Instant Search

Meet Holly Bell

Hello! Thank you for taking the time to click on this page. I always click on the ‘meet the blogger’ or about page first. I like to think of it as shaking hands. Anyway, pleased to meet you and thanks for reading the blog, it means a lot to me.

I’m a normal mum (hence the title of the blog) with three boys and also a contestant on the 2011 Great HB.0261British Bake Off.

I’ve decided to record the recipes I use, partly to save them somewhere and partly incase someone else might like to use them. You never know!

The recipes on the whole mostly use stuff I have in my cupboards, fridge or freezer rather than requiring a one off stressful shopping trip to a specialist market/shop searching for that missing elusive ingredient.

So, what do you want to know? This feels like the first day of primary school or even university. Not sure anyone’s all that interested in my A Level grades though. I love a Q and A so let’s do it that way:

Hometown: Leicester, East Midlands. The place most people claim to have driven past or through but never to have stopped. We have a market, we have lots of great curry houses, we have red Leicester cheese. What more do you want? Come on down.

Family: Mother of 3 boys. And no, I’m not holding out for a girl. I am more than happy with my little brood of train obsessives.

Favourite colour: Green. Love it. So underrated.

Person I most admire: Hmmm… all parents because my God I find it hard work to do even an average job.

Most treasured possession: Boring answer, but photos of family and friends. Just to jog the good times memories. (I don’t count actual living, breathing loved ones as possessions.)

Thing that most makes me happy: The sound of my eldest son making my baby son laugh.

Thing that most makes me unhappy on a personal level: Lack of sleep. That is all.

Most dislike about my appearance: I feel a deep sense of injustice at still having spots in my thirities. I’m sure Just Seventeen magazine said they’d be gone by now with the careful use of witch hazel and a blackhead remover from the Body Shop. Liars.

Favourite book: Women in Love. D H Lawrence. It was pointed out to me by the mother of an ex boyfriend that liking D H Lawrence was not a very feminist thing to do. So apologies. But you can’t not like what you like.

Guiltiest pleasure: Reading trashy newspapers online. The type I would never carry under my arm. What a dreadful snob. Oh and eating like a pig when alone. Gross. No audience so no grace.

Worst job: Putting the fake credit cards into purses and handbags for 8 hours a day in a windowless factory. Paid for my first trip to a festival though.

Biggest disappointment: Not having been (wo)man enough to give birth without the help of an epidural. Twice. (Updated 2014: I did it! It hurt like hell… back to the epidural for me if I ever give birth again.)

Best way to relax: Reading cookbooks in bed after drinking red wine.

Last supper: My Mum’s roast chicken followed by caramel ice cream. Then blue, smelly cheese. Lots of it. And copious amounts of red wine.

Most embarrassing secret: After a degree in English I still can’t use the apostrophe. So please don’t point out my grammatical shortcomings to me. I know. I need to sort it out before the boys start school.

Favourite smell: It’s a toss up between the heads of my baby sons and my old pipe smoking physics teacher’s lab coat. I used to forget mine accidentally on purpose to wear his. Odd, I know.

Unusual thing about me: I have delivered 10 babies. In the late nineties I started a degree in Midwifery. Now I’m just addicted to One Born Every Minute.

Other weird thing about me: I was once the most popular woman no-one wanted to go out with on the Guardian Soulmates site. What a sad accolade.

Things I most like to bake/cook: Puff pastry for the cathartic repetitive action and deeply satisfying sight of the layers rising in the oven. And melting meatballs for their nursery style softness and crowd pleasing quality. And any cake involving the creation of small animals.