Snowdrops

I found these lovely snowdrops in my garden today. I managed to hobble over to them and bend down to take the photo, but found I can no longer crouch down with one ankle/leg out of action for the time being. It was nice to see lots of green shoots starting to come up in the garden.

And I found a gorgeous little purple crocus.

Yesterday I also decided to have a sit outside for 10-15 mins as even if I can’t walk I’m sure the fresh air will be beneficial. It’s too cold to sit out for longer than that. I feel like an OAP, going out for a sit, to watch other people more active than I am. This was the view yesterday. David set up my chair at the front of the house as it was actually raining and I could sit under the car port to keep dry.

All you really see at the front is cars going by. It’s better at the back as you can really hear the birds, and I have the lovely tree behind my garden. I feel much more connected to this tree than to the others. We had a good little telepathic conversation, me and the tree today! And then I came in for a cup of tea.

Hope you’re all keeping well. Off to call my parents now before I get too tired to cope with the conversation and the evening becomes a drama. Pork is roasting in the oven and beginning to smell good. Xx 😚

Looking for Joy

Hi. I’m having a stressful time at the moment, but even within one of the most emotional and difficult weeks of my life, I spotted this quirky lamp in a shop window in Windsor and it made me smile 😊. Is this actually a real trumpet someone thought would look better as a lamp?! It’s so off the wall, I love it!! What do you think of it?

In other good news we have the wonderful announcement that my niece Hazel has just been offered a place at Cambridge University to study Natural Sciences. Well done Hazel xx. She is so happy and excited. I am so pleased for her and so proud of her. What a clever girl indeed! 👍. I have happy memories of going to visit a couple of friends of mine at Cambridge in my Uni days. I hope she actually gets to have the full University College experience living away from home rather than some pandemic Zoom rubbish.

Cooking has been kept simple recently in the Waffle household. We did enjoy this chicken liver pasta last night. It’s basically just fried onion, chicken livers, single cream, 2 lightly whisked eggs and black pepper. Simples! Actually nothing feels simple when I’m hobbling about on one leg, but you know what I mean.

I cooked this up in one of my new Tefal frying pans I bought with some Christmas Amazon vouchers. I like my new pans.

For lunch today we had beans on toast with grated Parmesan cheese on top. For dinner I think it’s going to be a ready made chicken pie with petits pois. I hope you’re all keeping well. Back soon Xx.

Snow and ?sprained ankle

Hi everyone. We woke up to snow falling thickly in Windsor this morning. It was so exciting and pretty. My opposite neighbours always make a snowman when it snows and I enjoy watching them from my window. Their effort this year was their best yet I think. For ages they left it like this…

I was very tempted to go out with a carrot and some other bits to finish him off, but they came back after their snowball fight to decorate him. 

This is how our garden looked this morning..

 So beautiful. I love snow.

I dug out my furry lined snow boots from my underbed storage, looking forward to a walk in the snow this afternoon.  Unfortunately life had other plans for me.  I put on the boots and started to walk down my stairs.  The boots were very clean and I slipped on the fourth step from the bottom.  My left leg went right down the four steps whereas my right leg didn’t, with my right ankle twisting into a position it’s definitely never been in before.  I yelped in pain and landed in complete shock on my right knee/bum.  David was amazing and came quickly to assertively medically assess me and get the boot off.  We both decided it was probably sprained at which point he had to fetch me a bucket as I really thought I was going to be sick and pass out with the shock.  Anyway I didn’t and I’m OK.  I sat with my foot up doing ice with a packet of peas in a tea towel while David examined the damage I’d done to the paintwork in the hall and then went out for a snowy walk on his own.  He took the snowman pic for me!  

It’s been a really stressful week.  My Dad is clinically doing well but it only took 48 hours of him being home before the usual squabbling with my mother started, with me being dragged in as usual as the go between.  I’m unsure whether they will be able to care for themselves going forward in the immediate future.  They are just about managing it.  I ordered them some meals on wheels for a week to help with my Mum’s exhaustion.  So far I have received a complaint that the meal wasn’t hot enough and they phoned me to check if I thought it was safe to eat…

I’ll be hobbling around the kitchen cooking lamb shanks tonight.  This is the advice from the NHS website about treating sprains..

“To help prevent swelling, try to avoid heat (such as hot baths and heat packs), alcohol and massages for the first couple of days.” 

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So it’ll be bath with my right leg out and my right ear out tonight… as I also have a minor ongoing earache problem.  Luckily I am quite flexible after all the yoga I’ve done recently.  Massages?! Chance would be a fine thing… Alcohol?  *** it, I’m definitely having a glass of wine tonight.  Keep safe everyone.  Remember to put your boots on downstairs, it’s much safer.  In fact, I’m seriously considering a bungalow…XX

Rest? What Rest?!

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

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

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

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

Time for a little rest

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

Biophilia

I learnt a new word this week – biophilia.

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

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

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

So many different and gorgeous greens.

Pretty in pink.

This wins the tidiest tree in Windsor award.

This is just silly!

And this.

A heart gate for you ❤️❤️❤️.

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

A few tiny flowers if you seek them out…

Some purple around..

And some man-made vibrancy..

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

New sunflower calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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Lockdown no.3

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

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

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

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

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

I feel grateful for..

Both my parents still being alive and reasonably well.

My sister.

David.

My nephew and niece.

David’s family.

My friends. 

My education.

My travelling experience.

My blog.

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

My health.

My safe neighbourhood. 

My job.

My boss.

Knowing my colleague who died.

My current colleagues.

My financial situation.

My cooking.

My experience of different foods and cultures.

Nature.

The birds in my garden.

Yoga.

Living in a country with an NHS.

Sunshine.

Rain.

Clouds.

Sky.

My new pyjamas. 

Flowers.

My neighbours.

My house and garden.

Ocado shopping. 

My warm duvet cover. 

Cups of tea.

Wine.

All the restaurants I have visited.

Takeaways.

Chocolate biscuits.

The vaccine.  

The scientists who made the vaccine.

Selfless people. 

Happy memories of things I used to do. 

Not having too many grey hairs! 

My book club. 

Books and reading. 

My iPhone, my iPad.

Comfortable shoes.

Warm clothes.

My bicycle.

My lovely Christmas tree. 

My Christmas decorations. 

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

Being able to sew a bit. 

Playing the piano. 

Music. 

Fruit. 

Ice cream. 

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

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

My glasses. 

Good hand cream. 

etc etc etc.

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


Wot no cash point?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

and these hares from Debbie and Chris..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Year’s Eve 2020 style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copious amounts of wine and champagne toast at midnight 🎉.

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