Homely sweet homely

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 23 October 2014

There is an air of suspended animation.

Leaves clogging up the path.

Apples dropping off the trees.

Overgrown Basil and green tomatoes.

This mornings breakfast Brussel Sprouts, the last tiny courgette, all the overgrown Basil the last few kale leaves and those green tomatoes sliced thinly. Cooke in olive oil and black pepper. Followed by a fresh pot of coffee. Delicious.

It feels like the days are closing in, so dark and damp.

Jim has 6 more shows, two more sleeps in Leeds and then after nearly three months of living in digs he's home.

'This is the last time' we say every time.

The last time that he is away from home using somebody else's bed, washing machine, fridge. Touring is a young mans game but when duty calls....

I went to see MEMPHIS on Tuesday night. Beverly Knight is ridiculously good, the dancers are breathtaking and the music, written by a Bon Jovi bod, had the full house jumping and clapping.

I don't remember any of it, but I know that I didn't move from my seat. It's a cool, neat production and well worth a visit if you have ticket money to spare.

I was very lucky to be invited. Before the show I walked down Endell Street, famous in the 70's for it's sit-ins and hippie squatting, and sat outside, under an un-ecological heater to eat fishcake and chips. I was so hungry that I burnt the roof of my mouth shovelling in the Maris Piping hot potatoes.

Yesterday I was driven to Winchester to voice over the 12COCS, I look ancient but the shows really are sweet, the food delicious and the chefs inspiring and fun.

I felt enormous gratitude that this old dame was still in the game.

Tonight I'm on my first night of my advanced writing course. It fills me with both dread and excitement. I remind myself that many writers don't start until they are 70, so I'm still an ingenue when it comes to the screen writing game.

When Yinny, my yoga teacher, says 'Where's your mind' is it in the future, in the past or right here in the present? I'm usually hauling myself out of what was, into what will be. The effort it takes to be in the now is more difficult than scraping chewing gum off the pavement.

But right now my heart is beating and I can muster a smile.

This morning I made soup from all of our home grown onions. When the postman dropped off the letters he commented on the smell. All homely and sweet.

So there really is no place like homely sweet homely,

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autumn leaves

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 October 2014

Paracetamol, did the trick. Who knew?

Paracetamol and three trips to my wonderful cranial osteopath.

Three trips and then I was back to hot yoga.

36 then 39 and higher.

For the first three classes my left thigh was so painful I had to skip some of the poses. But this morning, and yesterday I'm in there, bending and stretching - stretching and sweating.

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Coccyx Capers

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 5 October 2014

The fight with the bathroom floor started to take its toll.

The pain in my right thigh was so persistant I had to take painkillers. Two trips to the osteopath, and the agony had only subsided a little.

I had bruised the old coccyx and I do mean 'old', I had compressed my lower back like a concertina.

More pain killers and another visit to the pullyouaboutlady.

Then I bought a train ticket to go to Leeds and see the 'oosbind in The West Yorkshire Playhouse giving of his Judge Hathorne in 'The Crucible' .

Then my Voice Over agent called and asked me if I was free on Thursday.

I had my ticket, I had plans, I said I couldn't do it.

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Thane, Andy and Reza

Posted by Jeni in | 5 October 2014

I'd packed up my dressing room, everything was ready to roll, two more shows and the I was homeward bound.

Andy Bates a perfectly proportioned blue eyed cook brought us party food. A discussion about the difference between a dip and hummus, took place over Broad Bean dip and Smoked Aubergine hummus.

Thane Prince, the Queen of Jam and Preserves, told us why a dip was a dip and not a hummus. I piled my spoon with broad beans and aubergine not giving a tuppeny as to whether my beans and aubergines were dipped or not. They both tasted stunning.

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Susie, John and Eric

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 5 October 2014

How do you spend a day in the presence of baking royalty? You eat, thats what you do.

Not a lot, you don't eat a lot, but you eat enough to know that what has been put in front of you is worthy of winners.

Monsieur Eric Landlard is an award winning baker, artist, and generally fabulous Frenchman.

He told us the story of when he first appeared on GFL. New to telly and the pressure of time limits, he didn't have the confidence to tell us that the fridge door had opened between his legs. He did the whole segment whilst standing astride a cool box, although he never, ever lost his cool.

Today he had the confidence that only 'The Cakeman' can have.

Eric gave us Chocolate and Orange Christmas cake, Bouche de Noel and Souffle.

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Omar, Michael & Peter

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum, Ad Infinitum | 5 October 2014

And so Thursday arrived, 6 more meals to eat and before the end of the day Scotland was looking at Independence.

I wasn't sure which way I wanted it to go. I am so bad with change, but there is no love lost between me and the coalition, so I was fascinated to see how the Scottish public would call it.

I climbed out of my double bed, you could see the shape of my body still in the sheets. I had practically slept through the night.

Left everything and skipped down the stairs to my awaiting taxi. I say skipped. The fall had crippled my coccyx and compressed my sacroiliac, but with two shows on the menu I ignored it.

This morning I was facing a Spanish Christmas with the thuperb sthpaniard known as Omar Allibhoy, a chef of such Beleriac beauty he could have served up beanthz on toastht and still I would have sthwooned.

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Matt, Christian and Sarah.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 September 2014

Wednesday morning arrived, and I climbed into the awaiting taxi. I declined breakfast knowing I was about to eat a full on roast and an American style Christmas courtesy of Matt Tebbutt and Christian Stephenson.

I decided, because of my hotel hopping, to rearrange my travel bags. I would leave my suitcase in the dressing room and just take me wash bag. The dressing room was a small room with a fan, dressing rail, dressing table with lights round the mirror, shelves of 'Accessorize' earrings, empty carrier bags and mounds of pink tissue paper.

I carefully repacked my case put my washing stuff in one of the paper carrier bags and took myself off to makeup, turning off the light and closing the door. The room was hot, I was hot, the only cool place - both metaphorically and literally - was the studio.

Plonked myself in front of Kathy who had painted me to go with black velvet and gold trimmings, lime green, slinky black with see through bits and now Royal blue, which was later ruined by my pigging out on goose-fatty-roast-potatoes that were so unctious I was stuffing them in my gob when nobody was looking.

'Step away from the spuds' shouted Mel the patient floor-manager...

'We need them for the pack shot'

I snaffled a secret ton of crispy Desiree's, but left just enough for the cameramen to shoot.

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Lotteeeee, Shelina and Wayne

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 25 September 2014

So I climbed out of bed at 7.00, walked into the wet room, used up the little bottles of Miller Harris, put in the lenses, creamed the old visage and arrived into reception at 7.45 to meet the taximan.

Day two and I was about to meet Shelly Constant-lav, which was the only way I could remember SHELINA PERMALOO's name, the Mauritian Masterchef winner.

She had arrived with her mother and aunt, armed with three killer recipes.

Whilst mounting the stairs to makeup I was approached by Sally, the production manager, asking me whether I had remembered to bring in my luggage.

Tuesday? Why? Luggage?

Even now I don't know what day it is. I hadn't remembered. But I had asked for a hotel with a pool, I was being moved to the Winchester Spa so that I could swim after the shoot.

Little did I know that when Joe raised his eyebrows at the mention of the Spa, it would be my hackles that would be raised later in the day.

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