Sunshine free and gratis.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 7 April 2011

If you look at my facebook page you can see my garden. I miss it so much I made God's Gift take photos of it. If this mountain can't get to Mecca then the mountain must go to Mohammed... well something like that.

I walked through South London yesterday.

Battersea High Street was so bright it felt like Paris on the North Bank, or is it South, qu'est-ce que j'en ai à faire? . Took down details for my young folk who are trying to move here and felt all of a twitter. I wanted to be young and flat hunting again...Or did I?

Into Iqbal's post office to send off three belated birthday cards to children who need them. Felt dreadful that my scatterbrain had left it so late. I think old people have a duty to remember the young people 'Rights of Passage'. I normally send cheques. This year my purse only has small change in it, they will have to wait until the universe provides again.

So from Iqbal's Post office I walked to Clapham Junction. I wish I knew how to post up pictures on my facebook site because the blossom and people and sunshine and houses all looked spectacular in the 23 degree heat.

From Clapham I walked down Northcott Road. It really is Nappy Valley. I have never seen so many young mums and babies.

'Haven't you popped yet?' shouted a very yummy mummy to a very pregnant Chelsea Tractor driver.

I would remind you we are in SW18 and there isn't a huge need for leviathan four wheel drives, even in the bleakest of weather conditions,Do we need massive swollen vehicles clogging up the tiny roads?

That said I walked past eateries and drinkeries, wineries and breaderies. It's a lovely road. Got to the t-junction at the top and tramped right up Broomwood Road.

The sun shone on dogs scampering on Wandsworth Common and crocodiles of children in matching blazers. Blazers on a blazing day, Independent thinking? Crossed over Nightingale lane and walked right towards 'Chez Bruce's' block. Nearly popped in to hug two women who I knew were having lunch there but time was passing and I had to get to my acupuncturist by 4.00.

I'd left at 2.00 it was now 3.00. Needed a bank, couldn't find one so sauntered back down Balham Park Road, which runs parallel to the road I needed.

The houses were immaculate. Massive, great things with names like; PERTH, DUMFRIES, and ROSSDALE, a road of Scottish houses in the middle of Sarf London. They were ventian blinded with well designed gardens. Grey frontages with box tree hedges and magnolia trees. Cammelias and the last of the Mahonias. The smell was exquisite made me miss my home even more. A road of houses that looked like they belonged in Balmoral....

I could try and get home more but I am trying to make money to put in my purse so that the youngsters get something other than a pair of growing dice. You throw them in water and they expand...I know!

Got lost, asked a builder, who was munching on a sandwich, where Nightingale Lane was and he said:

'I sthrink itsch over thewhth sshomewhere..'

So I kept walking. The houses were less grand, the children scruffier - thank goodness - and there was the roundabout I recognised from my Bikram route. And yes I will be going back next week....

Down Endlesham Road, past Nightingale Square, past more buggies, past yet more Nappy Valley Valeries and there was 'Douglas and Gordan' the estate agent on the corner of the road. I looked in the window for my flat hunting kids but the houses were in the million pound mark. 'Blimey' I thought, no wonder they drive Chelsea Tractors they are all landowners...

Got to my acupuncturist by 3.45. so had fifteen minutes to rest my feet. I settled in my acupuncturists Swedish kitchen with a glass of ionised water and a copy of 'Get Fresh', a great mag for us raw foodists. Then I lay down on her couch as she shoved needles in my hands, head and feet. Turning me from a resentful, angry old woman into a forgiving young thing who should remember to count her blessings., Which I did when she left me lying on the table whilst she went to make me a green drink and herself a cup of coffee.

Then she showed me pictures of Costa Rica, where we stayed, only without the rain. Spiders as big as a pizza, jaguars in the trees and our very own tree frog that had visited us back in October.

Took the bus to Clapham Junction, walked into the mouth of the station and watched the commuters coming home. Tried to think of an expression that wasn't a cliché; 'Spewing out', 'Spilling out', 'Falling out' could only think of a tin of baked beans.

'The commuters were spilling out of the station like beans out of tin'. Doesn't quite work does it?

Met the daughter off the train and walked back to the flat. Past 'Mannys' a delicious French Restaurant in Battersea High Sreet. Manny gave us a cuddle and boasted about his Eggs Benedict. B remarked that it was easy to see why girls fell in love with French men, their confidence, their ability to cook, their ability to make Eggs Benedict sound like pillow talk and their smell.

'What of Garlic?' I said whimsically. 'No'. she scolded, 'Hermeeees' pronounced Hermez.'

Back to the flat. She to the shower me to the computer to book this and that and talk to them and those and to answer why and wherefore. We went out for a Thai meal and talked over a table for two.

After I paid up, remembering what my acupuncturist had said about spending money so that it could come back ten fold, we fell into the flat.

She worked on her music and I spoke to Gods Gift on Sykpe, looked at my lovely photographs of Emmy the cat in the green grass and the Tulip Tree in full throttle, not to mention the creamy white Montana clematis that is so heavy its hanging off the wall. We counted to three and hung up on each other.

This morning I listened to the fourth installment of Toby Young, on Radio 4, reading more of Michael Coveney's book about Ken Campbell, who was one of my mentors. makes me so nostalgic.

Hung out some washing on the back balcony, meditated on the front balcony, in the sun, and now have a builders 'V' on my chest the sun was that effective.

Researched Sundays show, which is going to be a corker, and have left myself precisely 2 minutes to get out to Victoria where I have a meeting with a woman who just might be able to help me fill my purse.

Sunshine here I come - yep the best things in life really are free...

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


1. At April 7, 2011 4:48 PM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

Ok as you wander around Battersea/Wandsworth if you should pass 39 Lavender Road my Grandfather In Law was born there in 1876, he and his family after marriage lived 13 Morrison Street, then 72 Elsley Road and he died 39 Elsley Road Battersea in 1944. My Father In Law was born 72 Elsley Road One day we intend visiting to take photos of the houses. Think of the Fleetwoods long gone as you wander around in the sunshine with the blossom. Love to all xxhugxx

2. At April 7, 2011 10:46 PM Shelley Pedersen wrote:

What is your facebook page? I tried to do a search and there were a few Jeni Barnett's but none with photos, so maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

3. At April 8, 2011 9:02 PM joanna wrote:

From what I have deduced .... God's Gift chooses to be at the cottage while you are in the flat.
Why? Golf? Peace? Needs his space? Likes to slob around?
If you miss each other why are you not together when you can be. Life is just too short.
I guess it works because you are not together and you have the choice of having days apart and your solitude.

4. At April 10, 2011 5:08 PM Rob Gaydon wrote:

An asteroid (2005 YU55) will make a close pass to earth in November.

Google for amusement.

5. At April 11, 2011 1:34 PM katie wrote:

Hi Jeni - am currently working with Chez Manny - would like to message you about the street party we are organising for 'THE' wedding of the year! I am not sure how to get in touch with you - so my email is - hope to hear from you...

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