The Fashionistas Take The Train.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 14 March 2012

Travelling into London on the train with my husband and we discussed our individual wardobes.

His shoes were bought, half price, from a shoe factory in Northampton.

His socks were a Christmas present.

His underpants came from a cheap store in New York - my only gift to him when I was there in January.

His shirt from a charity shop in Tunbridge Wells..

His suit from a house clearance.

His Coat from a Charity shop on Brighton.

His overall appearance not as cheap as you would imagine.

I had Henry Holland trousers on.

An old vest from the dawter.

A jacket that was given to me as a gift.

A scarf from American airlines

A pair of Nike Three trainers.

And underwear that we shall discreetly ignore.

I did look as cheap as you would imagine.

We left Charing Cross, holding hands and I wondered whether we looked like a power couple. Gods Gift said I looked like a power drill.

We walked to Berwick Street market and popped in to see the dawter doing her thang in her new London job. She opined, as we all have done, that she felt as if her career was disappearing down the toilet working in a job, that wasn't her chosen profession, just to pay the rent. Yeah wake up and smell the coffee sister....

Then we had tea in a café with an old friend who uses it as his living room. Sitting under an outside heater we drunk hot chocolate, coffee, and black tea in the chilly evening whilst the stall holders packed up their wares.

Then a walk down Berwick street. Right into Noel Street, left down towards 'Liberties' and into Great Malborough Street. It was cold. We couldnt find the location of a screening we were going to. But there it was, hidden inside the Old Marlborough Street Magistrates Courts, a fancy, swanky hotel, with a fancy, swanky screening room, and fancy, swanky prices.

So went across the road to 'Flatbread Planet' and had cheese and tomatoes on a hot flatbread spread with harrissa and more. He had a glass of wine that smelt of damson jam.

We were clock watching as we had to get to the press night of 'One Man Two Guvnors'. At precisely 6.15. we crossed back to the fancy, swanky hotel to see KATE HARDIE's short film that she wrote and directed. We have known Ms Hardie since she was younger than Suri Cruise.

Lots of trendy, artistic, clever friends and family turned up. Took their seats in the plush auditorium and laughed out loud at 'SHOOT ME'.

CLAIR SKINNER, playing her age, offered up a neurotic actress on her way to a charity fashion shoot. There wasn't one woman born in the last Century that didn't feel the pinch.

Rapturous applause, a kiss for the dawter and friends then the 'oosbind and I power-walked down Regent Street, through ranks of unaware shoppers into The Haymarket to The Haymarket Theatre. The place was heaving.

Th auditirium was packed with A-D listers from Graham Norton, to Michael Burke. Everybody was pretending they weren't doing a celebrity head count, but a lot of eyes were cast along a lot of rows to see who was there - me included - I was in the same row as Vanessa Feltz and behind one of my favourite radio bosses .

We had to leave as the curtain came down and missed the party in another fancy, swanky hotel. Time and trains await no man even if they are dressed like Delboy. Do try and see the show, you will laugh out loud and squeak with delight at the antics of the cast. I'm interviewing Jodie Prenger who plays the secretary with heart, in red stillettoes and a big beehive, thats Jodie not her aorta. Lovely.

We were joined on the train journey by a set of twins and their stepmother. They run a gardening company in Sevenoaks called 'Branching Out', having given up their London life too jaded by all the travelling. They kept us entertained till Orpington, when they abandoned us and left us to our own conversaton. By the time we got to TWells we had pulled apart the play, pulled apart the film and had just started on each other.

A swift walk through the freezing air of Kent. The car was all alone in the middle of the car park. One of those brrrrr moments before the heater works and then it was home in ten minutes.

I dropped my clothes off somewhere in the bathroom, whilst Gods Gift carefully removed his layers, hung them up then we settled down in the kitchen for a midnight feast of baked beans and freshly baked baguettes.

When we were on the road together, in our 47 seater coach with assorted musicians and actors, late night nosh was always a stop off in a motorway caff. Beans, on lavishly buttered toast, with at least three plump sausages, a liberal sprinkling of a packet of black pepper all washed down with black tea. A 3.30 a.m. a pig-put in Newport Pagnell was the mutts nuts. Thirty eight years later nothings changed. Only this time its reduced sugar and salt beans, no sausages, a hot baguette with slightly salted butter and Rooibosh tea. You can take the greasy spoon away from the troubadour but you can't take the troubadour away from the greasy spoon.

By 2.00 I had broken my mouse, written my journal and given myself up to Orpheus. I dreamt about being 'diseased' by diabetes. So today I have cleared the fridge and emptied away any last remnant of motorway café victuals.

The 'oosbind has provided me with a new mouse, so its onwards and upwards.

Last word to Joanna, yes you were quite right I did not publish your comments. My regular bloggers would have torn you to shreads.


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


1. At March 15, 2012 12:30 PM Rhianon wrote:

Fairly catholic wardrobe, then!
Old Marlborough Street sounds quite grand. I think my view of London must be very wrong. It shifts between a sort of Simpsons Tavern, small alley and clattering cobbles place to a city of fast moving, cold-eyed, vaguely intimidating strangers. Your accounts of the city have changed my view of it. It sounds much more welcoming to me these days. I don't think I ever really noticed the colours or the sounds of it. I've visited it rarely, always with a reason to be there. Visiting someone, shopping or to see a concert. You know, never with time to just wander. Like a series of short texts with someone, and never an actual conversation. Does that make sense?

Whatever Joanna said, Jeni, I hope it didn't insult you or hurt you. You've had enough crap to deal with lately, without bloggers playing silly buggers.

2. At March 15, 2012 5:05 PM Dymphna wrote:

Ahhh Jeni, I love reading your blog you have such an amzing gift of relaying things so many of us take for granted. I know there is still turmoil but I do feel you are beginning to find your rythym in life again...

3. At March 15, 2012 11:33 PM LV wrote:

Don't ditch your baked beans Jeni, they're good for you.

Love Light LV

4. At March 16, 2012 2:59 PM Suzanne wrote:

I just knew it! I asked Hubby to list the provenence of his clothing.. His answer ,, No Bl.. idea. I think you bought it all.
I do remember his excitement at being able to recall the name of one shop we went into at our local designer outlet- only to be thwarted when a friend said..."oh, gay and proud then!"
Frankly I could not,would not marry a man who cared more for his clothes than I did, or spent longer in the bathroom!
And on the bestest coming home food - well it is toast of course with lashing of butter!

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