Wokingham.Today

NELLIE KNOWS: A better new year?

A new year. Picture: Harry Atkinson

Well this year has surely got to be better than last year.

Possibly the only redeeming features of 2020 for me was starting Wales Week Berkshire, the good weather when it was dry, hot and sunny, the miles I walked and the people I met on my walks.

Apart from that it was a year I never want to repeat.

Here’s hoping that the new lockdown restrictions and the vaccine make a real difference and we can start enjoying the things and people we have missed.

A calm local Christmas

Christmas was one that I will remember as being calm and uncomplicated with no hoofing it down the M4 or cross country to see family or Bacchanalian feasts to recover from.

In previous years I’ve ordered my fruit and veg from Fletchers and hung out in the meat aisle Turkey gamble on Christmas Eve. This year I caved in and bought it on the 23rd – even that seemed touch and go in the morning.

The tree and decorations are down, I’ve got a slot booked at the tip so the house is getting back to normal which is just about the only thing that is as we begin the next lockdown.

Some things to look forward to

Planning has been going on for Wales Week Berkshire (Saturday, February 20 to Sunday, March 7) and while we may not be able to do all we had hoped to we can still celebrate St David’s Day with online events.

It might be we can only do events online but we really hope we can go ahead with events at Pudding Lane Nursery in Arborfield as planned.

There seems to be plenty on the telly to keep us going during this lockdown. I have binged The Serpent, started Traces, can’t wait for The Pembrokeshire Murders and Keeping Faith returns in the spring.

The garden is showing signs of change, the day are getting a tiny bit longer and without being flippant there’s no school uniform panics for a while. Simple pleasures but there’s a few things to look forward to and be grateful for.

Nurture/nature

During lockdown I got into my family history. While neither my parents nor grandparents are Welsh, my fourth great grandfather was born near Tintern, my 14th great grandfather was the first Earl of Pembroke and way way back I am a descendant of King Brychan Brycheiniog.

All of this explains my fascination and passion for Wales and opens up the nature/nurture debate. There has been much mirth and merriment about red carpets but I’ll settle for a Cwtch and some banter.

We WILL meet again

Oh I miss real life banter. I miss wandering into town, catching up with friends, enjoying a mug of hot water (no coffee for 28 months now) and spontaneity. When everything changes for the better we will be able to do those things we unknowingly took for granted, until then I’m going to hunker down and keep safe.

Farewell to a Wokingham legend

Over the years I have enjoyed many a banter with John Wood of John Wood Sports and was saddened to learn he has died. John was an absolute treasure and joy to know.

I first met him as a child in the 1970s when I was getting my sports kit and he became a joy to banter with when I became an adult.

A true townsman through and through.

The town is a sadder place without him. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Nellie writes about all things at www.nelliewilliams.co.uk

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