Garra Rufa fish pie
Sarah Laleham's comments about me leaving LBC was a bit harsh I thought. Do read them dear bloggers and wonder, like I did, who Ms Murray is? It always intrigues me when somebody writes a nasty cyber blog why they are then not contactable. Dear Ms Laleham I would assert that you are a lilly livered coward who hides beyhnind the anonymity of cyberspace.
I, however, put it out there, in the open, free and gratis for whomsoever wishes to participate.
And participate they did at my first ever evening at Grouchos. I invited 59 people - who showed up - and a further army of friends and relatives who were either in Bali, Uckfield, or bed nursing whatever virus is spinning round at the moment.
Having taken my clothes off in the snooker room in May my forfeit, as a member of The Groucho Club, was to entertain in the dining room for the delectation of Bernie Katz and his bar staff.
My watery eye was a distraction, but Jo Parkerson - she of LBC showbiz understatement - fielded the questions and guided me ever deeper into the lunacy of my life.
I could not sleep until 4.00 a.m. with the excitment of it all. I loved doing it. It is a bit like stand up and several of my audience members encouraged me to take up the cudgel of the lonliest job in the world, which I may well do. When I watch the film back, made by the lovely Vee and Katy for The Barry, I may decide to continue my Izzard/Rivers journey or jack it all in and become a painter and decorator....which is what I have been doing since Monday.
We drove home after the gig on Monday night in preparation for my eye appointment at the Private hospital in Fordcombe. I am one of the statistics on the news this morning. The waiting lists, for routine treatments are so long that many of us are having to seek out alternative routes. I will have to remortgage my house for the priviledge of having my left eye poked and prodded since the first appointment I was given on the NHS was September 28th by which time I may have gone blind or resorted to a glass eye...
Jim took me to the hospital set out in a rather lush green space. I felt like I was in a really awful episode of an American hospital drama, only all the inmates were white haired, Telegraph readers who called each other dear and listened intently to each others ailments. Not an expletive to be heard and certainly no sight of Derek Thompson in his Charlie Greens.
The old git accompanied me into a room where a very dashing eye doctor asked me questions, patronised me by insulting acupuncture and homeopathy, shut up when I told him I actually knew half the people he was bad mouthing, he then looked into my eye through a machine before dropping in orange dye into my eye sockets..
I was walked out into the waiting area, to wait for ten minutes, where there was a coffee machine, several copies of The Daily Mail, and an automatic cabinet full of chocolates and sweeties. The receptionist asked me whether I was fully dilated, and she didn't mean my iris. I had on my ubiquitous dungarees so she thought I was pregnant. A little fillip to start my day. I told her my eggs had scambled many years ago, NHS nurses laugh more readily, but the fact that she thought I was still capable of breeding was heartwarming.
I was then taken into a sterile room, laid on my back and given the nurses hand to grip as she dripped stinging anaesthetic drops into both eyes. The hansome optometrist put on a pair of flappy glasses and proceed to dig deep into my tear duct. The pushing and pulling of my eye felt a lot worse than it probably was but I could just make out Gods Gift at the end of the bed grimacing. I had to pay for the consultation, the treatment and the use of the room, all in all it felt like with friends like Mr. R who needed enemies. I'm surprised Quentin Tarantino hasn't used eye ops in any of his cinematic torture sequences. Its not life threatening but it looks 'orrible and it dont 'alf hurt....
My eye has been watering just as badly and I have to go back on September 5th after the private doctor is back from his holiday. Not on his boat this time, he said, as he's just sold it.....
I treated myself on Wednesday, having cried all the way to the bank. Tunbridge Wells has a clone mall just like every other town. As you walk into 'The Victoria Place Westfield' shopping centre you are confronted with exactly the same shops that you might find in Old Trafford, Galway City or Nuneaton, a blue and brown Nero's coffee shop, a dying Thorntons chocolate shop, a cheap Julian Graves nut shop and a Garra Rufa Fish Pedicure shop. A WHAT?
Yes an outlet, empty and souless dedicated to four tanks of water full of little piranha fish that nibble on your cracked balls.
I paid ten pounds for fifteen minutes of garra rufa action. The little grey fish attack your legs, toes, ankles and heels. I didn't like it, as they munched away at the tan on my lower legs. I now look like I am wearing a pair of white socks whilst my feet are just as dry as they were before. I was told by the delightful assistant, who happened to be an ex pupil of mine, that it's an ancient Turkish custom and that women lie in tanks of fishy water whilst their whole body is ingested by hoards of hungry fish. 'Oh My Cod' I said 'I'd rather eat my own head'.
By Thursday my eye had turned into a running tap, my legs were two tone and my bank account depleted so I decided to attack the studio. Books put on shelves, spiders vaccuumed away, windows hoovered and doors painted. I did not understand the 'oosbinds instructions so I painted all the wrong bits the wrong colour, as advised by the incompetent geezer in 'Homebase', a nauseatingly cheap lack lustre puce. Luckily I had an old pot of 'Firemans Red' in the celllar, so now I have a very red door, very red toes, I was painting bare foot, red speckled rugs and climbing ivy round the door that is covered in pretty red dots.
I should have been in Wardour Street last night tasting chocolates and toasting Paul Youngs new Chocolate Shop. But when I looked at the clock I had missed he train.
I should have been in Battersea eating Thai on the river with some dear friends, but by the time I had unloaded the last sack of spiders I had missed the boat.
It worries me that being at home will mean I will miss all my London events, only time will tell.
It's Friday and I have to unload my second lot of flat clothes, or should I say apartment apparel, realign books and bags, repaint the bits around the door that are an audacious orange, and then take a trip to our lovely new farm shop on The Forstal. Home made croissants, organic spinach and chewy hand made chocolate, not to mention friendly chat and a discount if your cucumbers have wilted.
I am delighted to say that another farm shop is opening on Bunny Lane, this could be the backlash we have been waiting for. Victoria Place eat your heart out, you may have fish in the entrance hall eating away at peoples souls but we have the beginnings of a new dawn. Fresh food sold in the open air by local growers.
Life in East Sussex is suddenly taking a turn for the better.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Contemplate the new moon in Leo and have a judicious weekend before mars enters Cancer and mercury goes retrograde in Virgo.
Who the hell is Sarah Laleham and where do I find her writing? Let's be honest though, if she's offended or upset you, Jeni, why should we take time out of our lives to read what she thinks? Who is she, anyway?
Never having been to Groucho's (only even heard of it in a Robbie Williams spoof of 'Me and my Shadow....' don't laugh) I can only imagine your night.
You sound happy and mischevious. This is good. This I like!
London, and the style of life there, must be a light year away from my peaceful, quiet existence here in not so beautiful downtown Neath. I feel a bit like Arthur Marshal, saying that! It should be Myrtlebank, yeah?!!
By the way, can you remember what Olly Smith put in that daring cocktail he made years ago on Great Food Live? It was called 'The Knackers Yard'. Does anyone out there remember it? I really want to try it out.
Best wishes to all, Rhianon.
In reaction to the media use of the vile "27 Club" I chose to investigate the dates of birth of those membered.
The list on Wikipedia's page on the misfortunates gives most (80 per cent) born when jupiter (the thoughts of others) was retrograde. Of those born when jupiter was not retrogressing Jim Morrison had jupiter about to turn (when he was six days old) and Brian Jones had the planet in Gemini (one of the worst signs for jupiter). The rest were born when Jupiter was weak in some way.
Anders Breivik was born when jupiter was retrograde in Leo (the sign of dominion and conventionally the sign of drama) on the cusp to Cancer (conventionally the sign of the feminine).
If anyone ever writes a guide on how to write an awesome site, then they had beter base it off of this one.I will definitely visit again. Best regards. Karl O. Coates.
Put your trust in God and always keep your powder dry. Best wishes! Catherine A. Garcia.