Mmmmm…. 🤔

Hi. How are you? This arrangement of paving and greenery caught my eye yesterday lunchtime outside Holy Trinity Church, Windsor. An interesting jigsaw.

Here are a few more bits…

I have titled this blog post “Mmmmm….🤔” as, unusually, I don’t really know what to say to you today. I can usually look through my photos, pause and think, and a clear theme for the blog for the day pops into my mind, sometimes even several ideas all at once and I pick the best! Today I am calm and relaxed, but nothing is really jumping out at me. Perhaps that is it? I am too chilled to blog?! 😂. The sun has been shining, AT LAST! in Windsor today. And it looks like it’s going to be really nice weather for the next few days and the weekend.. yippee!

I have some food to show you, but I think I’ll leave that for another time. I’m too relaxed to even talk about food right now…. amazing eh?!

So instead, I’ll just show you my prepared new tennis balls 🎾🎾🎾🎾 with my initial “G” ready for action tomorrow. I also received a nice email from Wimbledon today thanking me for my attendance this year. “Really, it was my pleasure!” “Thank you!” “No, thank you!!!”

Night night Wafflers. Back soon with hopefully more of a plan!?! Xx

Flowers, tennis, maybe a little football?

Hi everyone. It’s a very sporty day here in the UK with the Wimbledon Men’s singles final and then the Euro 2020 football final at Wembley later on.

I’ll start off by showing you the pretty flowers in my garden and around our local estate.

The stunning hydrangeas. Love these.

Lavender, loved by the bees.

The house leek in full flower now.

The pumpkin is coming.

And the tomatoes.

The agapanthus is going to be amazing.

So all of that is looking rather lovely.

The tennis is soooo exciting!! Djokovic v Berrettini. What an entertaining match. So talented, both of them. Probably Djokovic will win.. but hey, who knows…..?

Then later we have England v Italy in the football. It’s not really my thing, but I might have a sneaky look. We will also be having roast pork dinner tonight.

Enjoy your sport watching, or otherwise it’s not long til it’s all over if it’s not your thing… ! 😊Xx

Smoky sausage chilli (and tennis)

This was last night’s dinner. Very yummy. You’ll have to bear with me as I am simultaneously blogging and watching Roger Federer. I ❤️Roger Federer. He’s amazing. The Polish guy who’s playing him, Hurkacz, is looking pretty good too.

Anyway, back to the sausage chilli. It had black beans in it, and basically tasted like a smoky chilli you’d usually use minced beef for but with thick slices of pork sausage in it instead. The recipe was from the latest BBC Good Food Magazine. I served it with some M & S ready made parmentier potatoes and grated emmental cheese on the top. The potatoes were quite nice, not that spectacular. The chilli was gorgeous.

Yum yum yum. I could just eat another plateful of it now.

“Let’s go Roger, let’s go!” Tie break time in the second set. Exciting stuff.

The day before we had a gorgeous coconut curry with salmon, sweet potatoes and noodles. Another Good Food Magazine recipe. Delicious.

Tonight I’m keeping it simple with a ready made quiche, new potatoes and green beans.

Oh Roger just slipped and missed the point… disaster!

I’ve had quite a lazy day today. I had a lie in, David brought me a cup of tea in bed (lovely!), pottered about at home this morning and did some ironing.

Oh no! Set point. C’mon Roger!

Oops. Roger is 2 sets down. As Andrew Castle says, the other guy “definitely deserves a banana” which he’s now having…

He’s had 5 bananas lined up on his chair. When I play tennis with my friend Moya next week, I think I might line up a row of bananas, just to freak her out a bit! I haven’t played tennis in 20 years or so… Moya is having lessons… Mmmmm… this will be interesting. There are lots of fragile plastic bits and rubber fragments dropping off my racquet. I have bought new balls though, look…!

I like the Wimbledon design on the tin, most inspiring. And 4 good quality balls for £8.45 on Amazon I thought was pretty reasonable.

Nice shot Roger!! Still in danger though…

Wow Roger! Amazing.

Clap clap 👏 advantage Federer….

Deuce…. boring…

Oh No, Fedders has been broken… 2 sets to 0, 2 games to 0.

You know the other day I was talking about affordable luxury, a little treat that gives you a boost? For me that was 12 o’clock midday today in The Swan having half a pint of Rebublika lager while my friend Debs had a coffee. Decadence! I never have a drink at midday.. unless it’s Christmas Day or I’m at Wimbledon in person! I did cycle to the pub so was quite thirsty on arrival…

Well, I only had half a pint and a packet of cheese and onion crisps. Debs had her coffee and a sweet muffin. Then we went for a little walk by the River Thames and looked at some ducks and swans.

Oh no, Roger is really losing now. He needs my undivided attention and support so I’m off now.

Back soon my Wafflers Xx 😊 enjoy the football.

Flowers, trees and food (TWW staples)

An interesting choice of window box flowers, these tall lilies, don’t you think? They made me stop and smile on my lunchtime walk this week.

Here are some other pretty flowers..firstly our beautiful blue hydrangeas out the front. They are growing FAST!

Some pretty specimens around our local estate.

I’m loving this rich, deep purple.

The rain is pouring down now while we are cosy inside the house. We managed a nice walk in Windsor Great Park just now with only a few raindrops. We were 🍀 lucky.

I always love the big old oaks in Windsor Great Park. This one has some heavy duty supports to keep it from falling over onto the path.

Mushrooms… do not eat!

I love this tree’s face. I gave it a big hug!

Last, but not least, I want to tell you about last night’s meal. We went to Roux at Skindles, which is a brasserie restaurant in Maidenhead owned by the Roux brothers. It’s in the building that used to be Skindles nightclub, by the river next to Maidenhead Bridge. I think the prices had gone up a bit since last time we were there, but we didn’t really mind as everything was so delicious, immaculately presented and the service was excellent. Highly recommended.

After cocktails of Kir Royale for David and Mojito for me, together with some yummy bread and butter, we both started off with the goat’s cheese soufflé. OMG this was so good! We were in starter heaven. We would definitely have this again.

We then were served our tasty bottle of Viognier wine. The main course was also exceptional. I’m sorry I didn’t photograph it for you, I was too busy gobbling it all up! We both had the lamb cannon with spinach and dauphinoise potato. Delicious. The lamb was already sliced into thick slices, perfectly cooked, so tender. It was locally sourced British lamb. You’ll just have to imagine that. Clean plates.

From my seat at the table I could view the chefs in the kitchen as well as the view of the river and Maidenhead Bridge. The waitress told me this is her favourite seat. The restaurant was not that busy as I think many were at home watching the football. I know where I’d rather be!

Then for pudding, David opted for vanilla ice cream and at his request they made him a chocolate sauce to go with it that was not on the menu. I had the millefeuille with strawberry sorbet. It was all good but the sorbet was exquisite.

If I went again, I’d like to try the chocolate crème brûlée with coconut ice cream. Sounds great.

Off to prepare tea and cake now my friends. There’s no tennis to watch but Wimbledon will be back on tomorrow, yippee can’t wait! 🙂 Xx

I ❤️ Wimbledon 🎾🍓🍹😎

Hi. Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon to see the tennis. I went with my friend Julie. We had a really great day and stayed there for 10 hours!!! The time flew by. I really love Wimbledon and have been many many times, mostly with my sister.

After quite a lot of to-do I had managed to buy 2 tickets for Court no.12. These were a bargain price of £30. each. Amazing!

We had some very good matches on our court. This was the line up.

I loved cheering on Gael Monfils and seeing him win his match. I am also Gail!! “C’mon Gael!”. He said “Let’s Go!” as he got all fired up, which now seems to be a standard phrase a lot of the players use.

Azarenka was so amazingly determined. She had a lot of energy. I am sad for her that she went out today, but the girl who beat her deserved it and was very sweet.

Then we had Liam Broady on court. Great to have a Brit to support. Sadly he didn’t win, but we really enjoyed the atmosphere and watching him play and he did himself proud. He was playing Schwartzman who is short but very nippy with lots of drop shots just over the net. He is Argentinian and said “Vamos!” a lot instead of “Let’s Go!”

After that we went to Henman Hill to watch Andy Murray on the big screen. What a legend! Love the atmosphere when there’s some Murray Magic shots going on. Andy fell down and was clutching his groin in agony. Then the other guy (Otte from Germany) fell down. The whole hill roared when Otte went down.. not good taste but we were all so behind Andy and it seemed to work as he won the battle. Yippee!

We had a Pimm’s to lubricate the throat for cheering!

Earlier in the day we managed to fit in a visit to the shop to buy some souvenirs. I got my lovely mug.

And it came in this stylish bag!

I’m going to sneak in a little picture of Julie (left) and me (right). Shhhh, Julie wasn’t keen to feature on The Waffle but this is such a nice picture in front of the flowers, I can’t resist!

Another highlight was being shouted at by security to clear the path and realising that Marin Cilic was right behind me, I mean right behind me, half an inch away. He was dripping in sweat having just won his match on Court no.18. A bead of his sweat nearly dropped on me, I was quite overcome!! 😂😂 Then I looked to my left and there was Tsonga heading off into the players’ building. He’s a nice player, good to see him too.

I’ll show you a few more pics while I recover from the excitement. Great to see Federer play so well on TV today. Sometimes it’s even better on TV when you get some great commentary. Wimbledon = proud to be British!

I got some commentary yesterday on the free Amex radio they gave out to Amex cardholders. I could hear the show courts’ commentary while I was on Court 12. My Mum, the ex PE teacher, who loves watching multiple sports simultaneously would be proud!!

The one and only Andy Murray.

I am so in awe of the umpires… their levels of intense concentration for hours on end is astounding! I couldn’t do that job. I’m sure I’d blink and miss a bit!

Diego Schwartzman.

Honestly, I could go on about Wimbledon forever but I’ll shut up now. “Let’s Go!!” 🎾🍓😊😎❤️🍹xxx

Affordable Luxury

Hi. Do you like my new little wine/cocktail shelf for the bath? Quite decadent methinks. I tried it out last night with my wine glass slotted in and my little bowl of crisps. I was not brave enough to try putting a phone/kindle in the designated slot for this. I’m not one for reading in the bath anyway (love reading, but I’m a lying on the bed kind of reader!).

This is the wine I was drinking by the way. I bought it one Christmas mainly because my nephew’s name is Arthur! It is lovely, not too sweet as some Rieslings can be. It usually costs £10.99 from Ocado but is often on special offer.

I like the kind of things you can buy, that are relatively cheap like this, but make you feel treated and luxurious. I bought the bath table from Amazon recently. It came as a plain piece of wood with a few slots, very roughly finished, complete with splinters, for £12.99.

It started off looking very unfinished. I kind of was expecting this as I’d read the reviews. I was going to just paint it roughly with some white paint, but after me not getting round to this for a couple of weeks, David asked if he could do it, and David being David it turned into a highly professional masterpiece! Firstly he sanded it a couple of times, then he sealed it a couple of times with some sort of varnish sealant. This was a really good idea as I did get a couple of splashes of water on it yesterday which quickly slid off.

Then he bought some white spray paint from the model shop. I think this was pretty expensive, and probably unnecessary to go this posh, but it does look really nice. He did a few coats, my perfectionist husband!

I was initially inspired by a lady on her Amazon review of this who had used black paint and it looked fab. She used the little tea light holder slots too for her candles. I might try this some time in mine.

Sometimes it doesn’t cost much to add a little luxury into your life. I remember my friend Sarah upgrading herself to first class train travel for work trips within the UK. On Virgin trains she got a full cooked breakfast served at her seat, which she really enjoyed.

How about you? Are there any little upgrades you have found that don’t cost much more but feel luxurious?

When I go to Wimbledon tennis next week I’m planning on visiting the shop. Most of the clothes etc in the shop are ridiculously expensive, but I think I will treat myself to a Wimbledon mug, as the designs look great this year, and they are quite a reasonable price of £10. (and I can also get 20% off with my American Express card as they are a Wimbledon sponsor this year). Wimbledon mugs for Christmas everyone?!

I think this one is probably my favourite, with the strawberries.

So I hope you are managing to squeeze in a few treats for yourself too. COVID-19 and its variants looks like it’s going to be with us for a long time yet, and we need to brace ourselves for whatever’s to come in the autumn.

I’ll leave you with a picture of our chicken and mushroom risotto from Good Food magazine we made on Thursday night. David was sous chef helping with chopping mushrooms and weighing things (extremely accurately of course!). It was the best meal of the week. 😋

The house leek is flowering

Hi there. I have been in a low mood on and off all day, for no particular reason. What a waste of a day off, this has annoyed me that I couldn’t snap out of it. I was cheered up by the sight of our house leek flowering for the first time. We had no idea this was even possible.

It used to look like this:

Now I am sad again as I have just read online that once they flower, that’s it, it’s all over folks and they die. So that’s nature I guess, but I will miss this little guy amongst our pebbles.

The garden never fails to lift my spirits. I pulled up a few weeds and listened to the birds and felt a bit better. Early evening every evening we can see “Mrs B” as I call her, the female blackbird. She’s usually hopping about merrily gobbling up worms. (Obviously you don’t always have to be the early bird to catch the worms!) “Mr B” meanwhile is usually either hiding in the hedge where they live, or else up in the tree doing his choir practice. He has a very tuneful song. The other day we saw a speckled fronted brown bird that at first I thought might be a thrush, but then we realised it was a young blackbird, Mr and Mrs B’s son or daughter, as it was opening its beak wide for Mr B to deposit food into its beak, so there you go. We’ve had Mr and Mrs B in residence for several years now, but never noticed any young ones before, only young blue tits in the box the other side, which clearly has nothing to do with them.

Before I witter on about birds until the cows come home (as they never will, as the cows that used to live in the fields behind our house are now long gone.. ).. I’ll show you a few pics from the garden today.

Firstly I present to you the hanging baskets…

Then we have the jungle like veg patch. Potato craziness, pumpkin, rhubarb, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs on the wall. Most of this lettuce tastes horrible by the way, really bitter 🤢.

The hostas are still lovely, if you like that sort of thing (which I do!).

The delphiniums are still blue.

Look at this we’ve had to do to protect our pots from naughty Squirrel Nutkin! He was visiting every day digging up everything in our pots, very very annoying. We put metal grids on the top and now David has cut holes in these so the begonias can grow through.. honestly, what a palaver! We don’t dare to take the grids off as I’m sure Squirrel Nutkin is still around, jumping through trees with his fat belly full of nuts.

So that’s all the Waffle for now. It’s going to be fresh fish for dinner.. I think it’s smoked haddock which I’ll poach in milk in the oven, I may make a little cheese sauce to go with it, and serve with ready prepared new potatoes and carrot and swede mash from M & S. I buy these ready prepared veg sometimes when they’re part of a meal deal, quite nice for a change. Back soon Wafflers. Enjoy the rest of your week Xx

Hydrangeas and Delphiniums

Hello everyone. The hydrangeas are doing very well in our front garden border now. Complete with mushrooms that keep growing next to them, for some reason. We have 2 x white hydrangeas and 1 x blue hydrangea. I think they’ll look really good in a couple of years when they completely fill this space.

Here is one of the white ones.

They’ve already filled out a lot. The photo below was about a week ago.. compared to above which is today.

Today we bought a couple of new delphiniums for the back border, where we had a bit of space that needed some colour. They are a gorgeous purpley blue colour and were £7.50 each from the Braywick Heath Nurseries near Maidenhead that we have recently discovered. They’re looking a little bedraggled here as I’d just watered them in.

So I think they’re going to be lovely and we’ll enjoy watching them grow.

In other news after much ado I have managed to score some Wimbledon tickets hip hip hooray! So happy 😀. I ❤️Wimbledon and have been many many times. More about Wimbledon in a separate blog post to come I think …… 🍓🎾😎.

On the food front, there’s been a little bit of cooking this week. Of note were the goats cheese and caramelised red onion tarts. We’ve had these many times. David likes to help me with cooking the onions and he’s really good at that bit.

We also enjoyed scallops with black pudding and potato wedges. This was really quick to make, especially as the potato wedges came out of a packet from M & S 😂.

Tonight we’re going out for steak, so looking forward to that 😋. And tomorrow will be roast chicken.

Keep safe and well. I’m off to do the ironing now. Have a nice day/weekend 😊 Xx

Highlights of London: Part 2

So to continue on from last time, we enjoyed some bits of our stay in London but not the awful service and lack of adequate Covid measures in the hotel. There is a really big shortage of hospitality staff at the moment in the UK so lots of staff are new and untrained, some of them simply unsuited for the job. Anyway, after us both getting all grumpy about such matters, the weekend was saved by a fantastic meal in Borough Market on Saturday night.

The restaurant specialises in fish and is called Applebee’s. We hadn’t been there before. It wasn’t cheap especially as we chose the seafood platter, the most expensive item on the menu (£120. yikes!) but the service here was great and the ambience and food excellent.

David started off with the oysters. I’m not a big fan of raw oysters as I find them a bit slimy, but David was very happy. He said the dip was very good.

I would have had the crab croquettes but they had run out, so I opted for the sashimi instead.. tuna and salmon.. it was gorgeous.

After that we moved onto the main event.. the seafood platter… yum..

Scallops, prawns and lobster. It was all cooked in a sort of sauce. It was delicious. We swapped the chips it comes with for new potatoes. We gobbled all this up too, and polished off a bottle of white wine. I think it may have been a South African Chenin Blanc, it was very nice too.

Too full for dessert!

We really liked the atmosphere in Borough Market and visited a bar there for another drink afterwards. We would love to go back and try some of the other restaurants there. Maybe as a day trip, as we’ve had enough of hotels for a while!

A few other pics from the weekend..this is an arty shot under London Bridge.

Replica of The Golden Hind.

Big Ben covered in scaffolding. And the Houses of Parliament.

Tower Bridge seems to look so tiny these days, with The Shard.

The Tate Modern. (Can’t look at this any more without thinking about the poor boy who was pushed off the balcony).

Somerset House.

The millennium bridge with St Paul’s.

Just behind St Paul’s.

So that’s all folks. We’ve had humble fish cakes and petits pois in the garden tonight. Dreaming of another visit to Applebee’s. Hope you are all well. Special mention today to my colleague Tina who has many skills including making a lovely cup of tea. She appeared on the blog last week in the anonymous “lunch with friends”! Hi to Moya too and anyone else who knows me in person…(right that’ll keep them all happy for now!😂) XX

Highlights of London: Part 1

Hi there. David and I ventured into London for a 1 night stay yesterday. Overall it was a bit of a mixed bag. The experience at our hotel (Leonardo St Paul’s) we booked using a Travelzoo voucher was not very good. I am quite glad to be back home in Windsor. London was extremely busy with a lot of people who do not believe in social distancing and mask wearing.

Anyway, I have some nice pics, so I’ll show you those.

Arty shot of the reflection of St Paul’s Cathedral in the windows of the rooftop bar of our hotel.

We did the tour of St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday afternoon. It was beautiful inside but we got a bit more than we bargained for in terms of steps up to the Stone Gallery… 376 steps to be precise. David’s knee is still recovering. The views were very good.

The internal of St Paul’s is very interesting and ornate. I wish they’d put more information for you to read, I guess you have to buy the guide book for that.

Funky flooring.

Massive candlestick.

Nice gates.

The inside of the dome.

Stained glass.

NB My top tip: buy the tickets to St Paul’s with the 241 entry with train tickets like we did. We paid £20. for two rather than £20. each. You have to book the tickets online in advance.

I also got a deal on the train tickets! Of course, I’m such a bargain hunter. I bought a new Network railcard for £30. for the year and then I get a third off train travel in the South East for a year for myself and David (and two other people). If we make one more return trip to London in the next year we will break even on the railcard. I’m sure I’ll be quids in as usual with this card. We went on the fast train (16 minutes) from Slough to London Paddington and then tube to St Paul’s. Coming home today we walked along the Southbank to Waterloo (20 minutes) and got the train from Waterloo to Windsor and Eton Riverside.

Some views along the Southbank..

This is a new skyscraper called The Boomerang. I called it The Nose until I looked it up. It includes luxury apartments costing up to £23 million each.

The beach!

The Globe Theatre. Get your Shakespeare here.

The London Eye, looking gorgeous in the sunshine. Apparently there was some social unrest near here last night, glad we missed that. We were having a delicious dinner in Borough Market at the time.

London Highlights Part 2 including dinner to follow soon… watch this space! Xx