Ten days that shook the world.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 17 August 2012

Where to begin.

My trip down to South West of England started inauspiciously.

I had stayed overnight with my writing partner, LSM. Her little West Hampstead flat is terrific, only I couldn't sleep. I was like a time lapse film in a sleep lab. On my front, on my back, knees up, bum in the air, walking, hitting my head on the sloping ceiling, lying, sprawling, listening to my music, foetal, fatal. By the time the alarm went off at 7.30 I was panda eyed with sleep deprivation.

The trip to Waterloo was easy, LSM was carrying the new laptop and I was pulling a heavy red suitcase. Why I had packed so much rubbish is beyond me. She travelled with a toothbrush I with the bathroom sink.

Out of the tube up the escalator and my piggin shoelace got caught in the escalator step.

I fell flat, ripped my knee, halted the flow of Olympic commuters and felt like a complete pratt.

So began our journey to Axminster.

The train ride was terrific. We met a young girl who defied her appearance, she was blonde, dead pretty and more intelligent than Michael Gove. She stroked the ears of her Spaniel from Yeovil onwards.

We were collected in Axminster by Alan who drove us to Tesco's to buy provisions. Then we were driven through very narrow roads to the Old Barn in Branscombe.

The thatched cottage opposite looked like it had been built for a Hollywood set featuring a thatched cottage.

Ralph, the dog, a cross between something and something else that was Dutch, greeted us. We chose our rooms. Mine with the terrace outside, LSM with the same but no French doors.

The kitchen was huge, the living room huger.

The bathroom small and well equipped with more plunging soaps than Penhaligons.

We set up in the kitchen.

And so the writing began.

And it continued through the night, into the early morning, on the beach in the sitting room, at the table, in the cafe, on my knee.

Branscombe beach is but one shop-cum-restaurant. Lots of English holidaymakers with their blonde children. Boats, paddling, boots, walking, a huge hill that I stepped out barefoot, to see over the cliffs into Beer - the name of he next village - the english on vacation.

When we got to Friday night we joined with Alan, Johnny and Byron, and ate food cooked on an Indian Kadai Fire bowl. I had corn on the cob - toasty and singed they had lamb.

When the food was finished, we looked up into the night sky. Stars to the back of us, stars to the front, over the valley, stars overhead. The Milky Way clearly visible and then the shooting stars shot. I saw three, LSM saw two and Byron saw one.

The weather had changed from grey and rain to sun and shine.

We arrived back in London - mission completed. The old man collected me at Waterloo, we drove into Covent Garden, parked and went to see 'Chariots of Fire'.

It was nearly not okay.

Home by 1.00 chats with the dawter and nephew, then bed. Four hours later up with the lark, then an easy drive to 7oaks.

The 6.44 to London Bridge and the last broadcast from the Olympics.

Back home to guests, BBQ, and more drink than should be allowed.....they left the following day after breakfast then....

Monday stayed a pyjama day. Tidying up the script, sorting out the house.

Tuesday was a trip to Ikea in Croydon to buy gear for the girls new abode. A drive to Hackney, an unload, a terrible Vietnamese meal and then home.

I went to the osteopath today who sorted out my Waterloo Fall. Drove to Brighton to visit my mother, went looking for Chinese Yams, as opposed to Thai Taro, and arrived home ready to cook.

I've made a kind of bread pudding with the taro, and caught up on Corrie. It's now time for a bath.

Tomorrow I mow the lawn, pack for Ibiza, and bearing in mind my East Devon trip, I will take but one toothbrush and a smile.

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

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