Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 December 2013
It's 2.30 am. The night is very dark, the moon is three quarters full and I am preparing for the invasion of a tyrannical kitten called Solly. King solomon to give him his full title.
The saga began last Sunday. Jim and I came in from walking Rotherfield Wood, which has been decimated by Euroforest who are cutting down spruces to make way for indigenous broad-leaved trees. It was like walking on the moon massive tyre-made ditches. Slippery clay as fierce as quicksand. I lost me MBT trainer in soggy thick mud and had to trust in the old gits navigational skills to get us home as all routes were closed.
After longer than we wanted we finally found our way to the car. We met a border terrier called Archie who jumped and panted,he too was covered in drying white clay.
We nipped into the supermarket to buy supper and returned home to the dawter and her friend.
You could feel the intrigue in the air. There was something afoot.
'I can't keep secrets from you.' said the dawter.
Out of the corner dashed a scruffy, 9 week old kitten with the ears of a fox, the neck of a meerkat, the face of an angel and the smell of a cashmere cardigan.
The dawter and her friend had coughed up more money than I dare to mention, to buy, deflea, deworm, litter up, feed and give a home to an idiot kitten with so much charm even the 'oosbind melted.
But all was not to remain rosy in the world of impetuous decisons and youthful daftness.
Continue reading "King Solomon's mine." »
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 3 December 2013
So living alone, as I do at the moment, I decided on little rituals to keep the wolf in the garden.
Jimbo does not get back from Bath until the 23rd, and I'm busy popping up here and there with festive jobs. So I decided that Chanukah candles would lighten the evenings.
Take a Menora, which stands on the dresser all year round, find the candles in the drawer that my gay son-in-law brought me back from Bali, find the prayer on the internet and off we go.
So I put the candle that lights the other candles in the centre of the Menora. Poked in three candles, this happened on the 30th, said the prayer, then lit them. When I turned round, a matter of seconds, the candles had fallen out of their holders and had set light to the table. All my Christmas receipts went up in smoke, and before I could say I AM NOT A TREASONOUS THINKER a five pound note caught alight. I managed to blow it out before it took half our Monarchs face off.
My mobile phone is downstairs otherwise I would take a photo for you. But imagine my lovely old pine table in the kitchen now has two ENORMOUS black burn marks, I'm a fiver down and the Menora has been relegated to the kitchen window sill.
Today was much more civilised. B and I went to the gym, and I swum, sauna'd, jacuzzied and steamed for over and hour. Then to Tesco's - YUK - just to get some cheap cotton pads to remove makeup, and it was back home to put the Christmas tree up.
It took four hours but now the Swedish red candlestick is in the window. The tree is covered in ancient dangly bits, there are lights round the fireplace, and the stove alcove, the kitchen is clean and the mung bean soup is ready to eat. I lit the Jewish candles earlier I now have an Advent candle burning on the table....
Bugger, I'd forgotten I'd better go.....
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 28 November 2013
so its a happy Chanukah AND Thanksgiving.
Happy to be alive - however tricky.
Happy t ohave friends - however distant.
Happy to have a family - however scattered.
Happy to have my health -however croaky
Happy to have a brain - however addled
Happy to have a house - however costly
Happy to have a future - however muddy
Happy to be here.
And for those of you who have lost loved ones, or are in pain I send all the love and light I can muster on this grey day.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 18 November 2013
Can't blame my exhaustion on jet-lag, but can blame it on crazy schedule and deaths.
I'e been trying to rock myself to sleep by intoning the San Franciscan itinerary, but I get lost with all the drive-bys and hotel changes.
Whilst you lot were letting off rockets and eating hot potatoes round your bonfires I was winging my way to The West Coast of California, alongside Robert Redford.
He had his seat, I had mine Ollie Smith lounged in the first seat, first class of course, we all read our papers and watched our films, reclined our chairs into first-class beds, then after hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours in the sky we finally touched down in San Fran airport.
Tyson, the baseball cap wearing Oregonian, collected us. Loaded up our cases and off we went on a four hour drive to our first location.
The first bed was in a hotel worthy of Nicholas Cage.
Huge room, orange decor, cold, cold, cold. Coffee in plunge jugs and food in coin operated machines.
My chest-cold had transmuted into Bronchitis and then a cough that made me sound like Dot Cotton.
77 degrees in the shade and Holly S, from one vineyard, gave me YINCHIAO herbs and I started to function again and off we went with our camera crew filming;
wine growers, their vineyards, ranchers, their cattle, cowboys and olive groves.
But not necessarily in that order.
Continue reading "Woof Woof" »
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 3 November 2013
I'm waiting for my boarding card to be printed.
Gods Gift is in the studio sorting out the finances, the dawter and bestie are at the shops buying food for the Sunday Roast, I have a pile of clothes with me here in the attic, which has to be transferred to my bedroom, then my suitcase.
I spent all day yesterday trying to open the fecking thing. Couldn't remember the numbers. The internet helped but still I couldn't open it.
I tried so many combinations - birthdays, anniversaries, lucky numbers, went through the whole family. I tried sliding the slider and going through a ritual starting with all the '0's then adding each number and feeling whether it was stiffer or loser, still no joy.
The 'oosbind tried, the dawter and her bestie tried, we closed our eyes and imagined what my mother would have used as a code, since the case was originally hers. Then in the kitchen this morning, the old git standing by the trolley eating his bacon sandwich the girl under a towel steaming her cold, and me with my brain wave. Tried again. Wowser. The catches flew open. Now I can pack for San Francisco and California. Six outfits and a wash bag.
Surprisingly some of my trousers still fit, which is always a bonus.
It has been nuts since I got back. I've been sitting in at Radio London but only for three days as the storm grounded me on Monday and Tuesday. No electricity, no trains, no respite.
Continue reading "second leg" »
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 25 October 2013
TO ALL MY LOVELY BLOGGERS
Any comment that includes a LINK will go to junk. I have been getting so many cheap advertisers from China etc. using my website, its been a nightmare. My lovely web-man has worked his magic hopefully he has put a stop to it..
So please feel free to blog, as normal but don't include any links
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Posted by Jeni in | 25 October 2013
The mackerel sky was low, almost touching the tops of the trees. Two leaves narrowly missed my hand, catch one and make a wish.
The Beech leaves are turning a crispy brown, the Oak's a mustardy yellow. The Rowan trees are stacked with berries and the avenue is ankle high in wet leaves.
The woodland near my cottage is typically English. The wind was up today, shiny brown conkers blown to the ground, the Horse Chestnuts flapping their big, crispy hands together.
Two families of ducks cackled and squawked their way back to the pond.
I'm off on November 4th to San Francisco, although Oregon is still lingering in my mind.
We visited a little town call McMINNVILLE, all the foodies know about Mcminnville, the largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon.
Third street has more restaurants, on five blocks, than the whole of my Twillage. I met with ERIC and CARMEN who run 'NICKS'. It's been there since 1977. For years Carmen's dad, Nick, ran the joint; a simple place with a big back kitchen and a head waiter with more hair than Harry Styles and more style than Hairy Redknapp.
He made me the first good cawfee of the trip and supplied me with a big white linen napkin should I need it.
Eric makes hand chopped Pork salami - to rhyme with whammy - in their salami making factory three blocks away.
Eric and Carmen, between them, keep Nick's name, restaurant and reputation alive.
Carmen has a Japanese mother and an Italian father so what's not to know about a noodle of two. Using a cheap little chopper she cuts the sheets of fine pasta, that she's rolled through her big pasta rolling machine. She's a neat machine herself, looks like she's been doing it all her life. Which she nearly has.
She's young and beautiful, with two kids under five, a complexion to die for and the demeanour of woman who has been modelling since 16.
After cooly cutting A4 size pieces of pasta dough, she lays them on top of each other leaving a little gap at the top of each new sheet. Carmen then calmly rolls them up, chops the ends off and rolls them into perfect, well rolls... Grabbing the end of each little roll she whisks them up into the air, and flaps around the tagliatellie like fronds of yellow seaweed. Brilliant. She works wearing a sweater and a pair of jeans, carrying them off with the panache of the model she was. Knowing that modelling had a limited life span she learnt what she learnt, and along with Eric, her handsome husband took to the boars and boards instead. Thats chopping boards and piggy boars I hasten to add.
The restaruant was full of a party of carousers who glugged down crates of wine and laughed loudly .
Eric made the sauce for Carmen's pasta.
Gently cooking down the home cured salami, in a battered pan on a six burner stove, he added onions, garlic, oregeno
(Say it the American way O-Regggggin-Oh! Not orry-garknow.)
Tomatoes, plopped in the pasta and some pasta water.
We ate outside the restaurant at a little table opposite an old Art Deco cinema.
It was good to sit down as I had been out with Chris and Kate taking GV's ( general views ). To make it more interesting I sent Kate off to an ice-cream emporium which sold rivetting flavours. She turned up with a crunchy cornet filled with lavender ice-cream. Unfortunately we had taken all the shots we needed so I licked for myself not for the camera.
The food movement in America is interesting, all the small producers help each other, and the public enjoy helping them. Long may it last and grow.
San Fran - as the producer calls it -will use more green, fresh veg, which is terrific as I practically live the life o a Gorilla.
Continue reading "Mcminnville......" »
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 October 2013
The clock is ticking it's 01.18
That and the cats purring is the only sound in the cottage.
My body seems to have dealt with the jet-lag remarkably well.
I didn't take my lap-top with me and writing on my smart phone is nightmare. I did, however, take a monumental suitcase that if it weren't for three American boys, the BA crew and the delicious Olly Smith, I would be broke of back and weak of arm.
The journey started with a surreal twist.
I had been picked up by a taxi, a man who smoked and talked. I learnt all about his marriage break up - after 48 years - I took him the back way since he liked LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. We got onto the M25 via Godstone. He must have been thinking about his estranged wife because he slammed the breaks on and I whacked my knee on the seat in front of me.
'If you want to report me,' he said 'Go ahead.'
I didn't report him. Went to baggage drop, since my boarding pass had been printed up for me, I stood quietly as my heavy bag passed the test.
'Are you the mother of BB.James?' asked the nice lady.
'Yeah.' I was nonplussed.
'She's got big hair and an amazing voice?'
'Yeah ' I said again nonplussedx2.
The nice lady told me how she had worked with dawter at Choice Radio and blah blah.
I went through security delighted that BB.James had made an impression.
I bought some nuts, went through to the boarding Gate and met up with Ollie.
'Who do I have to sleep with here to get an upgrade.' I quipped.
And bugger me if the two men at the checkout didn't upgrade us to Club Class. Surprised both Olly and myself. The journey to LAX had started, we were treated to linen napkins, constant attention and a chair that turned into a bed.
I watched the Tina Fey film - Admissions - and cried like a baby, took my homeopathic jet-lag remedy, slept a bit and before you could say 'No More Champagne thanks.' we were through security.
Given that I was born in the last century I got preferential treatment, although I still had to take off my boots, belt and and bangles.
Continue reading "Jeni and Olly get J'olly in Oregon. " »
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