Waffle pause…

Hello. Just a quick post to let all you lovely souls know I’m going off grid for a little while.. Well, not really off grid (don’t be silly!?) as I’ll still have my phone and my iPad nearby, but I will be pausing The Waffle until the end of September/beginning of October.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now, including my poor Mum going to hospital again today after another fall and banging her head. She’s fine, just bumps and bruises. I’m fine too, just taking a bit of time out from The Waffle. I’m hoping to come back all relaxed and reinvigorated with a spring in my step. I’ll be back even if not. I’d miss you guys too much! I hope you find a fulfilling way to spend your time rather than reading The Waffle for a week or so. A 10 minute declutter? Go for it! Au revoir Xx

Windsor is getting busy

Hello friends.

We’ve been waiting for the crowds to hit Windsor this week and today we’ve noticed it’s started getting pretty busy with traffic and pedestrians. The influx of visitors to pay their respects to our Queen. There are people holding flowers here and there, on their way to The Long Walk, others looking lost off track and are relieved to find a local such as myself to point them back in the right direction.

I walked into town at lunchtime today and noticed how quiet it was, even though there were many people around.

I know this is a historic event, but I myself have no desire to visit the crowds on The Long Walk and I definitely don’t want to join that massively long queue in London to see The Queen lying in state. This doesn’t mean I didn’t respect The Queen, as I did, but I never met her personally and do not feel connected to her personally as some people seem to. I will be taking my flowers instead to my Mum in the care home. It’s been a while since I took her flowers, something nice and bright and cheerful for her. She is OK, but sad that she has dementia as she is aware of this. She’s always really pleased to see me and cries when I say I have to leave. I guess in her mind I’ve only just got there, she has no concept of time.

My Dad is also OK for the moment. I think he may have had his Covid booster jab today. I tried to ring him but he wasn’t picking up. I’ll try again later. Earlier in the week I got the train to Kingston, to help my Dad with some banking work to sort out transferring funds to pay for my Mum’s care. I cycled to Windsor and Eton Riverside station and when I got back this notice was attached to my bike and all the others in the bike rack..

Luckily I managed to retrieve my bike as there were no signs up when I’d left it, only when I got back – 😥 phew! There were a lot of police and security in the station, and a whole lot more cleaning than usual going on!

So for this weekend in Windsor we will be avoiding the town centre, maybe watching a bit of the funeral stuff on TV. On Monday I have volunteered to go into the office for a couple of hours before the funeral, as work is really busy and I have some time off later in the week. I’ll probably walk in and then hopefully David can pick me up before the roads in Windsor town centre are closed, ready for The Queen to return to Windsor and her final resting place at St George’s Chapel. I can’t find a picture of the chapel, so here’s another one of the magnificent castle.

Thanks for tuning in. You probably won’t see me on TV in Windsor but I’m just here up the road! Have a great weekend Xx

Goodbye Queen, Hello King

Hello everyone. We didn’t expect to lose The Queen this week, but there it is.

Rest in peace Queen Elizabeth II, the only monarch I’ve known in my lifetime (not that I knew her, of course. I think I saw her in her car in Windsor on her way to Ascot once and I saw her at Wimbledon). I am curious to know how she died and I wonder if we’ll ever know. I don’t think you can put “died peacefully” on a death certificate and even “old age” should only be used in very limited circumstances. She was lucky in that she seemed relatively sharp in mind up until the end. Did she consciously decide to stay in Scotland to die? Was that her final duty as a way of unifying Great Britain? I wonder. Everything seems to have been meticulously planned already and all the arrangements for the succession and the associated TV coverage have been superb at such short notice. The new King Charles III has stepped up to the mark and is doing his new job with the necessary stoicism and commitment worthy of his predecessor. He looks calm but I imagine he is in shock, running on adrenaline for now. How do I know how it feels to be a member of the royal family?! I have absolutely no idea.

I usually have mixed feelings about the monarchy, but on the passing of The Queen I do feel she represented the best of Britishness. We do pomp and circumstance, tradition, extremely well and it’s something to be proud of. By next month I may be embarrassed by them all again and I’ll go back to “just how much is all of this costing….?”

When they announced The Queen’s death it was a surreal moment. I was with my Mum in the lounge of her care home in Windsor, with a fantastic view of the castle. The residents around me were either so confused they knew nothing of what was going on, or, like my Mum, they were following the news with great interest and they could also reminisce about the day The King died. On the day The King, George VI, died, my Mum was in London for a job interview as a young teacher. She said the whole of London and the tube was eerily quiet. She got the job.

My Mum was impressed on Thursday evening to immediately see the flag on the castle flying at half mast. I’ve zoomed in on this photo and it now seems to resemble a painting.

“Not many people get to see this view now, like this” she said. And then we noticed the beautiful, poignant rainbow, before most people saw it in the press. The castle is to the right of this.

After this, on Saturday I think, the flag went up to the top of the pole again, for the proclamation of King Charles III. I believe it’s now gone back to half mast again now in honour of The Queen. We tried to take a look earlier, but it’s hard to see the flag at all when it’s not windy and today’s been very calm.

God Save The King! (Still sounds weird).. the beginning of the second Carolean age. (The Carolean age was only referred to as such under Charles II, so 3 x King Charles but only the second Carolean age. Got that?). And another 2 kings to come after this… William and then George. There’s not going to be a British Queen again for a VERY long time. At least it’s cool enough to wear a busby again!

Banks etc

Hello. My life seems to revolve around many different banks at the moment, helping my parents with the Power of Attorney. The process is both frustrating and time consuming and the continuing inefficiencies of Barclays left me in tears last night. After pub and sleep it was off to Santander in Maidenhead this morning. Santander have surprisingly been the most straightforward for this process so far. Nat West were OK but not brilliant. The bank branches are often shut and no one wants to answer the phone after office hours when I am free. Big sigh 😞.

I feel like The Waffle (and I ) have lost our way a little. Gone is the happy cooking of gourmet dinners for the moment. The Waffle garden is not tended to so regularly. I wonder who really wants to hear all of my woes?

My blog friend Julie at The Rambling Sloth reminded me to keep taking pictures for the blog as that is a therapeutic process, noticing the little things around us. I actually miss the proper focus I had on this during lockdown but generally I was quite miserable on and off during this period so I mustn’t be tempted to look back through rose tinted spectacles! David and I do have fond memories of our lockdown Cocktail Saturdays when I made a different cocktail every Saturday evening. Some people mastered a new language, I got the cocktail shaker out 🥳

Apart from work and my parents’ work there’s not a lot on for me. I’m trying to join in the Orjenise (Instagram) 100 decluttering for September. Check it out on Instagram if you like this sort of thing. It’s all about organising your stuff by a lady called Jenn. (It has absolutely nothing to do with orgies as someone rudely suggested 🤭). Each day there is a new category of unwanted items to identify in your house. So far it’s been toiletries, food at the back of the shelf, and today it’s the big kitchen cupboard. I’m only managing a couple of items halfheartedly a day. I am not going to make 100 in September at this rate. Hopefully there’ll be a category I can catch up on later. I guess even if I don’t make 100 I still will have improved my living environment a bit. A visit to my Dad’s house soon reminds me of the perils of having so much stuff that you are basically living in a massively untidy cupboard rather than a living space.

Enough of my worries, here are the photos of things that caught my eye recently in Windsor. Enjoy! Happy Saturday 😎Xx

Trees of Crowthorne

Hello. Feeling a bit exhausted. As usual recently… with all that is happening with my parents. The good news is that my Mum is now out of her Covid isolation and she never had any Covid symptoms. She is able to socialise again with her new care home friends so she is much happier. I saw her yesterday walking well with a frame; hip is progressing slowly. They had a musician playing guitar and singing at the home. My Mum was singing along too and knew all the words to the old songs. I joined in with the Elvis one.

I still have a lot to do for my Dad to help him with finances and medical appointments, cleaning and shopping… on Tuesday we’re back at St George’s for his CT scan and post op follow up with the consultant.

This afternoon we visited my mother in law for tea. She lives in Crowthorne where there are some lovely trees. We went for a walk before tea. This was my second walk of the day as I’d already walked to the local Esso petrol station to the Amazon lockers to pick up a bulk buy of ricola sweets for my Mum, now that she’s decided she likes the red cranberry flavour ones as well as the lemon ones. My mother in law gave me an individual lemon cheesecake that she didn’t want. She often gives us half a packet of this or that to use up. She also likes to give me used jam jars to put in the recycling bins outside her flats for her. You can put them in with the lids on these days too.

Anyway, here are the nice trees of Crowthorne..

So many sweet chestnuts.

Here is a 2 shaped cloud.. I thought they could use this for the TV channel BBC 2??!

Roast pork is cooking in the oven and I’ve harvested some more new potatoes from the garden. According to The Mirror and The Express newspapers it now costs £5. in energy to cook a Sunday roast. Everyone is dreading the latest price rises and the onset of autumn/winter. Personally I’m going to keep calm and carry on as normal until David tells me otherwise. He is head of our household finances and he can tell me when/if we need to tighten our belts…

Bank holiday Monday tomorrow so no work for those of us in office jobs in the UK. The weather is still pleasant but we really really want rain. Here’s some we had the other day, so unusual I took a photo! Look at the yellow lawn though. Everywhere in Windsor looks like this.

Most unusual for us Brits to crave rain on a summer bank holiday! 🤣🤣 Enjoy yourselves whatever the weather! Xx 🌞☔️😎🍹

Yesterday in Richmond

Hello everyone. 5 days with no Waffle. What is the world coming to?

It’s been very busy with my parents and work.

I went to see my Mum today. She is still sad in Covid isolation but still with no Covid symptoms so that’s a great relief. She may be allowed to socialise with her care home friends again on Monday. Her left leg is still painful from her hip op at times. She can still only walk a little with lots of help. I feel very sorry for her. Hopefully she will walk properly again. I have promised her that she will.

My Dad meanwhile has been thoroughly investigated and I am getting to know different hospitals with him, some private, some NHS. The good news is that he does not appear to have a terminal illness. He is still a bit weak, tired and very underweight, but I am working on that. On the whole I feel he is improving and is more positive. So that’s good.

We must be a week or so with no new crisis. Amazing. I did expect someone to be struck by lightning or something too, the way things have been going in my family lately….

I’m trying to grasp short periods of respite for myself. Yesterday after my Dad’s hospital appointment and seeing him home, hoovering etc I decided to reward myself with a very pleasant walk along the tow path from Ham to Richmond. The sun was shining but it wasn’t too hot. It was just a gorgeous British summer’s day and a period of 50 minutes when I wasn’t looking after anyone except myself 😎.

The beach at Petersham. I went in the water here once as a child. I think it’s actually quite dangerous with the currents.

A man’s been living on this homemade barge for more than 20 years..

There are some beautiful old trees. This one below is a huge plane tree. So majestic.

Puppet theatre barge..

Field where there used to be cows in Petersham below. The big building on the hill was The Star and Garter Home for ex servicemen. I think it’s now luxury flats. The other building on the left is The Petersham Hotel.

It was a very enjoyable stroll and a trip down memory lane. This Richmond area is where I grew up. Of course I took it all for granted when I was younger, as you do.

Time for a quick nap now. More Richmond pics to follow soon Xx.

Very hot in Windsor today 🥵🥵🥵

Hi. Sometimes hot and sunny weather is very pleasant, but sometimes like today for me, it just gets a bit too much.

The grass is parched and yellow everywhere you look. We really need rain. We can’t remember when it last rained. David can’t remember when he last wore trousers instead of shorts. I can’t remember when I last wore jeans or took a cardigan anywhere. It’s hot, hot, hot. Tomorrow will still be hot but a little less intense, and then Tuesday onwards we’re back to a far more comfortable 25 degrees C I believe.

David has done a great job feeding and watering the hanging baskets throughout this hot period. They’re looking marvellous.

Last night we had our first barbecue of the summer. Don’t ask me why we didn’t get around to it until now. I guess I have been pretty busy with other things.

We enjoyed it, ate well and drank a little too much wine..

We had Arran Pilot new potatoes I’d grown myself. They’re delicious.

I’m trying to relax a little in between the work for my parents and my normal work, but it is hard at times. I was very upset on Friday when the care home called to tell me my Mum had tested positive for Covid. She is only 2 weeks post op from her hip surgery. She is in isolation, completely miserable and lonely, crying on the phone to me and desperate to see me. Thankfully she doesn’t seem to have any Covid symptoms as yet. I told the staff not to tell her she has Covid if she doesn’t have symptoms so as not to worry her. She is getting very confused about the isolation though. I’ve told her it’s to keep everyone safe as there are some poorly people in the home at the moment. I am still allowed to see her but alas I can’t. My Dad is very vulnerable and I am taking him to medical appointments this week so I can’t risk catching Covid from my Mum and passing it to him. I have to constantly weigh up the priorities and needs of each of my parents. Who do I choose to save? It’s a tough call. I love them both of course.

For now it’s time for a little siesta before dinner. I do hope you’re keeping well Xx

Tuesday’s Waffle

Hi. I nearly called this “Wednesday’s Waffle” but it appears to be only Tuesday.. so there we go, silly me! I was sitting in my Mum’s care home lounge the other day where the main topic of conversation amongst the residents was what day of the week it was. Someone asked “What day is it today?” looking at the TV guide. Many didn’t know but thought it was a good question and were thinking hard. One said she had asked the staff earlier but she’d forgotten. Eventually I told them it was Monday and then I got teased for being a smart alec 🤣🤣🤣I guess maybe I’m not ready for care home life.

Do you like my sunny sunflower? I grew this from seed. So satisfying. The big one like a beanstalk at the front of the house hasn’t flowered yet, nearly ready though. This one at the back of the house really cheered me up. It looks a bit scrawny, but it’s still my sunflower.

I took my Mum some flowers to the care home last night.

They’re stocks and they smell lovely. I thought they were nice but my Mum was not very impressed. She was in quite a sad mood which made me sad. She seemed to have a lot of awareness of her dementia yesterday and was depressed about that. She said “all the good things are over” and cried while I hugged her bony body. I think dementia sufferers are often worse in the evening. I’ve decided not to visit again until Saturday when I can go in the morning rather than tired after work. Better for me and for her. I’ve bought her some new sandals as she was going on about not having any recently. I’m not sure she will be able to try them on at the moment with her post op hip. She’s usually in slippers these days. I might show them to her anyway otherwise I’ll have to send them back.

My Dad is sort of OK I think. Waiting to see the cardiologist next week when hopefully we’ll get a proper diagnosis for him.

I don’t feel like this is a very cheerful blog, but I’m OK, honest! Last night I made a pork and spinach curry with the leftover roast pork, it was quite tasty.

Today has been all work, work, work in the office. Catching up a bit now since I can focus a bit more on the job in hand. At lunchtime I popped down the road to see Julie to give her her belated birthday present which was a purple Wimbledon cap. I think it will really suit her and she seemed pleased with it.

In other news we have some new big cracks in our house. An ex surveyor friend and a builder have had a quick look. The working conclusion is that these are due to the drying out of the clay soil in Windsor as it hasn’t rained for months and months. It will hopefully resolve when the rain comes back again.

This constant sunshine is very nice but a bit weird for us. We might have a barbecue at the weekend but I did read that these are being discouraged at the moment due to the likelihood of fires spreading. Everywhere is so parched and the grass is all yellow or dead.

I’ll say bye for now so I can get a quick walk around the block in before I ring my Dad to check up on him. Bin night tonight. Exciting stuff 🤣🤣Have a pleasant evening, morning, afternoon wherever you may be Xx.

P.S I am still completely addicted to both Wordle and Quordle. How about you? I usually do Wordle at lunchtime and Quordle at bedtime. Life in the fast lane, eh?!