The stuff of dreams.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 September 2012

I have spent the last four days in London.

I stayed on the fourth floor at the Groucho club.

70 steps up the windy staircase into my pristine little room. I set up my computer and telephone charging equipment, unpacked a case, four books and the entire contents of my bathroom cabinet.

Groucho staff are wonderful, attentive, young and always ready with the hot chocolate or hot water with a slice of lemon, ginger and honey - my preferred tipples. At the Groucho club? I hear you ask, water and cacao when Tom, et al, make the best cocktails in Dean street,

Well yes, please remember I'm not Natalie Imbruglio or Kate Moss I am an an ancient broadcaster with a broken toe who manages to keep her end up in the studio but is decidedly horizontal when it comes to clubbing.

I am the old biddy who is asleep, mouth open, on the big pink soafa, in the downstairs club room, you can hear me snoring in Old Compton Street.

I broke my toe in the middle of a dream, what I mean is I was having a dream, the telephone squawked, and I jumped out of bed onto the wooden base of my kingsize bed.

I've bruised my toe before due to hasty exits, but it's different this time. My poor little toe, on the left foot, is so swollen, the foot so puffy, the pain so excruciating, the inconvenience so total, that I HAD to stay in London whether I liked it or not. I had to stay somewhere central. I had to have people running after me since I couldn't run after anything.

I have have taken more painkillers than Judy Garland, and rubbed in more painkilling gel than is good for a sole/soul.

Yet I have somehow managed to attend Martina Cole's book launch for her new best seller, attend an evening of perfomances from up and coming actors, taken B and her beau out for dinner to the new in place 'ZEDELS' in Piccadilly, have my hair trimmed and make my way up those 70 stairs to my bed.

Yes, I know, why don't I just slow down, why don't I look where I'm going? Why don't I just put my feet where they are meant go. One foot in front of the other, walking gently on this earth.

I know, I know. Louise Hay says the toes are about the details in life, well the details of my life, at the moment, have been a tapestry of funerals, grief, ashes and loss. The detail of my working life has been about getting into London, being on air, having meetings, doing voice overs and adjusting to life without the matriarch, whilst all the while I am still in the dream I jumped out of,

So, whilst not making excuses, I think I do have mitigating circumstances, and that my wee toe is an expression of the inconvenience of death.

As I write I am wearing painkilling gel, large soft slippery things, a dressing gown, a pashmena and a headache. I am in the studio, which is suffering from lack of use, it has the smell of rotting lettuce in the salad drawer.

Tonight me and him are meant to be going to a party. I'm not sure I can make it. The pain travelling up my left body is worse than hitting your thumb with a hammer.

The BBC gig was terrific. I had a delicious team with a terrific producer. We covered loads of stories, which is just like old times, me listening, you lot ranting, politicians defending themselves and me in the centre of London - a dream, although not the one that broke my toe.

Last night I went to THE WHITE BEAR in Kennington. Full of Irish builders, and a theatre which was putting on THE DUCHESS OF MALFI by 'Eyestrings', a "Company proclaiming to Rebel against convention to unleash the brutal, beautiful and visceral nature of the classics” it is, according to one review 'Exceptionally confident and polished' I couldn't agree more but they finish this weekend so hurry if you have a Saturday night hole.

The ice cold Guiness in The White Bear flows continuously - poured properly by the publicans Declan and Kate. They are the stuff of drams, pulling pints and bantering in their thick Cork accents. The clientiele were Dublin, Sligo, Kerry born men who all wanted to look after me, buy me a drink, slap me on the back for drinking the black gold or retell their well rehearsed stories of home, compensation and life in the slow lane. I would go back even if I weren't watching a play.

The old git arrived in time for me to take the walking stick he had brought me, down another half pint of Guiness then take my place next to Robert, an actor of repute, to watch John Webster's 'Duchess' stab and be stabbed in a back room in SE London - nothing new there then.....

I slept through the night, this morning I was woken by the 'oosbind bringing me in a tray or bacon sarnies accompanied by a cuppa. I cannot remember the last time we had crumbs in the bed.

I am going for a bath now in the hope that I can get rid of the sting in the toe.....bloody dreams where would we be without them?

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


1. At September 29, 2012 6:44 PM Tish wrote:

Dear Jeni, work is great for grief, takes you out of the greyness and colleagues can be so kind. I think the poorly toe is your mum's way of saying 'Look after yourself sweetheart'. x

2. At September 29, 2012 8:36 PM Linda Davidson(nee Cowan) wrote:

HI Jenni, Following my husbands phone in to your radio programme on Friday it prompted me to search for ways of contacting you myself. I found your blog and reading it bought back so many memories of you, and your dear mum from way back,when we were both at school together. It made me very sad to read that you have just had to say a sad farewell to her. I know exactly how you feel. My sympathy goes out to you. You never stop missing your mum. Quite by coincidence my Mum and Dad were both cremated at the Downs in Brighton as they ended their days in Rottingdean. I Love listening to you on the radio when I get the chance. You sound as warm and witty as ever. Look after yourself. Linda

3. At September 30, 2012 10:43 PM LV wrote:

Ohh Jeni sorry to hear about little toe. It could be worse, you could have broken two toes. Your accidents do have silver linings though - four nights at the Groucho club.
I fell over on my way to work once (don't ask) cuts all down my leg and hand, laying in the street in Superman pose - get taken to A&E given a needle in my ass for tetanus - for my trouble. I would have preferred a night at the Groucho club!

Below is the link for the meditation short film. As you know meditation one of my passions too. Anyone who meditates or is interested in meditation should watch this. The best i have seen because it gets right to the point of it. Cutting through the myth and misguidance of overuse of mantra & breath control.

I srongly believe meditation should be taught in early schooling for its many beneficial effects. It is as old as time. It requires no religious predisposition. And can be more effective than many synthetic drug therapies, with no negative or destructive side effect.

In the west it's still a bit mysterious. So many people still think it's some kind of new age hippy thing. That you have to start wearing funny clothes and Jesus sandals. For Christ sake don't do that everyone, it is strictly forbidden!
Seriously, that is because it belongs to the enigmas. It requires as much effort as not trying at all in equal measure. The enigmas are always inbetween those two statements. And children have an innate knowing for this in a way adults don't.

Part two may be too much for some palate, so don't worry about that - skip it. All the keys are in part one.
Put your foot up.

Love Light LV

4. At October 2, 2012 2:23 PM LV wrote:

SEE if this one works:

these links are a bugger.

love light LV

5. At October 2, 2012 8:37 PM LV wrote:

FINALLY this link should work on your blog Jeni.
I'm glad you liked it.

Love Light LV

6. At October 4, 2012 2:42 AM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni. Im so sorry to hear about your toe! I bet it does hurt like Hell too! I do hope it will soon be better, If you get the time Jeni do drop in to see your Doc or maybee visit Casualty up in London St Thomas or Guys, just to get it checked out, I always rub Tiger Balm on aflictions of this sort and it really eases the pain for me, My dad used to swear by it well before i was even born and it works! Hope all those 70 stairs at the Goucho to your room are not making it worse, Is there no Lift at the Gaucho club there? Talking of Lifts the one that serves my flat is out of action and its being Re Furbished and it will take at least 10 weeks to finish and the men have been drilling and banging and as my lounge is just through the wall from the lift shaft The walls have been vibrating and vases have been slowly mooving across my Ikea Floating Shelves , i have taken the best stuff off while they do the work as i dont want anything broken,
Gordon has been away for 2 weeks down in Isle of Wight with his Sister Eileen he has taken his Australian Neice called Brianna down with him as she has never been to Ebgland let alone IOW she is just 19 and Pretty as a picture and she is enjoying herself with the family members she has up till now never met on IOW. I had a nasty shock in Putney High St last week after comming out of the Putney Exchange Shopping Centre about 20 seconds before i came out a 70 year old Male Pensioner was dragged under the front wheels of a Huge Tesco Lorry when it mounted the pavement right outside Sean Hannah Lloyds Bank and the Exchange Doors , The wheels killed him instantly and soon the police arrived and Amulances but it was too late for the Poor Man, i felt very shakey and i hardly know how i got home but i did, it shocked me so much, Life is Precious isnt it Jeni? Another thing is that my Cousin Nell was Cremated at the Downs in Brighton a couple of years ago the same as your Dear Mum Bless Her and Lynda Davidson (ne Cowan) says her mother and father were also Cremated at the downs, Its a small world Isent it Jeni & Linda? Take Care Jeni, I do hope youll soon be feeling better with the Toe, Get Jim to kiss it better OK and try to get some tiger Balm rub from the Chemist or Chinese Medicine shops in London or back down in Tun Wells im sure there is one there too! All my Love from Terry in Putney Heath XXXX

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.