Pater

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 15 September 2020

I have come to the conclusion that I am lazy. Indolence, of course, is the prevaricators excuse for fear. I do loads of things but they're all displacement activities. I meditate, on rising, and put any thoughts of anything out of my head.

I listen to Deepak Chopra and imagine that my world is unutterably different as he counts me down, minds the time and steers me on a road to abundance. I think, however, I may have stumbled into a cul-de-sac.

I do Yoga with a woman who has thirty different practice leotards and has no idea that arm balances and head balances are not for the feint bicepped. When she gets into her seventies just let her try and reach for the stars when she has a 71-year-old sciatic nerve that's screaming and a 71-year-old mind that's about as calm as a Trump tweet after he's been fact checked and found to be lacking in any kind of decency. But I digress.

I eat plant based, low fat, high carb food in the hope that I will survive another few years. I wait for the lentils to release their fanfare of flatulence, and when I complain to the dawter and reveal my impatience she says I'm chatting out of my arsehole - literally.

I watch some telly, I listen to some radio, I read some words, but in the main I'm just lazing around complaining that I'm not Vanessa Feltz who has just had a pay rise. Claudia Winkleman who doesn't need a pay rise or Emily Maitliss who would like a pay rise. I complain I am not Ruby Wax, Juliet Blake our Melania Trump - ok not Melania - all women who have made a staggering amount of money, are doing good work and are as successful as any female can be.

So why do they get to me? Because they are all Jewish, and as I'm the daughter of a Jewish Bolshevik where the fuck did I go wrong that I've ended up out of sight, out of mind and out of pocket.

The clue is in my Bela Rusic roots. My father, an illiterate pugilist who liked nothing better than whacking a right-winger in Wapping, brought me up with the same values he had inherited from his peasant forefathers.

  1. If you steal make sure you don't get caught.

  2. If you get knocked down remember a boxing ring has four corners and you're only in one of them.

  3. If things get tough blame the toffs.

  4. If things don't work out you can't change what's been in other words if 'Aunty Becky had Bollox'.

  5. There's nothing that a smoked salmon Bagel can't cure.

The head of my household was a compulsive liar, a bully, a bigot and a bastard, with a vicious sense of humour and charm oozing out of his opportunist pores. If my mother wanted to scold me she said I was exactly like him. So, you can imagine, my opinion of myself was less than satisfactory. I grew up surviving by the seat of my pants with a fuck-you attitude, firmly in place, learnt at my father's bespoke suited knee.

After some forays into therapy I have removed much of the aforementioned attitude, but, you may well ask, what am I left with, apart from a desire to change the world, overturn Capitalism and see Boris bundled out of the palace of Westminster ASAP.

Well clearly I have a deep rooted angst about, intelligence, fame and of course money. Counting blessings, is good, but counting bank notes is better. Or is it?

'Money can't buy you love' - or can it?

'Money is the root of all evil' - or is it?

'Money, Money, Money' belongs in a rich man's world' At least that's what Benny Andersson says.

So you may ask why didn't I know I would get old, run out of work and invest in lucrative pension schemes. Because I am the sum total of all my decisions, some good some bad and some totally ineffectual, all genetically passed down from my profligate parent.

Still I wish all my female comrades well. I am not so much jealous of them, as deeply curious as to what they came from that enabled them to go to Oxbridge, hold onto their jobs and cling onto the greasy pole of success. I thank them all as they have reminded me that now is the time to let my ancestral legacy go. Look it's not over till the fat lady sings, but who is she and how long do we have to wait for her and since I'm banking on my plant-based, low-fat, high carb diet working I shall have to turn to a different metaphor.

It ain't over till it's over.

OR learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

OR it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

OR I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work - or should that read don't work -because however broken I feel at the moment I will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes and start all over again, just like my fucking father.

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

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