101 International Womens Days

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 8 March 2012

I sat on my own foot whilst throwing away envelopes full of defunct accounting from 20 odd years ago.

Found letters to me and him from the kid when she was tiny. Telling us how much she loved us, me, my soup and his supply teaching. What I didn't find was my box of pearls.

It is so frustrating.

Did I lose them in the move?

Have I left them in a bag somewhere?

Were they nicked?

Its tragic. A string of pearls that the old man bought me years ago, earrings and all sorts of pearly bits.

I'm told to ask St. Anthony, Patron Saint of all things lost to help me find them SO;


That should do it.

Anyway when I stood up I had done something to my foot. Sat in the garden, in the sun, three anoraks hanging from a tree drying in the balmy air, and the 'oosbind manipulated my ankle. It was nice but it didn't help so I decided to go on a walk to try and rectify my gait.

To my surprise Gods Gift came with me.

I tied my feet up in my walking shoes and tricked my body into thinking that I was as fit as a butchers dog and that my ankle wasn't caning.

Down the hill, me in a trendy, yellow waterproof him in a horrible greeny, grey fleece.

Past the pond where two Mallard ducks had paired up for the duration and new bullrushes were bursting the bank. Past the pub to the post box where I sent off a cheque for far too much money to somebody who doesn't deserve it and a contract to ITV to say that they can pay me when I work for them.

Along the road with traffic hurtling past; buses, lorries, cars and vans and then the unmistakable sound of a Harley Davidson. It shot past us and me and him had a chat about what it sounded like. A grimble, a cross between a rumble and gruff roll. One HD website describes the roar as a 'choppy "potato-potato" sound'. The old git and I discussed the sound of other bikes but not for very long.

Past the rugby club and left into the unknown.

My foot hurt but not if I didn't think about it. Past two horses, one blonde and interesting the other a scruffy little Shetland. I preferred the underhorse.

Along a path, then right and left through newly spirited Gorse and flattened ferns. Over a mound and down onto a track. A stretch of woodland has been bought by somebody with a conscience so we now have two new woods; Turner Wood and Park Wood.

On the right-hand-side of the wood a clump of bamboo was newly shooting.

The Northern git took out his penknife and suddenly Yorkshire met the Land of The Rising Sun. He cut through a broken stem and whilst walking whittled it.

Off came the outer case of the main stem called a culm, the raggedy ends were sliced through, by the time we reached the pub he had shaped two perfectly smooth bits of bamboo; one for punishment and one for conducting his favourite music.....

I still have the smell of the outdoors on me. But not for long it's into the shower then off to Tower bridge to celebrate the 101st 'International Womens Day.'

I have been invited by 'Funny Women', to be their guest. I shall park my car near St. Marks Street, where I grew up in two rooms, then hobble to a swanky hotel.

Who'd have thought that 60 years down the line I would be partaking of a fine dining experience in 'The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel', on the doorstep of my shabby rooms. You can take the girl out of the East End but you can't take the East End out of the girl.

I can remember Number 1 St Marks Street, the mice the stairs the walk to my nans. I can remember the smell of damp and the peeling wallpaper. I can remember when we were rehoused into what I thought was a mansion, I went to visit the mansion in Watney Street, not enough room to swing a cat. A one-night-stay-in-a-one-bed-room at The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel costs 199. I can hear my nan now:

'You're having a laugh unt ya?'

Some joke eh?

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


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