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Nellie Knows : 26 January 2016

You can also find this column in The Wokingham Paper, every Thursday.

Brrrrrrr. The first word I have been uttering in the morning as it has been so cold recently!

Taking the dog out for a walk first thing has been very chilly but it needs to be done and whilst I would rather be tucked up cozy underneath my duvet (or juvet as Granny used to call it) the dog really appreciates it and it gets me going in the morning. Coffee is another thing that gets me going and keeps me going throughout the day so when I heard that my dear friend Mungo of Black Mountain Roast died suddenly I was knocked sideways, hence no column last week. Some of you may have met him when he came to Brown Bear Bakery last year with his coffee, his Espresso Marmalade made by Passion Preserves of Hay on Wye and Espresso Martini chocolate bar (a devilish blend of Espresso, Chase Vodka and Nom Nom chocolate) so will know what I mean when I say a light has gone out.

Last week I was up at Olympia for Top Drawer and met many fabulous creators and makers, I was a little star struck when I met Keith Brymer Jones who you may well know from the telly and I am pleased to hear that the The Great Pottery Throw Down is returning to our screens soon. I do enjoy good fun telly and this is certainly it. On the train there and back I was in a carriage with a girl who was off to look at her wedding dress and a group of excited school children off on a day trip. I do enjoy train travel for the people watching and wondering what sandwich people have got in their lunch bag!

I am gripped by Unforgotten which has been on ITV on a Thursday, the cast is a strong one and the plot is a web of deceit and secrets so I am racking my brains to work out the ending. I am not one for Box Sets and cult TV as I much prefer a drama or book adaptation so I settled down to watch Apple Tree Yard on Sunday having heard good things about the book. Blimey it turned very harrowing towards the end and I was glad I told my youngest that it was not suitable viewing. The husband in Apple Tree Yard is a barrister in Unforgotten and was also the vicar in Home Fires so Mark Bonnar has been busy with career changes!

It's mocks in our house so my middle child was last seen with her nose in an old test paper, I will be glad when it's all over but of course that means that the GCSEs are next up which is a testing time (if you pardon the pun) for every family. This is the second time that we will have gone through them so by the time our youngest does her exams we will be only too pleased to see the back of them! I'm old enough to say I did 'O' Levels and the time after them and before results really was the time of my life.

I spent a very pleasant hour in the Marlow FM studio at the beginning of the week talking about one of my favourite subjects, food. I am particularly fond of cold weather and comfort food so have been enjoying hearty stews and casseroles, soups and crumpets. As much as I love a hot buttered crumpet and a cup of tea there really is nothing better on a crumpet than marmite. Love it or hate it it's one of my favourites and I have also been known to have it on Malt Loaf, toasted tea cakes and apples. Apples? Yes! It's got a distinct flavour to it and was one of those things I enjoyed about boarding school. That, as well as sausages and marmalade - brought bang up to date with Mungo's Espresso Marmalade.


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