Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 19 January 2017
Roman Road, in the Ashdown Forest, was hard soiled. My Nordic Poles couldn't smash through the ice. The leaves crinkled and the sun so low I couldn't really see the view, which was tweedy brown and gorse yellow. My wooly gloves were of no use, but my four layers of fleeces, sweaters and armless puffiness did the trick.
I bought three bags of kindling, since the old git's an actor at the Arcola at the moment, so any wood chopping or fire laying rests with me. I know how to deal with a chopper but buying a bag of split wood is easier.
The bird feeders go down in a day and the squirrels are unearthing acorns in the front garden.
January has given us 19 days, each one closer to the inauguration of the President Erect. Each day one step closer to a reality that befalls us all. I'm going on the Women's Only march on Saturday, first demo I've been on in years. I shall be wearing my pink pussy hat with pride, if I can get it knitted in time.
My favourite typo this year:
Mother texting her daughter: What do you want from life?
Daughter has an existential crisis. Thinking, reflecting and worrying that she doesn't know what she wants from life.
Mother texts again: Sorry love, effing predictive text, should had said what do you want from Lidl.
See you on the march.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 January 2017
There are days and then there are days.
The rain tap-danced on my hood, I was zipped up, only my face peering out at the bare trees. The mud stuck to my Wellington boots, my glasses foggy with the drizzle. I could have knocked into the new neighbours, or even the old neighbours, but decided that my mood, as dark as the clouds, would not be pleasant company.
I feel powerless in a sea of political turmoil. Jeremy Hunt lies. Theresa May lies. Donald Trump lies. They, of course, accuse their opponents of lying, They tweet - Twatting daily. Complex issues, difficult decisions reduced to 140 characters. Secret negotiations gobbed out in tiny sound bites. The disconnect between 'them' and 'us' is so great - and the gap is widening - that soon their 'them-speak' won't be understood by 'us-ears'. Only a few will speak their language, the few with the same tight fitting Emperors clothes. We are at the mercy of decision making, which as far as I can see, is not for 'us'. The 'thems' are dismantling hard won gains; from health, to education, from housing to transport. The 'thems' delight as 'us' turn against 'us'.
And as the silence descends we're turning to each other wondering what to do?
How to change things?
How to be heard?
How to trust?
How to care?
Weeping as we realise that it is impossible to argue with ignorance. It's impossible to reason with bigotry. When a human being believes they are SO right, when their sense of entitlement is SO embedded, when those privileged ears are deafened to the cries of the meek, then a new way of being must emerge. The old way is rotten. The new way is clenching it's buttocks as it tries to push its way up through the concrete. In the Torah it says that behind every blade of grass their is an Angel willing it to grow.
If you believe there are angels then there are , if you don't then they're arn't. But if we allow those thems to claim the moral high ground then who are we?
What are we witnessing?
Seemingly obvious views are trampled under hooves. Humanitarian demands are deemed wishy washy. Kate Hopkins and Nigel Farage are given air time to spout their twisted, nasty views, and yet and yet, as somebody who believes in free speech why shouldn't they have their say? Why shouldn't they be allowed to speak their truth?
Because their truth is perverted and cruel. It's divisive and wicked. I speak as the daughter of immigrants. I speak as an old crone who feels the need to apologise to the young for the mismanagement of their future. I'm tired of the slow, seepage of feculence that has been uncorked by the new orders' intolerance. The effluence that swills around us from their narrow minded narcissism. Let us die in the corridors whilst they walk the walk of the advantaged or NOT.
There is a big change coming, and we are all living through it. May we help each other along the way......
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 31 December 2016
Ill health gone.
Black dog chased off.
May we all have Unexpected Good.
That's courtesy of Michael Beckwith.
I wish you all health wealth, love and perfect self expression.
May Trump be eradicated, may Farage be erased, may Katie Hopkins be silenced, may the politicians of inhumanity be overtaken by love and light. May 2017 belong to all people of love and grace.
A massive thank you to you all for your love and support in what has been a fecking difficult year.
Roll on Year of the Rooster.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 7 December 2016
I don't watch jungle capers
I don't watch 'Honey G'
I don't watch 'Made in Chelsea'
I don't watch 'Dine with me.'
I don't watch pointless gameshows
I don't watch gambling capers
I don't watch politicians
Lying over papers.
I don't watch bitchy housewives
I don't watch 'Jordy Shore'
I don't watch naked dating
I don't watch much no more.
The parent funded hipsters
With jeans slung round their bum
Are now the reigning lunatics
Who run the as-y-lum.
The Trumpette of banality
In Plasma-ed homes
Have voted for brutality.
I know I'm biting feeding hands
I know I'm sounding horrid
But television, you must agree,
Is cheap and dumb and torrid.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 23 November 2016
Yellow leaves, red leaves, no leaves, green leaves. The oak tree outside the bedroom window is practically naked.
November - one week to go till December - and I've found a new eatery - in the next village. Twee, said the dawter. It's airy, light, walkers, dogs, old people, single people, groups of people, young people taking out old people, me and the old git, I suppose it could be classed as an eatery for the end-of-the-liners.
First time I ate there I had Early Grey tea and a cheese scone, all risen and moist.
Second time I had the veggie breakfast. Hot baked beans, veggie sausages, grilled tomato, toast and butter and a perfectly poached, poached egg,
The latte was delicious.
So good to have a caff five minutes away. They also do writing days there. For 20 quid you sit, drink, have a chat and learn how to write. Love it. They have a postcard which reads TRY CAFE WRITING. Then they quote J K Rowling.
'The idea of just wandering off to a caff with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for a while Is just bliss.....'
Which is apposite as we went to see 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' last night. The step daughter sat in the front row, then moved. The 'oosbind and granddaughter sat in the second row. He had a headache throughout the film having to move his head, from right to left, from up to down, to focus the screen.
I sat in Row 'H'3. Next to a hipster crunching popcorn, and a moveable object the other side that was motionless. Unlike me who couldn't sit still. Mind you I was itchy bichky all the way through. Not my kind of movie. Too dark, although the effects were good, no knowledge of Harry Potter, and a problem with Eddie Redmayne's mouth. There's something so disingenuous about it. Something so mannered. If I had brought my sponge brick with me I would have thrown it at the screen.
Home by 9.30. The dawter visited on Sunday night. Just after Greg Rutherford had been fleckled off Strictly, she phoned. On the A21. A puncture. Waiting for the AA. Cold, dark, the other side of the barrier. Fortunately the young AA man turned up within the half hour. We sat down for roast chicken at 9.30. the poor old digestion screamed out.
She stayed for a day, wrote a song, then yesterday had a call. She had to go back to London. Leaving her car here she took a bag of laundry, a lump of Snofrisk cheese. Homemade bread and a hunk of my home made Christmas teacake/log/fruit anthem.
The phone went. It was the garage man saying her new tyre was in. I have to collect it this afternoon. He'll fix it, we'll pay and she'll be safe. although parking in Hackney is now a nightmare, her safe road has been designated an expensive parking lot. So her little car may stay here with us, that's after being fined for parking where she's parked for six years...
The phone went again. "What have you left?' I asked.
She apologised for the inconvenience but her house keys were in the glove compartment of her car which was sitting outside the house. She jumped out at Tonbridge and Jimbo drove like the clappers to get to her. She hung over the barrier. I dangled the keys, kissed her and she rushed back to get the next train. My brick of a cake weighing he down.
So in my recipe book I have a letter from Jim's Aunty Amy. The one that brought him up. She wrote us a letter years ago, the ink is faded, as is the picture of her and her dog Missy, including the recipe for gran's Christmas cake. I am not a cake maker so I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Brought up the big fawn mixing bowl from the cellar. Bought Pounds and pounds of flour, butter, lard. LARD!!!! Raisins, currants, a dozen eggs, lemon essence, golden syrup. GOLDEN SYRUP!!!!, spices and ground almonds. The method is dead easy. Mix dry ingredients together, then add the creamed butter and sugar and eggs. Then stir. I had to use two spoons the mixture was so heavy, and there was SO much of it. I had to borrow three loaf tins from my neighbour, having used up my two already. I lined all of the tins with greaseproof paper. I had the oven on 150 degrees. In went the cakes/loaves/fruity breeze blocks. After nearly two hours one was cooked, the other not. More oven time, more fannying around. Finally four hours down the line I removed them from their tins. When thy cooled down Jim ate a slice, but only one mind, until I have purchased Cheshire cheese to eat with his grandmothers cake he won't touch a morsel. It tasted like Granny Beevers Christmas. To my surprise they came out 'Right Champion' so I have enough now till Christmas 2024. I've given away another slab, and so it goes until the cupboard is bare.
I'm off now to drive the kids car to the wheel man. Buy a lump of Cheshire cheese, a block of organic butter, then it's home for an evening in front of the fire dreaming of health, wealth and perfect self expression.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 November 2016
The pundits talk and punt.
The speculators talk and speculate.
The politicians talk and politicise.
The winners win
The losers lose
And the talk goes on.
The magnanimous forgive, the disillusioned dissolve, the spirited move on.
The wind blows, the rain falls, the sun elbows the clouds out of the way and life goes on.
The election show has come to an end.
Hours of distraction, hours of nit-picking, hours of recriminations, hours of talk, hours of speculation hours of blather, and not one person in Rapa Nui gives a toss.
I do not wish harm on the likes of Trump or Farage, I do not wish pain on Le pen or Geert Wilders, I just wish them a speedy recovery from their malevolence.
May they hear the music of the spheres. May the pure white light of eternal love enter their bodies through their addled brains, may the law of harmony prevail, may men and women of good will everywhere meet in a spirit of co-operation, and may all their negativity be transmuted into Divine light and reflected back to it's source.
I'm tired today, but like you, I will bounce back and find a way to defeat them.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 3 November 2016
The stove is stoving, the light is fading and the fruit basket is full of windfalls.
The washing's ironed, the carpet's vacuumed and the draining board is shiny.
The 'oosbind's pottering, the dawter's driving and the tickets are booked for the flicks tonight.
The old git bought me two Norwegian walking poles. We crossed the road and the smell of the orchard should be bottled. The sweet smell of apples and pears lying on the grass. The loamy scent of crispy leaves. Mole hill's nearly mountains, smelling of dark, rich earth. Deep breathing luscious autumn breath. The poles meant the old git and I had our first row about when to use them. One, two, pole, pole or One pole, two pole. In the end I walked in front, he behind, our poles striking the ground in unison. They made a pleasant walk into a route march. Fast round the trees, fast down the hill, swiftly round the bend, swiftly along the stream, fast up the hill. and I mean really fast our poles pushing us on like demons. When we got to the bench by the big oak tree I collapsed. Deep intercostal breaths to recover. Delicious. The air tasted of mellow fruitfulness. Good Old Keats.
Then through forest Clump, tangled roots and calf high leaves. Acorns in abundance, sweet chestnuts by the ton. The squirrel ravaged chestnut cases crunched under my Gortex boots. I found them under the coats in the kitchen. Over the road, another hill, more leaves and I said to the old man does it signal in a cold winter, and he said, 'Naw, it means we've had a good Autumn Stop thinking about then and stay with now.'
Deepak Chopra, in an anorak.
Took me boots off and surrendered to the armchair.
This time last year I started crumbling, this year I'm blow drying my own hair and booking cinema tickets.
I was told to let this old body heal itself, and by jove that's exactly what I'm doing.
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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 October 2016
One week later the Cholla, chopped liver, Gefilte fish balls, bagels, egg and onion, Shepherds Pie, Macaroni Cheese, thirty thousand cakes and 43,000 bags of nibbles have finally left the house.
66 guests, including a dozen radio active children and one visiting dog from next door, have finally left the building.
This new year was celebrated by apples nibbled, dipped in honey, with us toasting Year 5777, with fruitfulness, sweetness and joy.
I've walked to work off the Champagne cocktails, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and various mouthfuls of cheese cakes. I've trodden on acorns, berries, drying leaves and dodged falling conkers. I collected the fruits of the Chestnuts to bake them, steep them in vinegar, and then thread them. If they're still whole, next year we will have a conkers tournament in the garden. We are all getting older so drinking will be replaced by games. The winner can do the washing up.
Sunday October 30th. and the clocks go back. An extra hour in bed and two pairs of bed socks. The old git put the heating on yesterday and pruned the Euonymus, Aucuba and Box, when the last apple has fallen he'll prune the trees. I've got bulbs to plant and
roses to tidy. The lawn will get hoovered and my mothers plants will be tidied. Soon it'll be the end of a year when we struggled with Theresa, Trains and Trump. Grrrrr.
The dark duvet covers have been put on, as well as the heater in the bath room, and I'm revisiting the library, to keep it, and my mind open. The woods in the wood shed, the cats on the bed and my one coffee of the week has gone down a treat.
Jim has fixed the tap in the bath so now I have real running water as opposed to a trickle. Ah! First world problems.....
May the beginning of Autumn bring baked apples and cider to your door.
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