It came, it went I slumbered.
I have just necked the last of the Prosecca.
Jim and I had the last of the spicy chicken wings and I have written my thank you letters.
I had a very different birthday. It was the end of a challenging year and the beginning of my 62nd foray into life.
It started with a phone call from an astrologer.
Ever the optimist I thought it was going to be on of those you-are-going-to-meet-a-tall-dark-stranger-and-life-will-be-a-pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-a-very-short- rainbow-so-get-ready-for-the-lottery-win-and-your-name-will-be-up-in-lights-and-hands-down-in-concrete-in-the-walk-of-fame-kindathing.
Yeah! And pigs might fly....
I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG.
It was a down to earth appraisal of next year, which if I'm not careful could be a dismal affair. So I spent the journey to yoga crying.
Jim had said 'returns and all that' and was about as romantic as a cold sausage roll. I spent the journey to yoga filing for a divorce and vowing never to have an astrological reading again as long as I lived, which the way it felt was destined to be about 35 minutes max...
Bikram saved my life.
Paul, the teacher, was unaware of my birthday so I didn't have to face a room full of people half heartedly singing me happy howsyourfater.
Then I went to acupuncture where my wonderful Swede gave me needles to make me smile, then needles to remove the wrinkles that were made after I had smiled, she also told me that
THOUGHTS which breed
WORDS which make
ACTIONS which leads to
HABITS which form
CHARACTER which is your
She gave me a homemade card and an anklet that had been handmade in Costa Rica. I left straight faced and humbled.
I folded up the ten pound note my mother gave me and put it in my dairy as a lucky totem.
I met my daughter who took me to Battersea Square. I had a strong coffee she a mint tea.
Then it was back to the flat for a quick change and a laying out of food. Everything circular. I always buy balls when I have an impromptu party. We had everything from Maltesers to balls of fowl from Sweden.
By 6.30 people started arriving. Thursday night and we took no prisoners. The corks flew, the champagne spilled, the food crumbed, the people laughed, the music blared, the company roared and I felt like a 13 year old who had all her best friends in one place.
Many of my family and friends couldn't make it so it was a gathering of some of my long lost people. It was a lot of years gathered in a very small space making a big noise. From my first boyfriend to two TV girlies to The Barry and my lovely old man and daughter. I cannot tell you how good I felt about myself, well I can but I wont.
Friday morning at 5.00 I was swigging on a bottle of cold, water I was so dehydrated. By 9.00 I had taken the girl to Victoria to catch a train to Paddington. By lunchtime I had binned more bottles than Oddbins and washed more glasses than any chief cook or bottle washer.
Jim threw me into the car and we drove home.
I had on two pieces of clothing. One vest and one legging. We got home in time for him to play golf and me to do the first mow of the season.
The primroses pale and lemon, daffodils shameless in their blousy yellow, primulas purple and white, The magnolia as white as stars and the mist over the oast houses. I mowed, and mowed and mowed. The grass was tough and long, the mower small and rusty. When he came back from playing 36 holes I was still pouring cuttings on the compost.
It was the perfect meditation. The old git had to massage my feet in front of the telly, they had after allwalked 400 miles just to get the grass half cut.
This morning I cleared the front garden. A hundredweight of dead leaves and broken loungers. The table and chairs had rotted under the red plastic tarpaulin and had become home to spiders, wood louse and curled up millipedes. By the time I had finished sweeping up three wheelbarrow loads of ivy, rotten leaves and pine needles from the Cristmas tree still in its pot, the robins and blackbirds were waiting in the wings to get their feed. And hidden under the Buddha were the fattest worms I had ever seen, something I intend doing this year is to touch a worm, I have never touched one with my bare hands but I will when I muster up the courage.
By three I was done. The house vacuumed, the cat fed, the gardens cleared. I put back on my two-piecer and we left for the flat.
When we arrived in Battersea I put all the clocks forward so I get up in time for the show. Now it's 10.30 and time to wind down. Thank you all for your lovely birthday messages. Sorry 'mumsy' if I irk you. Remember you can always turn me off its not law that you have to read me. Nice that you do not nice that you're rude. But thanks for your birthday message anyway.
I cannot get through to Sybil, the weather has buggered the internet in Hollywood. I'll have to wait for the sun to come out tomorrow...isn't there a song in there somewhere?
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Hey Jeni, Glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday. None of us know what is in store and last year was challenging for you. But you know what? You are there, doing it, taking control and making all the right moves. You are an inspiration, I love reading your blog and when the clocks disrupt my day and I miss you bbcLondon show I manage to work my way round the PC and listen to you a little later :-) Loving your show, and if LBC did nothing else it gave lots of us the knowledge of YOU. Thank you x
I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter