3 day rule

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 2 December 2008

It normally takes me three days to get over myself.

Saturday has filtered down now so I can be more objective about Radlett.

I'm chewing on a stick of celery, the flat is so quiet and my crunching so loud I can hardly hear myself type.

I have cancelled two activities tonight - too cold, too in need of pyjamas and Ovaltine, and anyway I started the day at 7.00

I left the flat at 8.03. Ran to the 170 bus-stop and stood in the ram-shackle queue until 8.17. I smiled all the way to Victoria.

A man with three piano music books smiled back. He looked like an adjudicator. He got off by Lord Linley's furniture shop. Those shiny books brought back all Bee's music exams and my time as a piano teacher. I refused to put any of my students into exams. The very idea that you are being marked for expression, musicality, precision, and feel is enough to put Ashkenazy off.

Victoria was hot and packed. I was taking the tube to Oxford Circus and then walking to Leicester Square to look at the new studio being built in Capital House, the studio that I will inhabit for however long.

I worked in Capital studios for GFL now I'll be working in Capital studios for LBC.

Anyway the first train came, I tried to push past two Japanese women and their headphones. The doors closed.

The second train came and I struck up a stilted conversation with two blokes from the Czech Republic who were heading for Euston. They got on I didn't. The doors closed.

The third train was full of tutting secretaries. By the time train number four arrived I decided to turn round and leave.

The escalator was jammed packed, the left side as static as the right.

I ran for a taxi. The driver was dour and very early morning about it all. 10 later I arrived - bang on time -ready for my tour.

How many years have I longed to be in the centre of town and here I was being shown round my new factory.

When ever I used to come into SoHo for voice overs I would go to Leicester Square and stroke the little bronze Charlie Chaplin that lives opposite the ticket booth. His walking stick has been snapped in half before now, but most of the time Charlie and his cane gave me enough confidence to strut my stuff in the thousands of voice-over booths I frequented. I will now see him everyday from the second floor.

The new studio is high-tec, narrow and very good, according to Steve Allen. I wouldn't know. He's been at it for 30 years. I am a mere novice when it comes to microphones, headphones or even mobile phones.

I can chat but sod the technology.

We were taken round all six floors, shown the canteen which is sky level. Nelson is a sparrows fart away. The roof tops of London rival any Disney cartoon. We are up there with chimney pots, church spires and birds.

After wondering how long this office would start to feel like home I left for the No19 on Shafstbury Avenue.

The journey was calm and peaceful. I hopped off the bus at Battersea Bridge, southside, and walked back to the flat along the river.

I ate a bowl of cereal, made some calls and left for LBC at the normal time.

I am thinking I may have to move more central, but we'll see, I can't imagine leaving the river...

Radlett has left me deflated and unconfident. The new studios and Steve Allen have left me deflated and unconfident.

Right so here's why:

I keep re-running Radlett, the bits I left out, the bits I put in, the bits that should have been longer, the bits that should have been shorter,the rude bits, the crude bits the good bits and the bad. I keep berating myself for being lazy, ill-prepared, anxious, and tired. Steve Allen starts his shows with dry ice, a drum roll, big music and shazzam he's off.

I come on to a feeble whimper. When I do Croyden in March I will come on with a bang..

Radlett was about me knowing what I could have done, not doing what I should have done and then worrying about what I would have done if....

Yes 'If if's and an's were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers.' But my three day pattern means I am still mulling it all over.

Leicester Square is new, bright and professional - I'm the first voice that will ever come out of that place. Don't get excited they chose me because if anything goes wrong on my show it's dealable with. They dont want hiccups in Ferrari or O'Brien.

Do I mind?


Do I care?


Do I dare?


If Radlett has given me anything it's the knowledge that I really can think on my feet.

Which reminds me, I need to take my trainers off, put on thick sox and slippers and settle down to some reading, tv and a hot cuppa of Rooibosh.

My audience was lovely in Radlett. Warm and caring, fun and sharing - if it all sounds a bit Hallmark sorry......

The three days are up so tomorrow I can start all over again. I shall start by interviewing Imelda Staunton. What better way to start the day than having a chat with a super star.

It aint all bad after all.

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


1. At December 3, 2008 12:19 AM Marmots wrote:

I am absolutey gutted I missed the Radlett gig,but I wish you weren't so hard on yourself I heard it was a great show eveyone enjoyed it you and Gino rocked and Jim played a great foil. Your fans love you so don't worry so much, I know it's an actor thing to be insecure but you my lovely don't need to be. So chins up love ya loads Marmite xx

2. At December 3, 2008 8:45 AM Cathy wrote:

Morning Jen :) - am sure Radlett went wonderfully despite all your if's and but's! - and yay your coming to Croydon - where can i find dates, times etc etc as finally you are within reach of me being able to go :) - have wonderful week - hugs to u and 'im indoors ! Cathy xx

3. At December 3, 2008 11:49 AM chrissie wrote:

It aint bad at all;-)
Chrissie x

4. At December 3, 2008 11:31 PM caroline wrote:

We saw you at the Radlett Jeni, and you were fabulous, funny, and confident we loved every bit of it, and we will be going to Croydon too, we wouldn't go all that way for just anyone, you know! Thankyou for the comment about the caterpillar and butterfly. It stayed with us.
Caroline & Simon xx

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