The Plimsoll Line

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 18 July 2009

Dear June, yup women have always had to consider their age; too old to get married, too young to be respected, too old to be noticed, too young to be taken seriously, too old to be visible, too young to be equal, it doesn't matter which way you cut it - and its got nothing to do with my present age - as long as we are in a society that requires us to match up to some airbrushed male notion of perfection women will always be struggling to be who they are.

But enough about me, today Jim and I had a normal Saturday....

Porridge for breakfast, a little tiff, some phonecalls, another little spat then off we set to The Royal Court.Theatre in Sloane Square

The weather was balmy. The walk relaxed and purposeful.

We bought a gift for our birthday-party-boy tomorrow and collected out tickets. Two in the stalls, row 'G', all the evening ones had gone so we we decided to forego the Indian Exhibition at the British Museum for an afternoon of theatre.

We crossed the road and had a coffee and a glass of wine sitting at a round table in the sunshine. The waiters were French, the co-munchers English, and the weather Italian. At 1.45 we crossed back over the Square and took our seats with a whole bunch of matinee idols.

Mark Rylance, and a strong supporting cast, turned in a wonderful performance. JERUSALEM written by JES BUTTERWORTH is set in a wood in rural England. A huge silver caravan sits centre stage, trees frame it, before the tabs open there is a wonderful smell of wood burning. Our seats were comfortable, not that it would have ,mattered, from the get-go the play was arresting, fun, touching, thoughtful. The ensemble tight. The acting rivetting. the youngsters were inspiring and Mr. Rylance, as usual, was still, centred and utterly watchable.

In the first of the two intervals I chewed over the play; storytelling, tradition, poetry, bigotry, drugs, honesty, whilst I chewed on a bag of sweet chilli crisps, it spiced up the whole affair. Rarely have Jim and I enjoyed a play as much. I always think a matinee may not be as charged, the cast conserving their energy for the evenings performance. But this Royal Court mob did themsleves and the play proud. If you can get a ticket you wont be dissappointed.

I was wearing a pair of £20 quid shoes that were ripping my skin off so we nipped into John Lewis on the Kings Road to buy Jim a computer skin (a fancy name for a little rubber bag) and me a pair of walking shoes. The play was over three hours long - don't be scared it's worth every single minute of your time - so we didn't get out into daylight until 6.15. The big store was open until 7.00.

I have small feet, with high insteps, they look like my Aunty Beckys feet, small, brown and dainty. They are about the only thing on my body that is dainty the rest of me looks like a Lithuanian shot-putter, anyway having bought Jim's skin and a quick skip round the shoe sale we decided that £59 for a pair of rubber flip -flops was daylight, let alone twilight, robbery. But I noticed the school uniform department. There hanging on a tree were a whole set of childrens plimsolls all priced at £2.50. Just like Cinders my foot fitted snugly into the primary school size fours. The smell of rubber took me back to Cowley Hill Junior school and before you could say 'Can I have a sherbert dab please' Jim gave them the money and I dashed off down the stairs onto the Kings Road and skipped off like I was playing centre forward in Cowley Hill's reserve netball team. I really wanted the crepe-soled black ones but they were in a box which meant another seven quid, so I made do with my little white ones. All I need now is a whitening stick a pair of shorts,an airtex vest and I'm ready for rounders.

We bought a little fresh loaf for Jim, pea and mint soup for me, then we trotted off down Oakley Street the white terraced houses standing proud in the evening light. Over the road by The Albert Bridge and a walk down the embankment. Peter Bazelgette who gave us 'Big Brother' and much more, is related to a former Bazelgette who gave us the sewage system of London. There are memorial lamposts to him by the Thames. It has been said that Peter, like his forefathers, has also made his millions out of working in effluence.

The rain came down and Jim and I squeezed underneath the tiniest of umbrellas. His skin got wet whilst the computer's skin stayed dry. My little white plimsolls kept out the rain.

It's now nearly 9.00 We've had supper, talked about the play, listened to some cool music and eaten hot chilli chocolate.

I may have a bath, read my book, do some writing, or I may just put on my white plimsolls and do Jim....sorry gym.

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


1. At July 19, 2009 7:25 AM Russel Peters wrote:

I know as well as anyone the difficulty people have in motivating themselves to exercise. I do pretty well just reminding myself that I want to be healthy (and, these days, that I need to be strong in order to make it through the birth of my child), but a lot of days thatís just not enough to get me onto the elliptical machine.

2. At July 19, 2009 10:14 AM angi wrote:

Dear Jeni
You really cheer my day whether you're having a rant or having a laugh. I'm having a pretty tough time at the moment, ill health, husband out of work but reading your blogs makes me forget all that for a while and I didn't think anybody remembered Mitsuko perfume, this was the very first French perfume I was ever given.

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.