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Nellie Knows : 29 March 2018

Hard to believe it’s oh so very nearly the end of the month and April is within sniffing distance.

The clocks have gone forward, school breaks up for my lot today, it’s a 4 day week, Easter weekend and then another 4 day week. Easter is a time of new beginnings and for me it reaffirms that spring is firmly underway and it’s time to get out in the garden and get going. New shoots are popping up all over the place and the blossom is making such a welcome return. Thankfully I have photos of the summer garden to remind me what I have planted where and what to look forward to. I recently bought a load of seeds from Ben at Higgledy Garden so I will be planting them and keeping an eye on them in the greenhouse Fiona from Frilly Pickers bought me for my birthday.

Speaking of birthdays it’s time to say a happy third birthday to this paper as The Wokingham Paper is now 3 years old. I was looking back through Facebook Memories and was reminded of my first column, which seems so long ago now. Huge thanks to Phil for asking me to write a column and thank you to you the readers for picking it up, reading it and dropping me emails or telling me that you’ve read my column. The thing I like about The Wokingham Paper is it full of news and interesting snippets.

Another birthday that is on my mind is what should be the 50th birthday of my best friend Clare (Mme Cholet) who some of you may know from her children’s schools or as Madame Chauffepied at Yateley School. Clare was everything a best friend should be and I miss her dreadfully. She left Wokingham to start a new life in France only to be diagnosed with breast cancer, which spread to her hip, lung and brain. She of course wouldn’t want any fuss or nonsense as 50 is only a number, but on Thursday 29th I will be raising a glass to her memory and will be grateful that although she is not here to celebrate in person, I am not unlucky but incredibly lucky that she was in our life when she was.

The period following a bereavement is a very sad and turbulent time. Having lost my father when I was 9 I might have thought that it would get better/easier as I grew older but I found that was not the case. How thankful am that my schoolfriends suggested I speak to Cruse Bereavement who were absolutely amazing and helped me through a hugely difficult time. I started off by sobbing uncontrollably prompted by the death of Mme Cholet and talked through everyone who had died since Dad, my grandparents, friends, friend’s children and mourning the loss of friendships that had waned. All that sadness that had been shoved away for years came out, replaced by a calmer understanding and an appreciation of what I had and what I still have.

This week has also be one of celebration as I am now officially a Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador and have a badge AND certificate! (PS! Brecon Beacons was awarded as Wales’ ‘Best Destination’ at The National Tourism Awards for Wales 2018, so if you are planning a visit to the Brecon Beacons National Park and would like some suggestions on where to stay and what to do then do drop me an email,

Whilst I was in Wales I did look for Evan Howells who is still missing in the television programme “Keeping Faith” but I have have chats with the Matthew Hall the scriptwriter so that was a bonus, he said nothing about Evan’s whereabouts so I am still no nearer knowing what’s going to happen in next week’s series climax. Matthew has also written The Jenny Cooper series which I can highly recommend.

Speaking of books I had lunch with local author Claire Dyer whose latest book The Last Day is well worth a read. Claire will be at Wokingham Library on Friday April 27 10.30am to 11.30am (more details on the library website).


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