Spider Woman

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 30 October 2007

The new clock, hanging on the wall in the bedroom, gave me a real feeling of security. Why? I have no idea. But I woke up and it made sense of the day. The light was very bright, the sun hard and low. I meditated.
I ran for 20 minutes which took me to the Albert Bridge and back. I had a bath and read. Then I wandered round the flat but I couldn't put it off any longer. I sat down at the computer, made a new file and began. I have made a plan, I know what I'm doing, the first draft of the book will be completed before I have time to think.

Chrissie in Carcassone, yes, I do watch each and every one of the BAFTA films. What's hard about lying around with warm socks on, watching films with the dog next to me, Jim in the kitchen and the smell of coffee wafting over us. It could be worse; I could be lying on a sandy beach in Mustique.I drove to the Tate Modern.

I had supper in a Greek restaurant before the exhibition. It ranked as one of the worst meals of my life. The olives were too salty. The beer was good. The beef wrap was so disgusting I sent it back. They replaced it with a lamb wrap that was so disgusting that even after masticating it for ten minutes I had to slip the gristle into my napkin. The salad was ok, but only just, and the chips were so full of sodium chloride I had to down a carton of apple and ginger to get rid of the taste.

My dining companion left a tip, feeling that not leaving one was penalising the waitress. I felt it was hypocritical to leave any money at all and begrudged the 20 I slapped on the counter.

The air was decidedly chilly coming off the river. We entered the TATE. I do not like the building. I have never liked the building. It is cold and unwelcoming. The exhibition was of LOUISE BOURGEOIS' sculptures.
Her early work is mesmerising, wood and marble, smooth and sensual. Her middle work is interesting, tall skinny structures and sexual references abound. Her late work is fab, mobiles of extreme sensuality, but I found her final pieces so disturbing that they sat uneasily on my ill digested lamb souvlaki. In the end we had to leave. I felt like the sky was falling in on my head. Louise's parents worked on tapestries; her mother wove, hence the huge metal spider outside the Tate's gates - 'MAMAN'. The spider appears inside too. Louise Bourgeois reflects her childhood, it's magic, mystery and drama, in all her work. She made a series of rooms - 'CELLS', -which have been erected in the art gallery. They are frightening, at least, I found them so - claustrophobic, ugly, intense, carthartic. By the time we left the gallery I needed light and space. In retrospect I think Louise Bourgeoise is incredible; that her images linger is a testament to her brilliance.

I drove my companion back to her flat in EC1. I lived next door to her 24 years ago. The rooms felt bigger then, the place felt lighter. I drove back as fast as I could to my flat on the river. It felt like I'd left the darkness behind.

My nearasdamnit son was home. Jim was at the end of the telephone. It was good to be back in my own space. Not a spider in sight, not that I have anything against spiders, it's just that I need them to weave their dreams away from my psyche.

My Tuesday was contradictory - how was yours?

I'm looking forward to going to bed and saying goodnight to my new clock. I'll look it straight in the face bid it a fond goodnight, and to you too.


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


1. At October 31, 2007 7:59 AM Libby wrote:

You'll never believe my tuesday, it was my last day at work before I go to Africa, I got up early, showered, got dressed, took the dog for a walk, got in the car, thought I will call in ASDA (I know but no local shops left) to buy chocolate for the gang in work before I go, I walked all around Adsa, then I stopped at the garage to put petrol in my car, drove to work, THEN realised I had my shirt inside out!!!! Maybe it's the excitment. Oh well off to the airport, glad I caught you before I go, see you in a couple of weeks, keep smiling Jeni
Lots of love
Marmite Girl xxx

P.S. We won't go anywhere Greek for that pie and pint then!!!

2. At October 31, 2007 9:43 AM Glenn wrote:

Hi Jeni!
Been meaning to write for ages - great blog writing. Loved your Travolta experience last week.
I spent my Tuesday (and the last 6 weeks) in a dark theatre teching a new musical. It's very slow going but an exciting time. I must say I haven't noticed that the days have become dark and cold.
We have 2 more weeks until previews begin ( and still heaps of work to do!) and then 2 weeks of previews.
By that stage I will have missed autumn all together and fast fowarded myself into winter. But I'm not complaining - I love it in fact. So now I'm off to that lovely, dark, warm, dry, chaotic, frustrating, exhausting, scary and invigorating place we call the theatre. So, yes, my Tuesday was contradictory.
luv from Hamburg,

3. At October 31, 2007 9:56 AM Janeyb wrote:

Hi Jeni
Weird or what. I went to the dogs the other night (steady I know you know I mean greyhound racing) anyway, I went to the ladies, came out of the cubicle straight over to wash my hands and then there was that 'Oh my God moment', yes that one, am I in the ladies or the gents. There in the next cubicle to the one that I had vacated was a 'male' having a good old 'p--s'. Time stood still and then he turned round (having finished) and my friend came out of the cubicle the other side, he looked at her then looked at me and started screeming 'Flippin eck am I in the Ladies' I said (thru the mirror) well can you see any urinals! Flippin eck he said again I'm sorry I'm sorry and ran out screaming flippin eck. Now the Busby bit I can see, I found it really weird when I read your Tuesday blog and read that!
My Tuesday was average and got better when I finished work as I am now off work for a few days.....yipee. Well I've got work to do at home but I've just packed my better half off to Scotland (he's gone to see a man about 'some geese') (Ask Mike Robinson). I'm left here with two labs who couldn't get in the car (only room for one and she was first in) but are now quite happy asleep on the sofa, a pile of pots, a heap of washing, a basket of ironing, a bottle of Vodka and last but not least full control of the telly controls until Sunday. Wednesday just got better.
What magazine are you appearing in?

4. At October 31, 2007 10:32 AM Sarah wrote:

I SO know which Greek restaurant you're refering too, the Mythos was it's only redeeming feature - if a little pricy.
Had a day off yesterday so managed to watch food poker. It was ace hearing your voice again. I thought you did a brilliant job, although I'm not convinced there's going to be a second series yet. It did seem to be lacking a bit of warmth & spirit, although hopefully it's just bedding in.
The sky is blue today. Even Gloucester sparkles in the sun and suddenly every thing seems positive. I hope you're day is sunny too.
Sarah x

5. At October 31, 2007 10:41 AM Sara wrote:

Hi Jeni,
My Tuesday was spent carving out a huge pumpkin from our allotment for a halloween tea for my two little boys and their friends. It is not something I have really bothered with before but I thought any excuse for a party! Sadly their little friends won't be coming now as their mother rang to say she'd found god and wasn't going to do anything witchy or spidery this year. I was only doing orange jelly and twiglets. So we'll sit here in our 36p Asda pointy hats and bob for apples on our own. Perhaps I should rentaghost!


6. At October 31, 2007 12:46 PM Chrissie Carcassonne wrote:

Hi Jeni,
I don't think there is anything worse than a rotten restaurant meal. I hate handing over cash for food that I could have cooked better chez nous and I think chefs have a cheek to send out food when they know its rubbish.
Sounds like heaven..toasty toes and a load of films to watch. Lucky girl.
Starting to write your book the worst bit. You know that. Just keep at it and stick to your plan....at let us know how its going from time to time. I'll pre-order from Amozon!
Tuesday was spend planning how we can put a staircase in to join the upper floor with the ground floor of our house here. At the moment you move between the two via a covered outside flight of stairs. Problem solved!
Chrissie x x

7. At October 31, 2007 1:45 PM Pool Potato wrote:

Some years ago I lived in Germany and my parents came to visit. We went to a restaurant and my Dad disappeared to the loo. I happened to look up as he emerged from the Ladies, I said "Dad - you've just been in the Ladies loos!" He said "No I haven't - see on the door it says DA MEN" !!


8. At October 31, 2007 2:40 PM kerri wrote:

Hi jeni
My tuesday was like a busmans holiday! I work with the elderly as a sister, and my other half is flat on his back in bed with a slipped disc. Not that i'm saying he's old, but man is he demanding! The usual male attitude, he is dying and nobody has ever had it worse! Looking forward to going to work for a rest!!!!!
Take care xx

9. At October 31, 2007 7:45 PM Judi4 wrote:

Hi Jeni, well what a Tuesday I had! I had a new kitchen fitted last week but oh the mess! Not so much the mess the fitters made but the junk I had accumulated. I was ruthless & even threw out a bread sauce mix from 2005! The only trouble was the dustbinmen couldn't move the bin, so I was dreading them not taking it but they did. Another trip to the tip and we're about straight and clean at least - next job decorating then tiling. Hey ho, I probably won't see another kitchen out so I've decided to eat out a lot, or have takeaways, buy ready meals or just use the toaster, that should keep the kitchen pristine! Lots a luv xx Happy Halloween xx

10. At October 31, 2007 11:54 PM Ann & Bill wrote:

Being VERY OLD and retired our Tuesday was spent with me playing games on line and helping Poriot solve the murder on the "Orient Express" (game)....Hubby playing with bits of wood in his shed, after we watched a video of the "Thin Man" with William Powell and Myna Loy...get's better every time we watch it!
Evening spent playing games on our computer's listening to the BBC's Paul Temple on tape.....I think the Govt. should give free computer's to everyone who have at last escaped work....there is always someone to play Domino's, cards etc with...Nobody should ever feel alone.
P.S. We really enjoy your Blog Jeni.....please keep up your writing.

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.