Transmutation

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 14 June 2007

I took Jackson for a walk in the Hollies. We drove over the cattle grid, parked the car and gingerly walked past half a dozen very big bulls chewing the cud. The weather was balmy.

When we got to the top of the hill, 16 sheep stood up, clocked us, figured we were friendly natives and carried on munching the moss.

The sun was beating down, the track dusty from no rain. It felt like we were walking in the Grand Canyon when right before me very eyes, as large as you like, was a snake. I could almost hear Serge Leone in the bushes, as the music struck up. It was the good (the dog), the bad (the snake), and the ugly. (Okay, enough self deprecation...) It looked dead. Black with grey markings. I involuntarily clenched my fists up to my ears and yelped. Jackson didn't take a blind bit of notice. I looked at it very carefully. It was motionless, but it was just doing what snakes like to do. The back end of its body was coiled round whilst its head stood erect on the end of its neck. It fixed me with its beady eyes but didn't move one sinew.

I crept past. I needed Jim to tell me what kind of snake it was, but he's in London being a thesp so I'll have to look it up somewhere.

The first thing I did when I came home, apart from putting out the rubbish, opening the windows, having a spot of lunch, making three phone calls and talking to Jonathon my neighbour, was to go to my book of Native American medicine cards to look it up. A snake symbolises Transmutation. The little poem that goes with the reading is:

Snake... come crawling,
There's fire in your eyes.
Bite me, excite me,
I'll learn to realise.

The poison transmuted,
Brings eternal flame.
Open me to heaven,
To heal me again.

I always read up about any kind of animal that crosses my path. I've done it for years. A dragon fly, for instance, when it whizzes past, symbolises (according to Native American tradition) 'illusion' whilst an armadillo teaches you about 'boundaries'. Not that I'm likely to come across an armadillo in Tunbridge Wells, but you never know. So, the good old snake symbolised a change in consciousness, a transmutation of all poisons, whether mental, physical, spiritual or emotional.

When I read that, and all your wonderful comments, I felt a lot better.

To Andrew, who thinks I should get real and move on like in the real world... In my world - real or not - accolades are normally given to the team that earned them, and my terrific team wasn't honoured. However, I am now cheerily looking forward to all sorts of lovely projects. I talked to Ed Baines and Simon Rimmer today and have been texted by so many of the chefs, I need to get my knives and forks out of storage.

I also felt it was time to replace my swimming sack so bought myself a little black number which cost more than the entire income of Bhutan. It was two sizes smaller than my turquoise creation which made up for the expense.

I also bought a new telephone for the cottage. It then took me three hours to work out why it wasn't working - I hadn't plugged the bleeding thing in.

But now it's time for me to vacuum the 'Shake and vac' which I have sprinkled liberally all over the carpets in the vain hope that it will remove the smell of Battersea Dogs Home, then I'll gather up my things for tomorrow (I'm going back to the flat) and fall into bed with my book, which is a ridiculously badly written tome about an Irish cook, male, and his paramour a builder, female. I am amazed that I am still hanging in with it but I need to know if they are ever going to get it together without the brazen sister intervening.

I'm not going to tell you the title because I'm a little embarrassed about reading it. But Nora Roberts wrote it so there.

Karen, your blog made me laugh out loud. So I will take up your offer of using your out words:

Goodnight and up yours!

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

Comments

1. At June 14, 2007 11:54 PM Libby wrote:

Jeni
Glad you are feeling better, I'm in London for the weekend may bump into you - I'm going to to see Spamalot so should be a laugh, now being a poor little Welsh girl,who doesn't stray far from the Valleys which one of the fab chef places in London is the best I'll only have time for one??? Maria's, Gino's what do you reckon oh wise sage? Ooo How about ending with Blow it out your ass!
Love ya
Marmite Girl xx

2. At June 15, 2007 6:23 AM myra wrote:

RE THE AWARDS...JUST CAUGHT UP WITH THAT BLOG. I LIVE AND WORK IN TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA AND HAVE WATCHED AND LOVED GFL FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS. HOW DARE THEY TREAT YOU LIKE THAT.....THE SWINES !!!. IF ONLY I COULD HAVE A WORD WITH GOOD OL' COUNT DRACULA, WE COULD SERVE UP THE TV EXECS TO HIM (EXTREMELY RARE )I AM NOT NORMALLY A BLOOD THIRSTY PERSON BUT WHAT A BL***Y CHEEK. REGARDLESS OF THAT..MARKET KITCHEN STILL STINKS.

3. At June 15, 2007 6:43 AM myra wrote:

JUST A THOUGHT JENI. MAYBE THAT SNAKE YOU SAW WAS ONE OF THE TV EXECS HAVING A DAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY !!!.

4. At June 15, 2007 7:24 AM lynne chazer wrote:

Kepp your pecker up, as my old nan used to say! You're better than the lot of them. And seeing as how your sharping your cutlery I've thought of a few ways you could use them on certain people, there are plenty of NHS hospitals around still to have them surgically removed!

5. At June 15, 2007 7:58 AM Ruth De Masi wrote:

When you've spoken of lovely walks with Jackson, I was tempted to say 'watch the snakes!' My best mate Charlotte was walking her 2 dogs in the woods near Rotherfield. One dog was bitten by a snake. His leg grew to the size of his head! Poor dog took a while to recover but did thankfully. So tell Jackson to watch out.
Look after yourself too
Ruth x x

6. At June 15, 2007 10:25 AM Rob Elford wrote:

Glad to hear you're feeling more positive.

I'm in London visiting clients next week, so, watch out! If I spot you hanging around reading magazines in Soho I'll come over and buy you a drink :)

Rob

7. At June 15, 2007 1:52 PM kerri wrote:

Hi jeni,
Well you sound happier thank goodness. Your cosi two sizes smaller, i'm so jealous! Have stuck to my diet all week and have lost 5lb, a drop in the ocean believe me. Away for the weekend but will think of how well you have done and try not to binge!Have you got any ideas of different veggies to have in a salad? am bored with my mine. Take care xxx

8. At June 15, 2007 1:59 PM Yorkshire Terrier wrote:

Chin up Jb, miss you loads.

9. At June 15, 2007 3:11 PM emma wrote:

Hello Jeni, just put your name in google, wanted to know what was going on, have been away for a while and can't believe what they've done in my absence. Have never written one of these before, but am "furious from tunbridge wells" and feel very strongly that a bad decision has been made to scrap a really interesting, informative and well presented programme. In these days when children leave school not being able to boil an egg it should have been on the national curriculum.

10. At June 15, 2007 5:16 PM Andrew wrote:

Hi Jeni, I'm glad you've got a lot going on. I was beginning to wonder. I think you said the award was for the UKTV Food channel, didn't you? Great Food Live was the highlight for me, but the channel has lots of other programmes too, doesn't it? All of which contributed to the award success? Should they have been invited too? That's a lot of people, particularly if you include Delia, Stein, Martin, and the others who appear in popular re-runs. I guess the suits needed to draw a line somewhere. Chances are the awards were only attended by the channel staff. Anyway, my point is that if you want to be upset or unhappy, you will be. Great Food Live was fun, but it's finished and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next. And given the pasting you're encouraging the the suits to get, that might not be much.

11. At June 15, 2007 7:54 PM Nicola wrote:

Dear Jeni
I read your blog whenever I can & I was sorry to hear what happened BUT you are bigger (in the nicest possible way) & better than them so don't let the B's get you down. The people that count are the ones that care & if you've looked at the messageboards on UKTV Food you know how much we DO care. Move on & find the what's right for you.

12. At June 15, 2007 8:40 PM judi4 wrote:

Hi Jeni, I've been lucky enough to be away again so tonight I caught up with your blog,it took me ages! Your writing is brill! So interesting for your fans.I agree with Libby & Louise and many others. I now no longer watch UKTV Food so I'm thinking of getting rid of cable and getting freeview! Andrew - well HOW RUDE!!!! Why are you reading Jeni's blog???? Is he a secret exec from GFL? Talking of re-runs - GFL was live mostly, thats why it was good! Give us a picture Jen of your new figure, and give the rest of us hope! At least tell us how much weight you have lost. Much love Judi x

13. At June 15, 2007 8:52 PM simon wrote:

Hi jen prehaps the snake you spotted was a suit from uktv food, nah! nature is not that low.
Hope all is well now ,cant wait to listen to you on LBC.Love this web page,
all the very best for the future.
As for the suits at uktv I think the word my mother in law would have used is mumsas.
yes indeed I am also in a kelly and cohen match made in Heaven. onwards and upwards jen.

14. At June 19, 2007 11:54 AM michelle morphew wrote:

Hi Jeni,
So pleased to have found this web site,I heard about it on the UKTV Food one. I have just podcast you from LBC and enjoyed listening for the last hour great to hear you have not changed,radio suits you it is a shame we cant admire the weight loss!I had to phone the radio station to find out what slot you were on and they have told me you will be standing in again nextweek hope all works out as I love LBC and listen all the time and to have you as a regular will be fantastic. Maybe you could do a foodie slot with some London chefs!!
Kindest regards,
Michelle

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.