Don't mention the War daddy.....

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 15 June 2011

It's Wednesday and I'm still looking as glam as hell having just arrived from 'This Morning', where I was doing the papers with James Whale. God I miss LBC. But I was dumped in a taxi to go to Farringdon and The Barry's office to do some work on the computer since mine is down.

Let me tell you my woes of the last two days.

The router, which sits in my little office in Battersea, has four blue lights. A lovely primary school inky blue. One light tells me I have broadband, one tells me I have a connection to the internet, one tells me I have a phone line and one tells me I am alive and well and ready to do some work. But on Monday morning not only did I have a flashing yellow light replacing a blue one but two of the blues were missing.

I reset it and reset it and called Jim and Barry and B, I reset and reset and reset and called BT. Then I could bare it no longer so I gave in and jumped in the car and went and had a bunch of needles stabbed in me at the acupuncturist. Lying on her couch with a body full of pin pricks allowed me to let off steam.

I was exhausted from two weeks on 'Vanessa', Dan Cainers show ( wonderful) and my Sunday morning slot. Dan's show was at Ivy House, where I spent three years at Drama school, so I was a little emotional anyway and Mr. Cainer's songs about life in Jewery really touched me. The result was I was frazzled and witless and weary, so trying to get my phone sorted pressed all my buttons whilst I was being instructed to press all the buttons.

  1. For sense,

  2. For nonsense.

  3. For intense.

  4. For Past Tense.

I handed it all over to Gods Gift.

We then had a row about my horrible attitude and off we went to get the 19 bus....

'Keep your phone near you' said the 'oosbind' 'Then you can hear when Patrick the engineer rings you from BT. I had already missed one of Pat's calls.

I was so grumpy I didn't listen and missed the second, really important call from Patrick but, as promised he left me a message..

As the 19 bus came I listened to Pats engineered voice.

'It won't be fixed till Thursday, it's buggered and knackered and completely unusable until Thursday minimum. It willl cause you distress and misery but there is nothing BT can do for you. You know we could do it sooner but that aint possible so you'll just have to grin and bare it. ( not again I thought I've only just got over last month) Go to a friend to find out whether you are alive in the world of meedja or dead and buried which is what you will feel like after 24 hours without any form of communication in your Battersea abode..'

Well words to that effect.

Jim and I did not talk until we reached Knightsbridge. We had to abandon the bus as the traffic was so bad and despite leaving enough time to visit Palestine and back we were now running late - we hadn't gone 4 miles....

We ran down the stairs to the tube.

He had an interview at 3.30 I had a meeting the same time. Got to the ticket barrier, I went through on my Freedom Pass, he had run out of Oyster sauce.

We had 7 minutes left.

Four minutes at the ticket booth and we were on our way.

We had 3 minutes left.

Sat on the train at Green Park whilst it decided to catch up on itself. The time ticked past as Jim and I watched each others reactions, he gave in whilst I gave up.

We were now officially late.

He ran to Leicester Court I ran to Dean Street. My appointment didn't turn up his appointment took less time than it takes to boil an egg. We stood outside 'Wot The Fook' restaurant in China Town and decided to go for a coffee. None of the eateries appealed to my companion and I was far too grumpy to care whether we ever ate again so we stomped off to Shaftsbury Avenue for the No. 38 bus to Victoria.

Then, what can only be described as the journey from Hell, ensued on the back seat of the 38 double decker bus.

She was a young, blonde German woman with a mobile phone superglued to her ear and a mighty big, black bag occupying my seating area.

I asked her to move it. She refused. I suggested gently that if she could just shift it a little all would be well. She did just that, shifted it one centimetre whislt continuing her conversation in High German.

I nearly said something about towels and sunbeds, but refrained....

I thighed, kneed, elbowed my body all over her bag but she would not budge. then she said aggressively.

'Vot is yooure prwoblem?

'If you could just move your bag.' I said politely but with a huge sigh.

Pointing to the seat next to me she said pointedly

'Vy dont you just move there?'

'Because I want to sit here'. gesturing to my husband opposite me. Who was at this point pretending I didn't exist at all and that Germany had won the war.

'Vot is yooure prwoblem? she said rasing her voice.

'This is my country.' I said.

Honestly bloggers I was as surprised as you are at the words that came out of my mouth.l clearly have issues 60 years after the Second World War. Seemingly I have a whole pile of subterranean anger added to which I had no coffee, no internet and no patience, all of which the poor fraulein got between her tiny little eyes.

''Vot?' ahe asked incredulously.'

'Move your bag.' I snapped.

'Niiice.' she said.

I was ashamed really I was.But she then continued.

'Who do you think you are the Qveen of Engerland?' to which my hackles had been so raised I replied with out hesitation;

'No I am Jewish.'

She looked me in the eyes and through gritted teeth smirked.

'Niiice' she sneered.

And then started relaying the whole story to her friend down the mobile phone which was reglued to her mouth.

'Be careful I said I can understand German.'

She underestimated me. When she said 'die Königin die Engländer' I removed the bag for her and placed it on her lap, by which time two empty seats had become available so the silent partner and I relocated.

When she got off she waved to me like Jack Nicholson from 'The Shining' I waved back. Gods Gift said I was as bad as she was. But it rattled me...

Jim drove home.

I think he was as ashamed of me as I was myself.

Yesterday I had a completely different travelling experience. Took the 24 bus from Pimlico to Hampstead Heath and made space on my seat for an Italian actress of 68, who comes here for two months of every year to study English, she knew of everybody from Shakespeare to Simon Callow. I then got chatting to a Greek Cypriot restaurant owner who was bought out by a Turkish Cypriot family in Mornington Crescent. I learnt more about the Ottoman Empire on the top of the 24 bus from Mornington Crescent to Camden Town than I did in three years of History 'O' level. I Then walked in the sunshine down Roderick Road, across Savernake Road and onto the Heath. Was treated to a bowl of chips in the caff then set off back on the 24, past the old house Jim and I set up home in 35 years ago arriving at the Houses of Parliament with enough time to jostle for a bag of nibbles from 'Tesco's' outside Westminster tube.

In Room ten, having had our pics taken and our bags searched I joined a pile of articulate young people who had met for the debate 'Bite The Balot'. an initiative to get young people interested in politics. The Barry and I were passing notes to each other, The David said we were badly behaved, well put me and him with authority and thats what you get.....

If the future of the country is in the hands of the likes of last nights young folk then we have nothing to worry about.

Walked to near Lambeth Bridge and took the 87 to Clapham Junction then the 170 to the flat. Still not a full house of blue lights on the pooter, but there was a full house of carousing Irish folk so I took to my room and watched Jeremy Paxman in preparation for 'This Morning' this morning..

A huge apology to all my German friends and relatives, I have forgiven you for the Second World War really I have, indeed some of my best friends are Hamburgers, and I do not believe that this country belongs to me alone - well not in that sense anyway - I do not wish to offend anybody but when young people are rude to me because I am old, and when they treat me with distain for whatever reason, then I cannot bite the bullet or balot for that matter.

It's now 13.31, time for lunch and a little relax before going to see LEND ME A TENOR again it's the press night and I am taking The Barry, then it'll be back by bus..,. I shall sit on my own or stand so that I don't engage with anybody from Germany, Italy, Cyprus or Greece, all being well the flat will be quiet and empty and the blue lights will be flashing like a cocky police car, if not I may self harm with potato wedges in the freezer. .

Nee Nah Nee Nah Nee Nah.......

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


1. At June 15, 2011 4:10 PM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

I laughed so much reading that Bentley wondered what on earth was going on. You go girl !!!! you paid for that flipping seat !!!! enough said. Well you know where I am off to will catch up upon our return, stay safe Love to all xxhugxx Oh and for goodness sake don't mention the war !! lol

2. At June 15, 2011 10:50 PM Rita wrote:

How hilarious..! I was having a bad day, I resd this and laughed out loud. Jeni you are a very entertaining woman. To think I've had a long day, have a report to write tonight and I was cranky and tired, this has cheered me up. Fabulous!

3. At June 16, 2011 2:30 AM christian dion wrote:

Hi Jeni Who gives a fuck she was German, she was simple a rude cow.......

Good job I wasn't there, she, the bag and the phone would have gone out of the window

4. At June 16, 2011 4:10 PM Lins wrote:

I always ask people who do this (in a very loud voice) 'Has the bag/rucksack/whatever got a ticket? If not, shift it!' Rude so-and-so!

5. At June 16, 2011 9:16 PM Glenn wrote:

Hi Jeni,
I laughed so loud at this blog. Would love to have been a fly on the wall.
Mind you, be careful the next time you come to Hamburg to visit....we will have ze thunb presses oiled und ve have vays of making you speeeek!!!!
xxx from Hamburg

6. At June 17, 2011 9:57 AM June wrote:


Darling girl, I'm with our lovely Christian on this one, rude is rude.

Best love

7. At June 17, 2011 10:28 AM Pauline Jones wrote:

Thank you for cheering us all up Jeni, you're always worth waiting for: and so is Christian!

8. At June 17, 2011 10:36 AM Sue wrote:

Hi Jeni,
I like my fellow readers above genuinely laughed out loud when i read your blog, a real good belly wobbler.. Why oh why are you not back on our tv screens regularly?
LBC were mad to let you go. Love your blog xx

9. At June 18, 2011 1:00 AM rhianon wrote:

Quite right, Christian. Wherever people are from, theres no excuse for rudeness and arrogance. And yeah, Jeni, this is our country. I'm not particularly militant about that, but hell, I like this country. And I don't like rude buggers, German, British, Martian, whatever they are or wherever they're from.

10. At June 18, 2011 5:48 PM Jean Bittern wrote:

I'm with you on the rudeness of people who won't shift a bag after a polite request.

But Christian Dion's comment is appalling - does he thing all German's are rude and arrogant? If so, he's just ignorant; if not, he's using the same arguments as those who'd like to push everyone into one stereotyped corner.

11. At June 18, 2011 7:10 PM Marmite wrote:

Still laughing Jeni, you had more patience than me, you should have just sat on top of her bag! How flamin rude.
Much love , hope all the blog framily are well, Marmite x

12. At June 19, 2011 8:55 AM Rhianon wrote:

Marmite! How lovely to see you here again! Where have you been?

13. At June 20, 2011 12:15 AM christian dion wrote:

Dear Jean...If you read my comment carefully..I state that


Luv Cxx

14. At June 20, 2011 12:17 AM christian dion wrote:

Oh Jean.

ps My sister in law is German.......
she was as appalled at the RUDE COW

15. At June 20, 2011 12:28 AM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni. Yes People can be rude cant they! But its not just who they are or what country they come from as its a general thing with lots of people from all the corners of this earth! yes i too know some rude germans! But ive nothing against them as i go frequently to Germany and most of the people i know or meet there are wonderful and cannot do enough for me! i think that a lot of folks in the UK still have that Bulldog British attitude that was around in the last war and still treat the Hun as enemies! My God it was years ago and many Germans suffered too! they diddent ask Mr Hitler to do what he did as that was his own decision.What happened to so many innocent people living in Germany is abhorant! No one will ever Forget what happened to all those Jews It makes me tearful to write . but just because some German woman on a bus was Rude to Jeni (Which she shouldent have of course!) dosent make all Germans like that does it Christian! Jeni is a wonderful person and lights up my life with her magic humour in her blogs. and i agree its nice to hear from Marmite and Rhianon too as id wondered what had happened to the two of you! Im off to the Airport on Monday evening to catch a flight to Hannover spend the night there then a Champagne breakfast there then get the ICE trains to Bad Salzuflen and spend a week being lazy and pampered at this German Health Spa!and go to Concerts in the konzerthalle and in the Kurpark. im sure youd love it Jeni? each side of Bad Salzuflen there are huge hilly forests and this makes the place feel so fresh and invigorating. i only know of this place as i lived there as a child when my father was a chaplin for BAOR British Army Over The Rhine! and we had two lovely houses in Bad Salzuflen by the Obernburg forest and it was heaven for me ha ha! well Jeni. I hope that you have a super week and everything it Well with Jim and B and your Mum! God Bless you and your faithfull Bloggers. Good luck to you all in these difficult Times!
Love Terry XXXXX

16. At June 20, 2011 1:13 PM Jean Bittern wrote:


Apologies - you are right. I misread your statement and saw a full stop where there wasn't one. I take it all back!

17. At June 21, 2011 6:32 PM 'L' wrote:

Just read your blog. Wow! What a reaction from your bloggers regarding your experience with the German 'bag'! Well done to proudly proclaim your roots! Although u obviously said it to aggravate her, I think I would have lost all control!!
Your heading 'don't mention the war' as Basil (Faulty Towers) would've said,is hilarious and spot on!
Keep making us laugh Jeni!
Lots of love,

18. At June 22, 2011 11:43 AM Milou wrote:

That outfit on This Morning looked gorgeous.

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