I have been staying in Canary Wharf. Eleven floors up in a flat with panoramic views over London.
The flat is being payed for by an Olympic outfit that have more money than conscience. Drop a towel and its picked up by the MAID every Friday. The fridge is American huge, the bed sheets Egyptian cotton, and the atmosphere as sterile as the magnolia wall paint.
The concierge MALAIKA - which was the name of my daughters adopted elephant when she was three - sits all alone in the foyer.
Come out of the flat turn left, then right. A five minute walk to the Hilton Hotel which is even more souless than the apartment. Men in sharp suits hang around the ashtrays screwed to the walls, puffing on Marlborough Lights and talking to other men in sharp suits. Their ears plugged with rubber speakers.
JACK DASH HOUSE is to the right - he would be turning in his grave to see what they have done to his Docklands.
Over the silver clickety clackety bridge and through the swing doors into the Mozzerella restaurant.
Two choices; down the escalator into the shopping mall before working your way to the Jubilee Line, or through another set of swing doors out into the open air and the Reuters print out. The share prices pass round and round and round as thousands - and I do mean thousands - of city folk, earphones firmly lodged, ipads, iphones and Macbooks firmly held, make their way to offices in the banking towers.
Its big, its rich and its as cutoff from the rest of us as Mr. Diamond is.
I stayed from last Thursday and arrived home today at 2.00
I saw CHICKEN at The Trafalgar Studio, TORCH SONG TRILOGY at the Menier Chocolate Factory, WHAT THE BUTLER SAW at the Adelphi Theatre and SUNNY-SIDE OF THE STREET at the Jermyn Street Theatre.
Two out of the four were yummy, two out of the four were difficult to sit through.
What The Chicken Saw was dreadful whilst the songs of Dorothy Fields and the Torch Song experience were utterly exceptional.
I had to buy three pairs of different shoes to enable me to walk.
I was bitten by a red ant and all this week I have been nursing a very painful, uncomfortable foot. So painfuI I couldn't wear shoes, so painful I had to ake Nurofen, so painful I had to take a taxi to the the station to get home. As I write its throbbing, and sore and the blighter of an ant has had his way. Next time I get a nip I will destroy every ant hill I can find in East Sussex - or not - since I think that one red ant has taken me out as a karmic response to the destruction of his whole family.
I am home, I am home. Its colourful, clean, soft and comfortable. It has my books, my music, my piano, my aprons, my chairs, my bathroom, my plants, my family.
It is as different from Canary Wharf as football is from tiddlywinks.
My daughter has made us a roast, Lindy her best mate is washing up, Jim is being rude and B is basking in the glory of her poussin.
I am going to soak my foot yet again and settle down in the big armchair.
Thank you to mein hosts for ten days of white glorious London Living, irresponsible activities and endless days and night.
I am home and ready for the onslaught of real life.
My mother, Vat and a trip to the solicitor to organise our wills.
Where there's a will there's a way.....
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Bugger the karmic response. Get some ant-whack and hammer the sods.
I don't know how u do it but u were in top form throughout - a full week on air like back in the day! You were faultless. This is where u belong. I'm sure it's very therapeutic for u. I tried to follow as much of it as I could and thoroughly enjoyed it. Once a week is just not enough you've got to give us more!
I hope your mother is improving.
Lots of love
So good to hear from you Jeni, welcome home! x