Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 21 August 2007

It's 8 minutes off 5 0'clock. I have finally managed to get myself back into some kind of health and fitness regime. NINA ANDERSON, my lovely personal trainer has waited patiently for me to turn a corner, and by that I don't mean run straight into a brick wall, she has waited for me to get a clean bill of health so that we can start again - although I prefer to think of it as a continuation from last Spring.

Yesterday I did 10 lots of slow one minute runs with a 20 second breather in between. Today it was 12 lots of one minutes with a 20 second breather and a series of conditioning exercise. Sit ups and back raises that kind of thing. Building my core strength and giving the dog something to pant over. I do feel happy knowing that I can now get on with a routine jaunt along the river, if I'm in town, or a little pad past the farm if I'm down in the depths of Sussex.

My 101 bar bill last night at Groucho's won't help the waistband. Rum mohjitos were to blame, not to mention a bowl of hummus followed by a sink-load of chips. No worries. I'm still here to eat another day.

The dog is so much better. I had been starving him. I'm sure we've all done it - taken advice from an expert, followed it to the letter, only to find that their advice was ever so slightly off the mark. My poor mutt was suffering from cystitis, I wouldn't wish that on a dog, and malnutrition.

Alex the vet overturned the other vet, telling us that old dogs need more nutrition. So, the hound now gets breakfast, supplements, drops of turmeric for his insides, drops of herbs for his arthritis, an apple for tea and a carrot for remembrance.

He has bounced back to health and though he looks chubby to me, he's a lot happier. I have to gather up his wee again for another test on Saturday. I hate the process. I don my latex gloves, which already offends my olfactory organ. Then I have to chase him around the garden until he decides to widdle. A little yellow cup that looks like a a triangular ice-cream mould (not that I would ever wish to meddle with his maturation in such a way) is attached to a plastic specimen bottle. He has more urine than there is bottle so a lot of it dribbles over my rubber gloves. Yuk, yuk and a further great big yuk.

What we do for love? The phial goes in a plastic bag and is then posted through the vet's letter box. If it falls too hard on the step, it means Jackson will dampen their enthusiasm.

So, the dog is taken care of, the 'oosbind is in repertoire now with both the 'Merchant of Venice' and 'Holding Fire' at the Globe, and today the daughter secured a house in Camberwell with two of her friends who are studying anthropology. She'll live there for her next year of learning in London.

That just leaves me with my steep learning curve at LBC.

Today I had an air-check with Mr. Lowrie at the studios in Latimer Road. It's everything I know, but its easier said than done. Speak slower, speak clearly, give a story a beginning a middle and an end, take pauses, keep focussed. Everything that I eventually did after five years on GFL. I just hope it doesn't take that long for me to get the hang of this wireless lark. I love it though.

In answer to the commenter in Wadhurst, hairdresser Christian Le Leon works from his little cottage - his number is in the book!

The synchronicity of the hairdressing impact in my life is remarkable. Monsieur Le Leon used to coif the hair of the mother of my literary agent's PA whilst the producer of 'Food Poker's' father was the proud owner of a gaff called 'Lorenzos' next to my doctor's surgery.

Carl Jung wouldn't split hairs over that lot. He loved a bit of synchronicity, did our Carl. Although, I learnt today that back in the sixties it was called 'serendipity'. I think I prefer sync. to seren., don't you?

Anyway, on the way back from LBC I was idly watching the passers-by and noticed that a big, flabby, white bloke crossing the road in Earls Court looked exactly like a big, flabby version of Marlon Brando. On the corner of Old Brompton Road there was a stunning black girl who looked exactly like a black version of my white sister-in-law Sandy. And then all of a sudden, I started seeing lookalikes everywhere. Loads of them. A skinny wet wiry version of Huw Edwards the newsreader. Have you noticed how his top lip sneers like Elvis, only he doesn't look lIke Elvis? He just looks like he's sneering at anybody who isn't Welsh? I also saw a fantastically slim, sexy version of Anne Widdecombe. She crossed over the Kings Road by the Natural shoe store. I swear - if Ms Widdecombe lost a few pounds, a couple of decades and donned an off-the-shoulder white sweater with a pooch pattern on the front, she would look exactly like Prince Harry's Chelsy. Okay, maybe not exactly like her, but more like her than she does herself.

I really enjoyed my ride home. I didn't realise that, with just a little twist, so many people looked like so many people. It has been said that there are only seven jokes and only seven stories. Well, maybe there are only seven types of folk. I know which type I am. I am the white flabby version of Elvis with the sneering top lip who looks like a Jamaican Anne Widdecombe. Could be worse. I could look like the Anne Widdecombe from Maidstone.

It's now time for the 6.0.clock news so it's goodbye from me and its goodbye from him. I have a whole day of voice-overs tomorrow so I have to wet my whistle in preparation. Not one minty rum will pass my lips. Tonight it's tea for two with perhaps a hint of lemon.

May your night be a fortuitous inter-meshing of events. Nuit nuit.

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


1. At August 24, 2007 8:13 AM Libby wrote:

Hi Jen

It's good to have you back, we do worry a bit when you've been gone a while, but have to admit I find this blogging a little hard to keep up, sometimes you just aint got nuthin to write about or the time to sit down and type it in!

Personally I wish Anne Widdecombe would be the next Prime Minister, she would turn this Country around, don't you think? Glad Jackson is doing better, break a leg for Saturday.
Lots of love Marmite Girl xx

2. At August 24, 2007 9:10 AM Michelle wrote:

Hi Jen,
I could not agree more with marmite girl I miss reading the blog when you dont do one for a while. My night last night was not so fortuitous, my 5 year old nephew decided after 3 books at half past ten that he wanted to sleep in his own bed so I had to take him home! Glad to hear Jackson's on the mend. Look forward to the show tomorrow.

3. At August 24, 2007 10:24 AM Chrissie Carcassonne wrote:

Hi Jeni,
Another great radio show behind you. Good to have the old team back together again.
I am half a set of twin so am no stranger to the lookalike syndrome but I am married to a dead ringer for Woody Allen or at least a bit younger version of the afore mentioned.
I am sure that Jackson would agree with me that it would be far more comfortable to suffer a couple, in my case, or four in his case, of broken legs rather than cystitis. Poor lad.
But glad you are OK Lady. Think you should write a one line blog every day saying "I'm OK and will blog again soon" just so that Marmite and I don't worry!!
As ever
Chrissie x

4. At August 24, 2007 3:25 PM Sue Campbell wrote:

Hi Jeni - so pleased Jackson is better now. Having just recovered from cystitis myself, I can sympathise! Hearing that you are back on the health and fitness regime makes me feel guilty, thinking perhaps I should do more than I do. Trouble is, I
was also thinking how lovely those rum mohjitos and hummus/chips sounded! Oh dear, that's always been the dilemna in my life! Looking forward to the show tomorrow.

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.