Running to time

Posted by Jeni in LBC | 28 April 2008

On my run this morning I passed a slight man. Grey hair, blue shirt, red sweater slung over his shoulders, well heeled, obviously foreign.

I ran for two minutes, really fast, then stopped for two minutes to recover.

He walked past me.

I picked up speed and left him at St. Mary's Church.

'You can't get rid of me that easily.' I shouted breathlessly.

I stopped for another two minutes and there he was smiling at me.

'Are you American?' I panted.

'No.Italian.' he said, as he sauntered off into the sunlight.

I should have known, he had that metrosexuality that Europeans carry off so well.

I scooted past him again, and we both laughed.

'Stop.' he said.

' I can't. ' I spluttered.

Over Battersea Bridge, down towards The Albert. My two minute recovery nearly over at Ransoms Dock, when he sashayed past me. He gestured at me, in the way that Al Pacino does, patting the air and miming for me to stop. 'I can't.' I wheezed, as I scuttled off towards Battersea Park.

As I was gagging for breath by the Golden Buddha's pagoda he ambled into view. 'You are running too fast'. He said.

I had a slight panic, maybe the Italian was right and I was running too fast. What if I were to have a heart attack and drop dead at the feet of Gaudama Siddhartha, shouldn't I just slow down to a gentle jog, and then it occurred to me that were I to drop dead anywhere I could do worse than expire at the feet of the Dalai Lamas' mate.

Up towards Chelsea Bridge, and the little Italian diasappeared in the Plain Trees of SW11.

I did a U-turn, sucked in the morning air and headed back to the flat. I was struck by the mounds of pink blossom that had collected on the ground, the blueness of the ceonothus and the balls of white flowers that had formed on the riverside path. Kicking over the petals I overtook a Swedish woman wearing a Burberry Mac, talking very loudy in Swedish, into her mobile telephone. I wondered whether speaking a foreign language in a foreign country gave you carte blanche to shout even louder than the Natives when conversing on a cell phone. I didn't reach any conclusion only that her phone bill must be even bigger than mine. By the time I had reached 'The Thai on The River Restaurant', some 15 minutes later, the Burberry clad Swede leapt out of the bushes, from whence she came I know not. Her ear was still glued to her handset. I was tempted to tell her that she was damaging her brain but decided against it, she was clearly talking to family - and I mean very clearly - to be honest had she discarded the mobile device they would still have heard her in Stockholm, I could hear her and I was practically in Wandsworth.

By the time I got to LBC I was fed and watered and ready to talk about schools, holidays and Jeremy Beadle.

Its now 22.47. Dear Steve, my producer, will be tucked up in bed, ( so you wont get to read this until tomorrow morning) which is where I need to be in as tomorrow I am up at sparrows fart to be personally trained. .

God help me.

I wonder if my little Italian will be out and about in the morning. I'd better brush up on my Italiano.

Ciao, ciao, Buonanotte and a pił tardi

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


1. At April 28, 2008 11:20 PM Old Granny Ambrose wrote:

Wow Jenni.......What a flim that would make, a handsome Italian (very rich ofcourse), a beautiful woman (in her glorious mature years)....can she resist?? He is a Chef, their eye's meet.........
I leave the rest to you imagination!!!

2. At April 29, 2008 9:11 AM David wrote:

What a great story!

3. At April 29, 2008 9:14 PM mrs. jones wrote:

So you talked about schools! But being a humble teacher I can't listen to the show - unsociable hours for us teachers! So what did all the non-experts have to say - because believe you me, there are thousands of people out there who have an uninformed opinions about schools! So if you want to discuss that - fine - but do it when the experts (teachers) can participate!

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.