Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 15 May 2015
Katie Hopkins must be stopped.
Katie Hopkins must be made to pay the price of her disgusting comments.
Katie Hopkins has become the acceptable face of media bullying.
She is not funny. She is not clever. She is nasty, rude, and unacceptable.
And yet she still has a newspaper column.
I have been sacked umpteen times for speaking of things that don't square with the establishment. I would rather be vilified by the hypocrites than share a stage with them.
There is an online petition - for today she attacked an autistic child - please sign.
I rarely use the word hate, since it seems never to leave any space for forgiveness. But I HATE what Katie Hopkins stands for.
The stupid neither forgive nor forget.
The naive forgive and forget.
But the wise forgive and never forget.
Her reprehensible statements must never be allowed to take hold.
Unfortunately I'm not ready to forgive her yet.
I'm off to the States tomorrow. Leaving at 6.00a.m.Back on May 24th.
I'm taking this lap-top to write a Yankee blog. So do join me.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 May 2015
Dear Poppy, says our twillage has four banks. Sorry.....
So today I drove to Brighton to have my hair primped and coloured before my trip to South Carolina. But not before I went to the hospital to see the physiO. One letter change and it would ready physiC.... Which I sort of was . I knew she would sign me off, although I have to introduce a can of beans to my work out and I have to expect to be in pain for up to a year. if I'm not careful I will have a bent arm which puts me out of Wimbledon this year......
I had breakfast in the garden. One cup of coffee, two fried eggs on rye and and a bathe in the sunshine.
Took Nellie's roof down and set off, B's music blaring and the straps down on my top so that I could get an even tan. Parked a five minute walk from my hairdressers. Got there on time.
Jason from Inverness did the colour and trimmed my fringe. I told him that Inverness was reputed to speak the perfect English, he slowed his accent down to prove me wrong. Then he told me how he was bullied at school for being gay, that his father had left him and that his wonderful mother had brought him up equally with his two sisters.
Jason has a waxed moustache and the manners of a 50's head mistress. He is adorable, as are all the kids in RUSH. It is lovely watching them grow up. Shona started as a very shy junior, mum had her when she was 18, now she has a builder boyfriend that she knew from school, various piercings and the best pair of head massaging hands in the business.
Jason moved to Brighton to get away from homophobia, and today I read that our new minister for equality - CAROLINE DINENAGE - is opposed to gay marriage.
This Government has also appointed JUSTIN TOMLINSON as Minister for the disabled when he is adamantly and totally against disability benefits and human rights.
Some new laws to stop us disagreeing and new laws to irritate what Unions we have left....
It's the kind of thing that Hitler did in Germany, whittled away at peoples rights subtly and effectively until nothing was left and the life blood was sucked out of independent thought.
So Ladies and Gentlemen I give you life under Mr. Cameroon. One daily outrage, that'll do it chums.
Lets start with the poofs, move to the lepers, next thing we know it could be YOU.....
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 May 2015
The highest point in our twillage is 242 metres above sea level. This summit is the highest point of the High Weald and second highest point in East Sussex. Its relative height is 159 metres, meaning my adopted second home qualifies as one of England's Marilyns. A Marilyn is a mountain or hill in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland or Isle of Man with a prominence of at least 150 metres (492 ft), regardless of absolute height or other merit. The name was coined as a punning contrast to the designation Munro, used of a Scottish mountain with a height of more than 3,000 feet (914.4 m), which is homophonous with (Marilyn) Monroe. Look it up!!!
Twenty thousand of us live near the Ashdown Forest, we are served by a Morrisons, a Lidl, a Tesco, a local Sainsbury and a Waitrose. There are those of us who buy our supplies from the cheapest shops and those of us who don't.
What is clear is that the little high street has empty holes where shops used to be. The bra shop shut when the rates went up. 'Costa' came in inching out the local caff owned by a God fearing geezer who worshipped at St. Michaels. We have two dry cleaners, two chemists, a computer shop, two banks, three dress shops, two Stationers, a bundle of estate agents, three charity emporiums and a cobblers. We also have those empty holes, where junk mail has piled up inside the door making for a feeling of mourning and impermanence.
Now should one require an outfit for a filming stint in America then a trip to Tunbridge Wells is on the cards. We have everything from Jamie's Trattoria to An Apple shop. We have M&S and HMV and any number of abbreviated outlets. We have Victoria Place which is the same as all the other clonic cities. Stand in the centre of Victoria's gusset and you could be in Galway, Manchester, Coventry or Stratford. That's 'East' not 'On Avon'.
We are affluent and bored. We are unimaginative but happy Tories. We are the proud holders of a Royal soubriquet, a new development up Mount Pleasant and trust me shopping has never been so good. We all wear the same outfits, eat in the same eateries and rely on a limited bus service because every bugger has at least one Range Rover, and a little Audi for their expanding families.
The work force is pulled from all the surrounding villages including a clutch from Marilyn's middling population.
This morning I drove in and bought a dress, 6 pairs of knickers and a plastic carrier bag full of miniature toiletries to take me round the States.
It's not that I hate it here, after all I've been here longer than both my neighbours put together, it's just the blandness of Middle England nags away at me.
We do have a spice shop and lots of Thai nail bars, but we don't have a colourful community since we all shop in the mall and have coffee in either 'Nero's', 'Pret' or the underground eating space, which smells of curdled milk and polystyrene left overs.
One of my gardeners was a dot of thing. her mother an artist and her father a farmer. He taught her how to prune. She would come bouncing, in and trim the apple trees. Then she went off and got an 'Ology. I met her little mummy in Waitrose - given myself away there haven't I - hadn't seen each other for years. The diminutive gardener called three days later. Totally unrelated incidents since her mum didn't tell her of our meeting. We talked of vegetables and degrees and hows she's now doing another 'ology in garden design.
We stepped into my front garden, a postage stamp of a place. A box hedge, not much sun and a smiling buddha as a centre piece, we decided on a place of blowsy serenity.
She's coming round tonight with bunch of unusual vegetables for me and the old git which she grew from seemed. She's also bringing two designs she dreamt up in her own overgrown plot.
An individual statement. Not a corporation geranium in sight. No symmetry just a collection of idiosyncratic plantings that will make the heart leap. I couldn't care less whether it's right or wrong, it's going to be a place of uncommon anarchy .
That's what's wrong with Tunbridge Wells and Marilyn they don't let their skirts fly....
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Posted by Jeni in | 12 May 2015
After thirty one years living in the heart of the East Sussex countryside, with a view to die for and neighbours who take coffee of a sunny afternoon, after 31 years of keeping my bank details in Fenchurch Street, E1, after one score years and eleven I have finally decided to give in to the garden.
When we moved here in 1984 I thought pottering in the open air was for old folks so we had a succession of gardeners.
We do not own a pile but its big enough for three apple trees, a hedge of roses and rosehips, a wall with climbing roses, three plots at the top for veggies and herbs and a lawn that needs loving care.
Our first gardener was Wally Jopson, an ex milkman who wore a cap, came from the North East and grew so much of everything that we shared it out,
He left when we got the dog.
"I'm not having him peeing all over me sprouts" he Geordified.
Then we had a lesbian depressive who attempted wrist slitting on a weekly basis. When she came here she made us a wishing well and dug out four quadrants. She laid a path to the studio door, with real old bricks, and bought us a fountain.
Last week I had to replace it.
Yesterday the old git rigged up a hose and a pipe to suck out the old muddy water, I climbed into the plastic well and cleaned the silty sides with a sponge, your man then filled it with clean water from the water butts. The new fountain is champion.
Our young woman left and eloped to the Lake District with a cat lover.
Somebody who bought some shoes from B when she worked in 'OFFICE' shoe shop, came, and using her horticultural degree, hammered together wood planks to keep the mint from spreading too far. She gifted us some Japonica and left little gifts in pots all over the garden. She taught me about composts and overwintering. Still I did not really get involved. She moved on to makeing cakes and is sorely missed.
We've had a woman here and there and a geezer who cut too much out of the lawn to make it look like a corporation plot. Finally, about two months ago, I asked a friendly therapist who she used to tend her garden. I met the man who bears a big smile and delivers the best fork action in the area. We now have a human rotivator who moves and sieves, uproots and replants. At precisely 16.00 hours I take him out a mug of freshly brewed coffee with hot milk and one sugar. He has cut down a big yellow shrub and tucked our swing set in under the honesuckle..... It's heavenly swinging.
Three blackcurrant bushes with huge root balls have been put next to the Vinca Major and the Euoynmous, the very first plant I put in and two Leylandii have been scalped so we now get the sun from sun-rise to sun-down.
I tell you this because finally I have got into gardening. I pot and snip. I plant and trim. I buy reduced terracotta pots with dying daisies that I then lovingly dead head. I have Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme nestled between furry Dill, Comfry and Cowslips. I have blue Azaleas behind a perfect specimen of a pink Jacobs Ladder.....and so it goes on, Running from one end of the garden with watering cans and secateurs to tend the Ranunculus and Peonies.
I mow and smile, plant and grin. I have dirty finger nails and an eye on empty patches. I have just filled the lion plant pots (nicked from our London balcony), with strawberries. Purple sprouting broccoli is living next to perpetual spinach, Cotoneaster, roses and Convolvulus. Three courgette plants, 6 onion plants and six red cabbages are nestled between Aquilegia- that have self seeded - and I've just planted up a white garden; lupins, roses and dahlias....
I am a woman possessed.
Today I left it all to the wind and the 'oosbind and drove with the dawter into Hackney. The roads were empty, the sun balmy and the speed condusive to an old woman.
We unloaded her washing and musical bits, then reparked the car. Walked to the station and took the overground to Highbury and Islington. Never before have I travelled that line. It's airy and kitted out in orange. It 's in the open air and I loved it.
Then a dip down into the tube, Victoria line four stops to Oxford Circus.
Nipped into Liberty's for my scent - only place I can get it. I have one bottle in my pink bag, one upstairs in my bedroom and one thats nearly finished.
We had a bowl of pasta with lots of black pepper and Parmigianno Reggiano grated over the top.
Walked across the road into THE PALLADIUM where we took our seats in row 'N' for 'Beyond Bollywood.'
Music good - tick.
Visuals slick - tick.
Dancing fabulous - tick.
Good Use of the backdrop and surrounding walls with colourful animation on a loop - tick.
Story - weedy.
Acting - not to my taste.
We left after two hours of Indian excitement.
Took the tube, then the overground and met the old git at THE ARCOLA where he is in his final week.
He drove us back to the girls home to collect the washing basket and my glasses case.
Whilst in Soho I saw the beginnings of the Qatari invasion. Cranes everywhere. Buildings having been demolished, icons pulled down. The Soho skyline is unrecognisable. I shuddered.
The money men from Qatar are buying up swathes of London, making expensive flats and selling them onto wealthy folk who have about as much relationship to this earth as I had 31 years ago.
Me and my gal cried. Linked arms and tutted. Tim Arnold has started a campaign to 'Save our Soho'. Stephen Fry has lent his voice, as have many other high profile performers. Soho is just the beginning. Tin Pan ally is going too, The Astoria already gone; London is being raped, brick by fecking brick, by people who have never experienced an early morning breakfast in the crisscrossed streets of our lovely Capital.
Sign the petitions, wear the badges, but above all care......
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 May 2015
When I went to the hospital to have my elbow checked, I entered zone 2 shivering with indignation. The X-ray machine had broken and a twenty minute wait lasted nearly three hours.
I was given a 50p deduction on parking since I had been waiting for so long. Still, having to pay anything at all to visit the sick is in itself an outrage.
I was given the all clear by a doctor but not after I'd ranted about the lack of resources. I was mad enough to criticise the regime before he manoeuvred my arm. It didn't occur to me he may have been a Conservative doctor who was less than pleased with my diatribe about the Tory Government and their treatment of the NHS.
Fast forward to this morning, my martial arts osteopath said my body was in revolt.
"Could the doctor have deliberately hurt me?" I asked. I did not expect JB's answer.
"The PC answer is no of course not, but in truth he did do something to you which put you back a couple of weeks."
So there I am realising that if I am going to criticise, perhaps it would have been politic to wait until after he had examined me.
Now I'm sot suggesting that all doctors do that, but I am suggesting that you choose your battles.
So today I had two hours of Pranic healing. Sitting on a chair in my living room, a man with a crystal wand waving it around my energy field. He said it removed clogged areas of stress and anger. And boy did Mr. Cameroon and his crew make me angry.
The cat danced around my feet, the healers daughter, and mine, sat in the kitchen. She only eight my daughter twenty years older than her giggling together.
I felt sick half way through - the toxins coming out - and then I felt something lift. Was it an acceptance of defeat? Or just a release of election fatigue?
Whatever when we drove down to Brighton, my body felt lighter.
I bought food for the new mother. Five of us sat down to delicious quiches, and a big salad with pomegranate seeds and quinoa. I enjoyed making it in the little kitchen.
Then it was lemon cheesecake and delicious newly brewed coffee.
My son-in-law, exhausted from three nights of no sleep with the new baby, looked at me and asked whether it was okay to talk about the election.
We discussed the carnage that may happen over the next five years.
As a worn out old activist, cradling a four day old baby, what could I say. We all try and do the best for our own. We all believe that the newly born deserve a life better than the one we've lived. How to achieve that?
Firstly we have to trust that the next generation will carry the baton, but we have to pass that baton on in whatever we way we can. My way is to shout and talk, then take the consequences. Of course it gets lonely, but not for long. I write a little blog and suddenly I'm joined with others who feel the same. We forget just how dynamic unity is.
Mrs. Thatcher and her disciples knew the power of a unified work force. It came as no surprise when we saw the dismantling of the British working class.
We're now left with a splintered work force, hundreds of entrepreneurs, thousands of young mixologists and a scrap heap of middle aged experts that don't know what to do with themselves after yet another river cruise
Most of us find change unwelcome, it hurts, its disruptive, its like having that new born baby. You have to just go with the flow since all routine has been smashed. The next five years will be watching, listening and choosing the moments of dissent.
Some use prayer, some use meditation, some use protest, whatever it takes with whatever happens next. But as my martial arts osteopath always says, once you have entered the Sacred Dohyō, once you have stepped into that ring you have to be prepared to die.
Am I prepared to die for what I believe?
Well I've never been tested.
Will it come to that?
Only time will tell.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 8 May 2015
Two weeks ago the world was an altogether different place.
Quotes will be quoted, embarrassments will be played and replayed. Humiliations will be written about and gloated over.
Tectonic plates, will be forever moving in Scotland and hats will be forever eaten in Asdhdown's forest.
We're all worn ragged by it.
I've argued with my neighbour, storming off to spend too much money in the clothes shop.
I hung up on my best friend as our shouting about charismatic leadership reached a rather nasty conclusion.
Conservatives in Number 10, without the vaseline softening of the Lib Dems, and what are we going to live through.
The sweetest victory for the Australian Crosby, who led a campaign that focused on bacon sandwiches and tripping. Cameron being pumped up, his shirt sleeves rolled up, as the papers, the telly and every single media outlet encouraged us - the people - to believe that if was ALL ABOUT THE ECONOMY.
It's not just about pennies and pounds though is it? It's about heart, compassion, empathy. It's about caring for the needy. It's about a welfare state that was ours, but is increasingly becoming chopped up and sold off to the Qatarians, Chinese, and wealthy Oil Barons, who could give a shit about Queenie in Poplar or Alf in Morley. 'If you work and do the right thing.' said Mr. Cameroon then this land is yours for the picking. But what if you can't work? My neighbour would say you are lazy; he had to live through hardship., Stop smoking if you want to use a food bank!!! Blinded by the amoralists who believe that their shoddy behaviour is allowable - money talks after all.
This is a democratic country and the people have spoken. My sadness is that most of the people were not properly informed, were frightened into believing all sorts of nonsense, the very people who will turn their backs on the selling off of the NHS, the hiving off of schools, the people who flick their curtains at the homeless and tut into their warm Pinot Grigio.
What of the unemployed, the elderly - well you know the list - and as the well heeled breed a generation of well heeled, educated kids who can afford to go to university, and then will end up running our country, but who will never properly know what it's like to queue at the food banks, for them and us my heart breaks.
Tell me I'm being too dramatic. Tell me that I must keep the faith, tell me that integrity hasn't died at the ballot box.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 24 April 2015
Broke the elbow on February 22nd.
Today I was given the all clear. But not after waiting for two and a half hours in the aircraft hanger that is called our hospital. One of the X-Ray machines had gone down. By the time I got into Zone 2 and booth five I was ready to strangle the lovely Irish Doctor.
If the Conservative party get in, along with Farage's louts, we will not have a NHS to talk of.
The women volunteers work their socks off, the nurses and docs work their socks off. All the while the stench of diminishing stocks fowls the corridors. You can't run a hospital on sticky tape and good will. Please tell Cameron that as he sells off yet more of Mr. Bevans legacy there is such a thing as Karma.
I sat next to a professional woman, whilst waiting to be marched past elderly people on beds through corridors, with yet more elderly people on trollies, to another x-ray room where the overworked radiologist apologised to me for my long wait. It's not his fault, the prof woman said she couldn't vote Labour because she couldn't trust Ed Milliband. Spouting yet more media garbage. One person doth not run the country, he is but a face. The nominal head for a cabinet that should be making decisions on our behalf.
If the blue brigade get in they will have been given the right to unpick our country like a frayed cardigan. I would never presume to tell anybody how to vote, we've all mostly made our minds up anyway. The media are in a frenzy of sound bites and uncontrolled nonsense, as long as greed has got his foot in the door propping it open with his well heeled brogues, the truth will not be heard. Scotland taking over!!! Ms NS being the witch of the Highlands!! The whole thing is nonsense.
Democracy is about electing a representative that will do our bidding. May we all bid for the best, however poor we are, whatever colour we are, however old we are. Let us stand together instead of allowing the haves to abuse the have nots.
As HSBC prepare to go to Hong Kong because they don't like the new rules, let us wave goodbye to greedy, grubby bankers, and pave the way for a decent society that builds houses for everybody not the few, values schools for all the kids, opens up shops , closes down superstores and revives a country thats struggling to breathe. If only a few can inhale the oxygen what of the rest of us?
2015 and my father would be turning in his grave if he could see the mean mindedness of so many of our politicians. Take away the invisible boundaries and we are all living on the same planet.
Or am I wrong?
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 April 2015
First the dawters birthday.
Lots of people, lots of booze, lots of little sausages cooked in honey and sesame seeds.
Secondly my birthday. The big tall son-in-law came home from Bali. Enough of us to stand on the kick step to hug him and then sing happy birthday to me with candles on a cake that had such dense, thick chocolate icing that half a fingerful sent me careening around he living room.
I have a phone full of thank you photos that I haven't downloaded.
Thirdly it was Easter.
Fish pie and cauliflower cheese.
The biggest Easter Sunday breakfast with smoked salmon and sausages and toast and bagels and scrambled eggs and champagne and I'm not even a card carrying member of the Easter bonnet brigade.
Roast chicken - I bought one in a bag with bacon on top and stuffing inside - the instructions said to leave it in the tray. I admit I must have misread the small print cos the tray melted all over the oven, a gloopy, black mess.
Green beans and broccoli.
The evening ended abruptly when the 8 year old chucked a turn and her parents gathered up the weekend and left before the Bakewell Tart had been taken out of its packaging.
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