Quantum Fizzicks

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 8 December 2018

It's cold innit?

About which I'm delighted - too warm and I'm reminded there's warming issues on this ball of earth we call home..

We've raked the leaves so many times not one single forest fire will beset us until 2022.

I've bought misshapen apples, cos they were cheaper.

So after my yoga, which was mostly spent on my back trying to figure out how to push my left leg through my right arm and balancing my body whilst attempting to watch the teacher, who speaks so softly it was impossible to hear her instructions over the crashing dumbbells above us in the newly refurbished gym. This Yogarini has body issues, pain issues, hearing issues and issue issues. The class ended with most of us saying Namaste ( not me though ) but I did give the instructor, with her toe ring, a tiny little clap. Slid into my car and drove the long way round so the heater would warm up. I went to the flower shop where the farmer breeds chickens that lay double yoked eggs every time. They are so obese, the eggs not the hens, that they just fit into my fancy egg cup.If they could they would spill over the edge rather like my muffin top. I've just finished two of them, boiled for 3 and a half minutes, with two slices of some kind of healthy toasted bread, loadsabutta, and a smattering of green stems from some giant spring onions alongside a cafetier of coffee.

Last night I could not quiet my mind, having watched Spike Lees' Blackkklansman' so I climbed out of bed, leaving my husbands Afro on the pillow, and ended up watching 'Dumplin' Jennifer Aniston's vanity project. She both produced it and stars in it. The perfect antidote to insomnia. Cant help but compare Jen to her younger self. What am I like? The film was cliche ridden, unnecessary but quite the best sleeping draft. I fell asleep right in the middle of a deeply irritating story line that was so obvious my 117 year old cat could have meowed the outcome.

Now I've got to do the Christmas Tree. I say got to, actually I don't have to do anything I don't want because I AM OLD. There are no demands on my time except organising treats, doing the occasional professional job, attend a party here and a mosh up there. A train ride there and a drive to the coast with my patient husband, who has such healthy blood pressure that he puts all the butchers dogs in Leeds to shame.

So how does he deal with the onslaught of seniority? Well he chops wood, lays the fire, lights the fire, sits in front of the fire, sweeps up the ashes when the fire is done, empties the grate, then does it all over again the following morning; You may say what's the 'effin point? And indeed it is a philosophical conundrum that philosophers have been grappling with since before the first dinosaurs grunted there way into Jurrasic park.

If everything we do is temporary why do it in the first place? If we're gonna die anyway what's the 'effin point in living? If Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy was to be believed, given the inevitability of death, there is no rational justification for saying that life is meaningful.

So how meaningful is meaningful, you may ask? If everything is temporary, like that lovely toffee chocolate hanging on the tree that can be scoffed in 11 seconds, what was the point of eating it in the first place. Eleven seconds of pleasure on the lips, a fortnight of aggravation on the hips, was it worth it?. And when you can see the light glimpsing at the end of the tunnel, and Paris is falling, and Brexit is ailing and Trump is lying, what the BeJeesus do we do, and how do we do it? Watch it crumble or exclaim loudly 'Damn it all' and treasure every second of exquisite living. Be grateful for every crumb of food, every beat of the heart, every sensory pleasure that makes us human, is that how to do it?

50 years ago I was working on a theatre show in Israel. Early in the morning I would sit on the beach and contemplate my pippick ( Yiddish for navel) and breathe in the Mediterranean Sea air whilst the sand of time ran through my fingers. As the sun rose I felt a light tap on my arm, I looked up at a beautiful young man who told me I had Yemenite shoulders. He could have been right, he could have been wrong but given what's happening to 'my' people - your people - everybody's people - It's time to take stock and rattle the cage of inhumanity and selfishness that is trolling the world, whether or not my shoulders are Yemenite or not.

Everything is and everything isn't, and since everything is, and everything isn't we might just as well indulge the IS as opposed to the ISN'T. And if we're all just molecules bouncing around along with porridge, soup and the occasional oyster, what the bleep does it matter? Cos when the inevitable happens, we'll know what it was all about and then it will all make sense won't it? Not that I'm suggesting we should all jump off a cliff, to find out the answer, but whilst we're all bobbing around until doomsday perhaps we should have something of a good time whilst we're doing it. Shouldn't we?

I'm going to ask the old git what he thinks because, whilst he's still alive he'll have an answer. I'm off to the woodshed.

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Strange Times

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 November 2018

Brazil has voted in a heartless Devil, Sri Lankans are throwing chairs at each other in Parliament. Trump is a noxious shitty stain. China is burning coal around the world. Brexit is back firing like a monumental fart. Davide Attenborough does his best, young folk are 'woke', but there is an exhaustion with the magnitude of it all.

Who do we turn to for leadership?

Whilst we all know that the end of cycles can be brutal, somehow I have to remind myself that endings are also beginnings.

When the late night news tells us that scientists are calling for a radical repositioning otherwise in 30 years our little earth will be scorched and dead, just what do we do?

I went to the gym today and ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes listening to 'Snarky Puppy.' Walked, ran, walked, ran. I wore my swimsuit underneath a long black sweatshirt, so that after the cardio I could just slip into the pool. Fifteen minutes of affirmations and spluttering water out of my mouth.

Then the jacuzzi and a series of sitting positions so that the jets of warm water pummelled me bits. Then the steam room, and finally the sauna. In the middle of all that it came to me that women could be our salvation.

I had to read Aristophanes' 'Lysistrata' when I was at Drama School.

It is the comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War, as Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace. She had them swear an oath that they would withhold sex from their husbands until both sides signed a treaty of peace.

As I swum my lengths I wondered whether it could work now. It's a possibility that is not so far fetched. I imagined women of all faiths, races, continents, seducing their men, then tying their hands together, and gently taking over the world. Not with guns and bulldozers, but with quiet female rationality.

'You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one' - thank you JOHN LENNON - Men sure as Hell have mismanaged our little planet. 'But what of Theresa May and Hilary Clinton?' said the woman sitting in clouds of steam in the steam room, 'We have to start somewhere' I said.

What is the way forward?

Climate change, plastic, deforestation, animal cruelty, austerity, greed, we've been here before with knobs on.

My tree in the avenue tells me not to worry, that good will out. The old git says it's a purging. But I worry for the dawters generation and the ones after her.

I have a warm little cottage, food in the fridge, a roof that doesn't leak, all the material trappings of the 21st Century, I have friends and family. I wish that for every soul on earth. The first step is to get everyone reading 'Lysistrata', or as Mr. Lennon also said "Give Peace a Chance.

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Forest Row-ing

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 3 November 2018

There's something about the silence of the lambs, and sheep and cows. The silence of a frosty morning. The crisp moment when a dead leaf tumbles and spins, they say it's lucky if you catch one. I held out my hands and a brown sycamore leaf landed in my palm.

I often wear my pj's, boots, hoodie and zip up puffy thingy, to walk down the hill, through the avenue, round to the chickens and then home again.

Yesterday I did my circuit, then still clothed in leisure ware the old git drove us to the charity stores of T'Wells.

We're making short films with our writer/director/poet/genius friend and we needed Dickensian garb. I found a great skirt in The Weald of Kent, a top in Dr.Barnados, and the 'oosbind found a white scarf by Helping the Aged.

So with a bag for life stuffed with old clothes we walked to the car-park, next to which was RUSTIC, a caff run by a mother and daughter. I had a delicious black coffee in a rogue blue mug and Jimbo had an Americano and a block of something sweet with caramel, chocolate and memories. They've been opposite the Cafe Du Vin for five years. Who knew? AXA insurance staff keep them alive - they come and buy their freshly made lunch. It was a delightful serendipitous experience.

When we got home the cat was given her last antibiotics - she'd had an abscess - quite frankly disgusting only a mother could love her - and the fire had been laid. We settled down for Friday night telly, which if you're not careful is a flaming marathon, what with Having got News for ya and Lying to ya, and Graham Norton and, Gawd knows what else tucked away in the schedules. Anyway bed beckoned and I went out like a light.

This morning the sun shone brightly, through my window, it was hanging so low I could barely see the screen in my room. The leaves have gathered under the Magnolia tree, the wood is stacked in the wood shed, and the neighbours are off playing croquet.

Jim's monocle and three cornered hat arrived, I'm waiting for my mob cap, skirt hoop and the Beagles frock coat to fly through the door. I also ordered Alan Bennett's ALLELUJAH, we saw the streaming, from The Bridge Theatre. at the Uckfield Picture House. We got the last two seats, coincidentally next to a Green Party activist that I canvassed for last year. The play is timely, the play is prescient, the play is funny, sad and just what the doctor ordered, literally since its about old age and the NHS. Some of the audience left, not funny enough, too Socialist. Bugger the Sussex elite with their private health insurance, padded gillets and smug disdain for the likes of yours truly.

So whilst Jim made a drawing screen for the fire - we used newspaper! - I took myself off through the Ashdown Forest to TABLEHURST FARM. Never been before, Through Forest Row, past the bath on a pedestal, right off the main road, down to the end of a track, past pigs rootling and cows in a stall, past fields and gates and into a car parking place opposite a kids play area, next to an open air pizza oven and underneath a pigeon loft. The murmur of pigeons vroo vrooing is the dawters favourite sound. Made me think of Jack Duckworth on Corrie, my how times have changed.

I bought chicken legs in the bio-dynamic, organic farm shop, dirty carrots, massive chard leaves, gluten free cookies and bulbs of fresh garlic.

The beautiful setting, and kindly people made my heart sing. If we've only got thirteen years to get the planet right then meat once a week and seasonal veg is the answer. I know I'm preaching but come on how hard can it be for ALL OF US to have a go at turning it round.

I parked underneath the bath on a stick and walked up the stairs to MARIA'S caff at Blenheim Studios. So pretty, so calm. I ordered a toasted cheese and mushroom sarnie and a cup of Americano coffee with hot milk on the side. Let me tell you it was the best toasted sandwich I have ever tasted. I don't know how she made it but Maria's cheese and mushrooms completed my day.

I drove home through the steep hills of the forest, honked at the rudest van driver who was tailgating me then like, a speedy Tom Cruise, overtook me. I followed him, prepared to take him on, he stopped, I took a breath ready for a barney, he must have thought twice, an old lady on her own in a car, with a face like a rolled up umbrella. The coward fled off. Actually I was relieved.

Got home, and decided such beautiful produce needed a clean home, so I blitzed the fridge, and made a chicken casserole with a bed of carrots and sweet potatoes, smokey paprika on top and rosewater for the liquid. In the oven, on a very low light util the travelling dawter and husband arrive home.

It's not like me to get overwhelmed with gratitude, well not openly anyway, but this evening, as my eye heals ever faster, and the Dickensian clobber spins in a 30 degree wash, and the smell of delicious food wafting over the kitchen, I'm grateful for it all.

If only I could singlehandedly pinch Trump on his fat arse, make him live on a rubbish tip in Brazil for a month, take away his spray tan and overturn Brexit life would be perfect.

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Golden slumbers

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 25 October 2018

Ok so I don't sleep.

Most of the time it doesn't matter, my life's my own, I don't have to work to anybody else's timetable, and like many nimble footed alpha females I have existed on little sleep for years.

And then along comes The Michael Mosley's of the world, and Facebook adverts, and Tabloid speculations, and all of sudden I'm told that if I don't sleep I will die from everything from Adverse Childhood Experiences to Zygomycosis.

Can this be true? After all bi-phasic sleeping has been with us since we bedded down with our domestic pets. Having a kip - getting up, getting on down with the drowsy donkey, then back to the straw pallias till the family cock a-doodled us a-wake.

Really ever since I made peace with my nocturnal shenanigans I have had a passable existence. I go to bed at 2.00. Then if the sleep fairy doesn't descend I'll get up again and write or read or watch a film or eat some oats or drink something - hot - Bouillon or Rooibosh or even snack on the left overs boxed up in the fridge.

Then I'll slip betwixt the covers and get up three to four hours later.

Hot water bottles are a good bet to get me off, but if my mind is whirring, not even the warmth of a Northern Git or two rubber bottles can do it.

Having conquered my fear of insomnia I have a rich and varied night life.

And then, before you could say Valerian tea-bags, my body gave up -or in - depending on where you're lying - or laying - if you're a chicken.

I worked last Friday and didn't get into bed until 5.00a.m. And then my brain would not calm down.

I woke up on Saturday felt a little peaky. 'Strictly' was hazy and the telly didn't have its normal appeal.

Went to bed on Sunday, had about 5 hours kip and then on Monday the old git drove me to the station.

11.39 to Charing Cross.

Bafta for lunch

Fortnum and Masons for coffee, which by the way was not worth 17pounds, unless you are a Japanese Tourist.

No 19 to Chelsea.

No 22 back to the station.

6.45 train home.

Bang went my head, thump went my temples,Pink went the conjunctiva, itch, itch, itch went the rest of the eye. Puffiness, pain, possible paranoia.

The 'oosbind made me an eye patch, the Tuina man, made me go to bed, and there I stayed till yesterday. My eye still matches The Duchess of Sussex's puce ensemble, and I feel like I have taken a kick from a wild Hampshire horse.

My feet are cold, my fingers are freezing, my patience is tested, but now that the plumber has fixed the pipes, I can have a bath.

So do I put this down to lack of sleep?

Stress - said the neighbour.

Stress - said the dawter.

Stress - said the homeopath.

What a pain - said the 'oosbind, who has been running round after me like a three legged Collie.

I'm off to run an Epsom Salt bath, lie down in clean sheets, listen to the news, turn the radio off, since that is the cause of my stress, and make a mug of soup.

Will I drift off? Who knows, but as Avery Sawyer says:

'I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.'

Yeah, and the rest!

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Our very own spiny mammal

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 17 October 2018

By the pots of Dahlias and Petunias a breathless hedgehog was rescued by the old git and our pretty neighbour. Into a cardboard box it went, with a saucer of milk and some cat food. The hedgehog rescuers arrived and the pretty neighbour, wearing thick rubber gloves, carried the poorly little grunter to the rescue van. If it gets better we get to keep him/her in our hedgehog house which the 'oosbind built a few months ago.

Its behind the studio where, assorted dogs and cats have been buried.

Hedgehogs are spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the eulipotyphlan family Erinaceidae. There are seventeen species of hedgehog, I'm told by Wikipedia.

Now in the middle of this drama the plumber came. We can't use the sink in the bathroom because two washers have worn so every time we brush our teeth, wash our face or flannel our Finnoula's the water drips through the ceiling into the kitchen. The Observer magazine has been absorbing the drips. We have to wait till a washer arrives from a supplier somewhere in Eastern Europe. Thank heavens this has happened before Brexit, Lord knows but life is tricky enough isn't it?

And on top of all that our pretty neighbour located a bees nest in their roof. Out came an expert and smoked out a whole colony of buzzing bees.

All quiet on The South Eastern front until the pretty neighbour and her very tall husband and cherubic child heard;

Drip

Drip

Drip

Well bugger me if those bumbly bees hadn't gone and made a load of honey which is now dripping, deliciously all over the pretty neighbour's cotton sheets.

We don't live out of London we love out-out, which means we have different bus stops, rhododendron hedges, 15th century pubs and hedgehogs.

Time it was though, wasn't it, that we all saw a Tiggywinkle rooting around the hedgerows.

I pity my dawter's generation who will have to clean up the plastic, grow more trees, stop the oil, harness solar power, bring down the American penal system, build more schools, save the hospitals, repair the roads, re-nationalise the railways, save the oceans, control the internet, vote in an honest PM, build more houses, bring down the alt/right, give artists a decent living wage, grow organic food, teach dancing in schools, abolish university fees, stop the arms trade, legalise pot, make breastfeeding perfectly legal and do it all in 13years before we become a little brown ball spinning round in a space that President Shlumph has already got his beady eyes on.

Of course I haven't stopped fighting, but the energy this turn around is gonna take is more than I can do on my own. From the cradle to the graveyard shift I have tried to be of use. To be effective. But I am considered, mad, bad and pretty much unemployable.

I spend a good deal of time coming up with ideas, then falling at the first hurdle because they are all considered too radical.

Shall I give up? Not on your Nelly. Whilst I've still got teeth in my head, a jolly good hairdresser and the ability to do the downward dog I shall be mumbling and poking my nose in, just like our dear old hedgehog.

Send it your healing love if you like.

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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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