Having grown up in a very foody family I learnt quite young to love cooking. My mum, not being an expert chef however (although she does make a mean lasagne!), was always far more into baking, savoury and sweet, and so (with my dad) we’d spend our weekends baking up a storm.
As with all teens me and Mum often had our rough patches as I was growing up, but the one thing that always bought us together was our love of baking.
In fact, we got so carried away one day we ended up over run with cupcakes.
Then 'The Great British Bakeoff' appeared on our screens and it became a family tradition to bake whatever Mary and Paul whipped up and we mastered a great deal in our little family bakery. Since then Bakeoff has been a great love of ours, so when Mum sent me a link on Facebook a few weeks ago about Mary Berry appearing in a Woodley bookshop we couldn’t resist.
I eagerly booked the afternoon off, picked Mum up from work, and we manically drove to Reading. We parked, rushed around the corner and… Oh-em-gee (throw back to my millennial blog!) the queue was the biggest I’ve ever seen! There were at least 200 people ahead of us and the shop was shutting in an hour and a half. Our hearts sank. But, in true Mary nature, on she went signing book after book and, success! She ensured that we didn’t leave empty handed.
We finally got into the shop (and out of the cold), told the doorman our names and plodded up to Mary with great anticipation. She smiled politely and said hello, signed our books at the speed of light and on to the next person she went. It may seem impersonal and I guess in a way it was but just to spend two seconds with a woman that has bought such joy and fun to me and my Mum and many happy weekends of baking, it was a pleasure to be in her company.
To me it was more important that we all got our moment with her than having a long, heart-felt discussion or Q&A. And I think that’s why she was so speedily signing – I hope she spends today resting her wrist, because surely that was painful!
Safe to say it was well worth the wait and a lovely way to spend World Book Day, with my Mum, sharing something we both love and maybe even ticking something of the Bucket List. Now, if anyone has Mark-Paul Gosselaar or Matt Le Blanc’s whereabouts I’d be completely fulfilled…