On baking

I’m not much of a cake eater (most of my cakes are made in order to use things up) but I do enjoy baking, and the new series of The Great British Bake Off being screened on BBC2 has rekindled my cake-making enthusiasm. I don’t really enjoy watching the programme – there’s too much opportunity for public humiliation for my liking, and I haven't really learnt anything from it, other than that Paul Hollywood appears to consume a great deal more salt than I do – but the final results look fantastic and you can always pick up an idea or two about new ingredients. continue reading

On camping

We have just returned from a few days’ camping in Wales. Camping is an acquired taste, I know: some people love it, some can’t bear the idea. When I was 10 I went camping with the Guides in Knebworth. When I returned I sat with my mother at the kitchen table and said: ‘I don't care if I live to be a hundred. That is the worst weekend I will ever spend in my life.’ continue reading