Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 3 January 2011

I am wearing my purple SCHLOMPER SUIT, my purple furry slippers, and nowt else.

I have been wearing my purple ensemble all day.

But let me take you back to a frosty night in East Sussex - God it was so last year....

The old git and I drove to a big barn in the Ashdown Forest. Eight other revellers had assembled in the big kitchen, by the big table, ready for a big meal to send off 2010 in big style.

I don't know about you but last year was probably the most testing one to date. From broken bones to operations from declining relatives to LBC's shocking demise. I can't say I was happy to see the back of it because, at my age, I'll take whatever days I can get thank you very much, but it was 8765.81277 hours of gruelling lessons.

By the time we sat down at the big table with the other guests I was ready to eat, drink and be as merry as you can be when you are the one driving home. Our hosts, as generous as ever, served up stuffed peppers, then white fish with green veg and the BEST dauphinoise pommes I have ever tasted. I scraped every last bit of cream from the sides of the dish with my index finger and licked it, ingloriously clean, at the table. Then pudding with more cream and Italian cake, flambéd bananas and a sticky toffee, nutty concoction that had the pensioners taking out their teeth to chew it.

The bubbly flowed the bells chimed midnight and even though we forgot to sing 'Auld Langs Howsyourfather' the New Year begun the way we meant it to continue, puffed,stuffed and chuffed.

I drove home without incident, not even a cross word from the 'oosbind, having parked the car and tickled the cat the Old Year had only be gone for 96 minutes when the phone went and we had to field a distressed caller whose parent had just been banged up for drunk driving.

New Years day was spent hoovering up seventeen tons of fallen pine needles and boxing up cheap trinkets ready for next years tree.

The downstairs looked fabulous, all plumped and neat, the upstairs was a disgrace. But I closed the door on the mess and watched yet more Bafta films. I failed to notice that it was 1.1.11. Had I had the presence of mind I would have phoned somebody at 1.11 just so that I could have had the pleasure of declaring that it was

On Bank Holiday Monday I tackled upstairs, had a fierce debate, with a dear friend, about the nature of truth, then set off for London. It broke my heart leaving the cat behind.

I arrived in the flat by 7.30 still ruffled from the row to be greeted by Lozzie, Ian, Jim and a cold bottle of Champagne. That went down very well. Then I cracked open a vintage bottle still on the window sill from my 60th birthday. Lozzie and Ian went out and bought a third bottle of rather delicious pink fizz which was the perfect accompaniment to our midnight feast. By 2.30 I was chomping on crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, hot toasted bagels with crates of creamy butter spread over the top with not one brain cell that could even recognise guilt. The French grapes had worked their magic.

I was up three hours later drinking soda water from the fridge and wondering why I felt like a tractor had parked itself backwards in my cerebral cortex.

Today I have been frugal with my foodal whilst I cleaned the terrace, repotted my fig tree, cleared the kitchen drawers, made a huge salad and salmon for the visiting child, unpacked my things, made various telephone calls, realised I don't have a 2011 diary and all this whilst shlomping around in my purple three pieces.

It's now 22.41, the old gits showering ready for his rehearsal tomorrow, the child is back in Hackerknee., Lozzie is writing and I'm about to do some work.

I wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR, and I thank you for your felicitations. I am indeed back on the wireless on Sunday morning at 9.00. It's RADIO LONDON on 94.9, as I speak I don't have a clue what we'll I'll be talking about but I'm sure it will all become clear in the fullness of time.

Tomorrow there is another Lunar eclipse and according to thems what know its going to bring in yet another pile of Gawd knows what. So take it easy and keep smiling.

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


1. At January 5, 2011 5:31 PM Debbie Whitehorne wrote:

Hi Jen
Loved you on LBC and was devastated when you disappeared! They are a terrible station for that!!??
Soooooo glad you are going to be on the radio again this Sunday. Go girl! you are so lovely to listen to and me & my girlfriends adore you...

2. At January 6, 2011 11:17 AM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

Happy New Year one and all. Been away from you for a few days Jeni due to household things. Hoping the New Year brings you all you deserve and much more xxhugxx

3. At January 9, 2011 12:12 PM Jeanan Henry wrote:

Hi Jeni just heard you on BBC London radio 94.9. Great show. You are as mad as ever. Miss listening to you.It is now a pleasure to have the radio on a on Sunday which is my lye in day. Still will lye in and listen to you with my cup of coffe in a proper cup and saucy not a mug. After all it is Sunday!

All the best Luv Jeanan

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