Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 24 June 2007

Blimey, 'what a grey day', to quote Larry Grayson.

The rain has been constant since I awoke this morning. Not that it really mattered since I had no pressing external commitments so I've been in my Marks and Sparks pj's all day. It didn't stop me going shopping though. I disguised them with my yellow anorak, bought for 2.50 from Johnathon, my next door provider.

Now, before you ask, he does house clearances. So often he comes home with bargains a plenty. I have a library of books from dead folk. Some of them brand new and unopened. I'm sure the deceased would be delighted to know that their final purchases had fallen into such enthusiastic hands.

When I got up, it was clear that poor old Jim had slept on the settee. We hadn't had a falling out. It's just that our bed at home is 6'6" wide whilst the one in the flat is just big enough for me and one of Jim's limbs - Steady!

So, it falls to one of us to creep out in the middle of the night and take up residence on the leather couch in the 'reception room', which is estate-agent-speak for the front room.

Jim climbed back into bed wearing his charity shop dressing gown which gives him the look of somebody who flew over the cuckoo nest. I hate it. He looks like he's just been sectioned.

I chucked him out to go off and make himself a strong black coffee and toast whilst I meditated on my ever diminishing navel. After which, I decided to shop before the day got started. I climbed into my car, wearing my pink plastic 'Crocs' and realised my feet were freezing. This really is a gloomy June.

I drove to the Kings Road. No congestion charge on a Sunday, but to my horror, it wasn't open. The sensible people were still in bed. So I turned round and headed for Waitrose in Wandsworth Southside. I got all maudlin passing my old studios, but picked myself up by the time I had found an empty space in the underground car park.

Me, a young father who was entertaining his son by punching the little lad in the stomach and a group of women, one of whom was wearing Issy Miyake perfume (a little excessive so early of a Sunday I thought) shuffled from foot to foot as we waited for the supermarket supremo to unlock the doors. At precisely 11.00am the doors were unlocked and we rushed in like a bunch of Lithuanian peasants about to fight over the last loaf of Rye.

My guilt at supermarket shopping was diluted since everywhere else was closed. I bought all the Sunday papers, and enough fruit to feed an aviary of cockatoos, half a leg of lamb for him and her, a couple of Romaine lettuces (Isn't it so annoying when they re-name things? They were called a perfectly respectable 'Cos' when I was growing up. Why? BeCos they were!) for me and then I went to the checkout.

The woman who pointed my groceries at the beeper started a conversation over my cartons of drinks about pomegranate juice - how hard it was to find any with real pommes and not the concentrate and, lordy, the amount of sugar they used. I remarked that I thought I had seen Terence Stamp walking towards Clapham Junction as she beeped his litte loaf. I paid, pushing my wonky trolley with one hand whilst heaving up my pj's with the other.

I loaded the car and backed out into a traffic jam at the barrier as somebody had lost their parking ticket. A whole line of Range Rovers, BMW's, Audi's and me had to rearrange ourselves until there was flow. I was the last in line. I stretched out. I'd parked just a little too far away from the machine so was balancing on my right buttock. I put in my card and the readout demanded 1.50. I had just had my ticket stamped - the first two hours was free. So I had to back up.

My reversing really is as bad as all those sexist comics say female reversing is. I try and look in my mirror, but I go squiffy. When I do glance over my left shoulder, it's normally just before I'm about to crash into a wall or a 4x4, if I'm in Chelsea. This morning was no different, only, to add insult to injury, there was a very high concrete curb somewhere under one, or it could have been both, my wheels. By that point I couldn't tell my left from a hole in the ozone. My little Red Nellie (yes, my little red car is called Nellie. Yes, I know it's twee, tweee, tweeeee...) complained as we tried to mount the pavement. I finally maneuvered my way out of danger and by this time it could have been high noon in Madras I was sweating so much as I went back into the store. They looked at my evidence and gave me 1.50 in coins so that I could get out. I finally arrived back at the barrier, inserted my card, the readout repeated its request for 1.50, but now there was no panic as I had the coins in my hand. Only, guess what? There was no slot to put them in. I had to back up and drive back to the machine at the front of the store. Neither myself, or the ever increasing line of cars could cope with that so I bunged in my credit card. Hurrah! When the barrier opened I felt like Paris Hilton after 23 days in the penitentiary.

When I arrived home, Jim had installed yet another programme on the computer and the child had emerged from her pit. That will give you an idea of quite what a marathon my quick shopping trip had turned into.

I made lunch and was informed that the CD's I had bought the child to 'burn' (a 21st century technical term that has now replaced the perfectly adequate term for 'copying') were in fact DVD's which had nothing to do with music so I put my yellow anorak back on over my jimjams. Only this time I donned a pair of woolly socks as well because my toes had developed frost bite.

Into Wandsworth, beeping and hooting from Sunday drivers, feeling a little maudlin when I passed the studio, into the car park, exchanged the discs at customer services and then, breathing to control my adrenals in yet another traffic hitch, we curb crawled to the barrier. BB and I crossed everything we had and mercifully we got through without any hassle.

Back to the flat and a huge pigeon had parked herself on one of the window boxes on the balcony. Jim declared 'it grand' since they are shy birds. I, however, felt like I had been invaded by one of Alfred Hitchcock's birds. My husband does not have my imagination, although what he doesn't know about wildlife, Bill Oddie could put in his binocular bag.

Then I set about reading all the papers, got a little anxious about tomorrow's show, did some research and calmed down.

My feet are now warm. BB and Jim are on the Internet, trying to locate a keyboard. Jackson is having the time of his life with Gae back home in the the country, and I am sending out dry vibes to Rob, my hip agent who is mud surfing in Glastonbury. It's now time for a glass of real pomegranate juice, a nibble on a seed and a chat with the old man before he changes into his Jack Nicholson costume. Then it's a good night's sleep on the settee and off to LBC.

I Hope all is well in your world. CU2morrer.

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


1. At June 25, 2007 2:43 AM sue wrote:

good luck for this morning Jeni.......

love reading your blog, just an everyday person's ordinary life much more meaningful and REAL than the "political, religious, sectarian and 'celebrity' news in the world" that bombards and threatens to overwhelm us who, like you, try to live our everyday ordinary lives as best we can..........

2. At June 25, 2007 7:36 AM Dave.W wrote:

Hi Jen,

Could do with a 'Jonathan' next door. I think I need some new wet weather gear! Mine are starting to leak a bit!! I cycle to work - in all weathers. This morning being no different. I thought I might just make it before the heavens opened, but no. As soon as I closed the garage door, climbed on my bike, it tipped it down. Needless to say, by the time I got to work, I was ever so slightly soaked!

Have just managed to dry myself off a bit, with those nasty paper towel things from the gents and thought I'd cheer myself up reading your blog, while steaming.

Its worked...many thanks and keep it up girl :-) x x


ps Looking out of the window and seeing how its still chucking it down..I think I may need to start swimming to work.

3. At June 25, 2007 1:53 PM Doris wrote:

Hah! I bet those PJs actually look quite good.... and I'm chuckling because I thought I was the only one that did that sort of thing. Worse thing is keeping the baggy trews held up when the elastic is starting to go and one is carrying heavy tins of paint from B&Q whilst trying to keep a grip on things!

I do hope the radio show is going better for you - I'm sure the audience are loving it. Now do you have an online link to the radio show somewhere on your blog.... ?


4. At June 25, 2007 2:00 PM Doris wrote:

Wahey! It is just before 2pm and I went off to find the LBC online after posting my last message and am listening to you now :-D

Yaaaay it is the Jenni Barnett we know and love. I'm sorry I missed the rest of the show!

5. At June 25, 2007 2:09 PM kerri wrote:

Hi jeni,
Have just finished listening to your radio broadcast with Frank Bordoni and Rob Hull. I have to say i really enjoyed it and thought you were just getting into your stride when it had to finish. I think they should give you a two hour slot! Would have loved to have had the nerve to ring in and ask Rob if he had any meal ideas/lists, but he seemed a bit vague at times and i dont fancy chocolate pudding for breakfast! Just to say well done, you are a natural. Will enjoy tuning in tomorrow. Take Care kerri xxx P.S. Derren sounded interesting didnt he!!!!!

6. At June 25, 2007 2:31 PM Claire wrote:

Hi Jeni,
Have just listened to your radio programme and really enjoyed it. Still really miss seeing you on tv. Always watched you at 6pm and now don't watch uktv food at all. Read your posts everyday.Love Claire

7. At June 25, 2007 2:53 PM glenn wrote:

Hi Jen!
Heard your show today. Well done. It mustn't be easy transferring to another medium, but you are doing great. It was also lovely to hear that Bordoni chap again. You make a great team. Did he get the giggles? It sounded a bit like it. He was always a bit of a giggle risk on GFL.
I visited London on the weekend to visit a friend and catch up with the latest on the West End. She lent me her oyster and then London was my oyster. But it's so hot in the Tube - really unbearable. My oyster was well and truly cooked.
Keep up the blogging, it makes me laugh.
Love from Hamburg,

8. At June 25, 2007 4:23 PM Geraldine wrote:

Hi Jenni
managed to listen to your lunchtime show whilst I was at work - it was great to hear you again, and you sounded as if you were having a lot of fun - shame its only for an hour, but enjoyed it anyway and will be listening again tomorrow.
Loads of luv,


9. At June 25, 2007 5:07 PM sherrytrifle wrote:

Dear Jeni,
Loved GFL soo much, love your blog as well.
After managing to fnd lbc on t'internet today, I quite love your radio show... even the kidz recognised your dulcet tones ( ages 4 thru tyo 16!) And then to cap it all you had Mr Body Bordoni on the show as well! How lucky are you !
Life can certainly be tricky @ times but our friends & loved ones are our blessings!
Love & Hugs Sherry X

10. At June 25, 2007 7:45 PM Jill wrote:

Oh bugger (will they let me say that??) I was all ready to listen to you today on LBC and then got a call from the garage - much weeping and wailing later- and that was just over the bill for a service, MOT and some brake thingies - 700+ later. I then notice the time -grrrrrr I missed your show godammit. Can i get it on listen again?? I doubt it - must wait now til next week and hope that the boss doesn't come in from 1-2 whilst I'm listening. Fancy missing the bod as well - Oh woe is me.

Hear you nest time Jen.
J -x-

11. At June 25, 2007 8:38 PM Libby wrote:

Hey Jen, tried to listen at work today but they have taken the sound cards out of our computers! Got tomorrow off so will definately listen on Sky. You know I've decided you can also tell how bad Marked up Kitchen is by the number of adverts they are putting out all over UKTV channels, plus I got my sky mag today and it says it's the last in the series in July .....THANK THE LORD! Hope you are enjoying the new gig DJ Jen!
Love to you and yours
Marmite Girl xx

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.