Ambling for the brambling.

Posted by Jeni in | 19 August 2020

When I left the cottage the rain was barely there, By the time I reached the field it was a proper summer shower warm and 'Soft' as they say in Ireland.

I would like to be in Galway now, on the rough Atlantic coast, eating in smoke stained bars whilst the fiddlers play and the old git gets in touch with his Irish roots whilst beating his bodhran with his tipper. Lots of my people are away, they've gone to Spain, France, Portugal and Greece, but they are young and not a little reckless. I don't condemn them for it, I wish I were young and carefree, but now I tick the baby boomer box, the penultimate one before 'Exit'. The millennials are now surpassing Baby Boomers as the nations largest living adult generation. I know that because this Covid catastrophe has sent loads of us looking to charts and statistics, all of which do nothing but raise the blood pressure and make the temples throb.

That's not to say that I'm not trying to keep myself fit and youthful. I do two yoga practices daily, one with Sam and his son Dougie Rao, an actor with hairy armpits and a delicious delivery. I then do my internet practice with Jess Timsitt who has a 30 day challenge and wears a fabulous collection of lycra two pieces. Dennis the moggy watches from his position slumped in the armchair. I throw my pink yoga mat between the telly and the settee and pop Jess on a wooden stool. After huffing and puffing and pulling in my core I take a hot/freezing shower. Only, not today peeps; I opened the window in the bathroom, ran a hot bath and lay in lavender scented water, the rain pitter pattering on me geraniums.

So today I'm preparing for a remote voice over. The 'oosbind has made an elementary sound booth in the piano room - a brilliantly bodged wooden frame over which two duvets hang. I duck under the down and settle on a high stool. We've done the test; a geezer in Soho pressed buttons whilst the old git adjusted headphones and before you could say Logie Baird we were talking to each other across the ethernet.

I left the cottage after meditations and yoga, affirmations and breathing to do my 12,000 step constitutional. The wrist band that reads all the data beeped three times and died, so I enjoyed the weather instead of reading my footfall every ten seconds. The fields have been cut, the barley leaving sharp little stalks to tip toe through. I knew the barley was ready for the combine harvester because the stalks and heads had turned from green to yellow and the seed heads had begun drooping. We are surrounded by sheep and cows, apple trees and blackberries, which are untypically small this year as well as being a month early. When the brambles grow in full sunlight they taste of toffee, otherwise they're tight and tart. I don't look when I eat them in case they're covered in flies and their shit, figuring that what I don't see my guts won't grieve over. Still, I've made one apple and blackberry crumble already, intending to pick more, but the warm weather has shrivelled them up.

As well as the buggered berries the hot sun has devastated two new rose cuttings and my Camelia and blueberry bush, both at least 25 years old; their leaves furled and burnt. The garden looks like the Australian outback, although I'm hoping this rain, which is now much heavier, will seep into the soil.

I read that one particular activity that helps with mental health is gardening. People who live longer spend time with their fingers in the earth. But I'm a lousy gardener. I like the end results but all that weed pulling and lawn mower pushing, all that tree pruning and nettle cutting is a never ending task. And even though I've time twixt pulling and pushing my very own body about, I'd rather leave the donkey work to the gardener who has disappeared somewhere between Covid and Coroner.

So now it's time to lie on my back on a spiky mat reminiscent of a bed of nails and listen to frequencies of Gawd knows watts so that I can heal my pancreas. The 33'33" sound track is the last on my daily routine. I have made a spread sheet so I can keep a track of my timetable. Today was day three - okay I know I've got 27 days to go but JessTimsitt told me, all the way from America, that day three is the hardest if you want to break a habit. So wish me luck for day four .

Talking of days it's only 76 before The United States of America go to the polls. I'm praying, and visualising. I've got a box of candles to burn. I've even asked the witchy dawter to make a spell so that the Orange Cock Wobble gets trampled in the dust. It's hard, isn't it, not being able to predict the most obvious of results but to quote George Orwell, "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.....The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history."

So I'm off to lie down and think all of us into a utopian future, 'cos thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, and character becomes destiny. I should be able to change the course of history in 33'33" - wha' d'ya think?

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

Comments

1. At August 20, 2020 4:34 PM Sally Gilkes wrote:

Oh Jen I am praying for November too. I went to the USA the day after Trump was elected - all my American friends were in tears.

Ive never felt this way about a so called politician - I detest the man.

Keeping everything crossed !

Stay safe

Sal

xxx

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