of curry powder (nearly finished the medium curry powder dated 2010 we unearthed during the Boxing Day Zoom scavenger hunt!), added cubed cold roast pork, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a little boiling water from the kettle, and in the last few minutes added some spinach. I served this with basmati rice and it was really tasty.😋

For tonight I’m making prawn/tomato/feta pasta which is a recipe I think I got about 20 years ago from BBC Good Food magazine. You start by frying a chopped onion, then add some dried chilli flakes and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Heat the tomato/onion mix for 5 minutes or so and towards the end add a packet of cooked prawns to heat through. Serve with pasta and feta cheese crumbled over the top. The saltiness of the feta goes really well with the prawns. It also looks and feels like you’ve cooked a proper dinner from scratch but it’s only taken you 10-15 minutes of minimal effort.

So how’s it going for those of you who own your own gardens? Anything interesting coming up? And what’s going on in your kitchens? Got your pinny on these days?! Do tell me 🙂Xx.