The virgin commute

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 September 2011

This morning I had my virgin commute to 'This Morning'. Not literally I didn't go on one of Mr.Bransons beasts but it was my first trip into town as a normal human being....

Set two alarms, when the first radio shouted at me I jumped out of bed and tripped over my five year diary then stubbed my toe on my big black daily journal. Tip-toed over to the Bose Radio and turned it off before Gods Gift woke up, although he told me an hour ago that I woke him kissing him goodbye, the lairy sod.

Jumped in the shower and washed my hair. Mistake, the poor make-up woman had to use staples and galvinised nails to keep my fringe in place....

Had everything set to go , unlocked the door, fed the cat and marched to my car. I had left it ready to jump in Jason Button style but the old man had put it in the garage so I had to slide past his motor cycle and disentangle myself from the ivy growing through the walls.

Drove reasonably slowly to the car park and there was the difference between London and Tunbridge Wells -4.50 for a whole days-worth of parking. Slipped into the first bay, gathered my things and walked to the station. Our last next door neighbour timed the walk, he also rated his holidays on how much a sandwich cost, I guess that's what systems analysts do, anyway he told me it took 8 minutes walking at a steady pace. So I steadily walked to the station and got there in 9 minutes.

I bought my ticket last night so I strolled through the barrier, bought a camomile tea - "Cold Water madam?' asked the South African tea maker. 'No' I said with a smile and it wasn't even eight o'clock. There was a queue and I could see the look of horror on the faces of the regulars who had obviously timed their morning coffee, one new commuter could put their whole routine out.

Juggled my bag, book, boiling hot tea and a Guardian to the first carriage - the better to alight at the other end - and took my seat on the train. I had timed everything so finely that I got an earlier train. We left Kent at 7.40 a.m.

We arrived in central London at 8.40. We picked up travellers at High Brooms, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Orpington and spewed them out at London Bridge and Waterloo East. I gathered up my belongings and fed my ticket into the machine, Charing Cross was a teeming mass of commuters. I dodged the briefrcases and newspapers and bought myself a big tub of oats and berries from a Ukranian girl on the concourse.

Stood outside in the cold and shovelled in every last seed. Called the 'This Morning' office to say I had arrived and before I could swallow my last wild berry a big shiny black car arrived on cue.

Philip Skofields driver picked me up and deposited me on the South Bank.

I did the papers with Iain Lee. Deelicious young man, was at university with my middle daughter so I feel he's part of my family. I've only met him about three times and we always have the same conversation, this morning though was the first time I had actually worked with him.

Then into make-up. The make-up artist used every stroke in her book, every brush in her bag and every pot on her mise en place. I looked like I'd been travelling since the dawn of time which I suppose I had. They don't have head rests on their make up chairs so there's no lolling or sleeping it's upright necks and bright eyes.

Lori and George Schappell, con-joined twins were on the show. I have seen them many times on the telly but it's still a shock to see them in real life. How they have managed to remain so independent whilst joined together is remarkable.

I left the studio and was driven to The Groucho Club.

Declined breakfast, made some calls then set off to Pattisserie Valerie on Marshall Street.

Why I decided to eat a vanilla slice the size of Bournemouth or drink a cup of coffee the volume of The Arabian Sea is beyond me, although I think I was celebrating my journey, I am still suffering and its now twelve hours later.

After reading the paper and fielding yet more calls I walked in the sunshine to Regent Street to 'Ozer's' and had three finger scoops of hummus and two bites of bread as I re-read BORSTAL GIRL for the pre recorded interview.

You'll have to listen on Sunday's show to hear the tale.

I had to meet The Barry at Charing Cross and then head off to the Opera House for the new seasons launch but I was booked again for tomorrow to film a taster for Channel 4.

A taster is a promo, a promo is an advert an advert is what the young uns do now to sell a new show, so I will be walking around Hammersmith tomorrow afternoon on behalf of a new show that I hope gets made - for them -let alone me.

Got home to the old git and the dawter, who were nursing chests infections and bad backs, but nurse Cavell had arrived, the thrill of being in my own home did not pass me by, especially after listening to the news and the price hike in electricity Battersea would have cost more than the Blackpool illuminations.

Tomorrow I get a lie in and then another trip to London with a whole new set of travellers.

The news reported tonight that train travel is a rich mans toy. I can see why, coming home tonight the carriage was full of polished men with fancy fones and wives waiting to collect them in shiny cars.

'The Great Brisith Bake Off' is the best programme to have dinner too, which for me was a bowl of salad and some home made fennel soup after todays excesses my body feels like a barage baloon.

I was given a lesson in social media from Steve at BBC 94.9. He is so patient, I twittered and facebooked I recorded my voice on Audioboo and took photos from my iPhone. Six hours later and I have forgotten everybloodything he taught me. B has been sitting with me in the kitchen to refresh my memory and my twitter but I have gone all hot and bothered so its time to stand down from technology and read a book.

Howard Jacobson here I come.....

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


1. At September 14, 2011 12:21 AM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni. Once again a wonderful blog ! Its so good its like your sitting in front of us and telling us personaly as youve always had a great way with words. Dont worry Jeni too much about your iPhone as like myself im sure we will both master the technology eventually Ha Ha!
Today I went to the opening of the new Westfield Stratford City Mall and had a smashing time Yeah Really because a huge oblong glass roof tile crashed from the roof dpwn into the foodcourt where a short while before the X Pusseycat Doll Singer and her dance troup had been performing so loudly that it felt more like a 7.5 on the richter scale earthquake Boris Johnson was nearby me when it crashed down so i guess the girl can sing and break glass Ha Ha! we all had to move away and the security people cordened off the area! i was fine but we were all a bit shocked by the almighty crash (Thank God no one was standing where it fell at that time!) Oh Rhianon just to answer your question re Kochloffel (in German it means COOK SPOON ) like a wooden spoon used for cooking My friends Christine and Alex run a grill restaurant with Burgers Chickens and lovely huge German Sausages with various varieties!and whenever i go there or when i take any frinds there they always treat us to great food and wine etc and we end up at a riverside pub and relax with drinks till its time to go back to my hotel.Hope this explains it Rhianon!and thanks for your wishes for them to succeed. Jeni im sure you would love Bad Salzuflen too as the air is like wine and the 500 year old buildings in lange Strasse which is the high street with all the shops and numerous cafes ! Its so relaxing. Well i wish you a lovely rest of the week in your country seat take Care of yourself Jeni, Your very special to all us bloggers who love to read your blogs . Much Love as Always Terry x

2. At September 14, 2011 6:50 PM carol wrote:

I saw you'd been tweeting, im a learner like you but im really enjoying it and have even had a re tweet!! Dont give up Jeni theres fun to be had.x

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.