I was wearing all black. A strapless bra so that my top would reveal my shoulders which are brown from gardening. A pair of black balloon trousers over fancy pants.
I had a small red case.
Two books and my smart phone with several albums which the old git downloaded for me.
I had my tickets which my darling Nick - a trolley dolly of excellence -had organised for me through his employer British Airways.
I had chewing gum, scent and a new lipstick I bought at London City Airport.
LCA was easy to get to from the studio.
I took the long trip through to Stratford on the Central Line then the DLR. The plane was delayed by an hour but I gave in, and read my book, it didn't matter.
Ibiza here I come. I had a quiz to organise and various ideas for 'The Groucho Club'. I was being treated to a room and food and I was raring to go.
I arrived and was collected by a boy in a black vest and camouflage shorts. He was covered in tattooes and didn't speak a word of English. I was covered in insect repellent and didn't speak a word of Spanish.
He met me outside the Amnesia Cub stand. I had been at a different arrival gate. It looked like I was going to spend the night in the car park since I had no idea where I was going, after three calls via Britain we finally met up. He holding my name aloft, me holding my temper.
We drove to San Antoni in the dark. The smells of the Belariac Island wafting through the window. The plane flew low over the Med, a pink rock, looking like a lion rising from a lake greeted us. I had never been to Ibiza. A beautiful island.
We arrived at the magnificent hotel complex. The air still warm. The temperature promising to be a ravishing 28 degrees on Monday.
A softly curling swimming pool, square tents on stilts, with cushions and space, a bar, music and a communal table ready for eating, greeted me. the Groucho Club in Ibiza, set to make money for charity and I was part of it.
The clientele successful entrepreneurs, musicians, writers, painters, the staff friendly and helpful. I was there to help out and be the funny dame brought in to add a touch of something - experience, certainly not class the guests added that.
I was taken to room number 2. I took a video of it but hit the wrong button, I have precisely 2 seconds of the floor.....A sitting room with a big silver chair and two piles of books built up like childrens bricks. A bathroom with a jacuzzi bath and a bidet, not to menton a big square sink and expensive bubbles. The bedroom with a bed big enough for The Morley Rugby team, and an outside terrace with two beds. The air smelt peppery and pink. A ghekko climbed up the wall but I was too slow with my camera.
I went to bed reading an astonishing book THE DECLARATION by Emma Mallen, it sent me to sleep, I looked at the time it was around 2.00 a.m.
I set the alarm for 10.00, I was having breakfast on the terrace, a loud ring woke me.
7.15 a.m Ibiza time. 6.15 yours.
I was mid deep slumber, the phone jangled me awake. It was HYMAN FINE, my mothers nursing home in Brighton.
I couldn't make sense of it. I answered. The nurse said, 'Hi Jeni, I'm sorry but your mother has just passed away.'
I screamed. Silly really since we all knew it was coming. She cried, I cried. she tried to tell me what had happend. I took in only some. It seems she was mid coffee, the nurse turned away and when she turned back my mother had gone.
I was in Ibiza, my two nephews were on holiday, my middle daughter away..... My mother had picked her moment.
I dressed, put on my wet fancy pants whch hadnt dried on the balcony. It didn't matter. I packed my little red suitcase. And the Groucho crew kicked in. People I didn't know made phone calls. People I had never spoken to bought me drinks, made me breakfast. People I had just met cried with me, sat with me.
People who had just arrived tuned their car round and drove me to the airport, made me cheesy ham baguettes, kissed me farewell. Bernie Katz, one of the worlds dearest men - drove with me to the airport, sat with me, stayed with me whilst they made me a new ticket. Bought me drinks and filled me with yet more food. Kissed me goodbye at departures and I left. I kissed goodbye to the Island of beats, booze, brown bodies and beligerant brigadiers.
I passed through security, holding my tin foil wrapped lunch and my book. I checked and double checked I had my passport. I was in a state of confusion. I sat and waited for the plane that had been rebooked; Bernie refused any kind of remuneration.
My stomach was curdled I had eaten one breakfast of coffee and croissant
Another breakfast of scrambled egg and freshly made bread.
Another breakfast of cheese and tomatoes.
Another breakfast of thin ham and Campari soda.
Another breakfast of coconut water with a slice of coconut on the rim of the glass.
My stomach screamed. I had texted everybody in my phonebook. From Sweden to Ireland from Devon to New York, from Hollywood to Shrewsbury.
The replies came thick and fast and I cried. I boarded and had been upgraded. I cried more.
My book stopped me thinking about my mothers hands, her laugh, her shrunken body, her frightened eyes. I stopped thinking about her, by the time I finished the book we were making our descent. I fell into a fitful sleep. The Isle of Ibiza replaced by the Isle of Wight.
I arrived at LCA and took the DLR to Canning Town. The Jubilee line to London Bridge. The train to Tunbridge Wells. 28 degrees and palm trees felt like a lifetime away.
Jim met me. I couldn't speak for a bit. Then he made me a brandy and lemonade. I have had several since. My mother is dead now. The pain of her life has gone. She died exactly nine months to the day when we moved her into Brighton. Tomorrow we go to clear her room.
Bernie said, don't worry Ibiza, is not going away, it will be there for me when I'm ready. I am home in my own studo. Jim and B are in the house.
I am now parentless. A new chapter of my life.
I thank everybody who has texted, called and messaged me. You have all been really supportive.
As I write the big dinner is being eaten under the palm trees of an Ibizan hotel. Room number 2 has a new guest and I am at home with my own.
My mother has died.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Iam sorry to hear your sad news Jeni.
Peace be with your moma - with you Jeni and your family.
xxxLove Light LVxxx
So very sorry to hear your news. I send you and your family my kindest thoughts
So,so sorry,there are no words.
Try and think of the joyful times and not the last few painful weeks.
Thinking of you.
We're all with you Jeni. When my Mom died I found that the empty space was gradually filled with memories of the good times we had before she was ill, and then I could think of her and smile. Still do. Love and hugs x
my sincere condolences, having gone through a similar experience some years ago, with my Mother, you know it is going to happen but you really don't want it to! My Dad died when I was fifteen, and like you, when my mother went, I was fifty-seven, I felt like an orphan, silly really but the only person who has probably known you so well from the cradle, has gone and your reference points go with her. Nonetheless, time heals all things and the good memories never fade, mourn you'll get through it and bounce right back.
my deepest condolences.
The weird thing is...the world turns on.
lots of love,
We have a saying "From God we come and to God we return"
Very sorry to hear of your loss may you find peace after your sorrow xx
Oh Jeni my darling!
I cried for you as I read about the unfortunate loss of your dear mother. Losing even an aged parent is equally as difficult as you are finally severed from that connection. There's no one out there left to call you 'daughter', coupled with the sudden burden of becoming the head of the family. I know that mere words can not console the bereaved but I just want you to know that there's people out there mourning along with you. Through reading your blogs, I feel I knew your mother and I'm sure others feel likewise.
In our religion, when visiting the bereaved during the 7 days of mourning, we say a small prayer to them which begins with, 'May G-d console you...', as only G-d has the power to heal you in the coming weeks and months as you adjust to life without your loss.
Be brave Jeni and keep your head up high, your family needs your strength.
Hugs and kisses,
My very sincerest condolences Jeni, there is nothing quite so hard as losing your Mother.
I am so sorry to hear your news. I cried as I read it as I too have a mother with the start of Alzheimer's.Peace be with you Jenni.
I wish there were words to help. I wish there was something I could say that would ease the stillness and emptiness that comes with such a loss. All my thoughts are with you. Hold onto your Mothers faith, maybe.
As Colin said, you knew it was going to happen, but it's kind of, 'Not now. Not yet.' sort of thing.
I'm truly sorry.
I am so sorry for your loss, expected or not it is always hard. I met your Mother and have always remembered it, she was warm and lovely, just like you. My deepest love to you and the family.
So very sorry for your loss of your Mum. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Look at a star tonight and think of all the good times and total love you shared. Your Mum is that star.
Look after yourself.
So sorry for your loss Jeni. I saw you with your mum at one of your shows. She was serene and lovely. Remember the good times. There were many. Soon you will laugh again. My thoughts and prayers are with you
I was in a lovely hotel on Loch Lomond when I got the call - that journey to London was long and sad but it gave me time to sit and think, to remember and be sad. May God comfort you and with our traditional words of comfort 'I wish you long life'.
My darling Jeni
So sorry to hear about your loss. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
So sorry to not mail you sooner but I was in Germany, myself mourning the loss of my Step-Mother & picking up the pieces behind her.
Be well - be strong - much love as always.