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Nellie Knows : 4 March 2016

This column first appeared in The Wokingham Paper on 4 March 2016.

Thank you!

First of all a very big thank you to everyone who read my column last week, by some good fortune I was contacted by someone who thought the guardian angel on the train could be someone she knew and kindly gave me her number. I put in a phone call and explained that D had asked if anyone could find the kind person on the train and Jules said that yes it was indeed her! How brilliant is that? D and Jules are now in touch and are planning to meet up at some stage so I will wait to hear how they get on. By strange coincidence I had actually chatted to D some years ago and she is a big fan of my friend and author Lesley Pearse, so it is really a very small world!

On the pitch

We had football on Saturday so we were up super early, wrapped up warm and armed with coffee, sadly we didn’t come home with a winning smile but the U11s weren’t too despondent. I of course had a few hay fever moments as the goalie was my daughter and when 2 goals crept in during the first half I wanted to scoop her up - but I stayed behind the Respect Line and hugged her at half time. This Saturday we’ve got 2 games to watch so I will have a double dose of hay fever moments. We’ve been glued to the 6 Nations and are gearing up to the BIG game next Saturday, Granny Valley will be more vocal than Grandpa Valley and if you dare to listen you might hear her yelling from the Valleys!

In the kitchen

As Tuesday was St David’s Day I made Welsh Cakes for the hungry hordes, if you don’t know I am not Welsh but Big Welsh is and the girls have adopted their Welsh heritage, the dog is also Welsh so it’s just easier to embrace it. I was given some venison last week and we made venison burgers which were very tasty and incredibly lean, I used the leftovers to make bolognese which went down well until Big Welsh told Granny Valley we had eaten (insert Disney character) Bolognese. Oh dear some of my lot weren’t happy with me so that’s off the menu for a while! Before Christmas I had found an old family (Chesshire, with 2 x S - very important) recipe for mince meat and made a big vat of it which I have been dipping into to make pastries, I have to say it is fantastic and I will never buy shop bought mince meat again.

Book Launch

As my friend and author Amanda Jennings is fond of mince pies I thought I should take some along to her book launch last week. The mince pies were very tasty if I may say so myself but the evening truly belonged to Amanda whose third book In Her Wake was published in hardback by Orenda Books and I can tell you it’s worth a read. I often describe Amanda as the high priestess of twists and turns, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Amanda gave a very witty speech and we all toasted her success, there might have been a bit of hay fever! At the Book Launch I also met up with Claire Dyer another local author and I promised her I would start reading her book The Perfect Affair which I had on the Kindle - I’ve started it now and it’s great. I also met author Iona Grey who is a mutual follower on Twitter and Instagram which was very funny as we had chatted like old friends before meeting.

Talking of old friends March is a very busy month with Mothering Sunday, lots of birthdays including mine and Easter so I must crack on and post off some cards, how fortunate that Barkham Village Stores and Post Office on Bearwood Road are open from 7am to 730pm Monday to Friday so I can nip along, park outside and not have to tussle with heaps of parcels. I see they’re on Twitter and Facebook so give them a like and follow. See you next week.


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