Full Fathom Five
Jim drove up last Wednesday so we could have dinner with Rupert Ponsonby at the new Gauchos.
We were on time only we went to the wrong Gauchos.
Walking swiftly into the one in Spitalfields - all stainless steel and girls with headsets on - I opened my eyes very wide and speaking, very slowly, asked them, impatiently, to call the other Gauchos in Smithfields.
Finally after a taxi ride and a bit of a ruck we arrived one hour late.
The new Gauchos in Smithfields is swanky, moodily lit, and very, very comfortable. 16 of us sat round a big glass table on pony-hide covered chairs. Our backs were straight as we were served delicious food, course after course. Glasses of fresh, expensive wine, and rare meat as well as company. Ryan - one of the partners showed us the Graucho grill and talked about the beef which, vacuum packed, had been slaughtered humanely ( yes I know its an oxymoron) shipped carefully and cooked to perfection.
Oz Clarke, Will Reith, Rupert himself, and an assortment of meedja folk and foodies, kept the evening bubbling. I had to leave early on account of a cartoon character.
Thursday morning came a lot sooner than I needed. I left the 'oosbind gently snoring as I lurched out of the flat carrying a huge bag which was too heavy and in the event unecessary. My shoulder was throbbing with pain as I mounted the 170 to Victoria then a tube to Oxford Circus, a quick change to Tottenham Court Road and then second on the right down Rathbone Place for a 2 hour voice over.
The team of women were lovely. One commuted from Rugby, one lives in Notting Hill having de-camped from New York. She calls herself an oxymoron as she is a smoking yoga teacher. The smoke comes from cigarettes not strenuous Ashtanga yoga which I am told can be extremely hot and sweaty. She gave me a really good exercise to relieve my shoulder pain. It helped but only a little.
There was also a young man from Leeds, a young woman from Planet Hip, and a really nice enginner who made me feel less like the old girl that I really am.
I had scarmbled egg and Red Bush tea as I attempted to breath life into a cartoon character who looked ridiculously like me. By 10.30 I was panicking that I wouldn't make LBC on time. I was released in the knowledge that my voice had been accepted.
I ran to the tube and did the whole journey in reverse. Kissed the old git, dumped my unwanted bag, and drove like the clappers to the studio.
The show went ok. Sitting next to James Whale is REALLY informative. I have never been so close to a broadcasting legend. I enjoy watching him work.
Keith Allen came in to talk about his new show TREASURE ISLAND. He is ever so sexy in a grubby, bristling, dangerous kind of way. He took out his gold tooth, which had been knocked out during a fight sequence in Robin Hood on the telly, as opposed to the Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest..... He spoke in the voice of a pirate, Aaarrrgh! But it were goood fun me hearties..
Friday was manic. Firstly I lost my phone then I lost my car keys. I was running around the flat, up and down to the underground car-park,in and out all of the rooms, on the balcony, upside down in the bathrooms, up and down in the lift and round and about the garage - all in my pyjamas. I finallly found my car keys down the side of the car seat, and the phone down the side of the armchair, but all after screaming, whaling, barring my phone, unbarring my phone, weeping into my Clarity Tea and moaning to anybody who came into my path.
It's terrfying how a small rectangular object can hold so much power.
On Friday night I went to see ANGELINA JOLIE in the CHANGELING at BAFTA, I had a bowl of caulflower and cheese soup, a small Ceaser salad amd a glass of red wine. very rare for me. But the wine diluted the day and releaved my still heaving shoulder.
The cinema at Bafta is very swish. Big deep red seats, on Friday, however, the air conditioning was on. I was SO cold the tip of my nose was freezing and my neck felt like ice but you are not allowed to make a noise, move, breathe or chat at a Bafta screening. It's professionals watching professionals. So I couldn't just lean across and ask my companion to give me my coat and scarf, the objections would have been too much, so I hugged myself, rubbed my arms, squeezed my fingers and thought hot air -don't I always - and managed to be gripped by Mr. Eastwoods direction and musical composition, not to mention Ms. Jolies dark, brooding performance. I was than accompanied down into the Piccadilly Line which was a blessed relief as it was warm. It felt like riding the Paris Metro. I was then driven to my flat.
I had so enjoyed the evening but I wanted to see Jim so I leapt into my car and I set off for East Sussex. I fell into the old mans arms at 1.15am. It was so good to see him especially after the harrowing film.
Saturday was full of my grandaughter Maia, Lola the new labradoodle and a lot of guzzling round the kitchen table. farmers market scones, farmers market sausages, farmers market potatoes and delicious French famers market bread. But it was also a full two hours in the chair of JENNY SHILTON my hairdresser. DAZL is the name of the salon, so-called because they only had 4 window panes so D-A-Z-L it was.
JENNY SHILTON is an ex body-builder a wonderful hairdresser and a healer. She put red flashes in my hair for the next 'Audience With...' But more importantly she gave me shoulder healing I cried out as she pressed her finger tips into wherever my body told her to go. I had to breathe into the excrutiating jabs of intense pain shot through my body. Sitting with pieces of plastic bits in my hair and chatting to a delightful woman called Pia an interior architect, Jenny prodded and poked and released the discomfort. I have never experienced anything like it. I got home and took a very strong Arnica remedy, had Jim rub Arnica cream into my shoulder and today, as I write, the pain is practically non-existent.
The Lola puppy was delicious, I took her for a walk and missed Jackson hugely - undoubtedly we will get another hound but not yet.
The grandaughter was so funny and squashy, it's always a little dissapointing when they leave. Then Lolas owners, and two New Zealand relatives, returned from Twickenham where they had been watching the son and nephew play for England in the Rugby match. After a lot of tinnies, three bottles of wine and a lot of farmers market cheese and our garden apples, they all left. By 9.o'clock the cottage had returned to normal. Everybody had gone, Lola's wire cage had been removed, the childs toys tidied up and the tinnies and bottles recycled.
Jim and I settled down with some crap telly. By 2am we were asleep.
This morning we awoke to a light sprinkling of snow. Then a right gushing of rain. Then a short bright show of sun and then a torrential downpour. I felt all emotional - nerves about Saturday - so I set off for London in the teeming water, arrived in the flat, bunged on the heating watched 'Strictly' made some calls, and now it's time for a hot drink and some reading before bed.
I promise I wil try and write everyday next week.
Join me why don't you?
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes