These Feet Are Made For Walking

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 5 October 2007

Jackson and I walked very slowly round the houses this morning. It was a sharp, crisp day. Felt like Sweden tinged with Connecticut. Bulbous blackberries hung in clusters, but I left them alone - in October they belong to the Devil - it's not my fault that's the lore. A pile of chestnuts had split open under their tree. I cracked open the brown shell with one bite, then peeled out the creamy white-just-ripe-nuts and shared them with the dawg.

Mr. S, who has the house at the end of the drive, barb-wired off his tree some years ago. I couldn't believe that anybody could be so mean as to deny others the joy of his nuts. He's got senile dementia now so he's probably forgotten he's got any.

Duncan the postman pulled up when he saw us to have a quick chat. He's having to work the four days of the strike because he said he can't afford not to, but he was still supporting the action. I've known him for 24 years; back in the day being a postman was relatively stress free. Not any more.

There was an unusual traffic jam by the farm; the little red post van, three white vans with electrical mending gear travelling in convoy and a big orange dustcart. Jackson and I crouched on the grass verge till they had all gone their separate ways. We live in a 'publet', a scattering of houses and a pub. Every thursday night we leave out our dustbins then two dustmen come and empty them on friday morning. Luckily they still do it once a week. This morning I followed Jackson with my little blue bio-degradable poopbag until he had delivered, then dropped the full load into somebody else's dustbin. I felt a little guilty but the dustcart was right behind me, in every sense.

I was a little worse for wear as I had got up at 4.15. It was still dark when I tuned into the 'Dog Whisperer' on Sky something-or-other. With my mug of camomile, vanilla and honey tea and two slices of strawberry jam toast I watched a Mexican dude teach neurotic Americans how to control their pooches. He kept telling them to 'stay in the now', which was a good lesson for me too.

At 6.o'clock I flicked over to GMTV with John Stapleton and a young fiesty woman, who I didn't take to (she had no humility) talking to their weather girl in Sheffield Park, East Sussex. In the Autumn folk come to the park from all over the country to watch the leaves turning. The colours are spectacular. It's just 20 minutes from my cottage, near the Bluebell Railway and Chailey School where Ian Dury went.

Jim and I used to go and watch Ian Dury, back in the 70's, when the Blockheads were known as 'Kilburn and the Highroads' a seriously good band. The 'Hope and Anchor' pub in Islington was the favoured venue; you could get right up to the mic and see the sweat fly. Dury wore leather gloves before Michael Jackson and wrote mean lyrics. Who doesn't remember 'Hit me with your Rythm Stick'? The pub was the spiritual home for all New Wave bands. The room was compact, the ceiling low, it felt crowded even when it was empty. Ah, those heady days of blue cigarette smoke, safety pins and pork scratchings. I never played the 'Hope and Anchor', but we had a few gigs at 'The Duke of Clarence' in the Elephant and Castle. It's not there anymore, they are constructing something behind some fancy hoarding; 'New Builds' I believe they're called!

I went to my cranial osteopath today, who told me a disgusting joke and re-arranged my body after two toe accidents. No I can't tell you the joke, it's too long and utterly unsuitable, but I can tell you that my big toe on my left foot no longer looks like a bratwurst, and my second toe on my right foot no longer looks like a chorizo sausage. I was told that my itchy feet had nothing to do with boredom or the need to jump on a 747 to Thailand but that the blood flow had been restricted by my hot-dog-digits.
When I bent my toe back all the stomach meridians, on the top of my left foot, had turned into a mini hillock. My acupunturist had taken her 800 page Chinese Medical Reference book and after flicking through the pages, raised it above her head and whacked it down on my foot using the force of a 20 stone weight lifter. The hillock dispersed but she had to treat me for shock. I wonder whether it would have been as effective if she had used a copy of 'Spotlight', the actors' directory, instead, although I may have accused her of being overly dramatic in her methods.

Mercury is in retrograde, I'm told, making for hiccups in communication and traveling which is probably why we had to call out John from the AA to break into my eldest step-daughter's car. She had thrown her bag on the front seat on top of the car keys, thus depressing the infra-red button and the car had, automatically, locked itself. John, the AA man, took out a rectangular tool box, inside which was a selection of implements. He told us that you can buy it from MacTools. He inserted a black rubber balloon, a cross between a blood pressure pump and an air bag, into the window, pumped it up so the window came away from the door frame then he selected an appropriate long hook from Mr. Mac's tools box and stuck it through the window. Hanna and I watched and willed. It was like the 'Generation Game.' He didn't hook out the keys but used the hook to press down the button on the key, clunk click and he had activated the central locking, John had opened up all the doors. My old man would have used a coat hanger. Mac's tools cost 150 a pop. John told us that it's not so easy to start cars any more but its a piece of cake to break into them.

Jim had his final performance of 'Holding Fire' tonight at the Globe. Tomorrow is his last 'Merchant of Venice'. It's the fastest six months this year. It's 1.15 and time for my last session with Chris Moyles, I've only a few pages left.

But a quick word to all you facebook fanatics, I am erratic in my reading of that site. Its good to hear from you but I don't care for that kind for stuff, it's all a little too fiddly for me.

I really am going now - my calves are cold and there's a slight itch on my heels and balls to it. nuit nuit and cul8tr.

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


1. At October 6, 2007 10:43 AM Libby wrote:

Hi Jeni

I agree with you about facebook, one of the "youngsters" in work signed me up and I've never touched it since, it's a bit too advanced for me, I have enough trouble keeping up with the blogging lark! Just watching Saturday Kitchen (only because Silvena Rowe is on) I still think you two would make a brilliant double act! Comedy and cooking beat that!!
Lots of love Marmite Girl xx

2. At October 6, 2007 2:38 PM chrissie carcassonne wrote:

Hi jeni,
Glad you still get the once a week rubbish collection. Can't understand the reason for the twice a month idea. Doesn't sound like an improvement to me.
Nutty time of year again! Shame about the barbed wire. Neighbours are great if you have nice ones but we had to move from our last home in Twickenham as we had the rotten sort. I love people and always expect the best and I was amazed that people who lived near us were so cold and snobs as well. We now have fantastic neighbours in both France and the UK.
How are you doing with the book writing?
Chrissie x x

3. At October 6, 2007 6:57 PM Barry Jones wrote:

Hi Jenni
Returned from LAX a couple of days ago after visiting youngest son, Californian daughter-in-law and mid-Atlantic speaking three and a half year old grandson in Orange. Logging onto your blog to catch up on missed news reminded me that a few years back we travelled from Heathrow to LAX on the same flight as you - United Airlines I believe it was. You were in the posh seats up front while we were in the back with the hoi polloi. We knew you were on tv because your carry on bag had Great Food Live printed on it. We had not discovered this superb programme and your excellent presentation of it at this time, so sadly were not able to say "thank you" personally but do so now - "THANK YOU!"
Really enjoy your blog which frequently reduces me to tears - of laughter, I should add.
Best wishes with your radio, tv, voice overs and future novel. What about an autobiography sometime in the future, that should really make interesting reading?
Barry Jones

4. At October 23, 2007 5:48 PM elaine wrote:

jenni, why have you disappeared from food t.v.? you are really, really missed..

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