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Penny Smith: 5 things I can't live without
When I was growing up my mum used to grow most of our vegetables herself but not many actually made it to the dinner table because I was permanently grazing in the garden. I am still absolutely obsessed with veggies.
If I go around to a friend’s house for dinner and they present me with a plate of pasta, I’ve been known to forage around for some veg to brighten things up.
There isn’t a vegetable I don’t like and I just love seeing that vista of colour on my plate.
But if I had to choose, my all-time favourite is probably the carrot.
Whenever I go on a long car journey I always take a bag of carrots with me to snack on and I generally get through the lot.
My friends laugh at my “travel carrots” but they always keep me going and are certainly a more nutritious alternative to coffee and cake.
2 My Parker pen
When I passed the 11-plus, my father gave me a lovely burgundy Parker pen with a gold nib which I still treasure.
It writes beautifully and getting that fountain pen was, for me, the beginning of a long love affair with luxury stationery.
While emails are functional, I still much prefer to send friends and family letters and cards.
I am on an endless quest to buy the most exquisite stationery I can find because nothing pleases me more than a new notebook or a set of watermarked paper.
3 Lined walking trousers
I absolutely love hiking but there is nothing worse than getting cold and wet when you’re out trekking.
For that reason it is very important to wear the right clothes.
I spent years looking for the perfect hiking trousers and now I’ve finally found them.
As I cut all the labels out of my clothes I can’t even remember where I bought them but they are so toasty and always stay dry.
On a recent walking trip in the Peak District I couldn’t believe how wonderfully warm they kept me.
They are the most treasured item in my wardrobe.
4 Rubber gloves
As a self-confessed neat freak I am not afraid to admit that I absolutely love cleaning.
I am terrifyingly tidy and simply cannot relax or think straight if my home isn’t spotless.
I probably spend about three hours a week scrubbing and polishing and I always like to wear rubber gloves to get the work done.
When my nieces and nephews come to visit they always joke that they’re afraid I’ll tidy them away into a cupboard.
The irony is that when I’m travelling I am quite chaotic and I have no qualms about making a mess.
I often go away with my good friend and fellow presenter Mariella Frostrup and she always finds the transformation hilarious.
I think it must just be my slummy alter ego coming out to play.
Every year my mum used to take me to the ballet for my birthday.
As I was one of four children it was a real treat and I absolutely loved it.
I have adored live performance ever since and I am now an avid theatregoer.
My tastes are pretty eclectic as I enjoy just about anything from musicals to Shakespeare.
Yet by far the best thing I have seen recently is the interactive production You Me Bum Bum Train which I found to be breathtakingly brilliant.
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