Harvest home

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 6 October 2018

The leaves have lost their green.

They've turned a marmalade orange.

The woods in the wood shed.

The beans have run their course.

The strawberries have filled the patch with a blanket of foliage, not a piece of fruit in sight.

The white rose bush has chucked out 9 delicious white roses.

The geraniums are salmon pink and a vulgar carmine.

The Michaelmas daisies have pushed out their purple flowers.

The lawns been scarified, mowed and seeded.

I've got my first booking for next year.

I am setting about creating an invite for the Jew Do, at the end of September 2019

The old git's eating a sausage sandwich.

I'm resting for a bit before I shlep the hoover upstairs to vacuum away the cobwebs.

You know its autumn when the spiders arrive. Down the curtain they come, walking past me on their high legs. Of course I bloodiwell scream.

I ask for forgiveness when a spider gets sucked into the hoover pipe.

We went to see SIX yesterday. A musical at THE ARTS. I am too old for whooping and cheering coming from the youngus behind me. I put my fingers in my ears and just heard the screamer say "I know you hate me, but I love it SOOOO much"

It wasn't bad bad, but it did not merit clapping out of time and hollering like an audience at the Super Bowl.

The apologetic audience member turned my digestion. We went home on the 9.45 train leaving the musical dawter standing in the middle of Leicester Square.

Jim's car has just passed it's MOT and mine is out of petrol.

We have two away days planned. Planned but not paid for.

Uppsala in Sweden to stay with very, very, very old friends, and Stratford. That's the poetical one not the one at the end of the Blackwall Tunnel.

I've bought Amalfi Lemons, on line, for my planned Italian cheese cake.

A batch of radio/ voice overs and charity work are done and dusted.

That's how we can pay for the two upcoming trips.

I've bought shampoo to encourage my dawters curls.

I've bought a vegan cook book.

I've bought a pair of pink trainers, good for my high insteps.

I'm shopping in the Italian grocery for olives and rustic bread for the Italian meal I'm making for two dear old friends. They both have their teeth so crunch is on the menu.

I am taking my 86 year old friend out for lunch, he says he's paying. We'll see about that....

Strictly Come Prancing is on tonight. I sit far too close to the screen, that way I can learn the moves so that when they ask me I'll be able to partner up with Giovanni.

Huge sigh. Up them dancers with the Sebo and it's sooper sucker.

A bath

A read

Another Saturday gone.

Others measure their lives by coffee spoons, I measure mine by the Hygienist.

80 days to Christmas. 169 days till my 70th birthday. 17 days till my next hair appointment.

I did think I should let my hair go grey, the old git doesn't give a fig, my dawter doesn't give a hoot, and I don't give a shiny shit, but the trip to Brighton and the two hours of unmitigated attention is worth its weight in silver.

That's it. The cats sitting on the table having shared the 'oosbinds sausage sandwich, and I'm nearly ready for my cleaning duties.

If I had a cleaner I would ask Lily Tomlin to do it, then I would make a pot of tea and talk with her, sod the dusting, conversation is more important.

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We went to Ghent.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 September 2018

So my lap top got rained on, well poured on more like. So I had to contact the insurance company and agree to pay the first 100 pounds excess. And then I waited and nothing happened. So I called them and they said all was good and gave me a coupon that I had to print off on Jim's computer because my laptop got wet.

I drove to the industrial estate, past TKMaxx, past John Lewis past Toys Are No Longer Us and went into PC World.

I must admit I was spoiling for a fight, expecting there to be a glitch. The only glitch was me and my passive aggression that frightened the boy salesman so much he called for help.

After ten minutes I walked away with this new MacBook Air. 799 quids worth of clean keys and functioning apps.

I had forgotten what it was like to work on a machine that does everything its meant to.

I did not, however, take it to Ghent with me, or Gent as the Belgians put it.

My nephew bought me and the old git a Tues-Friday holiday.

The Sat-Nav took us across country through Goudhurst, past Sissinghurst, you try saying that wearing a mouth brace.....no I don't have one I just thought it would sound funny with a mighty brace.... Past Tenterden, towards Ashford and then along the road to The Channel Tunnel.

We waited in a line of cars, then took our place on the train. Read the read outs in English and French, then opened our windows, put the car into first gear, the hand break on, and off we went.

Thirty five minutes later having gone under the Channel with our picnic box of salad and all number of nibbles, we drove out onto the continent,

"Wont be this easy after Brexit" said the Yorkshire Remainer.

Right past Dunkirk, past Oostend, or Ostend as we spell it, and into G(h)ent.

The canal was being cleared and the road outside our special place was being dug up, but Caroline took our bags and we turned left and left and left and drove down into an underground car park. Bay 13.

Kwaadham 52 was a piano showroom. A showroom with fancy, grand pianos, and an organ, and some delicious upright Joannas all lovingly standing in their space. Books of music on the window sill. I played Bach on a Boudoir grand, Scarlatti on a Steinway and tried to reach the pedals on the organ.

We were 46 stairs up in the air. A beautiful room with a beam, two separate duvets on a big bed, a tv, two windows opening onto the bulldozer, and a lovely big shower.

Unpacked our vitals, and had a wander. We decided to stay in and finish our salad . Bought some Belgian ham and beer and ate round our antique dining table in our antique room, two old antiques enjoying their breakaway.

At 7.00a.m. on Wednesday the bulldozers ballsed up our doze. After washing and grooming we skipped down our 46 stairs and sat amid the pianofortes. Cheese, bread, rolls, girly coffee with milk and big man coffee with three shots. Granola and snipped fruit, fresh yoghurt and little pots of fresh butter for our bread with soirees of salami.

Off we went out into the rain. Churches, art exhibitions, and chips and cherry beer by the canal. Back for a snooze then out for a really good Vegetarian meal.

Apparently Ghent is one of the most veggie friendly cities around. It's also pedestrian friendly and people mad. Cars come a long way down the list.

Up the 46 stairs to heaven, reading and bed. I finished reading A MAN CALLED OVE, cried so much I had to sit in the bathroom to blow my nose and not wake the snoring man from Morley.

The sun was out, and then the bed started shaking. The scientific 'oosbind told me its because the clay Ghent is built on and the timber framed buildings are not conducive to working men. I thought, however, that when the bed started shaking at 7.00 the old git was having a seizure, but it turned out to be the pneumatic drills outside.

Down those 46 dancers to more of the same. A continental breakfast that would keep us hearty until a little lunch.

We had a wander, went to the mustard shop in the square and brought several jars of Ghent mustard for our spicy friends, then we took a canal boat ride. Lazily drifting past houses and breweries, the female guide lolling me into a quiet snooze. Out we jumped and wandered round to MAX, where a waffle is the size of The Daily Telegraph and a coffee costs twice as much as a pair of plimsolls. And thats where we had our first ( and only) altercation. The miserly man from Morley decided he would not, under any circumstances, spend nearly twenty quid on a pancake and cuppa, I said we were on holiday, he wouldn't budge, my mouth went the way of a sour lemon and we didn't talk for about ten minutes.

Then we decided life was too short so we wandered off to the castle. Paid our entrance fee for two old people, nobody asked to see identification, and off we climbed, round circular staircases, past chain mail, up to the turrets where we looked out at Ghent, and then down the spiral staircase to the piano in the square, mounted on a wooden structure. Quatre Mains, our very address, had donated one of their pianos for the world to play. and they did, and so did I. The 'oosbind holding the phone took a video, and no I am not putting it on facebook.

Back up the 46 stairs, both of us complaining since we'd used up all our juice circumnavigating the bleedin' castle.

I changed - yes I wore trousers not me dunggies, and we walked to a fancy place near MAX. No arguments, we'd booked a table. And so my Yorkie Boy sat opposite me. we ordered Mussels and chips, beer and Chervil soup. A little contraption was stuck on the side of the table for our mussel pan lids, like a babies high chair. Our discarded mussel shells were chucked into the mussel pan lid. Himself had them in wine I had them in garlic and cream. And so we slurped out way to nearly bed time. I admit I could not finish me molluscs, and believe me I tried. I couldn't even finish me frites, which was a shame. You know when you wait so long for something and then when it turns up you're incapacitated.

We ambled back to Kwaadham 52, I've written a really good review on Trip Adviser, took to our beds and overslept because, unlike the UK, the road work had been done so efficiently, and neatly, the only sound was our leaping out of bed so as not to miss the continental fare down the stairs. I say leaping!!!!!

Breakfast was cheese and coffee, two little biscuits and a bit of Bach on a Fazioli Grand, then into town for a final shop. More mustard, a beautiful succulent from the cactus shop on the corner, And then into our car. It took just under two hours to get to the Tunnel Sous Manche. We had a booking for 7.20 but we wanted to get home. We changed our crossing, eating English plums I'd brought over from our kitchen, slices of ham and some oatcakes. Sat in the car and watched the screen until the letter B came up. Then we took our place in the queue.

We left bang on 2.40. No picnic necessary so we played scrabble, and before you could say triple-word-score we were back in Blighty.

On went the sat-nav, through the Kent Countryside, home by 5.00. the cat ready for a cuddle, the mail piled on the kitchen table, the dates for Radio Sussex put on the board, and all our pots of mustard lined up on the dresser.

We were sent to Ghent it came and went, what a time was spent in Gent.

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Season of howsyourfathers.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 31 August 2018

August came and went.

Full of celebrations. From next doors baby boy who was one, to our very own old git who reached 75 and lined up his whiskey gifts;

Smoked, malted, Scottish, Welsh.

And then a selection of Bitters, mixers, gin and a family pack of Toblerone for the man who needs nothing.

I worked on the radio, did voice overs, made up beds for God Children, the dawter, and even attempted to write some.

I've been meditating, and visiting my acupuncturist who has bound my little feet like an ancient Chinese noodle maker. My high insteps, always a source of praise, have decided, in later life, to pull me tendons, play merry Hell with me balls, and generally make the wearing of shoes an effin' nightmare. So with the tutelage of Gethyn the 'oosbind, stuck a strip of Elastoplast over the balls of the foot, a second strip - like clapboard housing - over that, then a large white strip of sports strapping wrapped around the whole foot keeping my toes bent. The relief has been monumental. I can wear shoes, socks, and am able to walk with the steadiness of a high wire artiste.

Although yesterday I took the clean laundry upstairs, tripped on a dangling under sheet and slid down thirteen steps, facedown on the pile, landing outside the bathroom door. Had forensics been around with a piece of white chalk they would have left the outline of a perfect CSI subject. I lay, like a dead corpse, howling. Jim was looking down at me with an exasperated expression that only a husband of 41 years can muster.

A look that said

"What the bloody Hell have you done now? And, how many times have I told you a 'dead' corpse is a tautology!"

He stepped over me, would George Cloony have been quite so ungallant? I wondered. The old git returned and offered to help me up. I declined preferring to remain prostate, or is it prostrate? Anyway....

I am not broken in any way, although I do have a carpet burn on my right thigh.

This weekend I am cooking Watermelon and Prawn curry for a carless couple who are taking the bus from Brighton to talk to us about pod casting. That is our next project to film, and record monologues I have written. The least I can do is give em a good meal. I am also making Vietnamese salad, a delightful melange of peanuts, Chinese cabbage and whatever else I can find in the salad drawer.

September beckons with only a few apples, the trees have been bare, a garden that is lusciously green but so horribly weedy that I don't know where to begin.

I have a speech to write for the 29th, and more projects to finish than I care to mention.

Increasingly I wonder about the 'what ifs' and 'wherefores' of my life. Sometimes I yearn for 'back then' and 'do you remember whens', all of which is a total waste of time, since it's been and gone, but autumn does do that doesn't it.

The smell of blowsy blackberries, the shortening days. If I'm lucky I've got about 15 summers left. Now ain't that a thought.

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Mono Brew.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 27 July 2018

The air feels like a water bed. Like a foam mattress that takes on the shape of your body when you've left it. And my body at the moment is cool. I don't mean it in a narcissistic, vain kinda way, I mean it in a purely Celsius/Fahrenheit kinda way.

Today I drove to Deer Park to have lunch with a young German Fraulein. After my salad I texted her, realising that we had miscommunicated.

'Let's meet at 2.00 at our place' she'd written.

I assumed that 'our place' was Deer Park. In fact it meant 'her' place, 'our' place referring to her home she shares with her German husband.

So I drove in the searing heat to her cool flat, and I mean that in all senses of the word. I parked the car in the shade and opened the wooden door. Up two and half flights of stairs into her fastidious hall.

The kitchen, granite and dark grey, with a wooden table, and a balcony, canopy tree high, was filled with freshly cut flowers, a musical box, and a cupboard full of delicious teas. We sat at a little wooden table, on the balcony, near the chattering birds. I chose Earl Grey. On a little plate sat a chewy Brownie, and an Apricot Custardy thingy. She had strawberries and cream and a juice.

My tea was made in a Mono tea pot. An elegant, decadent glass contraption that has a sieve for the leaves, and a metal base for a candle. They can cost as much as 179 pounds, I'm tempted.

Her flat is German, sparse, calm and deliciously minimal. The teapot suits her decor. My cottage is not sparse, rarely calm and deliciously maximal. I'm not sure the Mono tea pot would sit happily in my kitchen which has a dresser, cups, mugs, mirrors, bowls and not a grain of granite in sight.

She is quite the best company, conversation opening and closing in just the right order. When I left I gave her my new business card. YEEEES. it's red, with my details on it and a green circle that says 'TRYOOMPH' the name of my next enterprise. Teaching presenting skills and giving of my 500-year-old work experience.

She put my little red card on her minimalist mantlepiece next to a photograph of Charlotte Rampling holding a dog.

"I went to school with her" I said casually. Of all the actresses in all the world eh?

Then I asked if she would wind up the musical box. A delightfully pastel painted boy and girl holding hands, and flowers, moved sedately round in a circle. It was made by a famous toy maker in Bavaria, a friend of her father who was also a maker of toys. The tinkly music played, an old German song.

Unexpectedly tears came.

It was the very song my mother used to sing, in German, about a rose, and thorns, in the hedgerow, and love.....and I thought of all the songs in all the world eh?

When I got home my phone pinged, and there was a little video of the musical box playing my mother's tune.

The Jew and The Kraut, taking tea in the clouds, as harmoniously as you please.

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There's No Business Like Fake Business

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 20 July 2018

So dear blogger 'L' it is not good to have a businessman as the Commander in Chief, it is not good to have a buffoon in charge who knows as much about diplomacy as a hyena.

Why?

Because 'L', business is not based on compassion and fairness, business is based on profit and loss, it's about who can make the most out of the least input, as they pocket the booty, leaving just 1% with the spoils, whilst the remaining 99% scrabble around to survive.

Not that I wish to appropriate The Labour Party's slogan, 'For The Many Not The Few', but egalitarianism started way before politicians got hold of it. T'was the genius of Thatcher to declare there is no such thing as society as she callously set about dismantling it.

As a species we instinctively care and protect each other, we shelter the wounded and embrace the weak, we have learned to curb out impulses and communally support the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Only when we get threatened do we lash out to protect our cave, or tree or whatever habitat we find ourselves in. The more we have the more we feel the need to protect it, but if what we have is at the expense of humanity, at the expense of decency then we have nothing.

But lets be grown up about this, the profiteers need us to be at each others throats so they can divide us, confuse us and ultimately conquer us - what for?

You tell me.

I refuse to be frightened by the dissemblers. I refuse to be intimidated by the ignorant. I will not be brow beaten by self serving egotists. And I will not be silenced by the likes of the MP for Crickhowell or the imbecilic rantings of the so-called President.

There is no place for destructive liars. For the Bannons or the Farages, The McVays or
the Johnson's.

So here's to you

Tommy Robinson

Jesus loves you more than you will know

Woah woah woah

God bless you please

Tommy Robinson

Heaven holds a place for those who pray

Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

And I pray that the malevolent forces in todays society are mellowed by the kind hearted goodness of the millions of souls who choose Peace and Harmony.

Of course I'm an old hippy. I hug trees and know how to spell quinoa, I know that life goes in cycles. The sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes, the seasons change, and despite how clever we think we are time and tide awaits no WO-man. So there is, to quote a good old cliche, no time like the present to raise our voices.

Everytime the orange baboon opens his mouth I despair, my mouth goes dry and I fantasise about him being made to live on a dime a day in a refugee camp, sleeping next to an open sewer with only Sarah Huckabee as a bedfellow. Okay so he's spawned a resistance movement, but the sooner he is flushed down the latrine of time the better it will be for all of us.

God Bless America, God bless us, and God bless God whatever - or whoever He/She or It may be.

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Just saying

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 July 2018

I do not like bigotry.

I do not like hypocrisy.

I do not like liars.

I do not like selfishness.

I do not like greed.

I do not like bullies.

I do not like racists.

I do not like manipulators.

Protesting any of the above is necessary, whether it's with a big orange balloon or a placard that says 'Not In My Name'.

As we face more bunkum from our elected leaders more protesting is necessary, Whether it's shouting from the roof tops or placards that say 'Give Peace a Chance'.

I do not like a world where a handful of gluttons claw the food out of the mouths of babes.

There are some that will express delight in a voice that causes dissent, but this is the 21st century and the time for negotiating with Narcissists should have died in 1945 when millions lost their lives fighting for decency.

When the last butterfly flaps it's weary wings, when the last bumblebee ceases its buzzing, when the rhinos and cows, horses and hedgehogs are but copper plates in old encyclopaedias, that's when the undeserving entitled will be brought to book, and not a moment too soon.

Protesting on behalf of humanity is only just beginning. Now is not the time for climbing into bed with ignoramuses.

Trump is but an overblown bombast with delusions of grandeur. He is neither a statesman nor a man of principle. He is an ugly boil on the arse of the world that needs to be lanced. There is no place for his arrogant ignorance in such a fragile world.

As Mr. Lennon would say ALL WE NEED IS LOVE.

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Life goes on....

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 10 July 2018

The man with a basket of food let me go ahead of him to pay for my six pack of bagels.

'I can't believe I'm talking about football to a complete stranger.' I said as I pontificated over Gareth Southgate, 'our' young team, the possibility of beating Croatia and - heaven forfend - football coming home.

I will, of course, be glued to the old man's armchair at 7 o'clock tomorrow night being seduced by the opium of the people....

God forbid we lose.

I am also all Wimbledonned out. Federer, Williams, Rafa, not to mention Djokovitch, who for some reason I nearly don't like, I'm sure he's a delightful man but I prefer the dignity of die Schweizer, and the ticks of the Spaniard.

Apart from my eating regime, which has changed since I watched the two parter about diabetes on ITV, life goes on pretty much as it does every summer, give or take a Russian World Cup and an unusually hot heat wave. So I've sacheted and souped, shaken and stirred for 23 days getting my blood pressure, blood sugar, and subcutaneous fat into a healthier zone, whilst salivating as others consume home made burgers and sensational salads, covered my ears when the crisp crunching starts, and turned my head when the food adverts appear on the box. Then I take my readings and there is evidence that reducing EVERYTHING really does work, I am able to continue until The Glorious Twelfth day of August, when I can then start shooting red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica), and to a lesser extent the ptarmigan (Lagopus mute).

JOKE....although on the 12th of August I may well start shooting myself in the foot if I haven't lost at least another 10 pounds.

And then there's the weather. I've sat, laid, sprawled, walked and sweltered along with the rest of the UK, scratching my bites, beating the bugs and watching the birds flap around in the bird bath. The old git has been watering the courgettes, runner beans, black currants, blueberries and herby pots, whilst the bleeding wild life have snaffled all the strawberries even though they're covered in netting....that's the strawberries not the critters.

So I'll be on Radio Sussex throughout the next few weeks, whilst writing me bits, reading new books and watching lots of television.

My seasonal attire has consisted of cloth wrapped around my (r)aging body. One sarong has been confined to the bin, weathered and worn out from years of wear, one is full of holes, one doesn't cover my modesty whilst the one from Africa needs a stitch or two. So apart from Maybots cabinet falling apart, like a freying old pullover, and Melania's liability, fishing for her hand as he dissembles his deceitful way to Brussels, nothing has changed - except everything has and will continue to do so until we all realise that things can't go on the way they are with a bunch of corrupt, ill-equipped, self serving egotistical so-called compassionate conservators in charge.

Whilst shouting at the News I very gently sliced off part of my thumb whilst attempting to put the blade into my food processor to shred a carrot, I did instead shred my thumb. I managed to stem the flow of blood my pressing on some kitchen roll very firmly then creating a cradle of plaster to contain the sanguinity. I am now typing with the good part of my thumb and nine perfectly healthy digits.

I'm off to the attic to write a love story about libraries. Why not it's overdue, and wonder how any government can think about closing monuments to learning as well as denying the majority of children arts, crafts and anything that will make them think out of the box. But I josh, as millions of us slope off to food banks, whilst they laugh all the way to theirs, lets just settle down and rejoice in the democratic process (that was bequeathed to us by Cambridge Analytica), and marvel at the mesmerising chaos that is ensuing whilst 101 RAF jets provide a colourful smoke screen and Meghan's custom made Dior frock uses up the entire music budget of East Sussex County Council., But fear not we have a new health secretary Mr Hancock, who doesn't have Mr. Hunt's rhyming possibility, but does contain a useful syllable which will, I'm sure be used in the weeks to come.

Here's to the man in the waistcoat, may his humility and grace continue.

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Hot Stuff.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 27 June 2018

I stood with my back to a cool wall waiting for the Angel of Mercy.

First the battery light came on.

Then the dial on the heating went into the red - dangerously.

Then the steering wheel wouldn't work.

Then the old git, scratching his head said get onto the pavement. Without power steering getting onto the pavement was like me getting off a bean bag - exactly.

Finally I got it up. Put on the parking lights and the elderly gentleman, who I've slept with for nigh on 41 years, called the AA.

They estimated an hour, but in the event Ben turned up within fifteen minutes.

'It's the belt, it's come off.' he said, as well as a great deal more, but trying to remember mechanical talk is like asking for breakfast in Japanese. You may learn it by rote but God Fobid they then want a conversation with you.

BTW this is what 'A full English please' looks like in Japanese.

完全な英語をしてください

Anyway Ben took twenty minutes pulling out metal thingies, and strapping on towing whatnots, guided my little silver car onto the pick up truck, we climbed into the front seat and we set off to a designated garage near High Brooms station.

Colin, the gaffer, is from Stockport. An army man who doesn't mince his words. He called over a delightful Spanish boy who took out his phone, shone a light into the engine and said it was the water pump.

Forgive our Mancunian because Colin said.

'That boy's got the eyes of a sh-t-house rat.'

We got the call today to say the AA have had so many calls, because of the heat, that it will take 48 hours before we get my little German Fraulein back.

So now the 'oosbind is ferrying me round to the dentist, the hairdresser, the charity shop, the stationary emporium, and the local coffee shop.

We went to Deer Park, and sat in the sun whilst rehearsing our lines for two more ikkle films about the NHS.

If you get a chance please watch HEALTH SHOTS PRODUCTIONS, on You Tube. Me and the acting spouse have made 6 tiny films that will make your hair stand on end.

The truth about the NHS. PLEASE SHARE THEM.

It's now 20.21. Can't be bothered with the football. So I shall lie on my back, hold onto my big toes, stick my legs in the air, straighten 'em up then try to get off the floor like a German car whose power steering has gone.

Auf Wiedersehen.

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