Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 May 2007

Every morning I have to remember to chew my food 30 times. That's okay if you're eating a jolly nice piece of succulent lambikin but when it comes to a bit of sprout, it does get just a tad boring. However, since it takes 110 days for a girlie's cells to completely revive themselves, that's how long I'm intending to chew the cud.

Tonight me and him went to Nancy Lam's in Lavender Hill. Enak Enak is where the food is aways simple and spicy - and her company is spicy and rude. Two young women had come all the way down from Scotland just to hear her swear and sample her prawns. Nancy treated us with her customary hospitality and stir-fried me the simplest of vegetables that tasted like ambrosia - that's the myth, not the rice pudding.

The rest of today has been tying up loose ends. My book is now out in the cosmos being flogged to whomsoever will take the damn thing, and I am very nearly ready to start writing and working again. I still feel exhausted but I am told it's the process of de-toxing. Gawd knows just how poisonous I am.

This morning I went to my cranial Osteopath to have my knee fixed, which, for some reason, totally gave out on me. Mr. Vaux and Mr Korth studied my left patella, then my ankle, then my lower back and then they both asked whether I had had past injuries. I told them about the time Jeremy B tried to kill me in my mother's car because I refused to marry him. He waited for a car to come at the cross roads in South End Green in Hampstead and merrily drove my mother's car into its path. The car was a right -off, as was our relationship.

That knackered my knee.

Then I told them about the time a girl pulled a chair out from under me when I was 13. I was sent to hospital where the doctor examined me with his rubber-gloved thumb and told me my sacroiliac was deeply bruised, as indeed, was my pride.

Then there was the time I was walking down Oxford Street, thinking of my mother, when I tripped over my own left foot. I heard the snap and fainted. Having never fainted before, I thought I had died. When I came too, a man had dragged me into BHS and was slapping my face - gently, don't worry - to make sure I was conscious. Since I seriously thought I had met my maker, I grabbed the rescuer's chubby face into my hands. He was wearing a bow tie and was the spitting image of Alexei Sayle. I started kissing the poor fellow on his cheeks and head, joyously thanking him for resurrecting me. He helped me up and I walked to Carnaby Street where a friend had organised an ambulance to take me to The Middlesex Hopsital.

An x-ray was taken and I was reliably informed that I had indeed snapped one of the bones clean in two. They didn't plaster it, but just strapped it very tightly and gave me a good old sturdy walking stick. That was the first time I had to ask people for help, something I found extremely difficult to do, being the independent control freak I am.

Thus it passed that I spent my first six weeks at TV-AM lying on a chaise-long looking for all the world like Sharon Osbourne before she ever was.

So, all in all, 1962, 1969 and 1982 had come back to haunt me. The osteopaths both said, not in unison, but independently of each other, that the trauma was now being released because of the de-tox.

It hardly makes sense to me, but there you are. The shock waves of my life are reverberating right down me left leg and into my left soul.

I drove back to town, however, with my daughter next to me and her loud funky house cd playing. I dropped her off in Lewisham and then negotiated my way back to the flat listening to LBC. The more I listen, the more frightened I become.

I forgot to tell you about my lunchtime meal of hummous with guacamole. There is a new little establishment in Wardour Street, Soho, called the Hummous Bar. Simple concept, simple food and all very neat and tidy. A snappy little lunch for 4 with the most delightful Swedish waitress.

Nancy's vegetables are just about digested. It's 23.02. Jim is watching Alan Yentob's documentary on Surrealism and keeps calling me in to watch George Melly or dark images from various wars. Frankly, I would rather be in bed. I am wearing my United Airline sox because my feet are so friggin' cold, and I am running a bath with SLS-free bubbles.

Tomorrow I will lunch with two producers so I may have some news. If not, keep warm and toasty and we'll discuss more of the same tomorrow. Night night.

P.S. I am going to get a copy of the book that was recommended by one of you lovely folk, with the soft suede cover - that's the book, silly.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At May 30, 2007 7:50 AM Rhodri wrote:

Don't be scared of LBC, Jeni. To remove the butterflies, listen to the Danny Baker on BBC London in the afternoons. You'll be similarly effortless and brilliant. Of course, if you despise Danny Baker, disregard the above.

2. At May 30, 2007 9:25 AM Doris wrote:

Hard work keeping up with all that chewing!

Kind of funny going to see a cranial osteopath about a knee injury! But having used such a person it is quite amazing and plausible. Have you considered a decent kinesiologist? Not for your knee but for all the repressed emotional stuff that surfaces as ailments.

You'll be great on the radio - try not to worry too much. The normal nerves are OK and should be embraced! (Or so the theory goes.)


3. At May 30, 2007 1:49 PM Colin Jennings wrote:

They always say, if you want to look after your knees, walk on your hands but I've always found you get dirty palms and the leather from your soles grazes your knuckles, besides the sore back from all that crouching!

Jeni when are you back on Great Food Bites, we don't see you any more in South Africa and I certainly miss your show?

4. At May 30, 2007 7:59 PM judi4 wrote:

Dear Jeni,I really hate to contradict you but tv-am started in 1983 didn't it? I know BBC Breakfast started in the begining of January and tv-am was a few weeks later. I was in hospital after having my third child so I remember it very well!!! Especially you on the chaise long & thats when I became a fan. That same child is now a fan of yours as well. Enjoy the sprouts! xx

5. At May 30, 2007 11:22 PM Jeni Barnett wrote:

Dear judi4,

I started at TV-AM in 1982, before we went on air. That's probably where my error lay. But God forbid I should argue with the birth date of your child.
We're still at it after all these years though. Thank you for your comment.

6. At May 31, 2007 12:03 PM Joonie B wrote:

Just wanted to say that after re-reading your last day at GFL it can still manage to bring a tear to my eye! Still miss you, your humour, your extremely loud mouth and all the yummy food and drink you managed to get through... how lucky!! lol Hope your knee is holding up, or maybe that should be holding you up :-)

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.