Bank Holiday drizzle

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 25 August 2014

There are those days when rain wraps you in a shawl of languor. Time stops. The only movement the dipping, dripping leaves.

The silence is heavy with clock ticks and rain drops.

King Solomon is licking his fur and the bell round his neck is tinkling ever so slightly.

Emmy is asleep in the piano room, curled up on a big kitchen chair.

Jim is in the studio preparing to leave tomorrow. Leeds is calling.

The girls arrived for Jim's birthday. I made the most delicious cauliflower cheese with Emmental, to go with salmon, new potatoes and little green peas. There was home made blackberry and apple pie. My teeth and tongue are still stained with the black berry juice.

The noise of five females is still hanging in the air. Big noise, big mess, big gap.

I'm on BBC Sussex tomorrow. I'll be home just in time to wave the old git off.

Then I will be enveloped in silence again.

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Berries in the hedgerow

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 21 August 2014

I went to yoga.

7 in the class. A tattooed woman who should know better, a Polish woman with a long plait that is going to be teaching next term, two women who are of my age but without the flabby thighs that I present when wearing shorts. And a couple who look like they have come from a religious sect in Pennsylvania.

My balance leaves a lot to be desired. But I can now get my head on my feet whilst sitting with the soles of said feet together. I know one shouldn't be competitive in yoga but Godammit I am. With myself at least.

I came out without my phone or wallet so I went straight home. Driving slowly in case I got nicked again by the yellow van that sits snidely in the lay-by just after the pub.

Little Solly is missing Jim. Keeps running round looking for him. And twice I've fallen asleep and called for the old git only to realise that he's four hundred miles away having the time of his life in his birth city.

I whipped off my hot yoga outfit, washed it, hung it over the bath like a student in a bedsit and set off for my vigorous constitutional.

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Eye for an Eye

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 August 2014

My left eye has a lens for distance and my right for reading.

I am writing this wearing a pair of magnifying glasses I bought in the opticians. I can't read the prescription because if I take them off the print is too small to see. And if I wear them then the prescription is somewhere near my earhole. Back tomorrow to try and make the right reading lens stronger.

I shall take the lenses out at 6.30 and then set off for hot yoga. The studio is on holiday next week so I need to get in three glasses - sorry classes - one today and two tomorrow.

So I have been dress shopping for a new tv series, and partying with a reduced framily to celebrate Jim's Leeds job. Loads of other people couldn't make it for various reasons. We are both away at the end of September when we normally do a proper autumn review. Good that we are working.

The mini Do was interesting. New faces and just too much food. I ended up giving away 3 packs of bread, four cheese-cakes, two quiches, seventy three thousand sausages and a selection of outrageously expensive cheese that none of us could pronouce.

We have new neighbours who accepted the pork bangers almost reluctantly, and gave us a bottle of wine in return.....Our party remained dry, not alcoholically speaking, but weather wise, their bbq was hit by heavy rain showers.

6 people stayed in the cottage. On camp beds, on the settee up in the attic and in the small bedroom. We remained in our boudoir....

I drunk as much as I could, which wasn't very much. But I did put out a little wooden table that OLD BILL renovated 37 years ago in Wapping.

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Juicing in the rain.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 11 August 2014

Yoga at 9.30 this morning. I was stiff and tentative haven't bent over double for a week.

Walked for an hour to post two birthday cards. My music is on random - I think they call it, so I was skipping, trotting, marching to everything from Steely Dan to Rachmaninov.

The rain stayed off.

I did the accounts for July. Jim and I have a system, I sit in the kitchen with all the receipts, fill out a form he made years ago, he then goes into his studio and makes out a spreadsheet. As fas as I can see we have as little money now as we did in 1977....

Went into the garden and meditated. The huge black rain clouds came and went. By the time I had finished the rolling gun metal buckets of rain were tumbling around in the sky and I had goose pimples on my naked legs.

Ran a bath, having made three juices, apple for the 'oosbind, and two celery, cucumber and red chard for me.

Ollie Smith called and we talked love, life, filming on The East Coast of America, then went our separate ways. He to Bordeaux me to the bathroom.

I lay in a delicious bath and started me new book - DONNA TARTT - her first one. Second time I've gone for it. Needed time without distractions.

Then the storm came. Thunder as loud as barrels rolling down a cobble stone hill. Jim was out playing golf. He has just arrived home, dripping and happy, the thunder is 12 miles away. The path outside the kitchen is flooded, the lawn is a sponge, the leaves are drip drip dripping and Solly has slept through it all, on the back of the armchair his four legs splayed out in total abandon.

Jim won on points, but was beaten 5 to 4 on holes. I'm clueless to the rules of golf and to be honest I couldn't care less.

5.30 and ready for another juice.

An early night to continue the book, then 9.30 yoga tomorrow morning and on and on......

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Moon Gazing

Posted by Jeni in | 11 August 2014

Three and a half weeks of madness. From Radio Sussex to house guests from filming promos to voice overs. I have been staying in the moment so much I can't remember what has happened before or after.

The 'oosbind is setting off in a week to go and give of his best in Leeds. In a West Yorkshire Playhouse production of 'The Crucible'. I'm doing that counting down the days daftness.

I'm dreading him leaving but it only takes a few days and then I'm into the silence of the 'hams'.

As I write Solly is sniffing round the attic. Trying to get into a closed cupboard. The bed has been made up by the dawter in preparation for the Jew Do next Saturday.

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Spanish Water Dog

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 19 July 2014

It felt like we were in Rome. The heat of the sun, 'people watching' from our little table. The Italian café served up a perfect creamy latté and a strong Americano for Gods Gift.

Maximus, a Spanish Water dog, settled down next to me. His soft, curly coat brushing against my bare legs. His fur was like my mothers hair, all soft and curly.

I was born with more hair than a Caribbean Weave shop. I was very dark, very round with a copious barnet. As a child, running wild in Aldgate, then Borehamwood, the locals nicknamed me the Wild Woman of Borneo.

Aged five my older brother wanted to help my mother out so he sat me in a chair, and using a pair of pinking shears cut off all my curls. That night my mother screamed as clumps of hair fell around her feet, all those luscious baby curls gone for ever.

It grew back quickly, still does after a cut. I was the fifties child with a fringe and a bob. There's a photograph of me, seriously concentrating as I played my castanets in the school orchestra. Downturned mouth, skin as dark as a nut, my hair shiny and neat.

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Her Hymn

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 July 2014

I love Hymns.

My mothers favourite was 'To be a Pilgrim'.

I loved the rousing chorus of 'Eternal Father', or the ridiculously lush 'I Vow to Thee my Country'. I was invited, aged 15, to play the grand piano in the school assemblies.

The whole school would await my introductions, but my finger work on 'Jerusalem' left a lot to be desired. The majestic octaves going down the scale on another hymn I can't remember the name of, always sounded like a Les Dawson/Eric Morcambe medley. I had all the correct notes but not necessarily in the right order. Nobody laughed my fervour was far too strong to mock.

Growing up in the East End I was just one of the many Jews who went to Canon Barnet Junior school next to Toynbee Hall and a short walk from Aldgate East tube. Trendsville now but back then it served the local immigrant community, which in the main was poor and unfamiliar with the book of 'Ancient and Modern Hymns'.

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The rise of the unaffordable

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 30 June 2014

I walked from Clapham South in the sunshine.

Through Nappy Valley with their Rolls Royce push-chairs and £2.2 million houses. Past the builders building basements, past the builders building conservatories, past the builders who are putting in loft extensions. All the time wondering how the other half live. The ones who have to wait for their evicton notices as Tory landowners claim back their estates.

I walked down Northcott Road with more house sellers than fishmongers.

Down to Lavender Hill and The Junction. A new bendy café on the corner, since the riots, serving up 57 varieties of coffee whilst the unemployable drift past waiting for the dregs.

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