Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 7 January 2014

The roof tiles are groaning - enough with the wind already.

The kittycat is sleeping on the chair opposite me, I'm trying to get him used to the attic.

Sue has been and gone, the house is spick and span. Jim is in Hackney, they are setting up the show. he'll be back late tonight.

I drove him to the station for the 7.40 a.m. then turned the car round, drove back to the refurbished sports centre and joined the gym.

My rhythm is slowly coming back. Juicing and breathing. I haven't got my meditation and exercising back on course yet but it's only a matter of time.

The rain started to come down in bucket loads so I covered up and took myself off to the four-quid-a -day-car-park.

Walked to the station, took money out of the ATM, bought myself a return ticket and sat down in the waiting room.

'The 11.09 will be eighteen minutes late' said the tinny voice.

We all sighed. The man behind the coffee counter, the two women travelling together and a very well turned out gentleman with a distinguished face, lined and long, and a huge bass voice which he projected over the mountains of free newspapers.

Out of nowhere a train arrived at platform 1. We all stood up, taking our flapjacks, lattés and Metro's with us. The minutes were ticking by and I had an appointment on Shaftsbury Avenue.

The bassy voice projected all the way down the platform,




He started to laugh a basso profundo laugh. The driver driving us into London Town was on a train, driving himself back to Tunbridge Wells, not enough crew you see. The driver would arrive in 10 minutes, and then he would dismount one train and get on to ours so that he could drive us back to where he came from. Two more announcements about lack of staff, lack of clarity, and a plea that we accepted their sincere apologies. All the while the bass voice boomed out, you could hear him from the end of the platform, and in the carriage where I was sitting.

Always that moment when passengers tut with each other, shake heads at each other, mutter across to each other. All of that until I decided to get off the train. I walked to the ticket office.

Asked if I could have a refund.

This Government wants railway passengers to be responsible for paying for their own journeys to work, plus providing the new rolling stock, new rails and the building and renovating of new junction boxes. This Government wants to dismantle the welfare state, make life as difficult as possible, for the old, young and vulnerable, so that in the end we'll all leave Great Britain and go and live in Bulgaria, which will, by then, have a better cost of living than us. Meanwhile the rich get richer, the poor get poor and I have to cancel my hair appointment because I can't get to my salon.

Fascinating isn't it, we complain, and complain and complain. and still Mr. Osbourne tells us that things are gong to get worse and that we just have to put up and shut up. These silly little lives we have are being squeezed and tampered with and all we can do is complain. Me included.

I feel unable to do anything. I feel disempowered. I feel utterly poleaxed by the incredible antics of a bunch of dispassionate pen-pushers. And so I go and ask for a refund for my railway ticket and without one tiny hint of irony the ticket man just gives me the money, smiles, resignedly and I leave to walk back to my car in the pouring rain.

It's now time for supper and the news. I don't know why I watch it, tomorrow I have my gym induction - again - and if they are right about change in the weather I will be able to get into London to have my haircut. Failing that I'll just stay here and let my hair grow longer and longer and longer.

And just like Rapunzle I'll let down my luscious locks until my prince arrives, which if all goes to plan should be on the 9.28 from London Bridge, God and the South Eastern Train service willing.....

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


1. At January 13, 2014 10:58 AM 'L' wrote:

Oh how exciting it was this morning to hear your sweet voice when I tuned in at 9! I expected to hear Vanessa telling the world she became a granny, which I understand will happen any minute now!
I am amazed how natural you sound, it's as if you are still doing it on a daily basis. Please hang on there for the rest of the week - Vanessa should take off some granny time!!
I am also relieved that BBC London are holding on to one of their best ever presenters and hope to hear you more regularly.
We'll be glued!
Lots of luck.
Hugs xxx

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