Wet and damp in Sussex
The weather men were right. California is meant to be sunny - and it was mostly. England is meant to be grey and wet with an overcast of depressing gloom - and it is mostly. We haven't even taken Jackson out today.
The Clematis has gone mad, the lawn is as high as an elephants thigh, the Comfrey has driven through the Californian Poppies and there's more washing in the cellar than Dot's launderette.
I arrived back in the cottage lunchtime yesterday after a big week in London. BB, the youngest daughter, guested with Jocelyn Brown at The Camden Jazz Cafe on Wednesday night. I cried. Jim beamed. The drummer thought she was good and the bass player told us to tell her not to stop practicing as she was fabulous. She, like her mother, believed that everyone thought she was useless. The genetic curse of the performer.
On Thursday she had an end of term gig at her university. She sung a self-penned song, accompanied by a guitarist, bassist and pianist. Jim cried. I beamed. And all her mates clapped enthusiatically.
It does make a change to see youngsters doing it for pleasure, making mistakes, and picking themselves up again. Doing it for the right reasons not because they want to star in a telly talent show that gives them too much fame, too early, without a hint of what it really is like to be a craftsperson with skills. Rant number one.
Petrol is so expensive it cost me more to get home than it did to fly to OHI and back again. Rant number two.
On Friday I blitzed the flat. The Buddhists believe that cleaning is good for the soul. Well, after my mammoth cleanse I felt so close to the Almighty I went out and stocked up the cleaning cupboard with all sorts of acceptable fluids. I can't justify using all those chemicals now that I have been told about their danger.
I looked on the back of all my Body Shop bath bottles and was horrified to see the list of carcinogenic baddies. I can't believe that I had never looked before. I have been busily concentrating on what went into my body, having never looked at what went on the outside of it. The dreaded Sodium Laureate is everywhere. The kids said not to throw them away. They will use them up then re-stock with organic stuff that doesn't kill you and is better for the environment. Rant number three.
I met an old buddy from GFL out shopping for replacements and she didn't recognise me. The tan and the reduced blubber... it was my pink plastic Crocs that gave me away. I thought I would be upset meeting old workmates, but it was lovely. So, I am off to Eric Landlard's patisserie in Battersea Reach next week. His cakes are works of art although his ganache tastes a lot better than guoache.
On Friday we went to see 'Boeing Boeing' at the Comedy Theatre. Roger Hallam played the suave Lothario and Mark Rylance his geeky friend. I sat next to Jim who sat next to David Suchet (not a friend, just a recognisable audience member). We were celebrating our wedding anniversary. I laughed a lot, as did most of the audience. Jim came straight from rehearsing. I came straight from cleaning. I arrived in a taxi. He was on his motorbike. At the end of the show he walked to get his bike while I hailed a taxi. I shouted across the road to my husband of 105 years, 'Thank you for tonight and happy anniversary'. He shouted back, 'No, Thank yooo. See you next year.' I started laughing as he disappeared around the corner into the Haymarket.
The taxi driver said that he too had been married for a hundred years. But, I said, that the extra five made all the difference. 'Tell me about it', he said, and then went off on one about the menapause and how his wife had turned into Joan Crawford on a really bad day. 'What do you do?', I asked. 'Work', he said. That man drives his black cab round London all hours of the day and night to get away from his wife's outbursts. I only gave him 80p tip as I felt sorry for him but more for his wife.
Jim and I met back at the flat and, as usual, I went to bed before him knowing the bathroom, lavatory, kitchen, office, hall and sitting room were all spick and span and in perfect working order. He didn't even notice.
It's 21.13 now. He's back at the flat - he's rehearsing tomorrow. I'm here in the cottage reading all the papers and trying not to panic about my LBC debut. I've got so many clippings, the kitchen table looks like shredder, articles about all sorts of things that may make for good radio conversation. I'll need to decide just what I'm going to talk about when the time comes. I'm sure the angels will help, they always do.
Weather permitting, I will mow the lawn tomorrow, but I am reliably informed that it's going to piddle it down. The dog will get a walk, whatever the weather, and I will read yet more journalist gossip.
I've found a source of wheatgrass. I've stuck to the raw food for a week. Now I have to decide whether to administer my practices from OHI. Somehow internal plumbing in my own bathroom feels a little weird but since Jim is in London and them daughters are out and about, I may just try. Perhaps just a little too much information for all you lovely people.
Everybody has got coughs and sneezes so bless you if you're sneezing and have a fun Bank Holiday. CU2morrer.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Sounds as though the (healthy) holiday has really worked and so pleased that you have got the LBC radio work. Living in Manchester, I shall have to listen to you on Sky Radio. However, I am down in Eastbourne on the 16th June for a week so can probably hear your debut down there.
Jeni honey, you will be wonderful on LBC! So don't panic & remember, those of us who can will be listening & the rest will be with you in spirit.