Publish and be Damned

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 15 June 2007

On my drive up to London I listened to the 'The Maltby Collection' by David Nobbs on Radio 4. The double-barreled good looker from 'Green Wing' was in it, as was Richard Palmer. It was funny and so well written I laughed right up to Bromley. By the time I got to Crystal Palace, I changed to an old CD of Edwin Starr. It took me back to 1964 when I would dream of going to all-night parties with my brother's friends from art school. I started to jig around in my seat, glanced out of my window and three faces were grinning at me from a white van. The guy with dreadlocks had a row of fabulous gold teeth. So I pumped up the volume and we all danced together, on our respective bums, at the traffic lights. That warmed my cockles all the way to Clapham. I then turned on the one o'clock news which was enough to wipe the smile off anyone's face. The daughter and husband were in the flat. He was tarting up the computer. She tarting up her 'ikkle' self.

She then went off, with her friend, to the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park. Jim mounted his motorbike to the theatre and I legged it to the number 19 bus.

The Number 19 is one of my fave bus routes.

When I was much younger I fancied I would learn all the London routes and commit them to memory - I am an anorak at heart. You'll be pleased to know I never got round to it!

But the best journey, back in the 60's, was the number 24. It took you from Hampstead right down the embankment, past the Tate Gallery and on to Cheyne Walk. The Heath to the river with art thrown in. Now the number 19 has replaced the 24.

I walk to Battersea Bridge, which is joyous in itself. The river, which incidentally is extremely high today, is either Essex-bound or off to the sea. The houseboats moored on the north side by the bridge have a definite look of Amsterdam about them.

People feed the birds so there are always geese, and gulls, herons and swans waiting for a crumb. The riverside walk is windy and fresh. When my knee is better, I'll start running it again. It takes five minutes to run to Battersea bridge and 12 and a half to the Buddha in the park. In 30 minutes both sole and soul have had a workout.

I haven't got one of them Oyster cards so I pay my two quid at the driver's window and take my seat near the back. It's a tour de force. Over the bridge, down the Kings Road, round Hyde Park, up Piccadilly, down the Strand and... see what I mean? It's like being on a tourist bus. On the way back I sat upstairs and had a birdseye view. I have to say London really is glorious at this time of year.

I went into Soho to do a voice over and Art Malik was in another studio. He came into reception, all designer stubble and biking leathers. When our eyes met I screamed, 'Blimey! It's you'. - we hadn't seen each other for 20 years since we worked on a corporate film for the BBC. Well, now he looks just as gorgeous as he did when he stole our hearts in 'Jewel in the Crown'. I remember it well. I was living in Wapping at the time. The very same river running past our tiny flat, only further East. I used to sit eight inches from the telly screen on a red beanbag noshing home-made toasted cheese sandwiches. As the melted cheese oozed between the bread, I lusted after Art and Charles Dance. By the end of the series, I was the size of the Taj Mahal.

Art looked at me, and he was lost for words. What does a geezer say to a woman he hasn't seen for 20 years? 'My God, you've got old!' or 'Jeez, you don't look as fat as you did in the eighties.' I could see the man struggling.

In the end he looked me straight in the eye and said, 'How come you've got all your hair?' He, of course, has lost most of his. I laughed and watched his perfectly formed leathers disappear into the sound booth - all the while dreaming of my cheese toasties.

Which reminds me, dear Kerri. You can put anything you like in a salad, apart from rusty bicycle wheels that is. I often put in raw broccoli or runner beans. Fry up onions and garlic until brown and crisp then sprinkle them over the top. Courgettes, nasturtium flowers, anything organic and fresh will do. I often make salads by colour. Oranges and reds, blue and green. Think what your taste buds like and then do it. But please make sure you add CRUNCH. Remember it's the crispy crack of a crunchy crouton that sets our bodies ablaze, not unlike young Art.

I bought a bag of Goji berries from a stall in Berwick Street market, looked in the window of Ed's 'Randall and Aubin', decided he wasn't in the kitchen, and caught the first 19 that came along right opposite the theatre housing 'Cabaret'. You see - this bus even does theatreland.

I am now contemplating going to the cinema to see a French film with subtitles. It's either that or Coronation Street. Is there a contest?

I'll leave you now. Thank you for your continuing support and, all being well, I'll cu2morrer.

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


1. At June 15, 2007 11:43 PM angie wrote:

hi jen, just to wish you loads and loads of luck tomorrow on lbc, sure you will be fantastic and knock us all dead. it will be so good to hear you voice again .... live!! break a leg girl!!
love ya,

2. At June 16, 2007 1:46 AM Samuel Crawford wrote:

Dearest Darling Jeni, can't wait to hear you tomorrow on LBC. Good luck with it and I just know that this is the start of something hoooooge.

Love as always,



3. At June 16, 2007 10:16 AM Rhianon wrote:

First visit to this site for a week or so. Lifes a bit lunatic here in Neath.
I'm really sorry to hear about the incident with the award. Really sorry. It was a cheap thing to do. Sly, nasty, small minded and cheap. But you know what? Armpits to them. Do they have thousands of people waiting for their next move? No they don't. Do they have an army of fans and pals out here in blog land ? Do they, hell. No, Jeni, forget them. Who are they to make you miserable? Nobodies. I promise. Look how all their decisions have been wrong. Every move they've made so far has failed. Nobody cares about them. But we worry when you're down. So it's good to hear the upturn in the blog. You sound more content.
Life can be crappy at times, can't it? I tend to bawl at God a lot these days! He doesn't seem to mind.

4. At June 16, 2007 10:53 AM Tom Kirwan wrote:

Dearest Jeni,
Thank goodness I have found this blog. I was suffering withdrawal symptoms. Now at last I have a way of getting my fix. Get the head down and get that book done.
All the best and keep up the good work. Thanks for the mention in the Good Friday blog.
Love, always Tom (or John, Paul , George and Ringo. I know which one I was!!!)

5. At June 16, 2007 12:02 PM Aussie cass wrote:

Jeni,glad you're feeling better.
Whenever you had Ed Bain on, my
mother would insist that you and he must be related. I found it so
funny because she would say so every time. Now, just checking...
About MK, we had a similar format show here in Australia and it died a natural death because it was sooo boring. I looked at MK for the first time and lasted 5 minutes.

6. At June 16, 2007 1:13 PM carys wrote:

Hi Jeni. Just to wish you good luck on LBC this evening. I'm disappointed to be missing it, but I'm working and duty (a wedding reception for 150)calls. Have a great day.

7. At June 16, 2007 6:28 PM Sheila Pidd wrote:

Missing you loads Jen. MK is rubbish and boring, did try it but could not manage. I used to save you until ten o'clock and watch in bed. it was my daily 'fix' sad or what??? Missing the guys as well you were a good team. What idiots took of a winning combination of fun. And there ain't much of that around.
Hugs n'stuff

8. At June 17, 2007 9:38 AM Chris JW wrote:

Hi Jeni

I have just been listening to you on LBC. I havenít listened to it all yet but from what Iíve heard so far, youíre a natural!

I live in Yorkshire so had to find the programme on my Sky+. As it turned out I couldnít listen to you live, so I recorded your programme, which is now transferred to disc so I can listen to you wherever I am.

I wish I could have listened to you live because I would love to talk to you. I would have told you about the way Iím able to keep my cats calm when they face a bit of stress, without popping a pill into them. I use a plug-in diffuser I get from my vet, itís called Feliway made by CEVA. Itís a product which reproduces the pacifying properties of cat pheromones. I understand there is a similar product for dogs called DAP.

Fireworks, thunder and lighting are among some of the things that upset them so much that they use to hide and shake in as dark a corner as they could find. Not anymore, the diffuser is plugged in permanently and although they show facial signs that something is not quit to their liking, they do not hide or shake anymore.

Do you think that you will be doing anymore for LBC? I hope that things are now looking up for you. You are too good to be ignored. Iím sure UKTV Food must be kicking themselves for letting you go.

I was watching ĎThis Morningí last week and Phillip Schofield seemed surprised when it was announced that viewers can now get recipes on their mobiles by texting ??? (can't remember what) to a certain number. Oh I was so tempted to email them to say, nothing new about that, GFL had been doing that for ages.

Take care Jeni, love to all your family & pets.

Chris JW

9. At June 17, 2007 10:16 AM Jill wrote:

Dearest Jeni

Got up in the night at 3, couldn't sleep - probably too much cheap plonk on the Wirral - time to catch up with your blogs. Much tears and laughter (as always) later I crawled back into bed at 5, my eyes were too blury to post a comment. I'm so sorry that you've had a crap time this past week but you surely sound like you're on the up n up - thank goodness!
Hey hun don't let the bar stewards (as the telly execs are) get you down! You're better than the whole lot of em - praps thats the trouble - they feel threatened by you - whimps the lot of em.
Chin up Jen - we ALL love you.
Jill -x-

10. At June 17, 2007 12:23 PM Dusty wrote:

Listened to you on LBC last night, the joys of Rupert Murdoch! You were fab as we all knew you would be, keep on keepin on. Don't look back xx

11. At June 17, 2007 7:17 PM Libby wrote:

Hi Jeni
Just wanted to join with everyone and say "break a leg" for tomorrow, you'll be swell, you'll be great, gonna have the whole world on a plate.....will I have to pay copyright now????
Seriously all the best Jen can't wait to hear it (have to be on sky I'm back in Welsh Wales now!)
Lots of love Marmite Girl xx

12. At June 18, 2007 12:10 PM kerri wrote:

Dear Jeni,
Thank you so much for your ideas about salads. I tried the raw brocolli with the fried onion and garlic, it was delicious, even the old man looked interested, and hes not eaten anything green without being press ganged since 1979! Thanks once again. Kerri xxx

13. At June 18, 2007 8:50 PM chris w wrote:

Hi Jenni,
The Carcassonne Kid here again - well more like 54 year old greying London "girl".
Been away in Barcelona (great city, full of young folk and life) for a few days as its only 3 1/2 hours drive from here.
Those rotten b%^*$!+* at UKTV Food!! What a time you have had. I have just read your blog about the awards.
Those "people" are not even in your league for class and talent. Lord, they don't even know how to behave. We will never know their names or faces but a public, which has high standards, will always admire you.
Re your message to me: Have you read "The Labyrinth" my Kate Moss? Itís all about the Cathars and even my husband, a Yorkshire lad who hates most of the books I love, enjoyed it. Read the book and then come for a visit on 14th July and watch the fireworks over the Cite from the comfort of our terrace!
How was the weekend?
This site is a real page-turner...well, it would be if there were pages. Can't wait to read the next chapter about how our girl done good!
Chris x

14. At June 19, 2007 1:45 PM michelle morphew wrote:

Hi Jenny,
Just had the email back from Rob Hooker @ LBC that you are covering for Jim (not the old man) all next week between 1 and 2pm.
Great news and best of luck,
Michelle xx

15. At June 19, 2007 7:12 PM judi4 wrote:

Hi Jen, What a fab trip that bus is, all the sights. I cant get LBC I don't think on cable, but I'm going to have a look. Glad you're sounding much better Loads a luv Judi xxx

16. At June 19, 2007 11:23 PM Libby wrote:

Blinkin Heck Jen there must be a time difference between LBC and Welsh Wales I missed your debut (and I call myself a fan - Oh the shame!) Tried to see if they have a listen again thing but no - have decided to upgrade to Sky Plus now in case you are on again.
P.S write soon we worry about you when there's a long gap!!!!

P.P.S I reckon you and Silvena Rowe should do a double act you would be fabulous dahling!
Love ya
Marmite Girl xx

17. At June 25, 2007 10:02 AM Chris JW wrote:

Hi Jeni

Good luck on LBC this week. I will be listening on Sky. If the subjects you talk about ring any bells I will try to ring and speak to you.

It has been raining here in Yorkshire since about 3am this morning. I know it was that time because the rain running down the road and into the drain started my bladder off, even in my sleep. The field beside us is beginning to flood again. Fingers crossed the water will stay away from the door.

You say you have a pigeon out side your window, so do I. It arrived this time last year and although it disappears at night, it returns in the morning and spends the day with us. At the moment it is sitting on the end of the pergola preening himself and enjoying the rain, I glad someone is.

Must go now, the rain down the drain is affecting the bladder again.

Take care Jeni, love to all your family & pets.

Chris JW

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.