Monthly Archives: December 2013

Yesterday was a rather special day

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Yesterday was the day my Ma and Steppa had a houseful. Not just any houseful but an eclectic mix of family
and characters! Two in their seventies, 5 in their forties, a nearly 21, an 18, an already 16, a 16 today, a 15, 12 and 9 plus the dog! It was fun. It could have been a disaster!!

My stepsister, Taree, who is older than me by 6 days is over from Oz with her two children, well I say children but nearly 21 and just 16 aren’t tinky tiny children anymore, but they’re my nephew and niece and I love them! We’ve not seen them for 11 years. The last time we saw them Loops was 5, Mook was nearly 2, Laree had never met them and yet there is such a bond between the Ozfam.

I first met Taree 20 years ago and we hit it off. We had silliness in Henley when I skived off work to spend an afternoon with her. She was in the UK for my hen weekend and wedding. 16 years ago she rang me to ask if I would be godmother to her daughter and she was one of the first family I told that I was pregnant.

We’ve had some fabulous times together both here and in Oz. Yesterday we were almost breathless whilst laughing over me asking for a can of Victoria Bitter and the waitress slamming the can down saying here’s yer VB at Doyle’s on the Beach in Sydney. We had Christmas in Coffs Harbour 2 years later and did the kind of laughing that leaves you exhausted.

Keeping in touch by FB, email and phone is lovely but you can’t beat being in the same room and laughing.
It’s good for you and happy times make fabulous memories.

Of course my memories will last longer as I’m 6 days younger than her!

A few of my favourite things

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The number 3 – I’ve got 3 gorgeous girls and as 3 is such an important number for me I have 3 of most things, hence the 3 baby penguins.

green I love green. I don’t know why I do but it’s my favourite colour.

The phone I love phones as I love speaking to people. I especially love this phone as it’s old, in good working order and looks cool. I could be vain and say much like me but I won’t!

Cath Kidston oil cloth what’s not to love? I love this white stars on green oil cloth. It’s ancient but I love it! I’ve got the material as well and it just makes the dining room table look lovely!

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12 hours ago …

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At 1120 on Monday 22 December 2013 armed with a midnight feast I headed to BBC Radio Berkshire where I’ve been many times before. This time however was different as a) it was very very late at night and b) I was going to be a guest on Radio 5 Live‘s Midnight Expert hour (hence my midnight feast!).  It was a particularly delicious midnight feast (as illustrated above) and so far removed from midis we had at school!

The weather was awful, the roads were like streams, visibility was poor and no pedestrians were out but I was in a taxi and I felt I should wave!  I posted a status on Facebook saying “I’m feeling like the Queen!  No-one can see me waving but I’m waving!!”.  When you see a taxi today give it a retrospective wave!

I was greeted by security and the very lovely Anthony who I’ve been in a studio with before so I was feeling calm!  Anthony showed me to the studio saying “it’s Mike’s studio so you’ll be familiar with it”. Yes but this time Mike wasn’t there to say “Oh Nellie” and instead of sitting in front of the desk this time I was behind the desk!  That’s when my nerves did some jangling!

This was becoming REAL! 

I looked at the desk in front of me and my inner rebel resisted the temptation to switch the dials, push the knobs and press the buttons.  For once my inner rebel was behaving!!

 

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I put the headphones on, moved the microphone and got myself comfy in the hot seat!

Then it began …..                                                                        

…… then my nerves disappeared!

It was all happening and I was on air chatting with Adil Ray about shopping ideas, suggestions and solutions.  Oh I had a lovely time I really did!

The questions were varied and my answers were too!  There was a call from someone who wanted to get something for his girlfriend’s parents and I suggested a nice bowl with some treats in it, always nice to get a gift that is both full of food and useful afterwards! I also made mention of my iPhone case which was a total surprise and a hugely thoughtful present.  There’s nothing more personal than a personalised present from a friend and it’s lovely seeing my gorgeous logo created by Gabriella Buckingham on my iPhone!

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Just in case you missed it and are worried incase I quiz you about what I said on Radio 5 Live you can listen in here ….. Shortly after an hour and a half in …. Adil Ray talks to Nellie Williams Solutioneer and Shopping Expert.

Thank you Charlotte from Radio 5 Live for asking me, thank you Anthony from BBC Radio Berkshire for settling me and thank you to all my family & friends who stayed up late to listen in!

Now I’ve got to get myself ready to head back to the studio to be Mike Read’s guest at 2pm!  I always appear with an element of surprise and today it really is quite quite magical!

Happy listening!

 

Rebel’s Bread Sauce

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I can’t claim this is the bread sauce recipe to follow but it’s how I make it!

Having watched countless members of my family and friends pore over the recipe book I will admit that I can lose myself in the recipes and ingredients but that is as far as it goes!  I am completely rubbish when it comes to measurements for recipes; I think it is my inner rebel wanting to shout NO!!  I’m probably what’s known as a non-conforming cook!  I can cope with that, I’ve heard my food is pretty delicious and my family always asks me what’s for supper!

Here is my bread sauce recipe, I’ve left out measurements on purpose, so let’s say it’s one slice of bread per person and one for the bowl!

White bread, white onion,  cloves, milk, butter, freshly ground black pepper (and salt if you like, I don’t like but that’s my preference).

Either keep the crusts on the bread, cut them off and use or cut them off and don’t use!  If you cut the crusts off because you don’t want to use them in this recipe you can drizzle them in oil, pop in the oven until they are golden and hey presto you have made croutons (however this only works if you switch on the oven).

I digress.

If you feel like it you can prick the cloves into the onion and sauté in the butter and milk until the outside of the onion is soft OR you can slice up the onion however you see fit, fry up in the butter, add in the milk and then the cloves until soft.

Cut up, slice, tear, rip the bread into whatever sized pieces you want and then add to the onion, milk, clove and butter combo and stir.

Add in the pepper and salt, I don’t add much salt to food but I do like pepper.

Keep stirring, don’t let it get stuck!  If it gets too thick you can add in more milk, if you add in too much milk you can add in some more bread!  Don’t keep doing this though or else you will end up with heaps and heaps of bread sauce and not much milk and bread!

When it gets to the consistency you want then put it into a warmed serving dish and either serve straight away or keep it warm in the oven until you are ready.

Always wear oven gloves when moving a hot serving dish or better still get someone else to take it to the table whilst you fill up your glass having got quite a thirst!

 

 

 

An old and revamped post about Smells

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This is a post from my old blog – I am slowly copying them across!

 

Smells are very important to me.  I am sure my heart flips when I smell baby powder as it brings back the memories of those gorgeous little toes and the gappy smiles of my children.

Lavender is one of those smells that calms and awakens me.  What a bonkers thing to say, but it’s true!  
 
To say lavender awakens me is – well yes I know ………. daft!  However, lavender reminds me of some wonderful ladies who are sadly no longer here.  
 
My father’s mother was at home in the garden in Rowington wearing a quilted jacket stuffed full of mints incase a horse escaped and she needed to catch it!  My mother’s mother was a girl about town who used to change for supper without fail.  
 
Those were the days!  Both of them had a bowl of lavender and would squidge the fading blue as they wafted into a room – smelling of mint, baby powder and Ellnet!
 
These two very strong ladies inspire still.  I am useless at flower arranging yet spent hours watching Granny Sheldon arrange the church flowers in Bath; I was too impatient to knit anything other than a square cotton dishcloth yet used to sit for hours watching Granny Pritchard-Gordon embroider.  I think they’d be proud of me, if only for my love of smells!

I am very lucky to have known the late Tracey Malone of Lubatti, her facials were amazing, our chats were filled with laughter & smiles and we had fun whenever we met up.  I am delighted to be a Lubatti At Home Consultant – the bottles evoke memories and the scents are divine.