Do you want to know a secret?

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 September 2007

Listen,ooh ooh ooh, Do you want to know a secret?, ooh ooh ooo. Do you promise not to tell whoawhoaeeeh....well that wasn't an option for Dr.John DeMartini who was diagnosed with learning disabilities when he was 7. At 14 he was on the road to naughtidom and at 17 left his home in Huston, Texas and headed off to California. After imbibing on something or other he nearly died of strychnine poisoning but as Lady Luck would have it he met a geezer, some kind of mentor, and before you could say, "Pass me my smelling salts I think I am having one of my turns", Dr.DeMartini was one of the most sort after inspirational teachers this and that side of the pond, so talking about 'The Secret', telling everybody everything he could about 'The Secret' and promising not to tell was never an option for Dr.John.

I interviewed him this morning on LBC. I was nervous. I was wearing my dalmation dungarees; he, a blue suit and fancy shirt and tie. His demeanour was that of a sensitive business manager. He fixes you with his camel eyes and only smiles when HE wants to. He wore two rings that American Boys give to their girlfriends in teen flicks and he spoke eloquently and articulately about how we think, how we need to balance our lives and about THE SECRET, a book compiled and written by Rhonda Byrne. The DVD was given to me last Christmas.

So what is The SECRET, known by all the great thinkers and philosophers of our time? Well it is THE way. According to all the teachers, philosophers and mystics who swear by it, The Secret is simple. It is The Law of Attraction.

I don't think I gave a very good interview. All the questions I wanted to ask disappeared in a cloud of sycophancy. Dr. DeMartini is to the New Age what Beckham is to football or Clooney is to celluloid. I had so many questions I wanted to ask like, "How many people have read the Secret?" - a billion - "Is it turning into a cult?" "No." "Where and to whom does he speak?" "Anywhere and everywhere." A zillion other silly little questions that would have made it easier for the great listening public to understand all got lost in my need to fit it all in. Grrr!

Dr. John did what all good talkers do, he talked. And the listneres did what all good contributors do, contributed. I felt like Hayley on Coronation Street, too twittery to butt in, too well mannered to interrupt and, to be honest I really enjoyed listening. I didn't take control, shutting up the callers that went on too long or teasing out new ones. I should have told them to hurry along, but didn't have the heart and Dr.John was much to monologeous to interrupt. Mr. Lowrie didn't shout too loudly at me so I know it wasn't that bad. After the programme I recorded some links for the compilation show, which will go out on Saturday, then I drove to the flat and kissed Jim before nipping out to Capital Studios to pick up a dress rail that Bill the studio manager had left out for me. It's the first time I've been back to the studio since April, it felt wierd. My parking space was still empty, as if it were waiting for my little red car to fill it. I went up to the office and there was Caroline Blackadder, my ex-editor, sitting next to Daniella my ex production secretary, quietly working on their computers. I slowly popped my head round the door and they both screamed. I screamed, we all screamed. Then up came Stevie, who's learning to be a stand-up and the lovely Mrs.X who won't use her married name, and we all hugged, and exchanged very cursory stories. Baldrick, as I used to call Ms Blackadder, walked me to the car, I hugged Kim in reception, then off I drove with my dress rails to the flat.

India is the reason for the rails, Indian television want to make a programme about my dress sense and style! They don't have a budget so I am having to turn my flat into some sort of clothes emporium so that they can get pictures of me swanning around in sexy outfits looking nothing like me and everything like Shilpa Shetty. My agent wants me to do it since India has a potential audience of 50 million people. I reminded him that out of that 50 million, half of them would be huddled around a 12 inch screen in the village square fighting to focus on a ghostly image in monochrome, which would do nothing for my multicoloured kaftans, and furthermore, why would they be interested in watching a fading food-fatale wearing last years faded jumpers. He suggested that might be racist and hung up on me.

After a quick turn round I followed Jim to Camberwell Green, he on his motorbike and me in my little red Nellie. The daughter has moved into her new abode for her 2nd year at university. It is a small little house. Three bedrooms, kitchen, lounge, etc., that she is sharing with two anthropologists. She made me lunch of a bacon and halloumi salad, and showed me her bedroom which she has made into an exotic brothel.

After lunch we got lost finding Sainsbury's - I know - where we stocked up on Ecover dish washing tablets, and an assortment of spices. Then I drove home to let in the acting son who needed to be in his chair by 8.00 for the football match between England and Russia. I had an image of the Cossacks chasing the Morris Men round a field, but the Brits won 3-0, so well done the dancers.

I sat down to write this blog and fell asleep, twice, over the keyboard. I am so busy that I haven't run, written my 3 morning pages or read anything fictional since last Friday. Now, after 5 rejuvenating phonecalls and two slices of toast and jam I feel ready for a quick tap on the keyboards.

Last night the old man and myself took a young woman to THE GATE in Hammersmith for supper. Adrian Daniels, the owner and chef treated us to the most wonderful vegetarian feast. He used baby kale,the first of its kind in the UK, slivers of roasted garlic and a really delicious hot chilly soupy sauce. What that man can't do with a broccolli bush just isn't worth doing. Now, the reason we went out was to relieve the pressure. After two days of radio programmes and voice-overs my mind was addled. So addled that whilst driving through Hyde Park I swear I saw a herd of elephants. Yesterday my driver was an Eritrean who was chatting about Italy colonising his country and how Eritrean cuisine is Italian based and that there's a really good Eritrean restaurant in Brixton. The sun was beating down through the car window. I could fairly hear the mbiras plinking, when to my left a herd of elephants came into view. Well that woke me up, let me tell you. Because they weren't imagined they were real, well not 'real' real, they were fibre glass jobbies. But what with the Eritrean, the sun and my addled noddle I could be forgiven for thinking that Hyde Park wasn't Hyde Park but the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in Botswana - which brings to mind Alan.

Alan is the lovely engineer at Molinere where I'm doing me bit for 'Food Poker'. Alan has a wonderful dimple in his chin. He has thus earned the nickname, 'bum-chin'. The thing about my job is that friendships have to be made very quickly otherwise the work is hard and stuffy. So, inevitably, Alan, Paolo the producer and me, started talking playground smut. Paolo is obviously Italian, seeringly bright and very witty. He told me a little bit of the history of Mussolini, his take over of Ethiopia, the conservative nature of the Italians, how Italy was a lot of states before it joined up to become a country and school boy surnames. I told them about a colleague of mine who married a Mr. Mycock, her first name begun with a 'C' - well you can see where we were going. Paolo was at school with a geezer called Badcock, Alan had a physics master called Ballcock whilst Sean the production manager knew a girl called Handock. He mimed the greeting he and his friends used when she walked down the school corridor. Its a good job we don't have web-cam. I then told them about my optition who has the bravura name of Twocock, although at school young Mr. Twocock was known amongst staff and pupils alike as 'Danny Double-d*'. By the time we'd got to Mr.Cockburn with the silent 'ck' we were running out of studio time and Adrian's vegetarian feast was awaiting.

Tomorrow I am talking to a fitness guru and attending a party in the evening for Waitrose magazine at Chelsea Physic garden. I just hope that Henry Winkler's not there! Anyway that's how addled I am. 'Night, night cock' and cusoon.

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

Comments

1. At September 13, 2007 7:54 AM Glenn wrote:

Hi Jeni!
nice blog! As I've said before, you and your family should be the new Osbournes. Maybe you'll be the Indian equivalent of Sharon.;-)
Speaking of secrets...please spill the beans about Food Poker. I'm so eager to hear what your role is and when it starts.
Are you on LBC daily at the moment? It is difficult to keep up with everything you're up to.
Anyway, you go Misses. Sounds like you are doing great.
All the best and luv from Hamburg,
Glenn

2. At September 14, 2007 8:40 PM judi4 wrote:

Hi Jeni, once again i'm exhausted just reading your blog, how do you do it all? Like Glenn I'm dying to know about Food Poker, like when will it be on? How's Jackson by the way, you haven't mentioned him for a bit? You didn't do Heat's voiceover this week, I missed you Lots a luv x

3. At September 14, 2007 8:42 PM Judi4 wrote:

Me again, forgot to say DON'T start with the songs again, I'm singing it already, it was a great song though!

4. At September 15, 2007 7:02 PM Kirsten wrote:

Hi Jeni, am listening to the show & you've just been offered the river trip by PC Alan, you lucky, lucky girl!! I know you're incredibly busy, but try to organise it soon & tell us all about it! Hugs.

5. At September 16, 2007 11:50 AM Beccy wrote:

This has been a fine way to 'not' do my lesson planning - very amusing blog - I am a Jeni Barnett bog virgin! My mum grew up with you Jeni (Lynne Batchelder - remember?!) so have been rooting around to see if i can make contact..will certainly pass on your blog info to her and Grandparents (Betty and Harrold 'Batch' - remember?!) They would love to 'catch up', I will keep reading! Regards Beccy

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.