one trip forward three trips back

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 November 2007

I set off for a RAJAR meeting at LBC. Richard Parks was addressing the troops to tell them what he wanted, what he wasn't getting, and what he was expecting.

I set off for LBC with at least 3 hours spare. I bought a congestion charge ticket. I left the dog in the capable hands of my eldest daughter, Hanna.

I put my visor handsfree on the visor so it was handsfree.

I got to Bromley and sat in a traffic jam for so long my hair grew another 4 inches. It became too late to try and continue my journey. Something had happened, I know not what, the traffic was at a standstill.

I turned the car round and drove home. I had been on the road for three hours and hadn't even got out of Kent.

By the time I got back to the cottage I was discombobulated and fractious.

Several telphone calls later I had made my apologies.

I spent the rest of the day in and out of writing and brooding.

I was sent £12.65 tax rebate. I had a gin and tonic - not my preferred tipple. I made an unctious meatball/Bavarian sausage casserole. I wrote a review of the Hotel Brunswick.

I printed off your stories of Self Sufficiency - they are funny, the closure day for your tales is Saturday.

I talked to several friends on the telephone.

Watched 'I'm a Celebrity' and cried at the brutality of the programme; I am now going to bed.

Mars is in retrograde, and your point is?

Everything feels not quite right.

I hope your day was better than mine.


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


1. At November 23, 2007 12:14 AM christian wrote:


As Kent is the garden of England and you were trying to get out of the county by car..but didn't make time try the old mans lawn mower you'll get alot farther he he

2. At November 23, 2007 7:08 AM Libby wrote:

and I thought it was just me....I had one of those days yesterday too - I flippin wish Mars would get back out of retrograde in that case!
lots of love
Marmite Girl xx

3. At November 23, 2007 8:15 AM Dave.w wrote:


What can I about a campervan? Leave home about 1.30am, park outside the studio and get settled in with a flask of something hot. Would seem the only way to beat it these days!!

As for self sufficiency..We have a long narrowish garden, which is split into three sections. The first being the patio/pond bit, the next lawn etc and the end is lawn/borders.

Because we never see the last section, let alone use it, we thought that we'd try growing our own home produce...just a small strip this year, just to see how we got on.

Runner beans, carrots and toms ..nice and easy, we thought. Yeah right!!

Off we went to our local garden centre for a bag of manure..first mistake..should have remembered the plastic sheeting..the car stunk for weeks! Next planted loads of beans in twee little pots. Out of 30 or so only six decided to show any interest, so ended up back at the garden centre for the ready grown.

The bean poles went up great and withstood the summer storms. The carrots and toms shot up..the beans following slowly behind. Looked good..but then with all that rain etc the toms split and went funny, the carrots are still there! nice foliage, but with roots only good for a dolls house. As for the beans, we did get a few but only really successfully created an ideal habitat for the ants, farming the black fly.

We havn't decided yet whether to dig the rest up and try again next year!!!

4. At November 23, 2007 8:16 AM SiamSuzie wrote:

I'm shopping in Bangkok for a few days.

I arrived by plane. I've spent 3 hours in taxis going mainly to Sky-train stations as the road traffic is so unbearable.
I've jumped on a the back of a motor-bike taxi to take me to the river, I went up the river on a boat-taxi and I've still done no shopping!
I'm just moving from one mode of transport to another, and using this bloody awful computer in a Starbucks!

Retail therapy here I come!


5. At November 23, 2007 8:35 AM Louise Knight wrote:

Self sufficiency....hmmm,someone gave me a hen and 4 chicks about 9 years ago,I was thriled having always been keen on poultry since a child.Little did I know I would become hooked.I couldnt say "no" to any avian gifts thereafter and the final straw was attending the National Poultry Show at Stoneleigh where I realised there were in fact 1000's of breeds of chickens..I burst into tears at the sheer enormity of it all and then set out to acquire as many as possible.
I now have upwards of 100 chickens and 15 ducks of varying breeds..practically every one has a name and far from being self sufficient,they cost me a small fortune in out of season salad stuff etc...but they make me very,very happy and the eggs are marvellous.

6. At November 23, 2007 9:10 AM chrissie carcssonne wrote:

Hi Jen,

Well, perhaps its not yesterday thats c^%p but the time passed since we returned.

1. A rotten ferry trip back.

2. Monday: Took 2 hours to unload the car full of things for other people. That bit was nice. Phone call from friend who was taken ill. Visit friend and comfort for a while. Marathon Tesco shop (yuck). Call from friend to say that prescription was at the chemist. Collect aforesaid prescription and deliver with more comfort and a loaf of sliced to keep friend alive.

2. Tuesday: Try to buy undies in luck. Buy new computer on Great West Road.....took 2 hours. Pay a visit to Aunty and Uncle to find that Aunty had been depressed since we left these shores and needed TLC.

3. Managed 1/2 at home before going out to visit a friends to talk about the kitchen we will fit for him over these next weeks. I have done the design and husband will do the building, plumbing and electrics (the 6th kitchen we have built in as many years).

4 Next week its a round of more talk about new kitchen. Take people to have passport photos taken. Ferry people to collect disabled car tickets. Transport people to Doctors and do food shopping. Go back to the computer shop to return broken items and organise Broadband, which seems to be a lengthy process.

Exhausted of Twickenham

7. At November 23, 2007 10:06 AM Sharran wrote:

Hi Jeni, Know the feeling well of a day of no production with all good positive thoughts and no matter how organised one is there is something or someone who will cause the several steps back. As for my day, it was not as bad as a total wasted day sitting in a car jam. Better than my friend Jude as her shop premises were burgled at the weekend, they stole her weekend takings that she is not insured for... it was her daughters 21st birthday; I know exactly what she feels like as Mike and I were broken into in Bloomsbury London last year the day after my 50th. Her takings she thought were put in a safe place on the premises until Monday. No insurance cover as it was not in the safe as I told her no good in what ifs. Is it I getting older or is the world gone crazy and greedy? The good old days hey…

8. At November 23, 2007 11:33 AM tricia wrote:

Hi Jeni

When I was a child in the 60's we as a family always went to the West coast of Ireland for our holidays. My mother was originally from there. We had such freedom. In the morning we would get up and throw on our wellies and be off around the neibouring farms - milking cows, collecting eggs, making Hay (the old fashioned way. I used to help one of the neighbours make lunch for those out in the fields. As I child from the city I thought the family was incredibly poor. They had little of the comforts I was used to at home ie a bathroom. However to self sufficiency. One day I was in her kitchen helping out. She churned the cream by hand and made the butter. She dug potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed them, adding home grown scallions. She topped the lot with the newly made butter and served alongside poached salmon caught in the river running through their farm. Can you imagine a more delicious feast? And I thought they were poor!!

9. At November 24, 2007 9:02 AM rhianon wrote:

You're all making me feel a bit guilty for having had a lovely, easy week! Work is fun, my family are well, even the cat is behaving himself.

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.