Morris Barnett's trainers

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 June 2007

When I was on GFL, Simon Rimmer and I used to talk about running. He's been pounding the turf for years, whilst I started two years ago.

Since I've been back from America, what with all the changes, my knee has gone. Well, when Rimmer and I used to chew the fat, he advised me to get a pair of MBTs. The only way I could remember the acronym was to re-christen them after my long-lost father Morris Barnett. Actually, MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology.

A certain engineer called Karl Muller observed that the Masai warriors never wore shoes and never suffered from back pain. He put two and two together and came up with a license to print money. Apparently the shape of MBTs help out your buttocks and your atrophied muscles that take a kicking - or not - from walking on hard concrete surfaces, something our brothers out in East Africa bypass.

If you go to the MBT website, there's a naked cartoon walking the way we should all walk so that our muscles get a good workout and our buttocks get dead springy. I bought a pair a few months ago, for a LOT of money, Mr. Muller. I am not an Internet shopper and I can't be bothered to trawl or surf so that I can pick up a Porsche for the price of a peanut. Anyway, my MBTs have been gathering cobwebs, spider's webs, cat biscuits and dead leaves on the floor under the shoe rack in the kitchen.

So, when I took Jackson out for his walk today, I put them on.

By the way, the dog looks great. I am wiping his tear stains away every day with some kind of liquid stuff. I am giving him a sweet smelling breath thingy made from herbs and he gets Rhus Tox, a homeopathic remedy for his joints. So, I put on my MBT's to keep up with my good looking pooch.

No, I did not feel like a Masai warrior, but more like my father, who has been dead a good few years. Although, to be fair they did make me walk up straight, helped me keep my belly in and stopped my knee hurting, so maybe there is something in Karl's cute idea. There's a geezer at the Globe who wears them and he told Jim they worked, which is what reminded me that I had some too.

Jim and I talk on the phone everyday, at least three times actually, so when he tells me stories from the Globe, I go looking for shoes under the coats. Not a bad trade off.

But, before you ask, I do not work on commission for the Masai Barefoot Technological Company.

I have had an extremely lazy day. I didn't get dressed until 2.15pm. Until then I wore my furry bath robe that BB hates. She says it makes me look ill. I bought it for a charitable cause.

I took my mother to my homeopath who gave her 'lachesis', which is snake venom. Very good for the circulation apparently. Then we went for a quick troll round Waitrose, after which I became apoplectic with rage. On the way out I noticed a huge sign on the window of our one and only greengrocer. They stocked local produce from smoked duck to freshly baked bread. The sign said they couldn't cope, after 35 years, with the competition from the supermarkets. My heart sunk.

I was never allowed to fully vent my feeling on GFL about those rotten giants of industry, but my 'Twillage' - a cross between a town and a village - has now, over a period of 20 years, lost a butchers, a fishmonger, a bakers, and probably the candlestick maker near the fish and chips shop on the Cross.

It's horrible what's happening and if they let me, I intend talking about it next week on LBC. I think we should all rally round our little producers. The greed of the Lady Porters and the Lord Sainsbury's does my head in. Just how many millions does a person need to have to have? You can only live in one mansion at a time and more than 12 million is a bit excessive, don't you think?

Do you remember when Sting got stung for 6million by his accountant, he didn't even notice? Something slightly unbalanced about our criteria, don't you think?

I was so sad about the greengrocers. When our butchers was open, customers would go in for the best sausages in the county and have a laugh with the three jolly butchers behind the counter. In fact, I had them on the show. Now they're probably miserable somewhere trying to find a new purpose in life. I wish them well.

At Christmas time the queues for turkey went round the block. Even when it snowed, and it did in them days, nobody was glum, we talked and shared jokes. Nobody queues in the supermarkets because we all complain about running out of time. I often thought I should work the line outside the butchers, maybe with a monkey on my shoulder and a little paino accordian to whip up the crowd. Sctually now that GFL has ended I may just think about it as an alternative career.

I was going to mow the lawn today but I was robbed of time so that's tomorrow's job, along with cooking and cleaning and eating and reading and writing and... ain't life grand?

I am unable to help with the Sky address for LBC, but I am sure one of you commentators out there can help?

This morning I was interviewed by a young journo from The Jewish Chronicle. I'm afraid I wasn't very friendly. The enfant terrible made me call her, a first for me. I picked up the call, which irritated me, considering she got all her facts wrong. My monosyllabic responses to her infantile questions will probably get me a bad, if any, write up but it had to be done.

I was short and sharp, and took exception at her telling me my life's work inaccurately. I know I'm not Jackie Collins or Dame Mirren but I do have a smidgen of a profile, although to tell you the truth I enjoyed frightening her. Especially on the back of Nick Ross and Moira Stuart. The young woman asked me how old I was. Did I mind her asking, she enquired? Well, normally, I said, I wouldn't give a toss but since I am now sackable by the BBC, I prefer to keep that sort of thing private, although I am younger than Alan Yentob, who does seem to work all the time. But I'm also lot older than Lisa Riley, who doesn't.

Funny game, this telly lark. They have scant respect for experience any more.

It's 20.36pm and I am about to put the kettle on for a chum who's coming for tea, although I think she would prefer some of Jim's 2005 red plonk that's in a decanter on the table. You would think that after 500 years doing a food show, I would know what it's called. Well, I don't. So there.

I do know, however, that the avocado oil I drizzled over my salad was unctious and glorious. And a lot better for me than fermented grape juice.

I can't believe that I'm still not eating rubbish. That, alongside Morris Barnett's Trainers, and I'll be the fittest crone in East Sussex. Move over Denise Van Outen - the girl is back in town.

I do hope you are all well. I especially want to say a big thank you to Ian Fenn, my blogmeister, without whom none of this would be possible. He's a big man with a modest turn of phrase and what he doesn't know about Chinese nosh, you could put in a fortune cookie and send to the Jackie Chan fan club.

Oh, my chum has turned up with a bottle of white. Ah! Did you hear the cork pop? Have a good evening and CU2morrer.

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


1. At June 21, 2007 7:23 AM lynne chazer wrote:

I fully agree with you about the supermarkets. In my area of Hertfordshire we have one farmers market per month, but other than that, unless you go further afield - carbon emisions! - you are stuck with the supermarket.
Oh, what herbs do you use for Jacksons fresh breath? Our Pickle is only 3 but after the last we lost at 15 and my daughters constant moaning about her breath, it would be nice to have something in hand?
Thank you

2. At June 21, 2007 6:03 PM Nate wrote:

Hi Jeni, first of all, love the blog, I'm sooo glad I found it!
I missed your radio debut last week and couldn't find a download version, but it's great news that you're standing in again next week. For anyone out there who has Sky, LBC is on channel 0177. My sky+ is set to record!

I was such an avid fan of GFL. I can honestly say I've learned so much about produce and cooking over the past 5 years. The chefs are on other progs now, but it's just not the same. There's one vital ingredient missing (pun intended) and that would be you, the presenter that held it all together when the chaos began.
I know you've probably heard it a million times aleady but.. I gave the abysmal MK a try, that lasted 5 minutes. Haven't been back to UKTVF since.

Rob, the piece with Jeni and Ollie in the studio garden talking about 'that' picnic bag is fantastic. Jeni looked shocked to say the least. I was in hysterics. Maria Ellia in the studio couldn't keep a straight face. It's got to be an all time classic.

Good luck for next week Jeni!

Best wishes
Nate xx

3. At June 21, 2007 6:49 PM Libby wrote:

Jeni you are SO right about the big supers, we have a farmers market which is fab but it's one friday a month when most people are at work which is a shame! The food is amazing quality though. Ooo if you have time, my grass needs cutting too I saved it for your mediation needs, pop round anytime at the weekend.
Take care
Love Marmite Girl xx

4. At June 21, 2007 9:50 PM Lesley Burnett wrote:

Hi Jen, you seem to be rallying now, perhaps better than some of us who sooooo miss GFL. Like Nate I too gave Market Gorgon a few minutes and then turned my back on UKTVF never to return until you do! I keep reading posts that you are being repeated on UKTV Style but despite searching the listings I can never find you.....anyone out there who can point me in the right direction? Love your description 'Twillage' it perfectly describes our own little place in Cornwall and we still have a fantastic local butcher who pulls in people from all over, including Penzance who have two of the monsterous big SM's. Our lovely butcher even has a bench inside and outside his shop so that when the queues build up, us knackered knee oldies can have a rest. Feel free to come down with your monkey and accordian and do us a turn.

Keep yer chin up, all will soon be well.

Love LB & Grumps

5. At June 21, 2007 10:28 PM Alison wrote:

Dear Jen,

So pleased to hear you're bouncing on the MBT's, I bought mine last Saturday after a lifetime of walking tippytoed, my friends call it my Barbara Windsor walk and are most amused, I am determined the walk is history. Although the rocking takes a bit of getting used to and I managed to drop a dustbin on my toe whilst attempting to balance. However my buttocks are tightening by the minute, goodbye cellulite and I wish you the same result. Keep us posted x x Alison

6. At June 22, 2007 4:23 PM Martin and David in Brighton wrote:

Well done on keeping your blog going and uptodate - that is excellent.

My partner David (we registered our civil partnership last April), our friend Michelle (she lives in Milton Keynes, and her girlfriend in Richmond which is a bit of a trek) and I were driving down to the boat the other day reminiscing about our favourite GFL moment. The strap on picnic bag is certainly there.

We also talked about that wonderful outrageous moment when you had been talking about plastic surgery. In what could hardly be described as all innocence, you turned to Silvena and asked if she'd ever considered plastic surgery to make her appear more feminine - the sudden silence that followed was very loud indeed...! Did she ever talk to you again?

But seriously, we miss you dreadfully, can't abide Market Kitchen (or in fact all the bloody repeats UKTV Food seem to rely on to pad out their schedule) and can't wait for you return to the small screen.

Best wishes

Martin and David in Brighton

7. At June 22, 2007 9:35 PM Jill wrote:

Nate, I thank you for at last revealing the Sky channel I need to tune into. Bit lost too as to what time?? Gosh am I sad Jeni or what - Or what I guess! But then us 'therapists' need the old grape juice to get us through the week!and weekend! lol J-x-

8. At June 23, 2007 12:53 PM Rob Elford wrote:

I missed the 'strap on' last time around, but loved it when I saw the repeat this week!

The repeats are great and remind us all how much we looked forward to the show each day.

9. At June 23, 2007 1:30 PM Lynne wrote:

Hi there Jen. Am looking forward to listening to you on LBC tonight now I have the sky+ channel number 0177. GFL is repeated at 11 am on UKBrightideas for the reader who couldn't find it. Have a nice day. x

10. At June 25, 2007 3:37 PM Shelley wrote:

Hi there...reading about your little green things for dogs breath. We have some here in OZ called greenies, same name as snot, made me laugh, but I'll keep trying them, well giving them to the dogs, I wont be trying them :^)}... Exciting news after my whining to our cable company and I'm sure many many others, GFL is being repeated Sundays in the am commencing this coming Sunday...Unfortunately I will be away on a girls weekend, drinking lots of grape juice so will miss this week, but will be tuned in for the coming weeks...I wont beat around the bush MK is cr@p and it does nothing for me....
You talked of Goji berries which are all the rage here going to grab some and give them a go, did they do anything fantastic for you? Maybe I should keep them to cleanse with after my weekend of grape juice and ibuprofen...

Yeah please tell us what time you're on LBC I might be able to catch you on the radio (via the internet) Well keep those chins up and bye for now

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.