The Long-er day

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 June 2007

Somehow I missed the moment yesterday. My timetable is 'f''cocked' - trying to fit everything in is almost impossible. How I ever managed to run my life whilst doing GFL is beyond me.

When I am in town next week, Gae is house sitting and Jonfan, my next-door-husband, will tickle the hound when necessary and feed the moggy on demand.

Emmy, our little scabby tabby, is moody and soft. She climbs on the bed and sleeps in the stereotypical feline wrap. She had a brother, Oscar, who died of fright some years ago. A monster black tom had been terrorising him. Oscar curled up in a corner in the cellar whilst we looked everywhere in the neighbourhood and then expired quietly and alone on a wooden chair behind the hatstand. We found him by following our noses. The smell got so bad that the deathly gases wafted up the stairs into the piano room. Oscar's body had doubled in size. Jim brought him out into the garden in a carrier bag and forbad BB and I to look at him. He is buried along with Dinah and Sadie on the dark side of the studio.

Today I had lunch in a two-oasted oasthouse in Uckfield. We had gazpacho and salad plucked straight from the garden. I swear that really fresh food feels fuller. It was, though, a real test of strength for me as our hostess had made a fesh salmon and dill quiche. It was wobbly and creamy and I could taste the pastry in my memory glands. I did, however, stick to lettuce and lovage, although I made up for it with a little baked potato, some oatcakes and a carob nutty bar when I got home (comfort eating care of LBC).

Talking of which, the producers have sent me stuff for Monday's show. I am okay, although totally out of my comfort zone. I remind myself that eight billion Chinese have never heard of 97.3 talk radio and that there are more urgent things in life than worrying about hitting the traffic news on cue, although at this precise moment in time, it does feel madly important.

Your comments have really made me laugh this week. Thank you, Paul Corfield, for e-mailing at LBC with all sorts about Oyster cards. I still haven't got one, but I fully intend to.

To Christina, who makes dulcimers in Carcasson, and Alison of the tight buttocks in Cornwall, my daughter said how intelligent you lot appeared! She could be wrong, of course!

And for you, dear dog lover, my Jackson's sweet breath is all due to 'Johnson's Sweet Breath' tablets. Any pet shop will sell 'em. The little green pills only contain natural plant extract. My canine opens his mouth then chews them discreetly between his canines.

In our Twillage we have a little shop called 'Zest'. It's owned by a woman from Newcastle whose son is an actor. 'Oh! What's he been in?' I asked, sensing I was amongst friends. 'Do you remember Queer as Folk?' she said. 'As a matter of fact, I do.' I said, 'Written by Russel T. Davis of 'Dr Who' fame. I especially liked the young blonde lad who stole most of the scenes. He reminded me of my first boyfriend.' 'Well, that young blonde lad happens to be my son,' said his Geordie moothur.

At Christmas time he came back from LA, where he is now living, and helped out in the shop. I was really upset. I could have bought me candles and cards from the blonde bombshell from Bikar Grawrve!

Anyway, I went in to stock up on gifts for two of my fave men. Phil, whose birthday it was on the longest day and who sells saxophones. He has the biggest sexiest-sax showroom in the South. I bought him a little clock that sits on top of a silly little sax and a card which said 'Behind every successful man there's a really surprised woman' - which made me titter.

I also bought a CD of 'Round the Horne' for my brother and a coaster. When you put anything hot on it, it releases a smell of coffee. He chose that over sticky toffee pudding, vanilla and chocolate. I think I would have had a sticky toffee pudding mat. That smell of sweet fudgy butter under your mug of builders brew would make my day.

I was planning on going to the cinema tonight to catch George Clooney but one of my oldest friends dropped in to show off her new hat. In our youth we shared a flat in Frognal, NW3. There were four of us. An Irish beauty, 5'8", auburn hair and green eyes; an English Rose, 5.8", brown hair and violet eyes; my hat wearing friend, 5'9" with blonde hair and blue eyes. Then there was me - 5'1" in heels.

My hat-wearing, flat-sharing pal was one of the original bunny girls. She has a series of photographs where she is seen coyly flaunting her little bunny tail, floppy ears and fishnet tights, and that was at home - joke. But that's how we earned out money in thems days.

I worked in a boutique called Du Du off the Finchley Road for my sins. Endlessly folding t-shirts whilst dreaming of becoming an actress. I got sacked from one job - putting plastic bags over over-sized dresses. They accused me of loitering within those tents.

I washed up in a posh frock shop in Oxford Street and had all my rings nicked. I temped in Birmingham and was sacked for adding too many noughts to the invoices. They were being returned to sender, as a bill for 530 went out as a bill for 5.300. I got bored.

And then when I worked for the Post Office they kindly asked me to leave when I sent all the letters addressed to Billericky to Ireland. Come on, admit it. It does sound like a village in County Cork. But unlike most actors I have been lucky enough to work within my chosen industry and for that I am truly grateful.

On Monday I will set about a new challenge - one week of radio. They do say that most of us fall backwards into our careers. I seem to be falling headlong into mine. But now it's 21.10. and time to disrobe, put on my pink charity dressing gown and curl up to Jonathon Ross. I hope it's good this week. Ever since he was paid 20 million pound for one show every Friday night, I've lost my unconditional love of him. I know I am green with envy. Well, not green, just a little khaki. Well, not even that - more a sickly odenil. Oy, vey, shut up already. Night night and CU2morrer, maybe.

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


1. At June 23, 2007 7:48 PM Jill wrote:

Good evening Jeni,

You talking about work reminds me of my errant 16 year old son who, needs a job, not only for his self confidence and self esteem as well as to pay me back for all of the beers he drinks and thinks are free!! But because he HAS to some day join the world of the working - Yes I wish I could afford to pass him a silver spoon but no; he needs a blooming job! A number of supermarkets are recruitiing at the mo - I think he'll look good in bright green on the checkout and stacking shelves. Must get him to practice patting his back pocket - praps that's where he'll keep his wages?? Unless you can think of a better way to earn Jeni??

Will listen to you next week - found the channel today on good old Sky; tell me? What time will you be on?

Look foward to hearing you Jeni.

2. At June 30, 2007 3:59 PM Gaye Barnes wrote:

Hi Jeni
What a pleasant surprise to find you on LBC this week. You were a great success and I thoroughly enjoyed every programme. I write to ask if this was a trial or what? I sincerely hope you are going to be a permanent presenter on this station because it is one I can receive really well.

Love and thanks for your laughter
Gaye B XX

3. At July 5, 2007 6:11 PM Diana Dean wrote:

I have just read some of your tales and came across the one saying you lived in Frognal Hampstead so did I in the early 80's and I also live in Uckfield now,what a small world!!

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.