Baby It's Cold Outside

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 October 2010

When the man started talking to me at 7.00 I was confounded by his intrusion, I then realised it was the radio.

As the story unfolded I marveled at the excellence of humanity, a whole country behind a handful of Chilean miners. The President, money, time, ingenuity, compassion, hope, love, all being lavished on a group of grubby workers. I lay in my bed wondering whether we would do that in our selfish country?

Climbed out of bed, forsook my meditation, and siddha paste, forsook my mung bean soup and herbs, and jumped into my clothes instead.

I left the flat just as THOUGHT FOR THE DAY was beginning.

Now jumping into your clothes on October 13th is not recommended unless you have been outside, sucked your finger and held it up to the wind. Jumping into your clothes in the Autumn of your life, without a thermometer, is not a good idea.

I put on skinny trousers, a t-shirt and a little mac. That's a coat by the way, not a hamburger. Nobody told me that the temperature had dropped to minus 47. I walked to the 170 bus stop and for the first time in years my teeth starting chattering.

Found a seat, and enjoyed the earliness of it all. kids with satchels, men with papers, women with kids with satchels. I liked the buzz of Battersea at sparrows fart. .

Took the tube to Green Park then the Jubilee Line to Finchley Road. When I arrived at Seka Nikolic's the hall was dark and the door locked, so I walked in my frozen body, to find somewhere to have a warm sit.

Nothing; plenty of food and wine shops, estate agents, furniture stores, but not one caff with open arms. Walked back to Rosemont Street and opposite Seka's rooms I noticed an open Italian trattoria. It opens at 6.30a.m. every week day. Fresh ciabatta rolls, real people. Seka's husband - a beautiful ex-cop-come-wine-grower informed me that it has been there for forty years or more. Ramblers meet before they set off on Hampstead Heath, regulars come to partake of the atmosphere and all day breakfasts. All the food is home cooked so the litle restaurant has become an institution. Had I known I would have sat down in the warmth and waited, as it was by the time I got into Seka's waiting room the cold had worked its way under my t-shirt, down my underwear and into my howsyourfather.

The lovely Seka did her stuff. By 10.00 the severe pain in my back had dispersed and I felt my shoulders drop with relief. She told me to go back tomorrow, which I am doing at 8.30 in the morning.

I turned left out of Rosemont Street, walked a block to Lymmington Road stumbled down towards West End Lane took a left and right into Sumatra Road and rung the bell of my friends flat.

She gave me a huge cup of camomile tea, some good friendly advice, then she went her way and I went mine.

Down the stairs of the two platformed station known as West Hampstead. The lamp-lights had hanging baskets filled with plastic foliage from ivy to pansies. If I had been cold on the way in waiting for the 10.54 was excrutiating. I had to jam myself into the waiting room with an Italian woman who shouted that she didn't speak English when I asked her if the next train went to Clapham Junction. We smiled at each other. I told her not to apologise for not being English.

The train arrived. I have never taken the overland before. Full of school girls, bitchily talking loudly about other schoolgirls. Through four stations and I alighted at Willesdon Green.

By body was so cold I started talking to myself and jumping up and down to stop my blood from turning into a sorbet.

Finally the 11.08 to Clapham Junction arrived. We all minded the gap and found a seat. A Russian girl was having a very loud conversation on her mobile. An ear piece made her look like she was chatting to herself. Another Eastern European woman was having an extremely animated conversation on her mobile device. A long, skinny Eastern European geezer sat in the corner of the carriage shouting into his phone. It felt like Kiev.

It took the journey from Willesdon to Imperial Wharf before I could move my fingers. Imperial Wharf was completely new to me. I stood up to see the sights and it was good old Chelsea Harbour. next stop Clapham.

And blow me down if I didn't suddenly realise that I was on the train that pootled past my flat daily. There was the river, there was the church, there were my house boats, and there, within my grasp, was my balcony, my furniture, my french doors, my bloody flat - I stretched out my icy fingers....noooooo. So near yet so far away.

I wanted to shout at the other travellers and tell them I was home but I dont speak with Cyrillic tongue.

By the time the train had got to Clapham I was thawed out. By the time I had walked from Clapham to the flat I was a frozen crabbie stick again. Walking quickly to get my circulation flowing I detoured through a little park. Two men were sitting on a bench. One was wearing a yellow hoodie. I thought they must be freezing. I didn't make eye contact I wasn't feeling warm to humanity. They had a beat-box playing tinny music, and no it wasn't hip-hop, it was folk music from somewhere in the Caucasus, ah that's why they don't feel the cold, I thought, they are used to ice-cream in St. Petersburg at minus 50. I felt their exile.

When I finally unlocked the front door and walked into the hall I let out a sigh of relief.

I heated up the last of my mung bean soup and sat down warming my hands on the sides of a very big mug.

Then I put on my FAUX FUR COAT to drive to Wandsworth to search out another bikini and a new mop head.

Driving in a coat that made me the size of a Kodiak bear was not easy. You can see why they can survive in Alasaka , all the body heat is kept in because its impossible to move anywhere. I dread to think what it must be like driving around the Seward Peninsula wearing a bear skin, faux or no faux, no bugger can turn left or right without catching their fur on the gear stick.

I bought my mop head, washing up liquid, floor cleaner, dishwasher tablet, rinse aid, and an onion. I searched high and low for a bikini, just the bottom bit would have done, but the weather has changed - Oh! Don't we just know it - and there was neither a top bit or a bottom bit for love nor money.

Got back to the flat, changed into my pj's and a 'v' necked sweater, put some gel on my back and took my seat in my little office. Pulled on a pair of thick, knitted sox, thanks to TKMaxx, and a back brace thanks to my osteopath

I have completed the last of my mung beans so tonight I will eat left over wild rice with my new onion and curl up in front of the telly, under a duvet, with a hot water bottle and a heated, lavender wheatbag round my neck.

If that doesn't warm me up I'm booking a holiday in Central America.....

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

Comments

1. At October 13, 2010 9:51 PM LV wrote:

JENI, -Thought for the day? Well you've given me a thought...I've never thought of a sparrow farting before, but i suppose they do??
In between the landmarks of London, the bikini, the mop-head and farting sparrows (not in that order!# i can feel the excitement bubbling and building #-no not sparrow gas.) I mean Costa Rica here you come.
I can't wait to read your blog about your holiday. I've not been to Costa Rica before, but your writing is going to be the next best thing to going.
Don't forget the passports!!

Love and Light
xLVx
...

2. At October 14, 2010 10:27 AM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

I am going to rename your blog 'Postcards from Jeni' each day your descriptions amaze me, my life seems so small compared to yours. My world revolves around my home and garden, with the occasional ride out in the car with hubby (John) but I am improving the agoraphobia I am left with drives me crazeeeee, but I am hoping that as the puppy grows he will encourage me to go walkies with him. How did the bikini shopping go in Wandsworth oh I remembered the new name for Contessa it's La Senza. I look forward to your 'postcards' from Costa. xxhugxx

3. At October 14, 2010 2:10 PM Fee wrote:

I want to thank you for the fact I've re-acquainted myself with my IPOD since you left LBC. You were the only person I listened to on that station so it's the music all afternoon now.

Bliss. Leonard Cohen is singing "fare thee well my nightingale" so fare thee well my nightingale, have a restive and recuperating time and we'll see you when you get back. (All fluffed up and raring to fly.)
xxx Fee

4. At October 14, 2010 7:22 PM Rhianon wrote:

Does anyone read Stephen King? In one book he was describing what he called 'shit-splat' towns. That itself made me laugh! He named some of them 'Crows Arse', 'Goose Fart' and 'Moose Belch'. Hilarious. Theres so much humour in his books. You made me think of it when you said Sparrow fart.

5. At October 15, 2010 8:00 PM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni and Family. Well tomorrow You will be winging your way together across the atlantic Change planes at Huston and then Jet Off to The Sunny Climes of Magical Costa Rica! Oh dont we all wish we were comming with you! I mean Hymie Marmite and Myself and lots of other people who love your blogs so dearly. I thought of you this afternoon when Gordon and i were having our gingerbread Lattes and rocky Rd and Strawberry Cup Cakes at Costas in Westfield! We both chortled out Oh Jenny will be going to Costa Tomorrow COSTA RICA!and some of the customers in there came over and told me how they miss you now your not on LBC and they said that they wish you a lovely time too although they diddent know you were off to Costa till i mentiond it Ha Ha! so a lot of people in Westfield are wishing you a wonderfull time Jenni! Gordon and i will look forward to your Blog when you get home to see how you all enjoyed your Holiday! Im off to Shanklin I O Wight on Tuesday for a weeks holl but i bet it wont be half as warm as your destinatin Costa Rica. Love and gods Speed go with you! Viel Spass!! Love Terry and Gordon XXXXXX

6. At October 15, 2010 8:50 PM trevor wrote:

i have returned from holiday i can not hear hear oon the radio,i am a great fan of yours please let me know that you will be back soon.

7. At October 16, 2010 8:00 AM Hymie wrote:

Hello Jeni,
Hope I'm not too late to wish you and your family a great holiday?
I continue to read with great pleasure your daily blogs, also those from my fellow bloggers.
Look forward to reading the 'antics' you get up to whilst on holiday.

Take care, Hymie.xx Terry and Gordon, you too have a great weekend!

8. At October 16, 2010 12:00 PM giselle davidian wrote:

hello from the woo woo yoga teacher in north london who misses you and our many chats about things esoterical

i and so many others think lbc are silly pratts - not sure how they make their ridiculous decisions but i will not be listening much anymore - other than you and clive bull, the other presenters are arrogant and full of self importance - and only steve allan knows how to make that entertaining

you are more than missed - have a look at your facbook page at how many people love and miss you

hope you have a lovely well deserved rest in costa rica - see if you can meet up with the raw food family - they moved there from the uk - you will have much in common with them - yesterday they blogged about the heat and eating mounds of fresh juicy watermelon - how i envy you in the cold north of the A406! - this is their website - www.therawfoodfamily.com - or you can find them on facebook

a nutritionist friend of mine is doing a raw food workshop on november 20th for a group of 4 girlfriends - please join us

XXX wishing you much love, light and laughter

9. At October 18, 2010 12:59 PM rhianon wrote:

It's really boring here when you go off on holidays, Jeni.
Hope you're enjoying your break. You've had a crap few months and deserve a nice time away from all the hassle.
But it's still dull as hell on this site when you're away!

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