Meals on Wheels.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 October 2010

Phoned the bank to check out we had travel insurance.

Having given the wrong security details my call was blocked. A very nice Scottish lad helped me out. Resetting the security number and advising me not to use birthdays or anything sequential I resorted to my mothers Co-op number from 1956...

Then I meditated in the bathroom with a pile of onion and garlic paste plastered on my belly.

Out into the lovely, buttery sunshine and off to PERFECT FIT for a bikini in the sale. I know it shouldn't be allowed a two-piece at my age but who cares, an old girls got to do what an old girls got to do.

There was a padded 'nude' one that was too big, a blue one and a hot number half the price.

The top half - red with a brooch - fitted like a Marilyn Monroe top, that was according to the proprietress.

The bottom half - red with a brooch - looked like a 14 year old boys airtex underpants. They gaped at the back and hung badly.

'When the water gets into them they'll get even bigger' I bemoaned.

'No they wont.' said the expert 'They'll shrink.'

I bought them anyway wondering about the physics of bikini bottoms. If the bottom part of a bikini shrunk every time you got into the water by the time you got to the end of your holiday they would be but a thong.

I went off to the Post Office, carrying my red bargain, to buy 200 stamps, 100 first class, 100 second class and one loan stamp for a Dining Club that Jim wants to join. I did try telling him that I'm only eating soup at the moment and when I'm not boring myself rancid with mung beans I eat raw. But he said it was an opportunity not to be missed. Who am I to argue with a Northern git. Surprisingly the PO was empty so I went straight to the counter. I tried to make friendly conversation but the Post Mistress was having none of it. She was so miserable even her kaftan looked down in the mouth. I shan't be going to 'Cashier Number Three Please.' again.

Then into the cheap shop for plastic containers.

Into the Supermarket to buy a free range corn-fed chicken, 4 organic carrots, 2 huge tomatoes, 3 big onions, 2 bunches of celery and three little measuring mugs.

Over the road to another cheap shop to buy two more containers. They were cheaper than the other two cheap containers from the other cheaper, cheap shop.

I met three women I haven't seen in ages, one talked about her daughter who has just come back from dancing on a cruise ship, one talked about her son who is working in Threadneedle Street making a fortune, and the other talked about her son who is a musical protege, he plays everything brilliantly including his organ. I felt like I was in a Mary Wesley novel. By the time I got home the chicken had nearly hatched.

I pulled up two luscious onions and picked a big bunch of parsley from the garden, prepared the rest of the vegetables and put the Jewish Penicillin on at 4.00, packed my case, cleaned the car windows, loaded up the boot and at 7.30, three and a half hours later, I deboned the chicken and decanted the broth into three of the cheap containers. The vegetables into one, the delicious-de-boned-chicken into another and the near perfect broth into a big tall one.

I set off at 8.15 and arrived in Hackney by 10.00. The journey took longer than normal as I had to drive over Tower bridge due to road works in the Blackwall Tunnel. I hadn't supped my mung beans since six hours earlier so the smell of chicken soup was making me salivate. I drove through the night dribbling as the smell of the unctious potage drifted around my little car, the containers managed to leak some of the soup but that's what comes of buying cheap.....

I delivered the meal, instructed the daughter to take a mugful every hour so that her chest infection cleared up before our flight on Saturday, and set off for Battersea.

It took 30 minutes to drive through Shoreditch, down past the Tower of London, over Southwark Bridge, round Waterloo, a skiddaddle to Lambeth bridge, back over to the North side, down the Embankment, back to the south side over Battersea Bridge and there was my little flat. all dark and uninviting.

I schlapped all the bags up in the lift, opened my thermos flask of spicy khichadi I had made earlier, sat in front of the computer and cried at the death of my Peace Lily. I phoned the daughter who had bought it for me.

'My absence and neglect has killed my Peace Lily.' I moaned.

'It's only a plant mum.' said the daughter as she smacked her chicken souped lips. 'I'll buy you a new one.'

I unloaded, made a pot of tea, watched some back dated TV programmes on the i-player and have just remembered I haven't collected the Post.

Sybil and the 'oosbind Skyped me, we counted to three and hung up together. He's still in the cottage farting around with his new 'Kindle' electronic book and fiddling around with the computer.

I'm off down the stairs now to my post box. I fear I may end up looking like the Post Mistress back home as I'm expecting last months bills.

Still nowt comes for nowt and if I want to have light, warmth and running water I'd better cough up, which is exactly what my daughter is not doing after her Jewish Penicillin.....

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

Comments

1. At October 12, 2010 12:13 PM Kirsten wrote:

Hi Jeni, next time I get a chest infection I'll pay you to make me chicken soup. :) I hope BB gets better very quickly.
Let us know what the 'oosbind thinks of the Kindle, I'm very tempted by it.
In case I don't get time to visit your blog again this week, have a fantastic time in Costa Rica & I know you will ROCK that red bikini!!
Big hugs.

2. At October 12, 2010 1:25 PM Geoffrey Valencia wrote:

Dearest Jeni.
I am afraid this is not related to your blog. But i just wanted to tell that i really miss your show on LBC. I thinks its a absolute outrage the way you have been treated. You were always warm and sympathatic. I was always a avid listener of LBC. I used to listen to it from other ther covers when i was a child. I feel like it has taught me and helped me grow into the person i am today. In recent years the shows i actually listen to you have got less and less. Yours was one of the last shows i would actually listen to. Thank you jeni for all the laughs and wonderful information you gave us. I would also like to thank you for your support for the BA cabin crew during the strike. Your was a lone voice amongst the venomous press. All my best wishes for the future. I am sure you will have future sucess. Take care jeni. A big cabin crew hug. Geoffrey xxx

3. At October 12, 2010 3:23 PM Emma wrote:

Jeni, I turned on LBC for the first time in a month today to hear you and you were gone! I can't believe it! You were by far the best presenter they had, I absolutely loved your show - it got me through 3 years of university and essays. Wishing you all the very best, and love this website - I've only just discovered it! Love from Emma :)

4. At October 12, 2010 3:24 PM Sean wrote:

Hi Jeni,

Really missing you on LBC. Only listen to Steve Allen now when I can be bothered to get up in time. Why dont you start doing a podcast?? I'm sure there will be lots willing to pay a small fee to hear you whittling on!! Have a great holiday... I'm so jealous.

5. At October 12, 2010 3:57 PM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

Oh Jeni the bikini sounds just wonderful, you will have an amazing time and come back all refreshed and ready to start something new. I admit to not envying your current diet. You mentioned maybe getting a dog, having recently aquired the most adorable puppy I can only advise that you go ahead when you feel ready, be warned they are hard work but worth it. xxhugxx

6. At October 12, 2010 4:26 PM Beej wrote:

So happy you found a helpful young man at the end of the phone, I lost two hours of my life today trying to find out from a mobile phone company why despite my having spoken to everyone plus their mother my business account still wasn't functioning correctly.

Hope ur daughter is getting better xx

7. At October 12, 2010 8:08 PM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni! It must feel strange at the Battersea flat now! so many memories flooding back to you of Great Food Live with your daily journey to Capital Studios and after that was over your journey with many different routes you took to LBC in Central London. Those wonderful walks along the Kings Rd and up Sloane St and Through the Park or down Piccadilly Coffee at View on five in the old Simpsons building and sometimes your treck to Clapham Jnc and train to waterloo then your walk over hungerford Bridge to work . you were really a marvel Jeni. most people are just to darned lazy to walk anywhere! but you did it and it did you good . Now Jeni on Saturday you will fly from Heathrow to Huston Texas then get a flight to Costa Rica! all that Sun and wonderful beaches Jenni you and your family will feel like your in Paradise. Its fantastic Please all of you Enjoy Yourselves and come back all the better for your break. i am off to a not so exotic isle! Isle of Wight actually Next week and having a weeks rest in Shanklin! It will make a nice Change! Have you ever holidayed on the Isle of Wight Jeni? i love it in spite of my trips to Beverly Hills and Malibu and The Queen Mary at Long Beach! plus 2 hoilidays in germany in Koln and Bad Salzuflen all this year . i feel rather spoiled Ha Ha! anyway Jeni hope you all enjoy yourselves in costa rica May God Bless you All! Viel Spass! thats german for Have fun! Love and Kisses Terry XXXXXXXX

8. At October 12, 2010 9:27 PM Claire Wonnacott wrote:

Oh Jeni....
Your red bikini,the nearly hatched chicken i am sat here giggling my head off. Just had to catch up on 3 blogs so feel i have had my fix this week. Think i need a bit of the old chicky soup as im feeling hot and a bit hoarse however you have cheered me up again. Stay safe on the hols and don't burn your boobs! Much love.
Claire

9. At October 20, 2010 8:29 AM Justin wrote:

Isn't it amazing how a single person can uncover someone funny along with the next individual not?My brother's assume Lee Evans is brilliant. I think he is dire.Ten years ago I thought Harry Hill was the funniest man on the planet,no-one else I knew received him in any respect. I lauigh like a drain at Al Murray yet my entire family don't get him whatsoever.My dad thinks Jethro is the funniest comedian in the world. I uncover him as humorous as piles.I'm not a huge fan of Brand but do assume he's a really fascinating chap and really enjoy his TV stuff.

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