Raindrops on Roses

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 September 2011

And so I can feel my energy returning.

From not being able to put one foot in front of the other I have managed to start seeing, smelling and feeling again.

Yesterday two women I haven't had in my kitchen for nearly 20 years, came for tea, they took home baskets of apples from my trees and two chutney recipes. Battersea felt like a continent away..

I then met with a new woman from the Bunny Lane Farm Shop; red lipstick, red coat, life well lived, sense of humour, wit, we met for a cuppa in 'Juliets' in TWells.

'Juliets' - Ah! a perfect replacement for Battersea Square.

Tea-cups and saucers that dont necessarily match, large fresh hand-made salads, waitresses that call you darling, real tea, fancy tea-pots and the biggest, bestest Victoria sponge this side of Balmoral.

Getting a table at lunchtime means having to fight your way through mothers, babies called Digby, handbags, women whose husbands manouver their chairs under the table and really well turned out ladees who lunch, this is Tunbridge Wells after all..

I had a pot of camomile tea and a very good chin-wag with the red-lipped female who is destined to make life in Twells as enjoyable as I could never have imagined.

The old git has been proper poorly. So poorly that writing the blog, getting up in the morning, listening to him wheeze at night and wondering whether this is what my old age had in store, has taken up every waking minute for days.

I went into town this morning, he drove me to the station and from a greying old man Gods Gift looked himself again. Pink cheeked, feisty and as rude as ever, it was a joy to have him back warts an all. Taking the train into London on the 10.21 was a positive joy.

So I now have a new iPhone 4. I have no idea how to work it but the headphones actually fit my little tiny ear-holes. I listened to Radio 3 in tandem with conversations between school kids, business men and noisy women from Sevenoaks.

An old dowager sat next to me putting on her make-up. Me, and two Frenchmen, watched her apply two coats of mascara, blusher and then more mascara. I wanted to tell her to do it in the privacy of her own boudoir but turned my music up instead. Thank God for Monty Verdee, or is it Monterverdi, whoever he is he has great set of madrigals.

Got into Charing Cross and bought a juice that lasted me till tea time. Not the contents of the mug but the contents of the juice. I was so hyper on guarana - is that bat pooh - that my interview with a surviver from 9/11 went well. A brilliantly understated young man from Yorkshire who came into BBC London and told his story of breakfast in the Marriot Hotel, Manhattan, on the morning of 9/11 ten years ago. His story was touching, chilling and altogether rivetting, a stark reminder that we are all but one plate glass away from our redemption.

Listen to him this Sunday. We pre-recorded him because he was anxious about telling his story live. I'm not surprised.

Actually this Sundays programme is dedicated to 9/11 Bonnie Greer, playwright and critic is doing my papers, then Dermot your man, then Peter Rosengard a motivational speaker and all round sensation seeker, Rupert Goold, director and creator of THE DECADE a play that commemorates 9/11 and a contributing playwright from New york.

After the pre-record I walked the length of Oxford Street for my meeting with The Barry. If there is one shop that all fingers should be pointed at its Primark. Its disgustingly gross in every sense of the word. I went in, hot and bothered, to buy a vest, and came out hotter and more bothered without one.

The Barry was late as he had yet another crisis to deal with. I found a pile of cardboard boxes on the corner of Marble Arch and Oxford Street and perched myself in the windy corner of Park Lane. The air was warm and heavy.

Barry finally arrived and we had out meeting both sitting on the cardboard boxes on the corner of Oxford Street. Our conference lasted 8 minutes, just enough time to swap budgets and kisses. I then took the Central Line to Oxford Circus and the Bakerloo to Charing Cross. Ambled up the escalator to the station and their waiting, as cool as you like was the 2.16 to Hastings. I found a seat with 30 seconds to spare.

Put in my earphones listened to some Wagner - un-PC I know but bloody good chord progressions - and nicked 'The Sun' newspaper form the builder opposite who complained on his telephone all the way to Orpington.

'The Sun' is not my preferred reading but Frankie Boyle does have a wicked column and it had enough talking points when four well educated kids got on at Tonbridge. As London dissappeared into the distance they talked of dub step, Bjork, Kofi Anan and Galliano who got a meagre sentence for being disgustingly anti-semitic. I joined in. When I got off I heard the clipped blonde one saying how nice it was that people talked to each other on trains.

I disembarked, got my new phone checked out, went to the homeopathic pharmacy and stocked up on everything that could make my family healthy, met the dawter and spent far too much on a pair of boots for her, it was of course the Battersea flat rent that is now defunct.....

Then Gods gift collected us, still looking pink. The child bought us a curry to celebrate her fathers complexion and her new boots, and now at 11.o'clock I can honestly say that given the speed with which my sensibilites have turned round I am definitely on the mend.

They are downstairs watching 'A Sound of Music' and it ain't even Christmas.....

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

Comments

1. At September 10, 2011 7:58 PM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

What excellent news that you are once again bouncing around and full of the joy that makes you who you are. Once again a beautiful blog. Cannot stop as son needs some bits delivering, he waits until dark when hubby is cuddled up in front of the tennis (purchased at huge cost from sky I might add). I still do not feel confident enough to drive even across town alone as yet, but getting there. Looking forward to your show tomorrow a show with contents 11 years ago we would have thought unthinkable. Love to all xxhugxx

2. At September 10, 2011 8:41 PM Rhianon wrote:

Wasn't there a Digby something or other, played the trumpet? Jazz, or some such.
Can't remember. Anyway, hope your lady in red is as promising as she sounds to you. It's brilliant when you find yourself with a new person who synchs in just right, isn't it?

3. At September 12, 2011 8:39 PM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni.You sound so much more like your old self again and thats wonderful. i think your Country Seat just south of Tun Wells is at last doing you good! and i think the cakes and food at Juliet's will tempt you again and again! My friend jaquie who lives in Tun Wells loves this new place. i see youve got around to getting an iPhone! golly so have i and it certainly takes getting used to, I took it to Germany a couple of weeks ago as my old Mot Razar would for some reason not roam anymore! the only thing i find is difficulty doing texts and e mails quickly as my fingertips are large so HMV came to my rescue and sold me a wonderful Exspect Stylus and now i can tap out a text in no time and no marks on the screen as an added bonus! I enjoyed Germany as usual but some German friends of mine in Bad Salzuflen were having a bad time as they had run a franchise of the German kochloffel Grill for 18 years and now all the franchises are stopping and they have to make the grill on there own and now nothing to do with Old Kockloffel. and they are trying really hard to make it work . i hope Christine and Alexander will come up trumps with it soon as they work so hard there. Thanks for your wonderful broadcast on 9 11 on Sunday you did a wonderful Job Jeni! God Bless You! I wish you and your family and your faithful Bloggers a safe week ahead and plenty of luck in the future.Love to you all esspecially Jeni XXXX Hugs Terry

4. At September 13, 2011 7:46 PM Rhianon wrote:

Well Terry, I can't imagine what the hell Old Kockloffel is. But all the best for it's future.
Saw you on the telly today Jen. Just for a few minutes and didn't hear a word of what you were saying. The room was stuffed with people messing about, laughing, getting ready to go out and eating. So imagine the din. 'Oh', says I ,'Look, Jeni's on. She's a lovely girl.'
'How do you know her' came the reply. Followed by, 'Well I don't but....' more than chaos.
Just wanted to say you looked brilliant. Full of spark.

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