- Carol Ann Duffy’s The Bees: Nearly every poem takes my breath away with its clarity and brilliance. I found her quite hard when we studied her at school. She was just a bit too spiky and angry about things I didn’t understand. But I’ve grown up and I suppose she’s probably changed too so that I’ve received this collection with open arms.
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Everyday cookbook. Every recipe so far has been a total success. I love how vegetarian cooking makes you try different things rather than thinking, what will go with this piece of meat? Also, I secretly want to be friends with Hugh. Hugh if you’re reading this…can we be friends?!
- Alan Titchmarsh on Classic FM on Saturday mornings. There’s something about his show that makes you feel included and it’s the perfect accompaniment for making a Saturday soup. It reminds me of being at uni (the first time round) and finding Saturday mornings the most desperately lonely part of the week. Everyone would be asleep or playing sport in freezing mud. All I could see around me were grey skies and grey terraced houses and I didn’t know what to do with myself. All the normal things I would have done at home (sketching by the sea, going for a bike ride, shopping with my mum, digging in the garden with my Dad, baking with my sister and eating all the mixture before it got in the oven) seemed impossible to do there. Then my Nan gave me a top tip. As a young woman she moved to London from her Yorkshire home to study to be a nurse. She told me the best thing to do when you felt lonely and far from home was to have a nice warm bath. So I used to start Saturdays with a bath (with loads of bubbles and, being a student bath, I made sure I cleaned it really well first) and it totally did the trick. Alan’s show is a bath for those without a bath.
So, it’s back to college and nursery for Little Owl and I on Monday. We’ve sharpened our pencils and cleaned out our school bags. We’ve practiced getting up early (that’s a lie!). So we’re all set.