Ready Steady Poe

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 February 2008

Well what a to-do! The 239 is changing to the 170, I'm all at 6's and 7's. Jim has just dismounted from the 6.30 239/170, he called me from the bus stop to tell me not to be alarmed but the now defunct 239 is still the 239 until it becomes the 170, when it will do exactly the same journey as the 239 only now the 239 will trundle through the streets of London as the 170.

Jim says it may be a quicker journey because the 170 adds up to a smaller number than the 239, i.e. 8 as opposed to 14, thus making it a lighter journey.

'Oh! That's alright then' I said, feeling that all really was right with the world.

This frank and surreal exchange of views took place after a jolly good bottle of Graves, in a delightful little restaurant in Battersea High Street. We were meant to be going to see a production of THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH at the Battersea Arts Centre BUT,

and here's an extremely big


I got claustraphobic on the stairs on the way into THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH.

We had to put masks on, all white and tight, with our very own spectacles perched on the end of the commedia del' arte nose, knowing that some sweaty audience member had done the very same thing the night before. . I couldn't breath. We were led into a curtained lobby where a young actress hunched over us and enunciated our impending journey. I freaked.

I imagined we would get caught up in the infernal folds of yet more flappy curtains, in pitch black, with lots of white masked Battersoneans bumping into each other, all pretending to be part of Edgar Allen Poes party.

The thought of getting tangled up in this web of deceit, not to mention the voluminous drapes, absolutely terrified me. I sweated, hyper ventilated and nearly died when we handed back our 40 tickets and fell out into the cold Lavender Hill air.

I still feel embarrassed, even though we drove back to the flat, dumped off the car, and walked into Battersea Village to take supper at 'Galapigos' where we met a ceramiscist who sells bicicles and our next door neighbour who speaks very loudly but has a heart of gold.

I can hardly remember todays radio show, even though it was full of confident chat about congestion charges, smiling nurses and Death. Maybe that's why I got so caught up in the hanging curtains of Babylon.

It's now midnight, Jim is strumming his guitar, the roomies are in bed, the cyling potter has pedalled off into the night, I feel bloated, and tomorrow beckons with yet more talk of the town.

I will be there, without my mask of death, but hopefully with my 40 refund -yeah and Edgar Allen Poe might fly!

night night and


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


1. At February 13, 2008 4:31 PM rhianon wrote:

Claustophobias a right sod, isn't it? I get it now and then, like in lifts or at night when I just have to sit up and walk about in the cool air.
On the subject of smiling nurses, my Mother is in hospital and the nurses on the ward are so good, they're so caring and gentle, I couldn't wish for a more positive set of people to get her through this pneumonia. I feel she's safe in their hands, you know?

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