Sleepless in Sussex

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 8 November 2009

B has just cooked us roast chicken, roast potatoes, roasted butter-nut squash, roasted red onion with thyme, peas. broccoli and onion gravy. We await for a belly space before eating some Banoffi pie.

Jim supplied a deep, rich red wine which even I liked.

The dimmer switch has blown in the kitchen so we had ceiling lights as well as the candles. Just the three of us, Chet Baker singing to us and the drip, drip from the rain-drops off the Clematis outside the window. It felt like eight but it was only half five.

I am now in my pj's, I've booked my armchair for the 'X Factor' results, and I've set my alarm so I can stay another night before going back to Londinium

I've raked up more leaves than Connecticut in the fall, there are still big blowsy apples hanging from the damp, brown branches of one of my trees, the maple is nearly nude, with only a handful of red leaves to cover its modesty. There's still a carpet of thick wet, green Comfrey by the woodshed and one sad rose trying to open by the sage tub.

I wanted to mow the lawn but the rain had been falling, loudly since 'Stricly Come Dancing' last night.

On Saturday I left Jim, in bed as I crept out of the flat at 8.15. Got to Victoria at 8.30 and caught the 8.37 to East Croydon I could have got the train from Clapham Junction had I know it went chugging through that station, I'll know next time.

Bought myself 'The Mail', gossip darlings, and a tomato and cheese baguette which tasted like trainer-sock sandwiches. I'd forgotten it was November my fingers were frozen tipped so I bought myself a hot chocolate and sat in the waiting room. As inviting as the reception cubicle in Guantanamo Bay.

The train finally arrived at 9.23. The Uckfield train was warm and comforting. Two cyclists left their bikes in the corridor as we trundled towards Oxted, and their gloves on the table when they dismounted at Ashford. They were real cycling gloves too. I got out at Eridge.

The smell of Autumn in the hedgerows was earthy and loamy. Wet, glistening hazel, dripping rosehips. I put my left arm through one bag handle and my right through the other heaving my bag onto my back leaving my arms free to swing as I marched home. When I got to the bus stop I watched a bloke throw a big carrier bag of rubbish into the bushes. I crossed over fully intending to have a go, but he was sitting in his van looking just a little too big and hairy for my liking so I crossed back over the road and tapped my belly as I marched onwards. 300 taps is meant to be good for the digestion. I arrived in my cottage at 10.30.

Emmy, the puss, was asleep and snookled in the bean bag, Jonfan had put on the heating and left all our mail, in piles, on the kitchen table.

I had money from 'TV's Naughtiest Blunders', endless catalogues for gardening, kitchen and nautical equipment and mountains of charity requests. I toyed with the idea of buying a ships compass and navigational whistle and sending a porta-loo to Africa but in the event my bank statement got the better of me. Hey Ho the wind and the drain.....

Sorted out 151 emails, weighed myself, DONT ASK, quick wash and into TWells for my cranial osteopath. I walked in the low,cold sun and arrived twenty minutes early, affording myself a quick flick of 'HELLO' magazine - I loathe the woman who's trying to get moneye out of Jude Law, I pity the poor baby whose mother digs for gold.... Mr. Bibby says another two goes and my ankle should be back to normal, at the moment its swollen, I look like a Bostwanan plantain seller.

Then lunch in a caff belonging a young woman I hadn't seen for years. I had a very good cup of coffee, a plate of seasonal salads and a chat with an ex-dancer who had wrinkles on her top lip. I knew she had some sort of ovary problem, which she confirmed she had.

Then it was a short walk to my hairdressers. Jenny is a healer, when Jenny does your hair and puts her hands on your shoulders its goodbye consciousness hello Alpha level. I have no idea whether my hair is any good but she makes me so relaxed if she shaved me with a number one razor I would still pay.

It was now 6.12 and I had to get back to Blackpool ballroom for 'Strictly' at 6.25. So I dashed into the garage and bought a loaf of bread, a tin of soup, 2 curly-wurlys, a bar of Cadbury's fruit and nut and a triple Bounty for Jim. I've eaten one curly -wurly bar the rest of the chocolate is looking up at me on the kitchen table screaming WHY? WHY? WHY?.

I made a fire by scrunching up one whole 'TIMES' newspaper, laying over four firelighters, some dry logs from the woodshed, and as Whittle skittered over Blackpool Towers ballroom, the fire caught. The cat and I settled down together in the bean bag and so begun Saturday night.

On my own in the cottage.

As the rain spattered on the leaves and tapped on the window the fire burned and the cat purred. Way out in the distance fireworks banged and whizzed, whilst the idiot 'X Factoroids' bored me to drink. Grapefruit and Indian Tonic water loverly.

I watched 'Sleepless in Seattle' and blubbed so much I had to blow my nose whilst contemplating another curly-wurly.

Jim arrived at midnight, I cracked open the bread and soup, hugged him then crawled into my big, cool bed.

I love my home, the carpets, the smell, the clean towels, the plants, the cat, the pictures, the bathroom, the sounds and sights of my life.

This morning Jim and I stayed in bed and listened to 'THE ARCHERS', then I called my mother who was crying at the 'Rememberance Day Service', collected B from TWells train Station, she had come back from a do in Hastings, drove to Waitrose and bought the ingredients for our Sunday Lunch, which if you recall she cooked beautifully.

Jim and I did the accounts, and discovered the reason we are so poor. Worra a lorra cock-ups.

It's now time for Sunday Evening. Erykah Badu and Guru Jazzmatazz are singing, B is going through the old jewellery, she does it every time she comes home. Its her form of dressing up. Jim is downstairs on the computer and I'm awaiting the 'X Factor' results, a waste of time, it's so lack lustre this year.

The Observer awaits a perusal and the Banoffi pie is singing from the refridgerator.

I hear its call......

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

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