Sleepless in See-Sussex

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 5 July 2007

Whenever my girlfriends come to stay, I burn the candles at both end. I have my cake and eat it, whilst biting off more than I can chew. All in all, I am clinched out, cream crackered and so full of chocolate, my airwaves are totally clogged up. I go to bed exhausted but can't sleep because the conversation has fired me up. Hence sleepless in See...

We've just come in from Lewes. It's about 20 minutes from the cottage. We went to see an art exhibition called 'Body of work', a free warehouse exhibition of stunning contemporary art. The show is on until 13th July, everyday from noon - 6pm. My cousin had created some wonderful splashes of colour with his arty bluebells, whilst one of his tattooed chums hung extraordinary pictures of blood and gore in the form of Buddha self harming and alienated figures literally crying their eyers out.

Mandalas, of intricate design, hung on one wall, whilst on the final corner, beautiful body casts were displayed. There was even a shuttlecock - which was just that. I should have liked to have met the guy who modelled for it.

I hope enough people support it, its so hard for artists to survive these days. We left Grant over-seeing the exhibition whilst five of us went for lunch in 'Bills' in Lewes.

Bills has wooden tables for four or more - 6, 8, or just 2. It's wonderfully fresh food served by delightful young waiters and tresses, whilst the interior is chocablock with food displays, baskets of juicy produce, dried peppers hanging from the ceiling, arty red peppers set around the place and munch-worthy bread and cakes. It feels like being somewhere other than England. Just for a moment you can turn a blind eye to WH Smith, Boots and Clinton cards and all the other horrible chain stores that flank the place.

I had such a huge salad that it literally smudged my lipstick. Not a good thing when you are a Jewish Princess with a brand new stick of Mac's 'Russian Red' to play with. I have a friend who believes I have a lipstick gene. I am never alone without a tube. You know all this, but I will reiterate. I have a Number 7 in my little car, a clutch of reds and pinks in my cottage and a box of assorted shades in the flat. A girl is never alone with her Bobby Browns. It's an age thing. When I was younger, I never wore any war paint at all. But now I pale at the thought of life without my carmine.

The salad had anchovies, little roasted potatoes, dried tomatoes and a dressing that dribbled its way through every taste bud. Then I ordered a pavlova and a chocolate cake, five spoons and a wadge of napkins. I swear it was to share but in the end I licked most of it. Why not? Radio beckons and I can afford to slide a bit.

I have lost a lot - I'm not sure how much - a couple of stone perhaps, but I am convinced that ever since I've been back from San Diego, my body doesn't hold fat in the same way. It's funny. This morning I went to the dentist and Patty P asked 'Have you lost weight?' There are those who don't know how to ask in case you get offended. 'Yes', I screamed with delight.

Others say 'You look half the size'. Jim says he can touch his fingers tips together when he cuddles me. The bustard. So in answer to your query as to how much weight I have lost... Well, more than enough with a little more to go.

Dear Sue wants to know whether I have kissed the blarney stone. Do you know I think I have. I remember leaning backwards in Ireland and kissing something, but it whether it was the Blarney stone is anybody's guess.

Marmite girl wanted to know how the press night went at the Globe. Well, it went. The play was not really to my liking, although Jim was okay with his little part - something I've learned to live with.

Chris wants to know what I am reading at the moment. I have nearly finished Phillip Pullman's 'Ruby in the Smoke'. Don't ask me why I've chosen that one. I only I bought it from Johnathon for 50p. It's a jolly good yarn, if a little juvenile, although the writing is rich with period language. I have a pile of books I'm waiting to start. I need to run a bath, fill it with bubbly bubbles, immerse myself and get stuck into something a little more meaty.

The rain it is pouring down at the moment. Last night Mandy and I talked until 3am, having watched 'The Secret', an Australian film about the law of attraction. You are what you think, quantum physics and all that. Tonight we are watching 'Watch the bleep to do you know', a Canadian film on the same subject. They are new age offerings that make you wonder why life is so tricky if all you have to do is think better. I think I know what they're trying to say!

Darling Carcasson girl, my Betty Palco helped me enormously. Thank you for asking. It's not that I am a spiritualist, per se, but I know there is an invisible world out there because they have tapped me on the shoulder on more than one occasion, and to be honest, if you let yourself become aware and know that there is a Guardian angel out there helping, they do always lend a hand. Oops! Must be the trip to Lewes that's done this. Probably something in the chocolate cake.

I'm off now to set up the CD, put my feet up, ca.. Jim and settle down for a good watch. I am wearing my charity dressing gown, the same pair of Jim's red furry sox and my Russian Red lippy, just in case my agent calls. Whatever it was in that chocolate cake, I'm going back for more. Have a good night and CUSoon.

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

Comments

1. At July 5, 2007 11:16 PM christian wrote:

I knew it Jim is a gorilla.........that's how he can put his arms around you.
C x

2. At July 6, 2007 1:12 AM Libby wrote:

Dear Jeni
Just wondered if you could only have one book, one DVD and one song, which would you pick? Someone asked me the other day and I'm having real trouble coming up with it.
Sounds ike you had a great time, that's good you deserve it.
Lots of love
Marmite Girl xx

3. At July 6, 2007 9:44 AM Colin Jennings wrote:

Dear Jeni
I have since finding your column also managed to connect myself to LBC and although most of the issues discussed are very specific to Britain, it is still very interesting to me in deep, dark Africa.Please let us know in advance when you will be back on LBC, so I can log in and listen, as I certainly miss hearing your cheerful banter on the telly.

4. At July 6, 2007 10:46 AM Dusty wrote:

Which DVD did you watch Jeni? Me and the old man watched "Everything is Illuminated" the other night, it is definitely worth a viewing. It's about an American Jew (Elijah Woods) going to Russia to find a woman who helped his grandfather escape the Nazis. It's funny, clever and a bit tragic. The Russian guide and his (blind but not really) grandfather drive him around with their dog - name of Sammy Davis Junior Junior - don't ask. The fact that the American is a vegetarian too is met with incredulity by the Russians, but we both had a tear in our respective eyes at the end, always a good sign.....
And the Secret! Only thing is they are great when you watch them these inspirational DVDs, but how do you keep the momemtun going without watching it every week?
Keep on keepin on JB. Luv xx

5. At July 6, 2007 12:22 PM Chris W wrote:

Hi Jeni,

Glad you are on good terms with your Guardian angel!. Nice to think we are not alone but have family and friends looking out for us. Think its just a matter of being open to the concept of "another world" and then its easy to find things that verify it.
Looking forward to returning from France in November for some serious book buying. Nice to know what other people are reading. Thanks.
I don't have your lipstick passion but I have one for specs. Sad, huh?
Chris (Carcassonne kid) xx

6. At July 6, 2007 4:46 PM Michelle Morphew wrote:

Hi Jen,
Love reading the blog....it was great to hear you on LBC the other week you did a fab job so am anticipating your return. I love the station so hearing you on it is a bonus! I sent an e-mail to Rob Hooker today to see when you are next on but they do not have details yet so can you keep us posted. You must post a picture of the new you since your detox and treating your body as a temple!
Keep smiling,
Michell x

7. At July 6, 2007 7:20 PM Lynn wrote:

Dear Jeni,

Please don't Oops your Guardian Angel, we all have one but we don't always listen. I'm happy that you're aware and open. Thank you, forever being my inspiration. Happy thoughts, happy life...still working on it.

Loads of of love to you and yours.

Lynn
xoxox

8. At July 7, 2007 4:59 PM Rhianon wrote:

Thats a good question Marmite Girl, what was your selection?

9. At July 7, 2007 10:54 PM jean wrote:

Oh dear!
I read your blog just to catch up with what you re doing! But I am now convinced most of the people who reply are bonkers!
Life goes on!

10. At July 8, 2007 8:20 AM Libby wrote:

Hey Jen just wanted to say to Rhiannon answer is on the blog...and Jean yes we are all bonkers (or maybe I'm just speaking for myself?) and yes life does go on, but it's too short to be serious!
Keep Smiling
Marmite Girl xx

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.