In February, I started working in a café. When it’s quiet in the cafe I read in between serving customers (unless we are playing scrabble – a cafe staff tradition). Being on my university placement for the past four months has meant that I’ve not had an essay to do in a while and it’s given me more time for reading. The first book I finished was Mary Berry’s autobiography.
I confess, I’m not a fan of the Great British Bake Off. I think it’s a decent enough TV show, it’s just not my thing! I love to bake but I get bored watching people cooking. Even when I’m baking I get bored and have to have music or a TV show on while I’m doing it to keep me entertained! But I have seen several interviews with Mary Berry on talk shows (cough cough Graham Norton cough cough) and I really liked her. Then I found out from somewhere that she had been a Girl Guide. When my friend Holly and I met one of the GBBO contestants at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, he spoke so warmly of Mary Berry. And so when I saw her book on the shelf in Waterstone’s I knew at some point I had to get a copy!
It didn’t disappoint. Mary writes very honestly, doesn’t hold back with her opinions and has had an interesting life, and not one that’s been free of heartache or challenges despite growing up fairly privileged. I didn’t always agree with her opinions, but there was plenty that I did agree on. And as someone who always grew up wanting to work even if I had my own family, I found Mary’s example so encouraging. She didn’t get married young (at a time when most women did), finding a husband was never a focus. Her focus seems to have been on working hard at something she loved doing, and creating opportunities to have adventures. Friends are clearly important to her (as is her family) and that’s something I could relate to as well.
Oh, and for the bakers and cooks out there – Mary puts some of her favourite recipes at the end of each chapter!
And so I give ‘Recipe for Life‘ the koala stamp of approval. Thank you Mary for being willing to share your story so far with us all. I really loved reading it, and I reckon I will re-read it in years to come. 🙂