Sunday the 12th of Never

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 August 2007

It's 12.14pm on Sunday the 12th of Never. Jim is on his hands and knees screwing screws out of one drawer so that he can put another drawer where the old one came from so that the first drawer goes in where the second drawer used to be because its easier to open the second drawer where the first drawer was and who cares about the second drawer anyway?

The cling film and tin foil have gone into the top cupboard which is full of Tupperware, plastic takeaway boxes and the bottom drawer with the first drawer in it now has only the silver service my mother gave to B to take away to university and a canteen of ersatz gold knives and forks my father no doubt ripped off from Walthamstow market when he was alive and still kicking.

Don't you just love DIY on a Sunday morning? Especially since you have only had 180 minutes sleep, walked the dog, bought breakfast, done a radio show, put in the washing and made enough phone calls to keep BT in broadband till 2012?

My husband did a midnight matinee of Merchant of Venice last night. It was lovely, although it could have been seven o'clock, or nine, since there was no way of seeing the sky. The crowd were up for it though. I stood in the 'yard' preferring to be a 'groundling'.

I loved it the second time around. My husband looked friggin' awful as Old Gobbo with his fake beard and sightless eyes. But it was good fun being amongst the common folk. I stood clutching my red bum cushion but decided that I needed to park my old body at 2.30am, having had a two hour stint at LBC. In the interval, to keep myself going, I had a carton of chocolate-covered raisins, a carton of jelly beans and a carton of lukewarm coffee. It all laid heavily in my stomach as before curtain up (a figurative term as there are no curtains at the Globe) I had been treated to a pint of ice-cold lager accompanied by a bowl of crispy crisps and a bowl of tangy olives. So to the two of you who want to see the new me, forget it. The new me is a carbon copy of the old me with a couple of potato chips on my shoulder.

LBC was much better this week. We talked vegetarianism. A beautiful chef, who goes by the name of Adrian Daniel, came in with a basket of goodies. He owns and cooks at 'The Gate' in Hammersmith, West London. He's gentle (that's gentle not Gentile), unmarried and perfect for somebody who wants an Indian/Iraqi/Jewish boy with delicious skin tone, a stack of his grandmother's authentic recipes, a conscience and a femaleness that is as close to having the best gay friend in the world that you can get. If I weren't 78 years of age, I would nab him myself. The food he brought to the studio was utterly dribble-worthy and his two books are definitely worth buying.

A hypnotherapist and teacher, Lorraine Flaherty, drove up from Streatham. Tall, elegant, energetic, she's the best advertisement for vegetarianism apart from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DeCaprio.

Renee Elliott from 'Planet Organic' called in from Tuscany and Dave Massey talked up carnivores from Battersea. Well, he talked up carnivores from everywhere but he phoned in from Battersea.

I enjoyed the show and learnt a huge lesson - not to over prepare. Mr Lowrie, the station manager, had advised me not to, but, as always, I had to learn the hard way. I lost bits of paper, lost my nerve, damn near lost my mind. But all was well in the end when I abandoned my carefully printed up notes and just concentrated on enjoying my lovely guess and callers.

I have to say that when Radio London called me up and asked me to read the newspapers this morning, I was thrilled. I thought it was on the back of Clarence, my nearasdammit son, who had put in a call to his old mate Eddie Nestor, a radio talk show host who has won every gong going. As coincidence would have it, the invite came completely by chance. I learnt more from observing him on his slot this morning than fourteen years of reading books or attending guru seminars. He's calm, funny, generous, warm and very provocative. His studio is big and bright with squashy furniture. He calls his producer the Sergeant and played Nat King Cole. It was a fun way to start my Sunday.

To those of you who want to know who got their cum uppance... It's for me to know and for you to find out. Hard lines!

My driver this morning was from Mauritius. He used to watch GFL and wanted to know why I had left the show. As you know, I didn't leave it. GFL left me. But let that be an end to it.

This week I am working on a new TV series called 'Food Poker' for the Beeb. It has all our old friends working on it, which will be lovely.

Thank you for your concern about the dog. Yesterday Jim and I had breakfast at Mr Massey's gaff, 'Butcher and Grill'. We were treated like celebrities with bucks fizz, bacon and sausage butties, creamy cappuccinos and all the sunshine in South West London. The dog was given a bone. It was still dressed with meaty sirloin steak. He chewed it ecstatically until Jim and I hobbled home about 48 bucks fizz's later. Jackson continued to nibble until I went to LBC at 4. Jim left for the globe at 6.00. I got back to the flat at 9.00, dragged Jackson outside for a wee walk and was then driven to the Globe at 10.30.

The show came down at 3am. We arrived back to the flat five minutes after Jim had got there. As I climbed out of the car, Jim was coming down the stairs with Jackson wagging his tail behind him. Jim was dangling a red striped plastic bag with a deposit that Jackson had carefully laid on the carpet. In between 10.30 and 3, he had lost control off himself. No worries. The bone had firmed up his resolve. This morning at 7, after 3 hours kip, I took him out and he performed for me again. So when I went off to Marylebone with my Mauritian driver, who told me about two restaurants in London that serve Mauritian cuisine (a cross between Chinese and French), I knew that my dog would not let me down. He even had Jim to help out but maybe he thought let sleeping dogs lie, so that would be both of them then.

In the event the old man crawled out of bed at 9.00 and took him out, leaving me free when I got home. I arrived at 10.30 this morning laden with organic bacon, sausages, fish cakes, bread, hallumi cheese, lettuce, eggs and chocolate brownies. Jim had already eaten his breakfast on the balcony. His only companions were the dog and the crossword from The Independent. The sun had hidden behind the clouds. I immediately made a baguette of butter and Guinness infused with Marmite. You either love it or hate it. I'm the former.

I also made a cup of tea. The water in London is dreadful but I don't plan to pollute any more. I'm cutting back on all plastic bottles.

Although, I am funny about my drinking vessels. They have to be white or nothing. White's alright, brown's decay and black aint 'that'. You see, I need to see my brew. Especially after a particularly salty fish cake.

Anyway, it's now 14.13 and the drawers are in place. The washing is spinning, the dog is sleeping, the husband is drilling. I am collapsing, the sofa's awaiting and hope is forever springing. Ta ever so much for it all.

Cusoon.

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

Comments

1. At August 13, 2007 2:02 PM Chrissie Carcassonne wrote:

Hi Jeni,

Loved the show...as always. You manage to put nervous (like tofu caught in the headlights) guests at their ease and help them to give of their best. Thats a skill and you sound much more professional than a few of the other presenters that have been doing radio for years. I am sure its not just me and the other blogers that have told you that....so relax and enjoy.
My Saturday was spent in the garden, in the kitchen and cutting the husbands hair....Well, he doesn't go out much so it will probably be OK.
Chrissie x x

2. At August 13, 2007 2:13 PM Glenn the hamburger wrote:

Hi Jen,

thanks again for another brilliant blog. Yeah!! things are really looking up. Does that Food Poker show involve removing articles of attire? Or is it a " I'll see your salami and raise you a radish" type of show? In any case, I sincerely hope it's not long until we can see you on the telebox again.
Looks like you're gonna make it after all:-)
luv,
Glenn

3. At August 13, 2007 4:04 PM David wrote:

Hi Jeni,
Great news about 'Food Poker' looks like you're back on track as well as our screens. I'd like to see you as the new landlady of'The Rovers Return'Joan Rivers' could be your new barmaid and Judge Judy could help out in the evening! MY God!! How funny would that be, we only need Helen Mirren to be your long lost sister and WOW an Oscar and a Bafta on their way to you. Anyway, Take care and thanks for making everyone laugh at life.
David

4. At August 13, 2007 6:46 PM Libby wrote:

Hi Jen

Huzzah someone has seen sense and got you back on the telly, I was babysitting my 19 month old Niece all weekend, I was watching a repeat of GFL and you came on in close up and my Niece said "pretty lady" She recognises talent already, I do think the word exahusted should be reserved for people with children!!!Great show saturday by the way.
Lot of love
Marmite Girl xx

5. At August 13, 2007 6:57 PM christian wrote:

Well what good news your are going to be doing Food Poker.........and with the perfect face to boot............

6. At August 13, 2007 7:52 PM judi4 wrote:

Hi Jeni, this sounds more like the old you, funny as ever! I missed the show,as we'd been away for a few days we went to visit grandchildren as we'd missed them soooooo much. However next week I hope to. Tell us more about Poker Food, and when will it be on? Lots a luv xx

7. At August 14, 2007 10:06 AM Tanya wrote:

HI Jeni I cannot tell you how over the moon I am at your news of Food Poker, I'm having to record you on BrightIdeas at the Mo, (the only bright idea UKTV ever had) any ideas when this fantastic news will happen??, Our dogs not to good either he's an 11 and half german shepard and his back legs keep going, and it's sad to see, lots of Love Tan

8. At August 14, 2007 10:38 AM Sue Campbell wrote:

Hi Jeni - life is really looking up for you and I'm so pleased. The show was fab on Saturday but not sure I can cope with next Sat's as I am a wimp as far as game meat and countryside pursuits are concerned. However, I will give it a try! Looking forward to seeing Food Poker -it will be lovely to see you again on our screens.

9. At August 14, 2007 11:24 AM Michelle wrote:

Hi Jen,
The Chocolate raisins would of washed down better with a few more bucks fizz without the orange juice if you ask me! We all need to feed our temples every now and again. Enjoyed the show at the weekend I made it back in time from a day in the New Forest with my Chocolate Lab Nutmeg. Keep up the good work and good luck for Food Poker, dont like to put a spanner in but the do say the TV puts on 10LBs so post a picture!!
Michelle x

10. At August 14, 2007 2:04 PM Robert wrote:

I think Food Poker will be the start of loads more work on the BBC, i'm sure Auntie has missed you. R x

11. At August 14, 2007 4:17 PM carys wrote:

My grandfather had a couple of shops in Walthamstow market. I once had to learn to curtsey so that I could present a bunch of flowers to the Mayor when he paid a call. I went all round the market curtseying to anyone who would let me practice - maybe even your dad. Looking forward to Food Poker. Carys

12. At August 14, 2007 4:22 PM Ray Husthwaite wrote:

Excellent news about Food Poker - after a dreary couple of weeks I feel the sun might shine soon that's fair cheered me up. We have seriously missed GFL in our household and now I have happy news to pass to my partner, Julie, who languishes in hospital :)

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.