Zumba or my Lumber

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 8 March 2013

The old git drove me to the garage.

582 pounds later the delightful Alex, who has half a head of long hair and half a head of short - fashionable it is I'm told - laughed as she wondered how I had been driving around with a cracked number plate.

That's not dangerous is it? I asked. 'No' said the delicious Alex.

Half a kilo of dropped nuts from drive-time snacking.

That's not dangerous is it? I re-iterated. 'No' giggled the fashionista.

No break fluid, break shoes, pads or anything else resembling a break- fast.

Now that is dangerous isn't it? I suggested 'YES IT JOLLY IS.' said the patient Alex.

'We don't know how you managed to get here.' She continued.

'My father always taught me to drive through my gears and not to rely on my breaks.' I said knowledgeably. The fact is I only noticed there was something wrong with my little Red Nell when I turned off my stereo and heard the sound of shaving, heaving and coughing, and realised it wasn't me..

'She is 17 years old' said the young car dealer.

So I figure 500 quid a year is worth it.

I must say that my Little red Nellie is now driving like a dream and I am able to stop at the traffic lights on demand.

So Monday consisted of rebuilding my car and rebooting my body.

I took up my lapsed gym membership - my broken toe practically mended - and entered the studio with not a little trepidation. I say not a little when what I really mean is a great big pile of trepidation.

I was embarrassed, out of condition, my lumbar region creaky, and the new gel in the class. There stood my next door neighbour and one of the parents who knocked around at the school gates eleven years ago.

Took out my bottle of water, and set about the first ZUMBA track.

Took my sweat shirt off. Revealing a clinging peuce vest, black pedal pushers, Jim's horrible grey socks and my purple trainers. DON'T EVEN GO THERE....

The second track revealed not so much that I had no rhythm, which I do, but that I have about as much mobility in my pelvic area, as a rusty portcullis in a crumbling castle in Pembrokeshire, on a wet afternoon in November. What I mean is I did not look like one of the Kardashions.

Blew my nose, wiped the damp perspiration on my single tissue and set about the third track.

I moved and shook with the movers and shakers, keeping up and imagining myself on 'Strictly' only when I saw myself in the mirror I didn't look anything like the person I had in my head. Not by a long chalk.

Ended up having to wipe my damp bits on my sweat shirt as the tissue was now in the bin.

The rest of the tracks demanded hopping, winding, clapping and jumping. All of which would have been possible had I been born in 1987 - I rest my case.

I had intended to have a swim then do a yoga class but a little voice coming from my cartilage cried out begging me not to so Paula, my next door neighbour, drove me home as my little red Nellie was still in the garage.

'It'll get easier 'she said, with only a few drops of effort on her head. I looked liked I had been dumped upside down in a butt of malmsey.

Showered dressed and set off to London Town. Made a new voice-over reel with a man who was a boy when I first worked with him.

Tuesday was another meeting in Grouchos. The dawter turned up, the writing partner turned up, the man of the meet turned up. By 7.00 we were all done, and my Zumba legs got me to Charing Cross. The 'oosbind was waiting on the other end. Bending down into his car took some thought.

I was so hyper I wrote 'Watch Wiv Muvver 9.' I had Potty Politics completed in three hours.

I went for my second Zumba class on Wednesday, whilst Jim edited WWM9.

By Thursday my body was hard to turn over in bed. But that did not deter my writing partner and I from having a very productive day.

It's now 1.45 and I have missed the yoga class BUT I have had admin. to do, and sykpe calls, and sorting out Sunday's Show, so the exercise room will have to do without me until tomorrow when I will get on down to justify my membership.

BB and her Godmother are making MOTHERING SUNDAY lunch which, I and three others, will turn up for. Seven of us will sit around the kitchen table wondering why the sky is SO grey and whether my little yellow daffs will be frozen into submission next week when the weather gets cold again.

I am taking myself off my diabetic drugs for two reasons. I turned a rather sallow shade of yellow, my hair went lank and I put more weight on than a sumo wrestler, and me being a Zumba dancer needs to keep her looks...

My blood sugar is right down but I have had a low level misery and have been as hot as a pressure cooker on steam most of the time, so I'm weaning myself off them.

If any of you have had experience of GLICLAZIDE I would like to hear your stories.

Do listen on Sunday, BBC LONDON 94.9. I have the lovely LUCY BERESFORD on, reading my papers and talking about mothers.

LESLIE JORDAN, the very funny, pint sized actor and raconteur, from Chatanooga, talking about whether gay men turn into their mothers.


If you want to shout out a message to your mother call me on 0207 224 2000 - would be lovely to talk to you.

9- 12 this Sunday.


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


1. At March 9, 2013 7:08 AM Fred beare wrote:

Jernigan I totally sympathise with the exercise BUT please learn how to spell.
It's brakes not breaks

2. At March 10, 2013 5:17 PM June wrote:

Hi Jeni

Loving the videos, I don't know who's funnier you or Jim, but obviously your much prettier!

Great show today, made me think about what I would like to say to my mother [who died when I was seventeen] so I sat down and wrote her a letter, Who knows perhaps she was reading it as I was writing it, I do hope so.

Best love darling girl

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