What a Difference a Ray Makes.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 24 February 2011

What a difference a ray makes.

Everybody is smiling. Coats hanging over arms, sweaters off, jackets folded. Even the bus driver was chirpy.

Februry 25th and it feels like we're coming out of the gloom. I know that tomorrow is going to be grey and wet again. But just for today I am enjoying the spring air.

Woke at 6.20. Did what a girl has to do to get out on time.

Stood next to a woman with tiny feet at the bus stop.

Have devised a game to wile away the minutes whilst waiting for the bus.

Each car is worth 1

A bike is worth 1/2

A motorbike or scooter worth 1/2

I haven't decided yet whether the dustbin vans are worth two or more. What do you think?

But 1 car+1 car+ 2 bikes+2 more cars = 6.

I only count in 6's. So if you get the right number of vehicles but a bike comes into view you have to start counting another 6. You now have two sums going on in your head at the same time.

If you get 3 white vans in a row. That's a winning strike.

This morning it took three lots of 6, so at least 18 moving vehicles, came my way before the 170 curled round the bend.

The journey to Victoria was easy, the tubes nearly empty.

Got on at Victoria and a woman, who had more wrinkles than I have on the back of my legs, offered me her seat. Friggin cheek....

I declined and stood till Oxford Circus. Have finally realised which exit to take to get me to Broadcasting House. Regent Street North.

Walked to Pret a Manger where I buy a tub of granola for 1.99.

'Just a shot of skinny.' I asked

And calling over to the man with the squirter I continued politely

'And please can you make the milk hot.'

'What?' he said grudingly.

'Can you make the milk very hot.' I said with the smile of a milk maid, sensing a ruck.

'You have to ask for it at the beginning.' he said churlishly.

'I did ask at the beginning.' I begun, then common sense took hold.

When he handed me my pot of granola I felt it, it was luke warm not very hot. So I sent it back to Norris McSquirter.

'Very hot milk please.' I requested cheerily.

If milk could speak it would have winced at the wicked way Norris squirted that skinny lait into my mug.

When I opened the pot at my desk it looked like I had washed a roasting pan in the liquid, it had that orange slime you get on top of luke warm, soapy water.

I closed my eyes and ate it regardless. Delicious.

Charlotte was my producer today. I've been calling her Clare, she's very good natured about it. Didn't phase me when she called me Vanessea, JOKE....

I loved the show today. My nerves are disappearing. We did the treatment of the elderly, the cost of bringing up children and phobias.

Esther, my producer called in and was delighted when i said I had smoked.


All for her own benefit you understand.

Left Regent Street and opened my phone up. Lots of emails and one from my bank.

My account had been frozen. I panicked.Called Gods Gift who went to the computer and read the email properly.They wanted the last four digits of my account. Alarm bells rung and bugger me if it wasn't a scam. That'll be the subject of tomorrows show if I remember.

Thank you all for phoning, texting, emailing and tweeting me today. I know how rubbish it is when your favourite presenter is off. Stand-ins can be as good as they get but they are not your friendly voice. So thank you all for generosity. Vanessa will be back next week. I have one final show tomorrow so all being well we'll speak.

I took lunch in the Square. My excellent nephew DAN asked me to have lunch on his behalf yesterday. I couldn't manage it so I had it today by proxy. Toasted ciabatta with mozzarella, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and a frothy coffee lit by rays of beaming sunlight coming in through the windows. Popped into BENNETTS, the new fancy restaurant on the corner, and took details down for THE BELLEVUE pub in Battersea High Street. An Algerian chef and two delectable sisters who run it. Their dad was the first black publican in Brixton. Now thats a seriously good topic. gastro pubs and pubs with great food. I shall twitter that and facebook it. If you have a favourite pub let me know and we can talk to the owners, chefs, punters? Why not London eateries. Love it.... Then I can do it on my Sunday show one of these days.

Walked back to the flat, the daffodils are shooting up and the air smelt of freshness and new beginnings. I told what a difference a ray makes....

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


1. At February 24, 2011 3:21 PM 'L' wrote:

Dear Jeni/Vanessa!,
Yes just what I was thinking today when listening to your fantastic show. Your nerves have most definitely disappeared. You are fully in control and master of your show like back in the 'ol' days! Also the way your voice comes accross on BBC London is much sharper and clearer than back in the days. Their frequency is better.
Have a relaxing weekend as I'm sure you're knackered.
Lots of love,

2. At February 24, 2011 7:33 PM Joanna wrote:

Thank goodness Spring is nearly here.I thought that very thought as I walked to work through Crowborough this morning. I also thought how lucky I am to be able to walk to work instead of commute.

Daffs are always behind in Crowborough. We are apparently 800ft above sea level.

3. At February 25, 2011 9:05 PM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

What a difference a week makes with you on the air every day, a fantastic week Jeni well done, I refrained from further emails after my spelling gaff !! but listened in every day. Will miss you next week, but looking forward to Sunday when you iron with me Love to all and woof from Bentley xxhugxx

4. At February 26, 2011 1:05 AM Rhianon wrote:

Sounds fab. It was piddling down in Neath. A rain soaked mac and a cat at the vets makes my day feel crapaloosa compared with yours! And trust me, if anyone ever stupidly invites you to go cycling in Aberdare don't think twice, don't hesitate, just poke them in the eye and run like buggery the other way.
Still variety is the spice of life, and all that, eh?
Hope all is well with everyone. Kirsten, how are you?

5. At February 27, 2011 12:02 PM June wrote:

Hi Jeni

Loved Christian, more please at a later date. He's one of those people who tells it like it is [in a good way]. I would love to hear him uncensored!
Goes without saying I love your blogs too!!

Love June

6. At March 2, 2011 7:30 AM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

Shhhhhhh you have been very quiet Jeni, hope all is well and it just means you are having restful days Love to all xxhugxx

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