Re- unification of GFL.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 19 January 2020

My feet are freezing. I did my yoga thinking my temperature would rise, but it didn't. I meditated thinking I could think myself warm, but I didn't. I laid the fire, hoovered, cleaned the kitchen, drove out for the papers, put on a hoodie and a down-filled gilet, put the heater on full in the car and still the end of my nose is cold and the tips of my toes are icy. 17 degrees on the inside and 6 degrees on the outside, thats East Sussex not me.

Harry and Meghan are now half royal, Rusty Trump is half impeached whilst Rusty Johnson is half way there - wherever there is.

The dawter is in the Dominican Republic sunning herself under the palms, the 'oosbind is in the sitting room icing himself under the cushions. I am in the kitchen drinking a coffee - fingers crossed its doesn't make me queasy - typing with fingers that feel like frozen chippolatas.

So last Thursday I took the Eridge train. The station has two platforms, one to go one way, one to go the other. It is very, very quiet and the wall adverts are straight out of the 50's. I read BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert until East Croydon then got out. I bought two little bags of nuts and waited for the Clapham Junction connection. At least 18 noisy schoolgirls were swapping homework and taking selfies; they had come from a fancy school in East Grinstead. I stood by the door expecting Clapham sooner than it came. My escort was held up at work so I asked a guard for the Wandsworth Town platform. I met Lauren who used to fix my mic in the Good Food Live studio. We embarked at Wandsworth Town and walked to Capital Studios where we had made our telly progs.

Studio A is now a cinema and Studio B - the home of GFL for nearly 6 six years - is now a huge cavernous bar with wooden tressle tables, brick walls and the metal stairs, in tact, that led up to the gallery. Sound men and women, camera men and women, lighting men and women, floor managers, chefs, editors, programme makers, accountants, brains, brawn and me assembled for a night of nostalgia.

Squeals, hugs, surprises, tears, memories, numbers and addresses exchanged, as the drink flowed and the chatter continued. Three bosses between jobs, one editor made redundant, one editor emigrating to Nova Scotia, a pyrotechnical genius relocated near Glastonbury and now rings bells in the local church. A Crombie wearing dude has moved out of London and loves the rural life, camerawomen with gown up kids, cameramen with puffa jackets and side hustling jobs. The gal that ran the canteen now lives in Cork, the gal that lives in France is waiting for a hip operation in the UK and there was ancient old me surrounded by a bunch of craftsmen/women that were, and surprisingly still are, the most delightful bunch of people.

The industry was discussed, the saturation of a world that now has more people than jobs, GFL was discussed and why it ever needed to go away.

"Probably me," I said since I was always fighting and scrapping with the bosses about their maltreatment of the young work force. We all resisted saying, "Where has the time gone?" BUT WHERE HAS THE EFFIN TIME GONE?

So I grabbed a lift with a local cameraman who drove us home through the lashing rain and got me to my car parked in Eridge. We talked until my bile started. I grunted, opened the window and the heavy breathing started. Whether it was the coffee, the nuts at the station or my empty stomach or whether it was the excitement of the evening and the realisation that life really does pass you by at a rate of knots, whatever it was I eventually arrived home to tell the crippled old git all my stories when I barfed.

threw up

ejected

gagged

heaved

regurgitated

emitted

expelled

hurled

puked

retched

ruminated

spewed

upchucked

dry heaved and purged.

All of that and more, whilst still wearing may leather trousers and reunion make up. I looked like Joaquin Phoenix with my red lipstick and black eye pencil reimagined over my white face.

The old git had to wait a full 24 hours before I could regale him with stories of the Capital reunion.

So now, after we've done a bit of garden clearing I will sit him down and remind him of how life was 13 years ago. And how, with the grace of Tony Hall of Birkenhead the current Director-General of the BBC, and the heads of channels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, not to mention Netflix and Amazon, I may still have a job since everybody kept telling me on Thursday night that the new demographic is 70 plus.

I said, "Pigs might fly," but, since I'm heading vegan wise, didn't think it was an appropriate expression. So as we come to the end of January and we are all zipping up our new year birthday suits I wish you all a fab February and a renewed sense of well being and vigour so that we can still have the energy to fight the bastards.

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It's later than you think.

Posted by Jeni in | 11 January 2020

Last week, against a backdrop of Orange Buffoonery and trampled mourners, the old git and I sat and watched the clock in the sitting room as it arrived at 20:20:20:2020. one second of pleasure.

Back in the 70's when we lived in Wapping, we would stand in front of our VHS recorder until the time turned to 12.34. Clap our hands for a full minute then continue with our day - or night.

We were young and carefree. The future was pregnant with opportunities. Now I'm living in that very future, and whether I like it or not I am old and careworn.

Being old is interesting, every cliche you have ever read or heard applies. I don't feel old, I don't look as old as I am, l am not as old as Helen Mirren, I'm younger than Joan Bakewell and I'm fitter than Theresa May who is younger than I. BUT, and it is a very big butt, I AM old, and I am having to learn to adjust to it.

For instance I no longer have the patience to deal with cold callers. The next one that tells me I have been involved in an accident will get a full glottal Anglo Saxon attack. I couldn't care less about Meghan and Harry's relocation plans. I couldn't give a flying fuck about the latest skin care range that will eliminate my wrinkles or help me look like Jane Fonder. I have zero interest in Adele's weight loss or Sam Smith's gender fluidity. I couldn't give a rats arse about the FTSE index or Americas Stock Market overview. I've gone off eggs and coconut. I'm tired of rehashed telly formulas and bored, bored, bored by uninteresting comedians who rely on sex/wanking/or shit gags to be funny.

And thats because getting old means you've seen it, heard it, done it all before and that if you have a modicum of decency you keep all that information to yourself. You do not continually finish other peoples sentences, you do not rehash your own long life, you do not name drop, place drop, reminisce, remonstrate, ramble or dominate. You do not, not even for one second, put yourself into the young arena without being invited and when you are you do not presume to be part of the gang.

Being old means just that - being OLD - which is to say that there is nothing charming or winsome about it. It is what it is, and if it is what it is and if you've managed to get old then just be it. So for anyone who missed 20:20:20:2020 I'm really sorry, but that one second of pleasure was worth waiting 70 years for.

I'm off now to sit in the bean bag, watch a film then spend twenty minutes trying to get up without giving into my sciatica.

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Fallen Angels

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 31 December 2019

The aubergine and tamarind curry is in a kadhai on top of the stove, a delicious dish from the South of India. From the North I've made slow cooked mushrooms, with vegan condensed milk, and from Kerrala the ingredients for rice with peanuts and cashew nuts are waiting to be assembled for 7.00 tomorrow night for six of us to bring in the New Year.

I have a cellar full of ironing and three beds to make up for the last day of 2019. The last day of the teens. The last day of a turbulent year.

The old git went out walking last Monday, dog in tow. The ground saturated and muddy. He slipped. Managed to hang the dog lead on a tree, and telephoned me. I was away with a kid teaching her how to march and talk at the same time. As we marched into the kitchen the landline was shouting angrily at me. It was the 'oosbind who had fallen again. Me and the wunderkind ran like the clappers, across the main road and into the orchard.

'I love rescuing people" said the mini Florence Nightingale. She had also revealed that she had burst her fathers eardrums with her piercing scream. "Well put it to good use" I said. I had forgotten my telephone so the child with the lungs of a silverback screamed. We heard a faint call coming from between the pear trees.

We made it to a very wet, broken man, propped up against a tree covered in thick wet mud. The woman from the farm shop, in a hurry to help out, also slipped, slap bang into the bog on her way rescue him. An ambulance was called. A tractor turned up to get the old man but a young man with his huge 4x4 and three Alsations, hiked him into the front seat. I tried to pull the dog home but she was leaping and yelping for her master.

"Are you alright?" asked a couple picking apples from the tubs outside the farm shop.

"No, of course I'm not alright." I sobbed, as the dog dragged me through the gate, across the main road, up the hill and back into the cottage.

The Childs grandpa arrived, I offered him back the money for the lesson but he refused. Collected the rescuer and off they drove.

Two hours later the paramedics arrived, we were turned down by the local community hospital and was advised that Pembury would be rammed. So it was RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The paramedics left after coffee and a healing chat and we were alone with with the head of the family out of action for the foreseeable future.

Christmas came with more chaos, people, food, dogs vomiting, humans vomiting, sleep overs, washing up, noise, barking, barfing and borderline hysteria. Boxing day was cancelled due to ill health so hoovering and plumping of cushions replaced another day of eating, drinking and pandemonium.

Friday was spent at the doctors, the community hospital, the big hospital, mismanaged notes and over stretched staff. Six hours of X-rays and waiting, consultations and waiting. I came home then went back with a flask of strong coffee and a bar of chocolate. My limping co-habitee had been given a full bill of health - well nearly, he was diagnosed with no bones broken but SEVERE MUSCLE CONTUSION.

Saturday we went to the cranial osteopath and he was told he was the luckiest man alive not to have broken anything. A quiet, recuperative night was shattered when in came the dawters Godmother and the ex son-in-law. I made a feast of left overs and the conversation begun. The conversation that we had been meaning to have, but hadn't had, but then had to have after the falling of the elder.

In the mean time I had written to the rescue centre and sent pictures of our beautiful dog. It was clear I couldn't handle her whilst the old git was out of action. I had help but only till Jan 2nd and the diagnosis is that he's going to be incapacitated for at least two months. So on Saturday night the ex son-in-law took an executive decision.

I floundered. On Sunday morning my beautiful ex s-i-l walked the dog to his car, loaded up with a bag of all her toys and an old fleece she loved to sleep on, without looking back he left. With gentle persuasion he told the girls on the reception that we couldn't cope and that was the last we saw of her.

I've cried for two days. The house feels empty. The settee is unoccupied. There is space, it's true, and light and the day has returned as we know it, I haven't had to think about, walking her, feeding her, picking up her left overs. When I do get a picture of her in my minds eye, I crumble and crumple. But we were the wrong family for her, she's mad, bad and beautiful to know but she needs youth and space not two old fuckers who can't keep up with a milk float let alone a sight hound with greyhound in her.

Great expectations were had for this Christmas, all dashed by a slip of the heel. Much healing has to be done. For nearly six months we had a delicious four legged companion, her presence will be felt for years to come.

As we herald in the New Year I hope that all breakages are mended, that all creatures are safe and warm and that 2020 beings peace to us all.

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Losers - arn't we all?

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 13 December 2019

Right now talking doesn't help.

Brexit Schmexit, none of it matters as long as our children weep.

Etonian bluster has won the day.

Steve Bannon altering the wrong to make it Righter.

Conspiracy theories about who paid whom to do whatever they did to keep the status quo chugging along abound. Who knows what's true any more?

Let's blame Karl Marx or John Lennon or Jesus Christ. Let's blame those far-left leaning terrorists who have the audacity to care.

Peoples lives are in tatters and yet they cast their votes for those who tore down their houses and stripped them of their dignity.

Right now talking doesn't help - for ears are closed and eyes tight shut.

Play the lottery and hope.

Buy a scratch card and wish.

Bet on Boris and you'll win a life time of coupons, but know you will never have his life.

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. Hurrah for hypocrisy, bravo for untruths, encore encore as the Emperor walks naked through the corridors of power whilst the duped cheer at his new clothes.

Misinformation has won. Smug jocularity has seduced those with nothing to believe in the empty promises from those who have everything.

In 1930 the popular song 'The Best Things in Life are Free' rose in the hit parade, as poverty and unemployment gripped a nation. The songsters wrote ditties to lift the spirits of the underlings. I await a 21st Century anthem that is an ode to the joy of consumption and equity release.

But right now I dont want to talk. I need to ponder and ruminate as I, like millions of others, await the fall out from what has now become a real class war. Those who can and those who can't. Those who have and those who haven't. Those who want from those who withhold. Those who hoard and those who waste. I await the continuing polka of the Brexit jig, as the rich get happier and the poor get fucked.

Tonight I am in mourning - the tactical voting experiment failed. The Mail and The Express, The Sun and The Telegraph bask in the glory of victory, I am reminded that the grass in Chernobyl grew back but the land is still toxic. Change takes time, apart from death its the only absolute in life, nothing stays the same. So as custodians of our frail planet we must believe that The Conservative Party will conserve, but if they don't a hefty kick into the groin of those inglorious bastards is prescribed. Another election? I hear you scream.

What is the alternative? Barricades, yellow vests, tear gas, sit ins, hold ups? What is the alternative?

So I repeat, no more talking a period of quiet reflection is in order, that and a revolution.

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Tie your camels.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 10 December 2019

First I felt one wet droplet land on my head, looked up and watched the slow drip drip of water coming through the bathroom ceiling. I woke the old git, who stood naked watching the rain come through the wooden slats. I went downstairs and got two buckets. Placed them under the steady stream. Himself went to bed, Suki joined him, and I decamped into the baby room - moving a 3 stone lurcher is nigh on impossible especially at two in the morning.

Joe and his Lithuanian co-worker have been fixing our roof. Very old wooden beams have rotted. They came on Saturday and were due to turn up on Sunday. Sunday came and went, the rain started at two in the afternoon, the dog went for a walk with the kids next door, but the three of them abandoned the muddy field. Then at 9.00 p.m Joe called. 'Where have you been?" I asked. The ooosbind and I had talked about how we hadn't put Joe down for a waster or a con-artist. "Sorry," Joe said, his voice cracking. "My nan went into hospital for high blood pressure, had a fit and died last night. I've been helping my mother."

Young Joe turned up this afternoon and sat in the kitchen with us drinking coffee, he was only half present. He and his Lithuanian mate, stopped the leaks, finished the roof, varnished it and promised to come back and clean up the drips on the bench and the path.

And so today begun with consolation in the kitchen, I called El to say that I had cancelled my day due to the lurgy that has taken our little town by the throat and squeezed the living daylights out of it. I've been coughing and spluttering since last Tuesday, missing party's and yoga and cancelling my teaching.

Collected the dawter from the station and told El to come to the cottage. She dodged Joe's ladder and had the last cup of coffee from the cafetier. She nibbled on a big chocolate chip cookie as Suki tried to join her. She told us about her 23-year-old son who had just completed The Linden Method, a form of persuasive healing that after four days has released him from the madness of his OCD. More consolation in the sitting room, and just when I was about to make a fresh pot of Blue Mountain in walked my delicious ex-son-in-law all the way from Bali via Bristol.

I tidied the attic, put away all the clean sheets and duvets and made up his bed, he wanted to sleep under red sheets, in a cool room. Bali is never cold, he wanted crisp fresh English air and cotton sheets. When in walked B's godmother, all organised by the dawter. By 8.00 o'clock five of us were sitting round the table in candlelight, eating pasta with mushrooms and spinach, Brussel sprouts and leeks in olive oil and a rustic lamb stew that was three days old and so unctuous even the vegans amongst us wanted to lick the casserole dish clean.

After clearing the table we had a choice more consolations, current affairs or a film? Could we bare to watch the news? Could we bare to watch the PM being grilled by a journalist who was showing a picture on his phone of Jack Williment-Barr lying on a pile of coats while awaiting treatment for suspected pneumonia at Leeds General Infirmary? Could we bring ourselves to watch the First Minister speechifying, and refusing to look at the image. It was almost tempting to watch the buffoon as he took the phone and thrust it into his pocket. The man whose mouth is a loose canon, the man whose privilege has left him with as much empathy as a dead cock sparrow, the man who represents the few not the many, the man who has a steam train of supporters who will lie and kvetch until they get want they want using below the belt tactics could we tie much more? No! He was switched off. Confined to nothingness. Removed from our living room.

Conversation faltered as jet lagged travellers went to bed, godmothers drove home to Goudhurst, 'oosbinds poured themselves another beer and the dawter watched a documentary.

And now it's past three o'clock on a cold and frosty morning. We no longer have holes in the roof but we do have gaping holes in our society. On Thursday we vote. Heseltine urges us not to vote for Boris Johnson and his vagabond crew, John Major, Tony Blair, and my mate Eunace from the down the road, who has never voted anything other than Conservative in her life, is now turning her back on a party she describes as myopic and scary. Tom, our postman has delivered letters to us for over thirty years and now stands discussing the state of the nation over gardening magazines and fliers for the Green Party.

My child said I was not to worry, the climate, elephants, and little Jenny Wrens will make a come back with the help of science and David Attenborough she also said;

'Believe in Allah but make sure your camels are tied down.'

I Googled it: This saying as relayed by the scholar Al-Tirmidhi, is an ancient Arab phrase attributed to the prophet Mohammed who, when one day he saw a Bedouin leaving his camel without tethering it, questioned him as to why he was doing this. The Bedouin replied that he was placing his trust in Allah and had no need to tie the camel. The prophet Mohammed then replied, 'Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.'

So I get it! Whilst I have to trust in the universe I still have to vote those callous fuckers out.....

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Jew- Ish

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 November 2019

I am Jewish - whatever that means.

I do not go to synagogue, although I have been in my life.

I do not wear a wig for G-d.

I do not normally write God, 'G-d.'

I am married to a Catholic.

I do not eat Kosher, although I always buy Kosher salt, it tastes better.

I tell good Jewish jokes.

I tell bad Jewish jokes.

I am a Jewish mother - to all the children everywhere.

I make far too much food always, so that should a tribe of Nomads rock up unexpectedly there will always be enough bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese on the table.

I have a Mezuzah next to my door, but I never kiss it. I also have a Hamza hand hanging on the door, I also have an olive tree cross and an Om symbol, made in brass hanging on the wall facing the hippie stained-glass angel..

I laugh loudly and stock up on tin-cans in case of any more pogroms, although I do not panic buy for Christmas.

Which by the way I celebrate.

I burn candles at Hanukkah, say blessings at Passover and have a Jew Doo every autumn to bring in the Jewish New Year.

I like Barbara Streisand, Jackie Mason, Mel Brooks and Pink - JEWS

I like George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio, Bono and the latest Pope - CATHOLICS

I like Sammy Davis Junior, Lenny Kravitz and Jackie Wilson - BLACK JEWS.

I like Tom Hanks, Denzil Washington and Dwayne the Rock Johnson - BIBLE TOTING EVANGELICALS.

I like Mohammed Ali, Riz Ahmed, Shazia Mirza and Barak Obama - MUSLIMS

I like red lipstick, big hair and expensive perfume.

I do not like Sectarianism.

I do not like Benjamin Netanayahu.

I do not like president Trump

I do not like Steve Bannen

I do not like Tommy Robinson

I do not like Nigel Farage

I do not like Jew haters.

I do not like Jew Baters.

I dislike accusations that are untrue, I am weary of Jews who hate me because I hate sectarianism and The Settlers, and war crimes. I dislike people in the public eye using their weedy muscles to attack politicians who are demonised for opinions they dont have.

I am not a self hating Jew, I am not a rabid terrorist, I am not blind to political chicanery, I am a woman of age and discrimination and I hold the views that many other Jews of my generation hold, views that were born out of the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism.

Demonising Anthony Wedgewood Benn, Dennis Skinner, Stormzy, Hugh Grant, and Lilly Allen because they were/are lefty leaning is the work of the gutter press - and a jolly good job they are making of it, along with ageing actresses and their telephones, jogging Tories who tell lies and Catholic MP's who make money out of contraceptives whilst denying a woman's right to choose.

Am I angry? Effin right I'm angry. Am I surprised, of course I'm not, my old man used to say when Capitalism dies, like a wild animal, it will crawl into a corner and lash out. Well they don't frighten me, I shall be voting on December 12th, as a Jew, a second generation immigrant a septuagenarian and a supporter of humanity - I'm off now to sit in the back row of our local Norman Church to meditate, because thanks to our democratic system I bloodiwell can.

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SeVen

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 November 2019

I am not ashamed to say that Saturday night is a special blend of heckles and fleckles. When a wooden telly presenter is voted in and a lithe DJ is voted out I heckle, when a vlogger, blogger, or Diva displays a passable fleckle I'm out of my bean bag and howling with the dog.

Shazzer, an Am Dram queen who works in the local farm shop, is forever telling me I should be on 'Strictly' and she's right. I come from a family of hoofers. My Uncle A, used to sing in front of the nudes at the 'Windmill Theatre', my Aunty F, used to reveal her lady bumps when ever she was given a chance and my father won medals for his jitterbugging.

According to Wicked Peedjha; The Jitterbug refers to a swing dancer or various types of swing dances, for example, the Lindy Hop, Jive, West Coast Swing, and East Coast Swing.

The head of my nuclear family was a reprobate and cruel charmer. He wore bespoke suits, had the gift of the gab and was irritated by Chopin cos the Polish genius did not display enough rhythm. My East End father was a fighter, trader and dancer. I would stand on his feet as he whisked me round the room at bar mitzvahs. He played the drums on biscuit tins, using my mothers knitting needles, and built the first gym in our road. He wore white singlets and taught young offenders how to box. The quadrophonic stereo system he installed in our East End front room, shook the walls, the dockers could here John Coltrane's sax the other side of the Highway as they loaded the containers in St. Katherines Docks.

My errant father was pathological and Scatalogical, ( according to Wicked Peedjha it's The study of fecal excrement) so you could say my father was full of shit, but boy did he have rhythm.

My mother, refused to go dancing with him so he went alone. The obligatory cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth, his hips switching and swaying, his black hair slicked back, his eau de cologne scenting the air, he ruled the dancehalls of Aldgate. So when I watch Mr. 'Emmerdale' dance the light fantastic I am back to the 50's but I am torn between hiding my eyes on behalf of my mother or stamping my feet for Mo, the jitterbugging demon of Watney Street.

I can't dance to save my life - I've told Shazzer this several times - but I do have the rhythm, passed down from my fathers line. I can make Chopin sound like Jools Holland's big band. The old git won't dance, if I were to offer him a new electric car he would not dance with me, although he did jive when he had hair, not with me I hasten to add, I was too busy working out how to make Chopin swing.

So in a couple of hours time I'll be eight inches away from our telly-box , criticising Claudia's outfits, rooting for Karim and watching Michelle Visage chuck a turn with her explosively delicious Italian partner. Would I have accepted if they had asked me to be part of 'Strictly' of course I would, but musicality alone would have not kept me in, by week three I would have fecked up my fleckles, and todgered my tango, whilst my delinquent dad would have been watching from the wings shouting 'Where's your effin rhythm.'

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Downward Dawg

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 4 November 2019

When I lived in Wapping, I was young, my hair was thick, my eyes bright and my body did what it was told. I knew the area as I had grown up in Aldgate, went to Canon Barnet school on Commercial Street and studied the piano at Toynbee hall. If you walk down the street now, and look up, you can see the wire netting the school erected to stop the children falling out of the playground onto the heads off passing Rabbis.

Aldgate is now Hipster trendy without a hint of irony. Back then Brick Lane was our shopping mall, Sarsaparilla stalls, barrels of pickled cucumbers, barrels of live eels, and my Aunty Freda flogging schmutterai. I was part of the Jewish influx, crammed together in dusty houses which now sell for millions.

When I moved into Wapping the Thames lapped outside our window and Waitrose didn't exist. I drove my little mustard Mini to Camden Town and commenced my career in Television. To keep myself camera ready I went to a yoga class, round the corner from Toynbee Hall run by an Asian Postman. We learnt how to bend forward keeping our buttocks low, and how to sit crossed legged whilst we drew breath through alternate nostrils. Indira Nath, was lithe and smily, reinforcing in every class that daily practice was essential and that Yoga was a way of life.

I bought myself a cerise leotard with leggings to match, and worked my belly, biceps and buttocks until they wobbled less. Indira was kind and stressed that, though flexible, my body was not balanced, and neither was my mind.

Fifteen years later I no longer lived in Wapping, had moved to East Sussex, left breakfast television and after a stint at LWT was doing daytime at the BBC. I would have ideas in the back of a taxi, call them through to the team, and by the time I had reached Pebble Mill in Birmingham the wheels were in motion. yes it was that easy then.

I had a notion to do a series called 'Ancient and Modern' - older people who were inspirational. From a 100-year-old motor cycle dealer who went into his showroom everyday, to an 86-year-old geezer who taught Yoga in Battle. I sent my researcher to meet him having received a flier through the door about his classes. He passed muster so I went, with a directer and film crew, down to Battle to meet him. He was lithe and smily, lived in one room, arose every morning at 5.00 ate lentils did his practice, and then taught classes. It was the very same Indira Nath who had commented on my buttocks back in Aldgate. He remembered me, gently chiding me for giving up my practice, allowed me to link arms - even though he was an untouchable Swami - and sent me on my way.

When I got a flat in Battersea, I went to Bikram Yoga in Balham. Hot, sweaty, rammed full of tight buttocked women and actors

Hot yoga in Tunbridge Wells was effective but less star studded. Yoga at the gym was peopled with senior citizens, retired health visitors and heavy breathing vest-wearing men. Three different classes taught by three different teachers. The middle aged tutor concentrated on toes, the young one concentrated on us and the aging hippie concentrated on talking far too softly for me to hear any of the instructions.

I now work on my own with a video made by a Scottish Asian man and his actor son, and I've signed up to do a 30 day internet course with an American teacher who says 'GOOOOOD JOB' and makes me so tense that I need to do Yoga relaxation to dispel my irritation.

I like doing Yoga, I like stretching and breathing , I like closing my eyes and balancing on my shoulders, even though my belly travels down to my neck and strangles me. Doing it on my own means I can wear nothing at all, do it any time I like and not have anybody interfering with my buttocks, unless you count a nosy dawg.

Namaste.

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