Endless Days

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 17 July 2020

The builders have finished, after early morning buzz saws, chain saws and metal grinders, the next door neighbours' labourers have finally gone.

The builders have finally left the building, on the other side of the hedge, where we now have an open air car-port with a fancy roof and happy neighbours.

In between all the building a little girl was born to the neighbours on the right side, a new/old cat arrived for us, and a barking sausage dog now dominates the garden on the left side. The cat known as Andy/Dennis/Houdini or Sandra, sleeps behind the settee and comes out for his evening sachet after the 6.0'clock news. He went missing for a night, all the neighbours mucked in to find him, and when he returned home jumping off next doors roof, we celebrated with a take away curry which was so sloppy and tasteless we didn't even offer the cat the left overs. The lovely furry fluff-ball doesn't actually watch the news because he has more sense than to sit through information which is frustrating, annoying, confusing, irritating and so negative it causes palpitations.

Today the 'oosbind is fixing the third dead light switch, our bedroom now has no overhead light, the bathroom is waiting for the plaster to dry and the kitchen has a new push-on-and-off dimmer which means we can eat in relative luminosity.

So life goes on, in a fashion; making a timetable that requires nothing more than getting up, walking, eating, sleeping and waiting for the phone to ring. Like all of us, I can't remember what I did three hours ago, let alone yesterday. My circadian rhythm has gone awol. I have suffered insomnia for years and years, and now with nothing to do but to contemplate how to do nothing, my insomnia is managed thus; I watch videos of Zach Bush, telling me how to be positive from a scientific point of view, videos of Deepak Chopra telling me how to be positive from a spiritual point of view, videos about the tapping solution for anxiety, videos about diabetic eating, videos about fuck knows what else.

I have 17,000 books on the go, I breath deeply with Wim Hof, I mediate daily with The Masters of Calm, I do yoga with Jessie and Julie, who drawl at me from their peaceful living rooms in Atlanta, and seemingly have no problem balancing. I roll out my yoga mat and do the 'Tibetan Five', why I even did it and four o'clock this morning before sliding into bed next to the sweetly snoring old git, I was up again at 5.00 listening to the birds and watching videos of the Orange Cock Womble digging his own grave.

For isn't there a lot of talk about death now? Bodies being exhumed in Brazil, graveyards, the size of Olympic Stadiums being dug in rich, red earth. Research telling us how to be healthy, how to live longer, how to survive this crippling pandemic, and I wonder what is the point of longevity if the quality of life is only good for the lucky few.

When I started in my career we had to work for 40 weeks before getting an Equity card. Somebody had to take a punt and then you could work in the bizness. My first professional job was at Watford Palace Theatre with Stephanie Cole and Ken Campbell, it's now fighting to survive. My second job was at The Phoenix Theatre in Leicester, its now defunct, my third job was at The Royal Court, dark now. My heart breaks. Back then I had the freedom to travel and hammer nails up my nose with the likes of Sylvester McCoy, to tour Scandinavia with the likes of Colm Meany, to sing for my supper with the likes of Jim Carter, to sleep in a VW camper van on the canals in Frankfurt whilst collecting money from the crowd - bottling it's called - I had to the freedom to flirt and dream to gig at the 'Greyhound' on The Fulham Palace Road, to scream for Ian Dury at the 'Hope and Anchor', to perform at 'The Wyndham's Theatre' in Leicester Square. I had freedom and youth and dreams. I had a sweet future mapped out.

So what now for our young ones? What now for all the lost children, what now for the artists and musicians who practice in their bedrooms waiting for the arseholes in charge to get it right. How do we recover from an illness that apparently has no end, and whose beginnings are still being argued about.

Lao Tzu said:

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

I say if you can find peace in these mangled times then good for you. if you can stay calm in the face of the bollox that's being thrown at us, then good for you. If we can keep our humour and know this too will pass then fucking good for us.

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


1. At July 18, 2020 6:53 PM June wrote:

Oh Jeni as always you cheer me. Why? Because you say what I think. At times when Im low, I think Im the only one who thinks that way.
Its comforting just to know Im not alone, so thank you for sharing your thoughts with us darling girl.
Much love
June xx

2. At July 20, 2020 2:27 PM Joe wrote:

Ditto June......... as always, as ever, thank you Jeni Barnett!
Chin up guys and gals!
Big love, the Borowski family xxx

3. At July 20, 2020 7:10 PM Poppypeewee wrote:

Jeni my heart goes out to you with your insomnia . I had a spell about 15 years ago and then had to rise and shine ready for my 13 hour shifts at the hospital . Went on for months .
Thank goodness it disappeared with meds . Insomnia is torture .

4. At July 22, 2020 6:09 AM Rhianon wrote:

Used to be wild lettuce. And lime blossom tea. Can’t be sure now, been a long time since you could get them. Both used to help people sleep. Try a herbalist, they’ll probably still use them and they might help you sleep. I’m very lucky, or fortunate. Or blessed. I’ve only got to see my bed and I’m asleep for 7-8 hours.

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