Difficult Viewing.

Posted by Jeni in | 27 January 2015

Been watching old VHS's from 1982 to now.....

My image changes. Happy, sad, fat, thin, pregnant, ageing.

Watching my life flash past on the screen was a painful experience.

TVam LWT BBC Thames Independent.

All that for what? All that and why? All that and who'd have thought it.

Never realising that time passes. When you're young there are endless possibilities.

I kept the tapes that made me laugh. The ones where I looked particularly scrummy. The ones where I looked particularly uncomfortable.

Doesn't matter how many boxes are kept in the attic, how many skeletons, how many closets, life rolls on.


And Oh! How I would have changed the direction, the writing, the image.

Oh! How I would have changed the shouting and the eggy moments.

Oh! How I would have changed the hamming and overacting.

Sitting there with David FROST ( DEAD) Alan Arkin ( NOT DEAD) Maureen Lipman - disliked me. Jackie Collins - liked me.

Interviewing. Singing. Playing the Piano. Eating.

On and on with mini celebrities including Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile.

All those innocent years not knowing how things would change and work out. It is like looking back through a photo album only the moving image stamps the reality.

I did it. The life of the hustling presenter.

And now I'm looking at the next twenty odd years.

If reviewing those tapes taught me anything it was about living in the moment, Loving who you are whether shiny and bright or shady and antique.

Waking and being grateful to still be here. Enjoying the ride.

A box of my work is going to the tip. The tapes will rot, images fade. Little Richard in a skip, Gene Hackman hurled into the landfill.

My grandchildren will still have a handful of memories. Perhaps I need to create some more moments for them.

Lets see, where to begin?

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Pyjama Games.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 January 2015

I don't ever remember my father wearing pyjamas. My mother, however, wore little nightdresses that started out white but after successive mixed washes went either pink or grey.

Each Christmas my mother would buy me a new pair of pj's tied up in a ribbon or still wrapped in their cardboard and cellophane packaging.

Pyjamas are for padding around not for sleeping in. Getting tied up in knots having to untwist myself from too much garment makes for uncomfortable sleeping conditions. I have been known to fight a pair of Wincyette jim-jams with all the ferocity of a heavy weight boxer.

I bought an antique nightdress, from a vintage shop in Camden market, years ago. All lace and Edwardian trimmings. I fancied myself as Dr. Zhivago's Lara, pristine and intense. After tripping up the stairs umpteen times it was put in the Charity bag.

I've slept in my birthday suit for as long as I can remember. When on the road touring throughout the British Isles and beyond, it wasn't nightwear that came with me but big t-shirts.

The only time I remember sleeping in a blue and white silk two piece was whilst filming in Gambia. I was so frightened of getting bitten by mosquitos that I lay stock still in my silk confection. I didn't get sucked once.

Even after setting up home with the old git night attire was not part of the evening ritual. Socks and underpants dropped by his side of the bed - the left - books and journals by mine. Off with the daywear, into the bed, lights out, not a strand of cotton between us.

Living in London apartments meant pyjamas were de rigueur Chelsea neighbours or Wapping walkers were spared la nudité.

This Christmas, however I stepped into my mother's slippers. Who was to buy the onesies now? Who was to continue the tradition of 100% acrylic tastelessness? It fell to me to buy the mis-sized sleep wear and the packets of three socks.

I went to the Factory Outlet and bought the dawter a pair of navy blue reduced jamas covered in stars. Soft and baggy. They were half price. My dawter is tall with a less than Oriental shape. They were probably run up in a Chinese warehouse where the seamstresses had little arms, tiny waists, short bodies and questionable legs. The result was my offspring had to stand hunched over should she need to eat or walk. They are now mine. Everything's a little too long but still workable for padding around.

The old git surprised me and bought me a pair of pyjamas so soft, so snuggly, so comfortable that I spent all of Christmas in them. Whipping off the top when the fire got too hot, and putting it back on when the air got too chill.

A black sweater type top, and grey, black and rust, plaid trewsers. I love them. Soft to the touch, warm to the skin, just the ticket if the cat isn't around for a furry stroke.

Continue reading "Pyjama Games." »

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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 January 2015

alarm - buzzy noise, forgot to tune it to the radio

Yoga. Gawd blimey two days off and I'm like the Tin Man - where's the oil?

Veg soup - homemade. Big chunks of this and that. Chilies, ginger , garlic and many good thoughts

Shower. Couldn't let the water on my back I was so cold.

Hair wash

Towel dry

More soup

Pot of Oolong Tea

On the tray

Up too the attic.

Writing and writing and writing.

The old git is home

I'm at home

We are falling into a pattern.

Never had one before.

Little chat. Good hugs

Changing my beliefs. He already has his, which are a darn sight better than mine.

So here is my belief today

You are what you think so think good thoughts.

Happy everything to you lot.

May 2015 bring more than terror, more than fear , more than pain May 2015 bring love, light, sun and peace.

Now I sound like Miss World

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Year of the Goat

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 31 December 2014

The fire is blazing, the telly silent till 'Mapp and Lucia', one cat asleep in the red bean bag, the other perched on top of the sofa.

Emmy growls. Solly stares at her and she moans like an old wart hog.

There was the possibility of going out BUT, well there's always a but; we've had visitors for two days, it's cold, we've got guests on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, so we preferred to stay in.

We walked in the forest at noon. Bloody freezing, I was underdressed and the old git hatless and scarfe-less. I'd bought a bottle of water from the Ice-Cream man who parks in the car park come rain or shine. The bottle was colder than the air. 4 degrees and dropping.

We've got loads of firewood courtesy of the new next door neighbours who have been reshaping Number 3. It feels bad burning oak, but the 'oosbind says it's been split and smashed out of the house. If we had wanted to make something out of it we could have but taking to carpentry at this time of life ain't gonna happen, although my husband really is a trained cabinet maker.

So 2014 came and went some friends have fallen away new ones have emerged. We're one year older and lucky to be waking up in the morning.

Old friends have played Scrabble with us, older friends have gone the way of the angels, and new friends have started inviting themselves go the cottage. I love it. Feel flattered that the young things can be bothered to spend time with two folks as old as Methuselah.

My toe nails are painted red, my lips are painted red, the glimmer of the room feels red what with cushions and throws and silk lampshades.

The fire is crackling and sighing, at the chime of midnight we will pop a bottle of Jura Champagne, gifted to us by somebody, and my partner of 37 years will chink my glass, look down at me through his varifocals, declare his love for me, and by 12.34 we will be overtaken by fatigue and creep up to bed.

I will get up at 7.00, meditate for an hour, snooze then get up and do a further 30 minutes communing with the invisible world. We'll get dressed - properly this time - and walk in the frosty countryside. And then I shall make food for the self inviting guests.

We'll talk about what needs changing for 2015, we will crack yet more bottles of something boozy -which I shall decline - and then we'll sit down for some kind of nosh made from the left overs.

We will send the self inviting guests off, wash the plates, chat about how nice it was to have them but how much nicer it is to be alone. We will play a game of Scrabble, I'll win and before you can say twenty bloody fifteen we'll be in bed reading our Christmas gifts. Anthologies and such like.

Tonight though, as the fireworks cascade outside the window, the cat will curl up on the old man's head. I'll write my first post of 2015, take calls from the dawters who will all shout Happy New Year down the line from noisy places, read something until my eyes close, then create the menu for January 1st 2015.

I don't want to die yet too much to do.

So to all of you lovely bloggers, thank you for this year, may 2015 bring you health, wealth, love and perfect self expression. Lets catch up in Year of the Goat, I'm not kidding

boom boom.


Christmas Cheer

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 December 2014

Penultimate yoga class this morning.

I've just read that Yoga does nothing for aging. Interesting if you put 'for' and 'aging' together you get FORAGING aint that what you do when you get older. A bit of a forage here a bit of a mooch there?

Anyway whoever wrote that Yoga does nothing for aging is not a sprightly 65-year-old with a spring in her step.

This morning, despite Solly eating into one of the presents under the Christmas Tree, I ventured out into the damp, grey morning to sweat my way through an hour's hot yoga.

Then to the post office to send off 40 odd cards - yes I know I'm late, but I haven't sent cards for years. Now that everybody is dying I thought I would reconnect with the living.

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Pj Sunday

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 14 December 2014

November came and went.

Parties, voice overs, writing and cooking.

Not a lot of walking - I'm sooooo lazy at the moment.

Meditating, yoga and film watching. Went to see PADDINGTON in Brighton. We all cried.

The dawters gigs.

Squash soup on the stove.

Red cabbage bubbling away in fancy red wine. Belly of pork slow cooking in the oven.

I'm still in my pj's.

I'm looking at the weather that has changed from gold to grey.

A quick vacuum and then sloppy viewing and perhaps a game or two.

Scrabble is 7/6 to me.

The old man is lagging behind - but then what's new.

happy sunday.

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Stepping out.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 27 November 2014

The old man made me a cafétier of coffee. Right nice it was. Then I added the last dregs and it was thick, sour and horrid and nearly wiped away the delectable first taste. All was not lost, on the wooden board there was a piece of Jim's toast from this morning. I slathered it with Danish butter, and the crunchy, wheat toast did the trick.

I have spent the last hour and a half wittering away my life on this wretched lap top.

Facebook, emails, more Facebook, ridiculous time wasting rubbish.

But now I must upstairs and write.

Today I was asked to be guest on a naughty internet radio station. Yee ha.

I also went to hot yoga. 39-41 degrees.

Went shopping. The price of food is harrowing. Came home to discover that the £7.00 bottle of olive oil cost £14.99. I had a fleeting thought to take it back since there was a ticket saying it was reduced to £7.00, in the event I've kept the bottle for dipping functions, balsamic vinegar and hot, fresh bread.

My 'oosbind has a drawer in the dresser, next to mine. My drawer is full of cheque books, receipts, old spectacle cases, photographs, an old Elastoplast tin full of hair grips, two lipsticks and me driving licence, plus mountains of paper stuff. Jim's is full of tools, medicines, glue, spare business cards, small instruction manuals, gloves, some batteries, three penknives, pencil sharpeners, sewing kit and a cigar cutter. He says his drawer sounds more interesting than mine.

Still the reason I tell you about the contents of our drawers is to reveal that hidden in between his detritus were three pedometers. He set up the talking one, an American woman asking me about my stride length. With my hot yoga outfit on I set out to do at least 6,000 steps. Apparently the required amount for fitness.

It was freezing, mud everywhere. I went down the hill and by the time I got to my tree I had done nearly a thousand steps. I knew the walk was going to have be the back road otherwise only four thousand steps would have been stepped. So I power marched through puddles, shouted to a rabbit and giggled with a squirrel. Crows cawed, pigeons cooed and there was the occasional bark from hidden dogs.

A bonfire on Frogspawn Bend threw out some warmth, the woodcutter said I wasn't walking hard enough if I was still cold. So I upped my game. On the slope I had done four thousands steps. By the time I rounded the pub, onto my last stretch, there was the glorious six thousand mark. In one hour I'd managed to do over six thousand steps.

I was warm. My thighs hurt. Now I've exercised my fingers on this 'ere keyboard, exercised my mind on this ere blog, and all being well I will exercise my legs getting up the stairs, exercise my balance climbing in the bath, then exercise my discipline before I really do apply myself.

The old git has just offered a game of Scrabble, bugger bugger and bugger, how can I turn him down?

Scrabble has won out. I will work into the night - or not!

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Soggy Sunday

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 23 November 2014

The first of the Bafta films have arrived.

By 1.30a.m. we had watched two.

'Jimmy's Hall' Ken Loaches latest offering. Based on a true story of a free thinking man, it tells the tale of sectarian politics in Southern Ireland in the 30's.

Moments of powerful polemic and some arresting Irish music. It's both touching and telling. The Hall, in question is a meeting place for the young, art, boxing and poetry, symbolising freedom of expression pitted against The Church with it's conservatism.

It didn't pull at my heart strings but its a worthy film. We'd been to see TURNER and I wasn't totally pulled in by that either Mr. Spall is good, the women even better, but the whole film lacked an emotional centre for me.

After watching humans battling it out we decided to go down the epic route of 'The Dawn of the Planets of the Apes.' Its not the kind of movie I would ever pay to go and see, let alone sit in my own red bean bag nibbling walnuts whilst the likes of Andy Serkis run around in an ape costume taking on Gary Oldman and other human animals.

BUT I have to say that apart from the two cats fighting each other, not in the film but in our sitting room, the old git and I were riveted to our seats. It's formulaic, deeply clichéd, and some of the human animals acted rather lamely, but them old apes certainly gave us some Bafta nominated performances.

It was a quick scroll through 'Strictly', an even faster forward with X Factor and then Jonathan Ross. I can get through the dancing but the Tess Daley contribution sometimes makes me cringe.

I cannot sit with Simon, Louie, Ms Ferndez-Hows-Your-Papa and Mel Spice, the screaming crowd and the empty loneliness of the concept makes for very uncomfortable viewing, but in my capacity as a radio host, armchair pundit and downright busybody it is within my remit to watch popular television. It always reveals what a sorry state our nation is in.

The Audience baying like a brainless crowd of baboons, although having watched 'Planet of The Apes' the monkeys could give the Saturday night audience a run for their money. I get depressed if I watch too much naff television, feels like our world is closing in. Has it always been like that? Or is it just getting worse. Chasing the buck with toothless entertainment. Next thing we'll have people in the jungle eating animal testicles and scrapping with each other - What there is a programme like that hidden in the schedules? Nooooo.

Two games of Scrabble, I lost both, just one point between us on the second game. I'm now researching words with J, X and Z so I can thrash the old git. The score stands at 6-4 to him.

The rain is just drip, drip, dripping down. All thoughts of gardening have been put on hold.

I'm off to do the ironing, then into the attic for some writing.

I put my lenses in the wrong way round yesterday, I don't mean inside out I mean in the wrong eye. I had to spend the last of our Saturday shopping trip blind to what is around me. So what's new then? Says the husband of 37 years.

Thirty Seven years!

1977 and I was 28, childless, mortgage less, moneyless and as happy as Larry. If anybody would have told me I would have lasted nearly a lifetime with the same man I would have laughed in their face. He must be doing something right. Or that I was doing something righter, maybe it's my homemade Cauliflower Soup and the probability of more Scrabble.

Whatever, keep dry.

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