Windsor Great Park + martini cocktails

Hi Waffle friends. Are you getting used to the new Waffle posting schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday? I think I’m just about getting the hang of it except for the fact that I am finding it difficult to remember what day of the week it is at the moment, ha ha! So today is the third Tuesday of the month and that means it’s Zoom book club night so I thought I’d better get this post done promptly. We were supposed to read “Turn again home” by Carol Birch. I did try but didn’t manage to get beyond page 65. This was disappointing as I really enjoyed “Jamrach’s menagerie” by the same author. So I’ll be joining tonight for the camaraderie and chin-wag rather than having anything much to say about the book.

I wanted to backtrack a bit today and share some pictures I took in Windsor Great Park at the weekend, now that we’re allowed to drive to go for a walk. It was busier than usual but we were able to maintain social distancing except for a few cyclists who whizzed past next to our ears at close proximity. Cyclists never seem to think the rules apply to them. I was reminded by a friend the other day that my posts do not have to be always full of joy and overachievement. Without depressing you, you probably like to know that I like you have bad days as well as good especially during this time and things do not always go according to plan in my life as well as yours! So to be honest, the Great Park was beautiful but unfortunately David and I could not reach an agreement on the appropriate speed of the walk as I wanted to stop and admire things and take pictures, whilst he wanted to charge up and back down the path. We met up back at the car neither very happy with the other. We had words, it happens, we were friends again by evening. So without further ado, enjoy the pics..

I love all the old oaks in The Great Park.

I saw this hole as a slightly misshapen map of Africa.

Wow! Cows. You don’t get these around our local housing estate. One of them really stared at me. I stared back.

I love this picture with the red kite looking tiny in the magnificent clouds.

Cocktail time on Saturday night is always a happy time in The Waffle household. David put on a holiday Caribbean shirt and I put on a nice “going out” top. It seems we’ve started dressing for cocktails! I made martinis for the first time. One was dry vermouth with vodka and one with gin. I preferred the gin one and David preferred the vodka one. In the end I found mine too strongly alcoholic and put a bit of tonic in it. I think both of us would rather have a margarita. This Saturday… tequila sunrise 🌅.

So how have you been keeping? Getting stressed with your increasingly busy Zoom schedule? Getting stressed with the boredom of it all? Any nice food and drink this week? We’re having scampi and chips tonight as a quick pre book club meal. With lashings of tartare sauce. “See” you Thursday, looking forward to it already! X

Bacon v. Sausages (and some other waffling)

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Hi everybody. It was a strange feeling not blogging yesterday after 56 consecutive days of posts. I’m back, rejuvenated and raring to go!

Spoiler alert – this post is not suitable for vegetarians. Or even meat eaters of a delicate disposition.

So firstly, do you prefer bacon or sausages? I really like both. Overall I come down in favour of sausages, but I do feel that a good bacon sandwich is one of the best things on earth. My husband is very much a sausage fan. So much so that if ordering a cooked breakfast in a hotel he would invariably ask to swap his bacon for an extra sausage. For him sausage trumps bacon every time. For me it would depend on the quality of the bacon and of the sausage and also the kind of mood I was in, what I fancied on the day. David is very consistent, which is one thing I like about him as my partner. He surprises me sometimes, but I’m far more likely to go off on a whim with a sausage, piece of bacon or anything else in life, according to how I’m feeling at the time. Oh us women are so emotional!

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Before I met David I ate a lot less meat. Partly because it was cheaper to do so and I was a lot poorer at the time. When cooking for a hungry meat-eating man I do tend to cook meat or fish nearly every night. He doesn’t like vegetables that much, although over the years I’ve managed to coax him into liking a few more of these. He does, however, love mushrooms. So he will happily gobble up a non-meat meal as long as there is a focus on mushrooms. He also really likes the goats cheese and caramelised onion puff pasty tarts we make. Well, I can’t blame him because they’re really good. We also eat quite a lot of seafood.. prawns, scallops, crab, mussels, clams etc.. we both like all of that stuff.

Although I am a well established meat eater I made my sister laugh the other day by saying I prefer my meat in a packet from Waitrose not resembling its original form. In fact looking at this little piggy at the top of the page I’m in danger of finding his little face a bit too cute, especially as we had pork chipolata sausage baps for lunch. I had mine with ketchup and some of the lettuce leaves I’ve recently regrown. I was also in danger of getting too attached to the lettuce (!) as I have been watching the little leaves in their intrepid endeavour creeping up inside the glass for the last 3 weeks. These are the sausages we had…we often prefer the cheapest pork sausages like these. If you get posher ones they can be too fancy and the skins are sometimes far too tough for eating in a sandwich.

And this is the sorry state of the poor lettuce..half of it munched by me. All this time in lockdown, I may have spent too long talking to a bit of lettuce and watching it grow!

I reckon if you eat meat, you should probably eat all animals (except those kept as pets) as that would be fairer than just picking some over others. In theory this is what I believe. Now I’ve started wondering today about rats. What do you think about eating them? Not keen? In many cultures of the world they are very popular and have been described as like a very slow cooked pork, extremely delicious and tender. We have a resident rat living in our cavity wall at the moment, soon to be no more hopefully with the help of some rat poison. I feel a bit sorry for the rat, but it’s got to go. Apparently the poison involves some pellets that smell of chocolate. Death by eating chocolate, could be worse I suppose. I’m not seriously thinking of putting our resident ratty on the barbecue but it just got me thinking. There are an awful lot of rats in Windsor, in London and probably in every city in the world. They would be a very sustainable food source local to the city and if cooked properly do not pose any danger to your health. Is the idea so abhorrent because of our memories of The Black Death perhaps? It’s not just me, there’s a whole article about this rat eating idea to save the world here.

Well on that note I’m off to check the rat, sorry chicken, in the oven and to get the rest of the veg prepped. Roast chicken tonight christening the super shiny new tin! Now David has been getting a little too attached to the nice new tin, I caught him stroking it the other day saying it was so beautiful it would be a shame to use it and mess it up!! Ha ha.

Announcement

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Hi Waffle friends, I have an announcement to make (and no, it’s not that I’ve decided to have a sex change as per the picture above. I like being a girl even though statistically we still earn less money than the boys).

This is my 56th consecutive daily blog, together with original photos taken the same day. I am extremely proud of this achievement and I feel like it’s really got my blog off the ground, with regular visitors from my neighbours in Windsor and all the way around the globe to 23 different countries at last count. My first ever post was entitled “Less is more” and I have decided the time has now come to take my own advice and to blog slightly less frequently. This will hopefully enable me to maintain a high quality post for you, and also will allow me to free up a bit more personal time for myself. I plan from now on to blog 3 days a week, and I’ll start off with Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and see how it goes. This does mean that you will have to wait until Sunday to find out what Saturday night’s cocktail of the week was, but I assure you I will be raising my glass to you and saying “CHEERS!” to you all remotely on Saturday night and thanking you all in my heart (getting soppy now, too much?!) for visiting my humble pages.

I managed to book the courier for the COVID test. You don’t get a choice of days, it just comes up saying “your courier is booked” which threw me into a spin that I had to start sticking things up my nose urgently, but then they e-mailed to say my collection day is Monday 9.00 am onwards, phew! I’m relieved it’s not the weekend as I’d prefer to have a lie in rather than setting the alarm for swab taking when I’m not even ill, thankfully.

I had a better lunch today, as I was prepared for going into the office, and no technical hitches befell me, so that was good. I enjoyed my smoked salmon sandwiches. I like to have them with pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Tonight is nothing exciting; ready meals of chicken tikka masala and goan fish curry which we will share. All I have to do is cook some rice, open the wine/beer and dig out some crisps to start. There is something about drinking at home where I always like to have little bowl of snacks to go with it. It reminds me of visiting my sister years ago when she always brought me a nice glass of wine to the sofa together with some posh Kettle chips in a pretty Portuguese bowl.

So, how are your plans for the weekend shaping up? I still get that Friday feeling finishing work and then followed by a little slump when I remember we still can’t go out and celebrate the weekend like we used to. Today I had some serious cravings for my pre lockdown life….dreaming of a day in which I could get my hair cut, sit in a coffee shop with a convivial atmosphere, surrounded by other people, maybe even share a little chat or joke with a stranger. Will we ever be relaxed enough to talk to a stranger again? I imagined how it would feel to go on holiday, pack my bag, go to the airport, Terminal 5 Heathrow (my favourite), to browse the shops and soak up the busyness of the space. I always enjoyed people watching at the airport. So many stories, adventures, romances and break ups, new beginnings and emotions all in front of your eyes. The place was always charged with human energy and endeavour. Now it must be so quiet. I’d like to go to the pub tonight. We used to cycle there. It was fun.

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Instead I will be reclining on the sofa with my nearest and dearest, probably watching a film with a glass of chilled white wine in my hand. Actually that sounds pretty good.

Here, as always, are the photos of the day…

One of the new hanging baskets has one cheery red flower already.

This is my crazy, Turner-esque photo from today. I was trying to capture the sky which was a lot lighter than this. It looked all smeary like someone was smoothing icing all over a cake with a spatula.

Amazing aeroplane contrail in the sky yesterday, looks like a rocket going off into space.

That’s all folks. Waffle over and out. Catch you Sunday X 😎

Frustration

Hi. I’ve had a frustrating day today. Not my best in lockdown. I’ll probably keep it quite brief tonight.

I spent over an hour trying to log in to work from home this morning and eventually gave up and went into the office. The laptop wanted to do updates, I hate updates. Then it just wouldn’t connect. When I went into the office I soon saw why; both the pcs in my office were switched off which means I was never going to access either of them remotely, however hard I wished it to happen. This might be something to do with the power cuts we had in Windsor yesterday. Was it yesterday? I honestly think I’m losing it sometimes. This morning I woke up and told myself it was Wednesday, complained to my husband that it felt like it should be at least Thursday, he just grunted and carried on reading his iPad screen. Ten minutes later I realised it is in fact Thursday. I honestly don’t know if I’m coming or going. Do you feel the same? Like all the days have merged into one?

As I had to go into the office I had lunch there and also got to miss out on the cold sausage pie 🙁 that was too messy and I was in too much of a hurry to take to work. So I grabbed a Ginster’s Cornish pasty and took that with me and ate it cold. It was ok, but I would rather have had the cold sausage pie at home. Listen to me and my first world worries, so hard done by it’s ridiculous!

Tonight we’re having an easy supper of fish cakes from Waitrose. Here they are, they look like they’ve expired but they haven’t as they were in the freezer. I love my freezer. We had to buy it as our old one broke down just before we knew any of this was going to happen. It’s probably the smallest size chest freezer you can get, but we’ve never had a chest freezer before so it seems really roomy to me. We keep saying “isn’t it lucky we got the freezer when we did..” What a boring type of married conversation about household appliances.

When I got home I read all the instructions for my COVID test. I don’t have any symptoms or anything but I was randomly selected by letter to do a test. At first I thought it was a test for antibodies, to see whether you’ve had the virus, but in closer reading it is not, it is a test to see if you’ve got it now. I haven’t watched the video yet of how exactly to put the swab in your throat and up your nose. Interestingly you use the same swab to do both. Nice! The first thing you have to do is to go online and book the free courier to collect it, before you’ve even done the test. I tried to do this and got a message to say “we’re closed now, try again tomorrow from 8 am”. I thought that was quite annoying, that I can only see their available slots within office working hours. It’s not as if I wanted to speak to a human. Well, I shall keep you updated with my scintillating progress on this matter.

I hope you’ve had a better day than me. Honestly my afternoon at work was fine and I got quite a lot done, don’t know what I’m moaning about. Here’s a few pics from yesterday and today.. this first one looks like how I feel.. the tension in the wires with the dark cloud overhead, yup that’s me! I must focus on the sunlight coming up behind.

Ah now, that’s better. The pretty flowers always cheer me up! 😊🌻👍

My goals for the next 5 years

Hello. I was so excited to capture this heart-shaped space of sky in the clouds for you today! After I found you a heart-shaped tree the other day. Love is in the air! It’s a bit of an elongated heart, but a heart none the less.

The virus situation has got me doing some thinking about life, what I’m all about, what I’m trying to achieve, where my happy place is. I’m not usually one for making New Year’s Resolutions. I generally feel I work myself hard enough without adding extra pressure to achieve more. My New Year’s Resolutions in recent years have included “dry January” which I successfully completed, “have more fun” which I honestly can’t remember if I did or not, and “be more adventurous in my choice of alcoholic drinks while out on the town”. This may seem like a strange resolution, and it made my husband laugh, but I felt I was stuck in a rut of only ever having white wine or lager and there were probably many other delicious tipples out there so I should push myself out of my comfort zone. We are all creatures of habit and I think it’s good to have a routine, but not to get too entrenched in one’s own habits, some of which you may not actually like and can’t remember why you started them in the first place.

So, for no apparent reason except for a lot of lockdown soul searching recently, I have come up with my five year plan. I know life usually makes other plans for you when you make plans, and also I am wary of making my goals too specific. For I know myself, I am a hard taskmaster and if I do not achieve specifics I have set for myself I am likely to beat myself up about that, so I’m not doing that. These are things I think I should realistically be able to achieve. I read somewhere once that happiness lies in setting yourself achievable goals, so here goes…. well, in a minute.. just got to do the next stage of the sausage pie for dinner now… back soon.

I’m back! Covered in flour and so is the kitchen (don’t tell David). The sausage pie is from Nigel Slater’s book above which was a wedding present from my sister. It is actually sausage and potato pie. I have made it many many times and it has never disappointed us. We’ve had it hot, we’ve had it cold, it’s so good with the homemade crumbly shortcrust pastry on the top, glistening onions and sliced potatoes inside. Why is it that when a pie is a bit misshapen it makes it look even more enticing? So hungry now but I digress, here are my very important goals for the next 5 years:

1 To keep working whilst maintaining the balance between work and looking after my family. 

2 To help my elderly parents and other family members as much as I can without making myself ill. 

3 To look after my own health, physical and mental.  Try to eat healthily and exercise regularly.  To keep the strong connection with nature I have developed during lockdown. 

4 To be the best wife, daughter, sister, auntie, friend, employee that I can be. 

5 To continue creative pursuits such as blogging, writing and photography wherever my creative journey takes me, without putting too much pressure on myself.  Explore different forms of creativity.. eg art, sewing, crafts, food, writing. 

6 To try to live a bit more sustainably. This includes growing vegetables, reusing things where possible, continuing my journey towards a capsule wardrobe. 

7 Music – carry on with playing/relearning the piano. 

8 Financial – to maintain a healthy  balance between spending for now and saving for retirement.  To improve my knowledge of our finances instead of leaving it all to David. To improve the security of my passwords. 

9 Food – to carry on cooking and learning about cooking techniques, food from other cultures and new ingredients. To explore historic food writers and recipes.

10 Travel – I have no specific goal for travelling except that I would definitely like to do some more both in the UK and abroad, once we can.  Possibly to consider doing some travel writing. 

Overall I aspire to live a simple, uncluttered life full of kindness, love and creativity without being daunted by the challenges of life. 

Right, that sums it all up. I’m sorted. How about you?

The Windsor Waffle Special Lockdown Q & A: Part Two

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Hi there. Hope you’re all doing well. For those of us in the UK I hope you’re staying alert, whatever that means, staying home but also going out for work, from tomorrow seeing more people but not really seeing them, driving to nowhere on your own, not staying, coming home. All a bit contradictory if you ask me, so most of us will just carry on in our usual lockdown routine. I don’t see the point in inviting a friend to shout at me across two metres in a park. David and I might attempt a drive to Windsor Great Park at the weekend to do a different walk, but if it’s heaving with people we won’t be staying.

Right, now I’ve got that lot off my chest, I’ll get on with the Q & A…As before I’ll give you the questions and my answers, so feel free to join in and share yours in the Comments section if you’d like, or just think about them on your own, ask your partner or discuss it with your dog, cat, child.

1 What’s the nicest thing anyone’s done for you in lockdown?
My boss was nice to confirm to me early on that I still have job, before I had to ask. I was happy that no one forgot my birthday even though it was tricky going to the shops at the time. I’ve really appreciated the Zoom social events I’ve been invited to.. a couple of birthday quizzes, book club and free yoga sessions, thanks Sue!

2 What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for anyone else?
I’ve been very good at organising shopping for my parents, sharing my Ocado slots with them and delivering to their doorstep. I’ve tried to keep motivated and work hard for my boss doing my least favourite task of work for days on end.

3 Have you bought yourself any cheer up treats during this period?
Apart from food.. crisps, chocolate which we don’t usually buy, cocktail ingredients, pink champagne for my birthday, I’ve also bought myself a new cardigan and two pairs of pyjamas. I’ve bought plants and supplies for my vertical garden project, and lots and lots of hand cream.

4 What has surprised you about your other household members?
I think David has coped with lockdown better than I have. I would have expected it to be the other way round. I am amazed at how many hours, days and weeks he can play the guitar for, I guess he must really like playing the guitar.

5 Have you become a domestic goddess during lockdown?
Not really! I cook a lot anyway but I have baked a few more cakes. In the beginning I actually cooked from scratch less often as I was very busy cancelling stuff at work, sorting out food shopping for everyone and generally being a bit stressed. David has carried on doing most of the cleaning. I have, however, discovered Febreze fabric refresher and now spray everything with it. After a horrible, smelly sweat smell on pillowcases I just couldn’t get rid of in the wash I am so happy to have found this. I spray it inside the drawer of my chest of drawers, I spray it over the bed sheets and duvet cover when I make the bed. It really works in neutralising bad smells. I’m now on my second bottle.

Over to you. Got any new cleaning tips? Any other wondrous words of wisdom or revelations from this period?

Last night’s scallops and black pudding were lovely. Tonight we move on to spiced salmon noodles from the Good Housekeeping Express cookbook. Yum, hopefully, I’ve not made it before.

Here are the photos of the day from yesterday and today. There are now two magnificent irises in my garden.

I have been enjoying the clouds whilst walking round the block again.

And of course, I always love the flowers..

Take care of yourselves, don’t forget to have some treats, we need them right now xx

The Windsor Waffle Lockdown Special Q & A

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Good evening, morning, whatever, my Waffle friends.

The more online videos clips of social distancing I see, the more ridiculous it all appears. Like some sort of Monty Python sketch. Nearly as funny as The Ministry of Silly Walks. Why don’t we incorporate silly walks into our daily life too whilst social distancing, just for a laugh? We could pretend it was a new rule from the government. Just me then? Oh, alright then.

For today I thought I’d mix it up a bit and do a Windsor Waffle Lockdown Q & A. There might even be some Windsor Waffle virtual awards.. just imagine a big, shiny silver cup with engraving on the side to be held overhead by the grinning lucky recipients.

The way this is going to work is I’ll tell you the questions and my answers to all the questions, probably the first five today and the next lot tomorrow, as I’ve got loads of these. If you want to agree or disagree with me, answer any of them or all you are free to do so in the Comments section below. If you can’t be bothered that’s completely understandable, but join in whenever you like!

1 What’s the best meal you’ve had during lockdown and who cooked it?
Beef Wellington and Dauphinoise potatoes from “Cook”. So delicious. The Beef Wellington is quite expensive at £20. for two, but really good quality. Someone at “Cook” cooked it. I just heated it up. I’ve been trying to get another one but they’d sold out last time I tried.

2 What’s the best film you’ve watched during lockdown?
Probably BlacKkKlansman. We watched this the other night, one of the few films in the last two years I hadn’t already seen at the cinema. I thought it was very interesting and well acted. It wasn’t as violent as I expected it to be.

3 What’s the most interesting wildlife you’ve seen over the past few weeks?
The Peacock and the Comma butterflies in my garden on my first day working from home, I really loved those.

4 What have you discovered about yourself during this period?
I really like nature and my garden. I enjoy taking photos. Writing feels like my natural state. Blogging is fun. I’m not as good at sewing as I thought I was. I’m very good at organising shopping supplies for everyone, my father has started calling me “Food boss”.

5 What’s the worst idea you’ve had during lockdown?
Sometimes I think my decision to blog every day was a bit of an over commitment, but mostly I think The Waffle has added focus and structure to my day. My decision to cut out my sewing pattern pieces from two different sized remnants of material was a disaster. I can only make a garment with it with half of it inside out now.

That’s it for now. Same questions over to you. I’ll be back with some more tomorrow. Tonight’s menu is scallops with black pudding, button mushrooms and mashed potato.

Blogtastic

Hi. Let’s see if I can do a blogtastic post for you today, after my very short post yesterday. The wind is blowing, the ash tree is swaying outside, and I really regretted wearing sandals on our walk today. Cold toes!

Yesterday was all about the Bs.. we had batons, barbecue, birthday for Julie (my sister-in-law). There was Bajan rum punch and for supper I had a chicken balti from The Binoy curry house. I’m not making any of this up.

Let’s start with the batons. David worked very hard yesterday morning putting up wooden batons on the wall for me behind the veg patch. We have since treated the wood in two coats. We are now awaiting delivery of some wire mesh and some special u-shaped nails from eBay and the project will be good to go. Planting up the side of the house. Love it!

At lunchtime yesterday we had a barbecue. This was a great idea for which I take the credit! The sun was shining and we had beef burgers in baps with black pudding, salad, sausages and a bottle of beer. David of course was the chef, we all know women are not allowed to master fire whilst a man is present. Usually we wouldn’t bother doing a barbecue just for the two of us, but now that we have this little gas barbecue it’s quite easy. We got it a couple of years ago and it folds up like a pushchair and we keep it in the garage. Although I miss the authenticity of charcoal a bit, it’s great that you can cook instantly and also it is much much less messy, especially as we now use some cooking sheets that you just pop in the dishwasher afterwards. Job done.

I am aware the lawn is getting to look as wild and long as my hair. The grass will get cut this week. My hair, who knows. All I know is that David won’t be doing it.

Yesterday we also had a birthday, so Happy Birthday again Julie.

We had a Zoom family quiz with four teams that was a lot of fun once the birthday girl got up and running and could hear us on Zoom. We had categories of food, travel, history, music, general knowledge and books. I was sure that a loganberry was a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, but the answer was tayberry. On my google checking just now loganberry is indeed also a cross between a blackberry and raspberry, so we should have had another point methinks! Too late now. Next time.

For supper tonight we are having this lamb…New Zealand boneless half leg.


It’s just gone in the oven. I nearly christened my super shiny new roasting tin, but then decided that was a bit overkill for the size of the joint especially as I’m doing new potatoes rather than roasties tonight. We’ll also have green beans, gravy and mint sauce. I will try not to have any red wine as I feel like I’ve probably already had more than enough alcohol this weekend. For pudding I will have some sort of fruit and ice cream, and David will just have ice cream. By the way David has also now become a fan of the shiny new roasting tin and as I caught him admiring it the other day he said it will be a shame to use it and get it messy/scratched!

Are you working on any craft projects in lockdown? My Mosaicraft was going really well but believe it or not I have been too busy to complete it, or maybe I’ve just got out of the habit. After many weeks of only guitar practice and TV watching, David has moved onto building his model of the Starship Enterprise. David being David this will be a work of perfection.. I’ve seen some of the perfect little paintwork already. Earlier today he requested clear nail varnish from me to add to some part of it. You’d think that this might be a relaxing hobby, but there has already been a certain amount of swearing and huffing and puffing from the upstairs office. The little red paint seems to have spilled itself all over the board, thankfully not onto the carpet. And the waste paper basket now looks like there has been a massacre. The “happy” modeller has now gone back to rock n’ roll guitar to calm his nerves. Together with singing. Thankfully he is rather good.

Very soon we will get our new instructions for life from Boris (another B). The preview of the message “Stay alert” does not fill me with that much confidence. I do hope he makes it a lot clearer than that. To stay at home or not to stay at home. That is the question.

As I fall in love with my garden a little more each day, the new discovery yesterday was this beautiful iris.

Each day something else pops it’s little head up, or breaks forth into bloom. The peony is now well and truly out.

And the rock rose is going strong with more and more flowers like little pink tissue paper.

Well all that remains for me to do now, a creature of habit, is to show you the daily walk pictures from yesterday and today. Today was tricky with the wind blowing everything about, and we ended up in mutual agreement to take a short cut home to our cosy house where I could get some socks on! Now make sure you “Stay Alert” whatever that means and I look forward to “seeing” you all tomorrow xx



Bajan rum punch

Hi guys. For the first time Word press has let me down. I was three quarters of the way through a long post for you and no draft appears to have been saved and I have to go to a Zoom party in a minute. So I’m very sorry about that. I’ll have to make it up to you all tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in. The rum punch is lovely. You can find the recipe here. For “one measure” I used 20 mls.

Have a great evening everyone and Happy Birthday to Julie, my sister-in-law.

Here’s a heart shaped tree to make up for not writing much today xxxx

Happy VE Day!

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It’s something to celebrate, VE Day, 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe. We haven’t got any bunting up, but plenty of our neighbours have. They have been having pretend street parties all afternoon, sitting in deck chairs on their front lawns shouting across at their socially distant neighbours. All these restricted celebrations are frustrating. Birthdays, weddings, street parties. We are all going to really have to make up for it next year. 2020 the year of the virus. 2021 the year of the party? Who knows. We’ll have to see where we’re all at by then. What will we be doing on New Year’s eve? Bumping elbows?

I’ve had quite a good day. Hope you have too. Mine started off with a Zoom yoga class led by Sue. Thanks Sue 😀x. Then coffee and chilling in the garden. I often just sit and listen these days, and observe any changes in the plants from the day before. So relaxing. Why did I never do this before, in my old life? All the photos of the day coming up later are from my lovely garden, my sanctuary. I have been doing some “proper” writing this afternoon on this theme, as part of a competition entry for The Garden Museum. I’ve really been enjoying writing again as before I started The Waffle I hadn’t written anything for about 20 years, and now it’s every day. I usually write on my iPad mini now. How times change.

It’s another easy supper today in The Waffle household. We are having this with rice..

Have your tried any of these vacuum packed meals? There are a few flavours of them.. a chicken tikka curry, a lamb hot pot I recall. I particularly like this chilli con carne one. You just microwave it and it’s pretty tasty and doesn’t include any nasty chemical ingredients, not that expensive. We buy them from Waitrose/Ocado. They have a really long date on them, these ones expire May 2021. I’ve found them useful in the past as a post holiday meal you can just dig it out of the cupboard and prepare in a few minutes when you’re tired/jet lagged (remember that?). I think it was my Mum who put me on to them originally.

We’re having a big delivery of fresh food tomorrow morning from Ocado, our two week supply. Now I’ve got used to it I quite like doing a big two week shop and then not having to worry about shopping for a while. My planning’s been going well as we haven’t run out of anything nor have we had to throw lots of surplus food away. By the way, my “free” regrowing of my lettuce is doing really well now.. take a look at this.

How cool is that? Nearly enough for a sandwich. Or I could use the little leaves tomorrow in my burger bun for barbecue Saturday, I’ll see how the mood takes me. Such excitement!

So here it is, the place where I sit for my morning coffee, with the red kites soaring overhead and the blackbirds singing. Blue tits hopping about and a little blue butterfly flitting about from plant to plant. Today I saw two parakeets in the big ash tree. I also chased around a honey bee for a while, trying to get a good photo.


Have a nice bank holiday weekend everyone, as much as you can. May the food be delicious and the wine flowing freely…. xxx