Re- unification of GFL.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 19 January 2020

My feet are freezing. I did my yoga thinking my temperature would rise, but it didn't. I meditated thinking I could think myself warm, but I didn't. I laid the fire, hoovered, cleaned the kitchen, drove out for the papers, put on a hoodie and a down-filled gilet, put the heater on full in the car and still the end of my nose is cold and the tips of my toes are icy. 17 degrees on the inside and 6 degrees on the outside, thats East Sussex not me.

Harry and Meghan are now half royal, Rusty Trump is half impeached whilst Rusty Johnson is half way there - wherever there is.

The dawter is in the Dominican Republic sunning herself under the palms, the 'oosbind is in the sitting room icing himself under the cushions. I am in the kitchen drinking a coffee - fingers crossed its doesn't make me queasy - typing with fingers that feel like frozen chippolatas.

So last Thursday I took the Eridge train. The station has two platforms, one to go one way, one to go the other. It is very, very quiet and the wall adverts are straight out of the 50's. I read BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert until East Croydon then got out. I bought two little bags of nuts and waited for the Clapham Junction connection. At least 18 noisy schoolgirls were swapping homework and taking selfies; they had come from a fancy school in East Grinstead. I stood by the door expecting Clapham sooner than it came. My escort was held up at work so I asked a guard for the Wandsworth Town platform. I met Lauren who used to fix my mic in the Good Food Live studio. We embarked at Wandsworth Town and walked to Capital Studios where we had made our telly progs.

Studio A is now a cinema and Studio B - the home of GFL for nearly 6 six years - is now a huge cavernous bar with wooden tressle tables, brick walls and the metal stairs, in tact, that led up to the gallery. Sound men and women, camera men and women, lighting men and women, floor managers, chefs, editors, programme makers, accountants, brains, brawn and me assembled for a night of nostalgia.

Squeals, hugs, surprises, tears, memories, numbers and addresses exchanged, as the drink flowed and the chatter continued. Three bosses between jobs, one editor made redundant, one editor emigrating to Nova Scotia, a pyrotechnical genius relocated near Glastonbury and now rings bells in the local church. A Crombie wearing dude has moved out of London and loves the rural life, camerawomen with gown up kids, cameramen with puffa jackets and side hustling jobs. The gal that ran the canteen now lives in Cork, the gal that lives in France is waiting for a hip operation in the UK and there was ancient old me surrounded by a bunch of craftsmen/women that were, and surprisingly still are, the most delightful bunch of people.

The industry was discussed, the saturation of a world that now has more people than jobs, GFL was discussed and why it ever needed to go away.

"Probably me," I said since I was always fighting and scrapping with the bosses about their maltreatment of the young work force. We all resisted saying, "Where has the time gone?" BUT WHERE HAS THE EFFIN TIME GONE?

So I grabbed a lift with a local cameraman who drove us home through the lashing rain and got me to my car parked in Eridge. We talked until my bile started. I grunted, opened the window and the heavy breathing started. Whether it was the coffee, the nuts at the station or my empty stomach or whether it was the excitement of the evening and the realisation that life really does pass you by at a rate of knots, whatever it was I eventually arrived home to tell the crippled old git all my stories when I barfed.

threw up

ejected

gagged

heaved

regurgitated

emitted

expelled

hurled

puked

retched

ruminated

spewed

upchucked

dry heaved and purged.

All of that and more, whilst still wearing may leather trousers and reunion make up. I looked like Joaquin Phoenix with my red lipstick and black eye pencil reimagined over my white face.

The old git had to wait a full 24 hours before I could regale him with stories of the Capital reunion.

So now, after we've done a bit of garden clearing I will sit him down and remind him of how life was 13 years ago. And how, with the grace of Tony Hall of Birkenhead the current Director-General of the BBC, and the heads of channels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, not to mention Netflix and Amazon, I may still have a job since everybody kept telling me on Thursday night that the new demographic is 70 plus.

I said, "Pigs might fly," but, since I'm heading vegan wise, didn't think it was an appropriate expression. So as we come to the end of January and we are all zipping up our new year birthday suits I wish you all a fab February and a renewed sense of well being and vigour so that we can still have the energy to fight the bastards.

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

Comments

1. At January 28, 2020 9:12 AM Allie Stewart wrote:

I know what you mean about the time Jeni - went to London for a meeting and had to walk to Tower Bridge a place where I was allowed to go alone aged 8. Hundreds of people taking hundreds of selfies, a Japanese bride having photos taken of her wearing a glamourous wedding dress and as many different languages circulating as there appeared to be people. No more old ladies selling violets, disabled men selling matches or bobbies on the beat moving us all along!! Hope you are feeling better! xx

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.