Woof Woof

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 31 December 2017

I'm not sure that the speed of 2017 has got anything to do with Albert Einstein, but if his theory of relativity has got anything to do with it, then he should pull his grubby little fingers out of the black hole.

According to Neon Nettle:

'New agers suggest that time is speeding up due to a shift in consciousness that is coinciding with mass protests and world events. It is quite easy to see all the latest news stories that have hit the global mainstream media telling us about all these well-known people abusing children, and conspiracies that are not quite conspiracies anymore.

So why is time speeding up? It has been suggested that this phenomenon is due to humanity entering the fourth dimension. It has been suggested that time isn’t speeding up but that our consciousness is, and this causes the illusion of time speeding up. The American author, Dannion Brinkley believes that time is not speeding up, it is you who is changing, “we are in the midst of the changing face of time.” '

So thanks to Brinkley and Nettle time is just as it always was, interminable on a re-routed train drive home, lightning fast as the kids grow up, and chilling when life is at a standstill.


Well yes, miraculous to know that we are finally changing in the face of abominable leaders, robotic politicians, blind evangelicals and cynical mediamen.

May 2018 bring us proper seasons, growing awareness, the death of ignorance the birth of peace and the growth of compassion, understanding and love.

Roll on Year of the Dog.

Permalink | Comments (2)


Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 6 December 2017

And so I'm stocking up on sachets of all-in-one powdered smoothies, in preparation for my assault on Type 2 Diabetes. I begin the course on January 15th. Starving myself to reverse the offending numbers. The dietary way of combating blood sugar issues has been in the news a lot so I am, if anything, extremely topical. I'd prefer tropical but what with all the winds and gales and hurricanes and forest fires I'd prefer to stay local.

As it stands I'm doing okay but not so okay that my readings are perfect. Indeed they are so far from perfect that were I to die tomorrow I would not be buried in the perfect cemetery I would have to go against the wall in some sort of unknown grave.

Three weeks to Christmas and so far I've made Grannie Beevers Christmas cake TWICE.

The first batch, was overcooked, burnt on the bottom and currentless.

The second batch is sans baking soda because I forgot.

I now have 6 huge christmas cakes 3 taste ok, and 3 not so good. The not so good ones work with a coffee watching the lunchtime news, but certainly not unxious enough to be served on a cake stand with flunkies and critical friends. The second lot just about cuts the mustard.

I've had to buy two vintage 50's cake tins to store them in since my other tins are taken up with crisp breads, dried Hunza apricots and the remnants of last years Christmas fare.

I've just made the list of presents and am contemplating tree erection, although that can wait till next week when we get back from Brixton babysitting - two children and a puppy dog.

I want Trump to wither away like a faded poinsettia. Angela Davis said:

'I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change I'm changing the things I cannot accept.'

It inspires me to do something. I'm not sure what yet, I feel we are all living in suspended animation until Ms Mayhap totally cocks up, Kim Jong Loon finally falls into the South China Sea and The 45th president of the United States of America is impeached. Doesn't feel appropriate that a 500lb mass could be damaged by a fruit, but doesn't nature have a way of rebalancing us.

It's coming up to the afternoon, tomorrow I have a meeting in London to rearrange my future. Then it's home again home again jiggedy jig to the old git who is still pruning, sawing, snipping and bagging. My garden duties have been curtailed since my groin complains. But by the time we reach the spring of 2018 I'll be on secateur duty.

Ah!! Here comes my cake tins, it just requires me to re-arrange the kitchen so I can find somewhere to put them. I hope Granny Beevers is looking down from her cloud and not tut tutting me but complimenting me on my new found biceps from stirring 83 tons of dried fruit, 430.000 whisked eggs, and a ton of flour. Christmas comes but once a year.


Permalink | Comments (2)

The Wild Atlantic Way.

Posted by Jeni in | 18 November 2017

My computer tells me it's 15.42, though the clock on the wall says 2.16.

I haven't been in the attic since the clocks went back, which makes no never mind since the batteries in the wall clock are flat anyway.

Turning the clock back, though, would be preferable sometimes wouldn't it?

Not that looking backwards is my way, but just sometimes when that pang of nostalgia hits the solar plexus, wouldn't it be nice to re-live the summer of 1966 when the Beach Boys were the soundtrack to clumsy teenage groping.

When the gut somersaults as it yearns for those lost years when we were sitting on the dock of the bay dreaming of California in the Creamy sunshine of love.

Fifty years on my daughter now makes videos with the daughter of Jack Bruce, I've filmed in California more times than I can count and the docks have been bought up by residential development consortiums, where even the river rats have to pay up front for their accommodation.

It's exactly fifty years when I first met Mrs. C. Although she wasn't a Mrs. then She was a singular beauty with shiny copper hair and a penchant for singing the 'Mamas and Papas' in three part harmony. We met in the summer of 1968, spent all night talking in the Wimpy bar in Golders Green and parted for the summer vacation. She, back to the Wirral, and me to Boredom Wood.

In the autumn of the summer of love we rented a flat in Frognal, near Hampstead. Me, her, a cool blonde and a Playboy Bunny. I was the smallest, roundest, member of the quartet. We shared a dorm, a party-line telephone with the neighbours downstairs, and our thoughts. There was much laughter, as we mapped out our futures in front of the four-bar-gas-fire in the NW3 lounge.

In the beginning of the Seventies she continued to expand her already enormous brain, by going to Manchester University where she studied how to teach the deaf, and setting up discos for the hearing impaired.

She met a man who wore a Donkey Jacket, looked like Adonis and was training to be an Architect. They were quite the most exquisite couple. I missed their wedding as I was too busy touring the country in the back of a 42 seater coach, crammed with instruments and props, and driven by Harry Vaux who ate raw liver and never missed a deadline.

And then they moved to Galway, where the Architect husband designed their house and built it brick by brick. Three babies later, all reared in a caravan, the home took shape, and then finally the last tile, last brick, last nail was hammered in and the family of five moved into their beautiful home.

Meals round the kitchen table, peat fires, Bodhrans beating, flutes piping, fiddles fiddling and the family thrived. The Architect and Mrs. C grew them kids and we visited to drink at Hughe's Bar, eat oysters in Galway and sit on the dock of the bay peering into the future in Spiddal Harbour.

Then that woman gave up teaching and healing autistic children and started to write. Poetry, if you don't mind.

'Words are my thing.' she said.

And she was right. Words had always been her thing, thats what got us talking in the Wimpy back in '68. And so she started writing down those words, wonderful words, always putting them in the right order and painting pictures with dexterity and wit. And blow me if she didn't get published, and win prizes, and that burnished gold creature, who had never thought of becoming a writer, had blossomed into a grandmother and a compiler of anthologies.

We shared photos of the kids, stories of their development, recipes of soda bread and phone calls on birthdays from March to November.

And then ten years ago she got breast cancer. She never told her mother as they were losing her brother to Leukaemia. Mrs. C. had reconstructive surgery, she's written a beautiful poem about it which is in an anthology called BOSOM PALS. And she got better. Her glorious hair shining as she took up the Tango and puffed on girly cigars. We talked, they visited, the kids grew up then last October she got breathless.

A visit to the doctor, who was bemused. It was not a return of the cancer in her breast instead she had cancer in her lungs. The shock was numbing. She was given but weeks to live. She was put on chemo and a cocktail of drugs. That was just over a year ago. We visited last Monday. She's hanging in with cocoa butter and Cannabis suppositories.

'Cancer doesn't like Cannabis' she told us.

She has a timetable of drugs, which she writes down in her little book to remind her when to pop the pills, and an oxygen machine which she, and the retired Architect call the Dragon. The smaller portable version is called Puff. She wakes at 9.00 and uses her Nebuliser, reads her emails, organises her poetry readings, slowly walks to her kitchen and lays out lunch, sits in front of the peat fire and strokes Miaow the cat who chats noisily.

The husband plays his flute in 'Tigh Giblin', where we ate ferociously good fish last Monday, in sessions with violin wielding Nuclear Physicists who fly in from Santa Fey and Las Vegas, fiddlers from New York and a bundle of local musicians who squeeze and strum and swell the room with authentic music whilst the cold, perfectly headed Guinness gets served and lovingly drunk.

Whilst Mrs. C, starts her morning routine and puts up her hair, which is slightly less glorious, but only a bit, the Architect goes to the Hotel, opposite Giblin's, to his coffee club. We joined him on Tuesday, as a group of musicians and wives, and local widows, talked about life after Trump. We left the hotel and walked back past the Wild Atlantic Water, over the iron bridge and furious rapids that crowded out the noise of the Galway road. We were bundled into the back of their car and driven to a graveyard on the edge of the world. Puff was wheeled to Noel Browne's gravestone where Mrs. C. sat and told us of Noel's campaigning work, as we walked through the graves of still borns and poets. The sun setting on the Wild Atlantic Waters.

Tonight the musicians are playing through the night in the house of the Giblin brothers, whilst Mrs. C is joined by her eldest daughter and two grandsons. She'll take to her bed at 9.00 and control her breathing with the Dragon her trusty friend.

We left at 7.00 on Thursday morning, she insisted we said goodbye before we drove off to Shannon. Our cheeks touched as we held onto each other, hers cool and smooth. I controlled the rush of tears.

'It's alright' she said.

'It's all okay', she said, comforting me.

The Architect turned over and bad us farewell, as I held onto her for longer.

She is deteriorating, and I don't know if I will ever see her again, but I have her poetry on disc, her reading her own words with her beautiful voice.

I have her memories. I have her stories. I have her hand written recipe for her Soda Bread. And I have her photos in my attic, at the Galway festival 25-years-ago when the children were small, and the 'Water Boys' were big, and we thought nothing of getting drunk on the Water of Life whilst toasting the future.

Permalink | Comments (3)

Gongs and things

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 10 November 2017

Outside looks inviting, but inside has won out. Yes, yes I know I should be smelling the damp earth, digging up the weeds, I know I should be kicking over the leaves and planting snow drops for the spring BUT I cannot be arsed.

Why can't I be bothered? Because I have had a long week of travel and talking, of shocks and shenanigans, a week of to-ing and fro-ing, 7 days of helping and hindering. I am therefore, still in my long purple house coat thingy, untamed and unwashed. I am, snoozing as I'm writing, mentally ticking off the list of things I still have to do.

Monday started innocently enough with a Tuina massage. David drives down from The River Thames, I lie on my front on the massage couch, he covers me with a sheet and before you can say Oooooh- oooeeey - eeeek - Daaaaavid - he is pummelling and slapping, poking and rubbing, my body responds instantly. He leaves after a coffee and I carry on with my life, only this week he released so much trauma and catastrophe that I fell asleep reading the newspaper. Fell asleep whilst vacuuming, fell asleep whilst falling asleep and lay on my back on the floor as the cat splayed herself over my catatonic body.

That was Monday.

Tuesday saw me driving to Brighton to have my hair trimmed and de-aged. My hair was so shiny and lush the 54 mile journey was bearable because i'm worth it.

Tuesday night the old git and I sat in the kitchen talking to a wonderful mother of three, with two adult autistic children and a third son who is falling behind because she is so caught up with creating a life for his brothers.

That was Tuesday.

Wednesday and Thursday I was on the Radio. The BBC have decided to change the tax codes for all of us - including we free-lancers. So now, after 50 years as a self employed media concubine, I am now deemed an employee on PAYE which means instead of coming home with peanuts I now haul home a string bag full of shells. And if anybody else tells me that I will get a refund next April I will show them my bank account and ask the to sub me until the spring.

So that was Wednesday and Thursday.

Radio Sussex won a gold, silver and bronze award at the annual radio Oscars - well done them - and Ms Feltz bagged the best breakfast show. Well done her brilliant team, without whom the fragrant Ms Felt would be floundering.

Today I was suppose to be filming but it was cancelled so I've done the accounts, made phone calls, eaten olives, cleaned the hob, made a list of me necessaries for four days in Galway, and Facetimed people who don't mind my shabby chic.

That's it. The sun has gone, the leaves are yellowing as I look at them, four tits are hanging on the peanuts and a big fat Robin Redbreast is bouncing on the Hibiscus.

Before I lie on the floor, starfish like, I have to fix my number plate, with is hanging off. It is stuck it on with Gaffer tape, but it needs to be properly secured. I swung into the garage and drove straight into the parked bicycle. I heard the crack but ignored it. That registration plate is a bit like my life at moment, it's all there but hanging off it's hinges.

Here comes the pussy ready for her nibbles, a bowl of meat and a tickle on the tum.

The 'oosbind said he would oblige should I ask him nicely......

Permalink | Comments (3)

The Big Borowski's

Posted by Jeni in | 2 November 2017

I've been shamed by the Borowski family, who wrote such a delicious blog that I've come straight to the attic, put the heater on, donned thick woollen socks, opened up my blog and started writing.

Trump and May, dominate my political head, but their antics are so confusing and dastardly that I have to turn off the news. Dipping into a bit of current affairs when my constitution is strong and my rage is under control helps, but now what with Dustin Hoffman and various other icons being charged with sexual harassment I think its best to bury my head in the sand, put on blinkers, listen to 'Steely Dan', chop fennel and practise mental arithmetic.

BTW went to see 'Steely Dan' at the O2 on Sunday - what can I say - thousands of us whooped, cheered, sung, danced, cried and reminisced about the first time we came across them. Me and him first saw their named daubed on a wall, in red paint, in South Hampstead, back in 1977. 'Rolling Back the Years' for sure.

My life has so changed in the last ten years that often blogging is the last thing on my mind, not that I have anything first thing on my mind - apart from dribbling nano moans - but creating a routine can be tricky. I've always had regular jobs, now gigs come in sporadically, a week in Brighton, a day in Streatham, a Night at the Opera.....but the family Borowski touched my heart, oiled my ego and reminded me that blogging has been part of my life for at least ten years and stopping is not an option.

So, today being Thursday, I've chanted, meditated, done me affirmations, had my coffee, slapped on creams to fool the wrinkles, got dressed, put on my back brace, cancelled my 10.000 steps, to give my body a breather, and apart from the oven man, my day is my own. My oven cleaner normally comes in September when I'm preparing for the annual 'Jew Do' but this year too many people were away, ill, old or dead to celebrate the Jewish New Year, so I put away the recipe books and hunkered in.

Then I thought I cannot live without gatherings, big, small, never indifferent, and decided on 'Moon Do's' instead, smaller but just as essential. So in October we had the first dinner celebrating THE HUNTER MOON, I made Curried Goat, various tasty side dishes, the dawter made the perfect guacamole plus feathery rice, whilst the granddaughter delivered home made cakes so sweet, one bite was enough to dislodge the bridge on the top right hand side of my puckered mouth. 15 of us sat, or stood, gorging on Carribbean gorgeousness, talked, laughed and disappeared into the last of the summer night.

This Saturday is THE FROST MOON, my eldest daughters birthday, so eleven of us will mainly be eating Borsht, Rogan Josh, Cauliflower Bhaji, pureed roasted peppers and carrots, with lashings of green beans stir fried in carom seeds, the granddaughter is bringing a frosty cake, whatever that means whilst the dawter, Ms Rice Queen, will make a repeat performance of her Curried Goat accompaniment.

Autumn has arrived with a flourish, yellow trees, orange shrubs, birds a plenty filling up on the peanuts that the old git has hung everywhere, and leaves. Leaves everywhere, on the way to the car, outside the kitchen, in the front garden, by the verges, down the road and in piles that the 'oosbind created with his leaf blowing machine.

He was merrily causing havoc whilst I was out buying provisions for dinner, when I got back he was running like a young thing into the garden. He'd been busily burning all the pruned wood, clothes in the wash as we both smelt like a Kebab shop, and had completed the task by emptying the cinders into the garden behind the studio. Ah! little did he think that the cinders were still incendiary.

'I've burnt the bloody fence down.' he screamed.

In his excitement at completing all his jobs, he failed to realise that the ashes were still hot, the fence between us and the neighbours, but two years old, was on fire. Five slats of wood torched. On went the hose pipe, to put out the flames, we had our own little forest fire. The neighbour's were decent about it saying they had burnt the other neighbours oak tree down inadvertently so who were they to cast aspersions, or anything else for that matter.

Today, Fireman Sam, is having to mend the wire that supplies electric to the garden, whilst hammering in five new fence pieces. I've embargoed the electric chain saw just in case he has a mind to massacring the neighbours on the other side.

Tomorrow we're filming a drama that has been written by one of us, acted by two of us and filmed but the writer. It will be a 'You Tube' sensation if we ever get it finished.

I await news on this and that and on Wednesday and Thursday of next week I'm on Radio Sussex, talking to all and sundry from Hassocks to Henfield, Burpham to Bolney, which by the way has a terrific gastro pub THE EIGHT BELLS, run by a lovely mother and daughter who serve achingly good soup and sandwiches as big as a Manchurian Scaffolders biceps, and chips to halt a diet.

Then I'm off to Galway, if Mr Ryan doesn't cancel the flight first.

I'm already thinking about the COLD MOON DO on December 3rd, I've met a photographer cum therapist from East Germany, a therapist cum Celebrant from Ashdown Forest, to which I will add a Homeopath from Norfolk and a couple of stray hippies who were born in Penge but have relocated to Hastings.

The oven man has just called, he'll be here by lunchtime, so I'm off to collect the last of the sweet chestnuts that are clogging up the lane, learn my lines for tomorrow and prepare the marinade for the lamb.

Darling Borowski's thank you for the nudge, I'll be blogging more than less because of you.

Happy Frost Moon on Saturday to ya'll.

Permalink | Comments (5)


Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 1 October 2017

The comment from 'Grancangirl', for just a nano second, upset me. My initial reaction to nasty posts always has the same affect on me. I read it once, then again, then wonder what I did to make 'Grancangirl', and the likes of her, be so hurtful. And then I remember that I am in favour or free speech and if i don't like unfavourable comments I should stop writing blogs. My ego, however, is always massaged by being stopped in the supermarket by my blog readers. Nothing like an intimate chat over the soups to know who your friends are.

So sorry to disappoint 'Grancangirl' but I am still bleating lots of rubbish on radio, telly and various salubrious venues, which you dear girl, will probably never turn up to, being superglued as you are to your trolling station.

This morning I was woken by three fluttering Blue Tits on the bird feeder hanging outside the bedroom window, secured there yesterday by my faithful Great Tit, who is at present, taking a video of at least five little birds pecking at the peanuts. I heard him shout 'Look at the tits on that' and a yelp of delight as a Nuthatch joined them for lunch. 'Grancangirl', just as an afterthought, the little Tit is a symbol of love and understanding, just saying.

This morning, to celebrate the first day of October I put on my walking boots, a blue Kagul, and a rucksack, courtesy of on my dawter's cast offs, and commenced my 10,000 steps in the drizzle; I took off my glasses as I couldn't see for the spray. All up hill, past B's old school, past the old police station, past the vets, past the pub, left onto the Green, past the church, down towards the supermarket and into the shop to get my free 'Observer' newspaper. I packed the rucksack with Coconut water, bean sprouts from the cheap shelf, creme caramel for the old git and my paper.

I set off down hill for my last three hundred steps. Got to the Farm, and called my chauffeur who obliged. As my wrist buzzed with my 10.000'th step he flashed me.

The old git turned the car around, I swung my load into the back and flopped down on the front seat. We were home two minutes later to porridge, sausages and coffee.

I've read the papers and now I'm researching a telly prog I'm filming next Friday - sorry 'Grancangirl'. The rest of the day will be taken up with thinking about gardening, thinking about bathing in an Epsom salt bath and thinking about life before technology when Sunday's were taken up with real activities, including singing round the piano, arguing over Monopoly and debating the merits of censorship.

Happy Hunters Moon, on Thursday, and may your October be filled with gits, tits and nuts.

Permalink | Comments (6)

Feng Shui

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 September 2017

Sometimes, just sometimes, I think my cottage may be the cause of my ill health. That the North/North West facing aspect is lousy Feng Shui. Then I remember that being ill and getting better takes time when you are three score years and eight.

When so many folk die in their late 60's I am delighted to still be alive, but it would be a lie to say that I find slow recovery easy. Or that the loss of my voice for two days was anything other than deeply disturbing. I squeaked like a demented mouse. Endlessly shouting at the old git, which was as ineffectual as slamming a feather on the table to draw attention to myself.

I have had the house Feng Shui'd twice, as it goes. Once by a professional geezer who charged us much money, but then gave it back to us as he had turned the house into a disaster zone. Jim and I argued all the time and, according to the second Feng Shui Master - an ex Buddhist monk - the cottage had gone 'Live' on us, what with all the mirrors and vases, wooden flutes and plants that the first geezer told us to get. The ex-Buddhiust monk, by way of payment, sat at the kitchen table and ate with us, tore down half the mirrors and removed most of the gewgaws that the first Feng Shui feller told us to install. The ex-monk suggested we take the stuffed Piranha fish off the mantle piece as it was in the wealth area and was eating up all our money. He also told us to keep the front door shut, hang plants between the stairs and the bathroom, to keep the bathroom door closed and the lavatory seat down, as the Chi was coming in the front door zooming up the stairs and disappearing down the loo. In other words we were literally pissing away our good fortune.

'Your house is a hungry ghost' said the ex-Buddhist Monk, 'Get rid of all those Bagua mirrors and stop eating Pork.' Then he cleared his plate and left.

I can't remember where the health area is but I bet there's some kind of muddle or obstruction. It could be the gaggle of wooden ducks by the telly, or maybe it's the thirty thousand DVD's stacked up with the mountains of CD's, or maybe it's got nothing to do with anything. I need to find the notes. But the reason I suggest that maybe it is something to do with the flow of energy in this old cottage of ours, is because the mystery illness has gone, and my sciatica has finally receded but I am now left with a throat so sore, so raw, so uncomfortable that I'm sitting in the kitchen with a silk scarf wrapped round my neck trying not to swallow. It's 2.35 in the morning and I should be sleeping in my big King Size bed, but the discomfort when I lie on my lovely soft pillow is a mockery. I have rings under my eyes and a cat that doesn't understand why I'm not lying down with her on my knees.

I've just swallowed and it feels like I've got one of those crumbly green oasis things for sticking flowers in lodged in the back of my throat. The cat is weaving her way round my legs and it's later than 2.36.

I read the papers and silently screamed at Jesse Jay's new video. What is it with the displaying of naked breasts all the time. Every young woman apparently needs to further her career by walloping her mammeries all over the place. It's under breast, sideward boob, see through shirts, invisible vests, it's just shabby exposure. It's like the Restoration all over again. The next thing will be dating programmes on the box where naked men and women ogle at each others dangly bits and then go on a date - surely not!!!

If I weren't so exhausted by my fury at arsehole leaders who want war, Prime Ministers who sell arms to Potentates who want war, ignoramuses who terrorise the innocent, and arms dealers who laugh all the way to the bank while the rest of us can't sleep because of all their war mongering, I would be up and about protesting, throwing my weight about BUT I'm not as swift as I used to be, and anyway my throat hurts. I wonder whether Ghandi wasn't right. And Martin Luther King, and Mr. Christ, didn't they have it taped. And didn't the Dalai Lama say recently that we've got it all topsy turvy, that we've forgotten how to love each other.

Ouch, just swallowed again, a mere first world problem, I'm not fleeing bombs, I'm not fleeing terror, I'm not dodging hurricanes, but maybe my inflamed throat is tired of screaming and not being heard. Nothing that a good bowl of Jewish Penicillin won't cure. I've got a saucepan of chicken soup in the fridge, if that doesn't work I may just call up the Ex Monk to see if he's got any ideas.....

Permalink | Comments (3)

Afternoon Treat

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 September 2017

In 1589 a botanical garden was opened in Basle, a Chestnut tree was planted in Duddleswell, East Sussex, whilst over in Somerset John Harrington was busy inventing the first flushing water closet at his house at Keelson in Bath. He called it 'Ajax' a pun on an Elizabethan slang word for privy - 'Jakes' -
Elizabeth I ordered a Harrington WC to be installed at her palace in Richmond.

Seven years later Harrington under the pseudonym of Misacmos, wrote a book called 'A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax' about his new flushing Karzy. It was, however, a coded attack on the 'stercus' or excrement that was poisoning society, so good old Queen Bess, banished John for his naughtiness. The proverbial scatalogy hit the fan.

Now 47 years earlier Henry the Eighth was eating like a pig and getting fatter and fatter. According to Suzanne Groom a fast meal served to Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon included 'soup, herring, cod, lampreys, pike, salmon, whiting, haddock, plaice, bream, porpoise, seal, carp, trout, crabs, lobsters, custard, tart, fritters and fruit.' And that was just for starters.

Henry got so fat, he couldn't walk or ride - well maybe he could - but I bet he couldn't stand the thought of his thighs rubbing together under his tunic and chafing on his cod piece. No Johnson's talcum powder for that baby, and necessity being the mother of invention and all that, meant his serfs built him a platform to stand on called 'Kings Standing', a spit from Duddleswell. There he stood, on his little wooden tower, crossbow, in hand, firing off arrows as the deer ran past him.

Oh! dear. Are you still with me? Hope so.

I want you to fast forward to 1589 again, 47 years after 'Henery the Eighth I am I am' died, and remember that likkle Chestnut Tree sapling in Duddleswsell all tiny and growing, a mere five minutes canter from Kings Standing.

One hundred years later In 1689, as the Glorious Revolution revolted all over England, that tree, was still growing. It didn't stop chucking out its branches even as George Washington was being inaugurated as America's first president in 1789. Another century goes by and it dropped its sweet chestnuts as Vincent van Gogh painted 'The Starry Night at Saint-Remy-de-Provence' in 1889, then in 1999, as 'Spongebob SquarePants' had its premiere, oblivious to the goings on in that cinema, that good old chestnut tree still flourished. Another hundred years later and its 2009, and not even the appointment of the first ever lesbian Prime Minister of Iceland, Johanna Siguroardottir, or the overthrowing of President Marc Ravalomanana in Madagascar, or even Barack Obama, getting the Nobel Peace prize, could stop that rare old tree from getting bigger and bigger. In a couple of years time, when Trump has been banished to the newly refurbished Alcatraz, to make America great again, and Ms May may or may not be our first Minister, that Castaneae will still be standing, in the tea rooms at the Garden Centre in Duddleswell.

And if, like today, you have the pleasure, as I did, of sitting under that 450 year-old-tree, supping your latte, as the sun shines through the dappled leaves, or you gasp at the glory of the ancient bark as the plate is set down before you with the perfect bacon sarnie, it's tomato ketchup oozing out of the soft white bread, if you decide to take an afternoon walk in Kings Standing, then settle beneath the branches of that ancient Chestnut Tree, with your very own old git, you may remember the summer of 2017 when Hurricane Irma battered Cuba, Texas, and half The Carribbean, and be grateful for this tiny piece of England.

God Bless us all.

Permalink | Comments (1)

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.