Sunday in Sussex

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 18 October 2009

I woke up this morning, looked at the golden leaves on the oak outside the bedroom window, and decided we should go to Sheffield Park and look at the turning leaves.

So we climbed out of bed and after porridge for me and eggntoast for him we wrapped up and set off for Newick..

Towards Uckfield, left through Piltdown, right at Chailey, the low sun bright and sparkly, and down through the trees before we arrived at a traffic jam. Rows and rows of cars bumper to bumper, patiently trickling towards the car-park in the park.

We were directed to go left, onto a field, along with all the other cars who had parked up to see Autumn.

The last time I went we took pictures of purple and orange leaves, red and green trees and I don't remember paying for the privilege. This morning it was 15 to stand in a queue to enter a National Trust property, along with 33,000 other punters. Jim and I looked at each other, remarked that actually the leaves hadn't properly turned yet, and 15 quid was a bit steep for a mornings tree hugging so we went off to the tea rooms.

The smell of decreptitude so overwhelmed me that I couldn' go into the caff. 'We all get old.' said the old git himself. 'I know.' I whinged, 'But I don't want to be reminded of it over my toasted tea cake.'

It hit me. How did I want to age? Eastbourned, clapped out and cardiganned or New Yorked, energised and hoodied. Give me bagels in Brooklyn any day. Not that I dislike England and its countryside it's just that as I get older I want stimulation from people. Books, films, theatre, paintings, an occasioanl trip to the quietude of our maginficient countryside has to be that - occasional - the idea of a cottage existence fills me with dread.

I do love my cottage but will it serve me when I'm 73?

I need to sit and talk about it with the framily.

So rather than tea it with the toothless the 'oosbind and I walked back to our field, climbed in the car and drove to Lewis.

Interesting town, trendy, arty and blessed with a 'BILL'S' cafe. Produce, big tables, good coffee, magnificent soundtrack of people laughing, talking and odering breakfast at lunchtime.

It was good to sip my double shot, hot, cappuccino with little froth whilst the partner had an Americano and three - okay 2 and a half - pancakes with maple syrup.

We shopped for supper and got home in time to watch the sun dip.

I should have mowed the lawn but decided to play the piano instead.

I'm obsessed by Scarlatti at the moment, ever since watching the piano staircase on YOU TUBE, find it if you can, Swedish people walking the piano as opposed to taking the escalator. Scarlatti was so fat he wrote a lot of his music to be played at either end of the piano keyboard thus accomodating his big belly. You see why he speaks to me.

I have decided to ship our fabbo electric piano from Sussex to London. Is this the beginning fo the move I ask myself.

The boudoir grand lives in the cottage. My first ever expensive purchase. That, and my little red car, are the only things that truly belong to me. Th leccy jobby is fancy and full of settings and things. I bought it off my ex-singing teacher who ran out of money. It sits alone in the studio at the end of the garden. It's time to sharpen my keyboard skills. Playing Scarlatti in The Smoke, what a treat. All I need is a van, and two stong men to carry my keyboard aloft....

Talking of which Jim is downstairs fixing up the Skype camera so that we can talk to each other, in vision, when he's here and I'm there, it also means I can talk to Sybil the soothsayer wherever I lay my head.

Tonight I have to see who is being kicked off The 'X' Factor then I will take to me bed, here in the country. Tomorrow its the train and a short walk to LBC.

Three nights here is bliss.

See I am a mass of contradictions. if only I could plonk the cottage in the middle of Hampstead Heath then I would have the best of both worlds, and I wouldn't have to pay 15 quid to look at the turning leaves.

I'm hungry now, so its off to make supper, Skype Hollywood watch Simon Cowell and finish my book on Karma. It says you reap what you sow, and you are what you eat, so no cow for me tonight. I'll keep eating the nuts..

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


1. At October 19, 2009 8:59 AM hymie wrote:

I agree Jeni,
15.00! Why so much? A reasonable amount would have been 5.00 per car but we do live in "Rip off Britain" I'm 54 on November 4th and moved to my current home two years ago after retiring early. It's semi rural and there's only so many cows you can look at each day before you crave traffic lights, people (of all ages) and the hustle and bustle of "just feeling alive" So I've decided to sell up and move to Salford Quays just outside Manchester City Centre, very close to the Lowry Theatre and shopping complex. It's also close to the new Media City. There are some great walks around the quays so Jackson will be happy too. For you maybe it's time to sell the cottage, pack up all it's memories and start the next part of your life feeling younger and full of hope once more.
Have a great week,
Hymie and Jackson x

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