Fly Renée Fly.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 11 October 2012

I managed to get a boot over my left toe.

I had been to see Helen, who rearranged my body. She released my twisted gut which meant I could finally breathe. Which I have been doing, deeply, all day.

My little toe has wreaked havock with my pronation, in other words I'm completely out of whack.

Got home, BB and Jim were waiting to go.

But first Jim had to decant my mother into Paul Young's chocolate teapot.

Amazingly not one crumb of ash was spilt.

The teapot and its cargo were loaded into Paul Young's fancy carrier bag, and covered with two scarves.

We left, my mother jammed firmly next to B on the back seat. The clouds were lowering, grey, ready to pour wet scorn over us.

We were meeting my brother, nephew and 2 great nephews in 'The Kemp' pub, on the top of Burlington Street, in Brighton.

At. 12.30 we co-ordinated time and place and set off.

At 12.45 my brother called to say their car had blown up on the motor way, they were waiting for the RAC, were covered in oil, and if we wanted to proceed with the scattering without them it would be okay.

We had a family pow pow and decided that me, him, her and the other dawter would do the honours.

We gathered in the pub until Zoe arrived then walked to the car.

The Channel was grey, there was a Turneresque sun trying to cut through. The air was damp and cool. The foaming white horses cantered onto the pebbles.

'We cannot do it here.' said the old man 'The teapot will just keep returning.'

There was then a discussion involving physics, holes, lids, tides and winds. In the end we decided to cut our losses, put in two hours worth of parking and head for the pier.

So we climbed into the car, drove 500 yards, re-parked the car and put in enough money to cover a decent burial at sea.

I hobbled along with Zoe, whilst Jim and BB sauntered to the piers end.

The rides were closed, the afternoon fairground was an empty washout, metal fencing everywhere, and then I spotted metal steps leading to the 'Wild Water Viewing Platform'..

Up a flight of stairs, and 50 steps to the edge of a metal walkway, below us the waves kept a coming.

The four of us looked at each other.

Jim said 'What do we do now?'

BB said 'I want a photograph.'

Zoe stood next to me, I stood hidden behind the teapot and sheltered behind Jim who posed with the teapot. He held the pot with his right hand, the lid with his left, and holding the lid aloft he posed 'Shall I be mother?' .

The ashes were still in tact even though the wind was up.

Then we walked right to the end of the wire, I stood on the step, and looked down at the wet, grey water.

Jim said 'Make sure you throw it out far enough so that it doesn't smash on the metal railings.'

One by one we kissed the chocolate teapot. Paul Young's beautiful creation smelt sweet and warm. The glittery chocolate stuck to our lips.

Then we shouted

'Hak mir nisht ein tshaynik',

Which literally translated means something like 'Don't throw me over the water like a teapot.'

We shouted our Yiddish into the wind and I hurled the teapot into the briny, utterly alone it smashed into the water.

My mother couldn't swim, loved the water, was terrified of the power of the wave, never ever walked out of her depth, but she always wanted to spend her last days by the sea.

As the chocolate pot flew into the air the wind caught the contents and my mother blew back into Zoe's mouth, B's mouth, all over her coat, into my hair, over my glasses and all over jim.


Jim then skimmed the lid over the water like a 10 year old boy with a stone. It swished through the damp air and plopped down into the sea.

We took lunch in Lewes, although none of is were particularly hungry.

My dear friend Barry Ryan, who is busy in Cannes, still found time to send me a text this morning saying;

'Thinking of you today lady. Fly Renée fly.'

Today at 2.00pm, on Brighton Pier at 10.11.12 my mother finally flew.

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


1. At October 11, 2012 9:39 PM Frankie Granizo wrote:

Thanks for the great post

2. At October 11, 2012 11:09 PM Jacqueline wrote:

Dear Jeni, Your blog was truly moving. God bless .

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