Kiss Me On The Mountain.

Posted by Jeni in | 6 August 2020

Down in the orchard the Himalayan Balsam is in full bloom. It grows beside the stream and inhabits the spot where the wild garlic grows in the spring. It's tall and gregarious and shares the pond with Bullrushes and whizzy dragon flies. I always thought the common name for the Himalayan intruder was 'Policeman's Helmet', cos it looks like the hard hat that 'Dixon of Dock Green' wore, but because it came from the Himalaya's it has also earned another nickname of 'Kiss-me-on-the-mountain.'

Now the orchard is quiet, the only sound is my heavy breathing and the buzzing bees who gather round the apples and pears hanging on heavy branches. So you can imagine my dismay when I learnt that this joyous plant from the mountains of India is in fact a vicious invader of land. Some colonial seed raker brought it back into good old Blighty around 1839 planted it in his garden and before you could say 'Quatermass', it had escaped and started seeding itself all over the place. This delicious pink plant is seen as a pest, it hurts my heart that a flower can be so unwelcome. Who was it that said a weed is just a flower in the wrong place? But ain't it way for so many things these days.

So many of us are displaced flowers, so many of us in the wrong place at the wrong time but with no where to run. There are those that would say send the Himalayan Balsam back to where it came from, send it home. There are those who would root it out, destroy it completely, instead of managing the land in such a way that it can co-exist with wild dog roses and brambles, which by the way are so full of early, juicy blackberries that I have stained my mouth and white dungarees from gorging on them.

So here I am doing my 12,000 steps. New evidence suggests that 10,000 steps is ok but 12,000 steps is better. It's better for longevity and well being. So ever one for innovation I strap on my wrist band that counts my foot fall and begin. If I do the orchard I walk down a dark lane, turn left towards the first kissing gate at the top of the hill and prepare myself. I open the metal door, close my eyes, slide myself to the other side of gate and with an intake of breath open my eyes to rows and rows of fruit trees. The earth is dry and the sun burns hot in that one moment surveying the scene is breathtaking. If I could I would run down the steep hill, but I'm an old fucker so I tip toe down through the dry grass slowly placing one foot in front of the other until I reach flat land. I walk through trees with little rosy red apples, and clusters of hard little pears, then through the second kissing gate. Timeless views, land that has been husbanded for centuries - in Hebrew husband means master, so effectively the land has been mastered by men with scythes and sickles who planted trees and hawthorn hedges whilst the women stayed at home kneading bread, making cheese sandwiches and knitting cod pieces. Past the holly trees and mole hills I walk alongside fields of teenage broad beans. By the time the wood pigeons have frightened off the deer I am in that sea of Policemen's Helmets who, now that I know, feel less like sentinels and more like marauders.

Then it's up a sharp incline, if I look at the ground I can convince myself that the ground is flat, although the gravitational pull of the slope means by the time I've reached the top of the hill I'm completely fucked.

Lockdown has affected all of us in different ways. The dawter's written a book, the old git's been hucking and klupping, fiddling and farting, and I've been self educating whilst self isolating. I came across Wim Hof, the Dutch man also known as the ice-man who breathes his way up and down snowy mountains and teaches people how to hold their breathe whilst encouraging them to take cold showers. So every morning I do three rounds of intense breathing, hold my breath for up to three minutes, then take a hot shower before turning the tap to freezing. I imagine I am standing under a water-fall in Bali. For two whole minutes the icy water reinvigorates.

That cold shower takes me back to being 16 and going on an International camp in Tring. I'd never been away from home, never had a holiday so it was a time of total freedom. I shared a big old canvas tent with other six-formers from around the world. We debated, ate together, exchanged addresses and tatty bits of jewellery, we were the arsy teenagers of the 60's who thought we would change the world, and we took icy cold showers in the shower block.

When I'm standing under the freezing water I can still smell the old canvas of the tent, hear the rain as it drummed us to sleep. And I am transported back to being young with a whole life ahead of me. I can feel the yearning for that youthful place. Now I'm here, that whole life behind me, and I'm standing in the middle of a place of non action where only the optimistic can see the future I saw as a 16-year-old. In 1839 when some geezer dropped a seedling into the ground he couldn't know that the Policemen in their Helmets would take over the land. We must be careful what we sew.

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Ignorance was Bliss

Posted by Jeni in | 28 July 2020

You can't know everything.

Even if you look at it from all sides you still can't know everything.

So now that I know nothing I don't confess to be an expert - on anything.

I know more than some about music, but not enough to riff with Eric Clapton or scat with Claire Martin.

I know a little bit more than some about cooking but not enough to chop for Ken Hom or slice with Angela Hartnett.

I can read; write, a little; identify wild flowers, up to a point; I can swim and perform a passable downward dog but I wouldn't put myself in the same category as Iyenga.

I can drive, grow herbs proficiently and slap on a lick of paint but I wouldn't presume to identify as Chagall.

So looking at my life from all sides and then looking at yours, or the old git's or any of the people surviving in Iraq and I would have to admit that I know very little about the human condition. As I get older I seem to know less. There's so many books and bands podcasts and social media websites - there's noise and guff and experts galore.

There's opinionators and commentators, hidden agendas and theories that are conspiratorial.

There's Know-Alls and Speculators, Smart Alecs and Windbags. They tell me what I should know, think, and feel whilst they know as little as me.

There's War mongers and braggarts who try to convince me that weapons of mass destruction exist; there's self servers and scumbags, gas bags and egotists who are so convinced of their own rhetoric that they beckon us into a false sense of insecurity.

So as the virus seems to be taking a second swipe, and mask-wearers attack their naked neighbour, as Spain attacks Johnson and De Niro dismantles Trump, as peace loving people struggle to survive in Mosel, Basrah, Baghdad and Fallujah. I am left gasping for clarity. Who is doing what to whom and why? Why are hangings and decapitations, rapes and stonings being allowed to happen not a plane ride away and in whose names?

If I drive via the A3 I can get to Mosul via, Surbiton and Austria, Romania and Turkey, in 51 hours, I can park my car in rubble, take pictures of broken buildings and blown up mosques. I can eat out of the sewers and pray that a man in a burqa won't come and chop off the old git's hand for having a nip of Lagavulin, or stone me because I smeared my mouth in Russian red lipstick.

I am agog at the hypocrisy coming down from them that's supposed to know, appalled at the vicious callousness of the arms dealers that supply the weapons of mass destruction to countries that can only dream of a mug of builders tea in front of Coronation Street.

I am horrified that humanity is now left in the hands of hooligans and liars. I am humbled by the women who hold their children close as piss swills over their feet in the refugee camps. I am an old Jew whose family was saved by the hands and hearts of strangers, and yet I bare witness to clean shaven fascists who table motions in the White House to enable ignorant thugs to smash open heads in Portland.

So, as our government now makes obesity illegal and bike riding compulsory who will be the first to tell that complacent pile of shite in the Palace of Westminster that enough is enough. I thought by now I knew everything, that politics was just a game of the intelligent few, but now that I know nothing and Politics is fingered by the likes of the slimy Cum, I drink my coffee alone and shout at the invisible world for help.

I talk to the trees, I talk to the clouds I talk to the local council, but they're as bloody confused as I am.

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The menace that is Dennis.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 22 July 2020

Dennis The Menace is sitting behind me cushioned in the armchair. He squirks and purrs, lets himself be held for the length of a song, and has started exploring upstairs.

I boiled some chicken thighs for three minutes and he wolfed it down, we tried giving it to him raw but Dennis played with the chunks of food like it was a mouse.

He doesn't hide behind the settee anymore, but he is being confined to barracks for another two weeks and then he will go out and play in the garden - and hopefully come back home - he will sleep in the sun behind the swing set next to the Brugmansia, the common name is angel's trumpets, or he'll nestle in between the bell flowers and grasses. Or sit on the bench under the apple trees or even squash himself up behind the potatoes.

Dennis makes me feel lazy. I spray my hands with expensive perfume then stroke him so he smells delicious, I hold him close, his purring amplifies, until it makes my eye lids heavy, which is not difficult at the moment as all my glasses are out of date. This required a trip to the opticians with the old git. Masked and socially distanced Rachel, the optometrist told me my prescription had substantially changed, so in the blinking of an eye 682 pounds was shelled out for new lenses, new frames and new reading glasses. ( Whaaaat! I hear you.... ) To be honest I have been struggling with my latest reading choice, 'The House in Paris', by Elizabeth Bowen, the writing is lavish, her style quaintly dated but the print is so small, and my readers so out of date, that I have been holding her at arms length, squinting up close and finally resorting to a huge magnifying square that is hung round the neck and balanced on the decolletage. If the delicate balance is upset, like reaching out for a cup of Turmeric milk, or re-setting the alarm, in one hapless moment the heavy plastic lens realigns itself with a smash on the nose ( twice ) or a bang on the lip (twice) or the forehead ( once ). Who'd have thought such a slim book could cause such damage.

So I write this wearing an old pair of bins until my new ones are ready. The 'oosbind has just brought in a handmade scratching post, for Dennis, although he needs to go to the hardware store - that's The Old Git not the new Puss - to buy some rope for Dennis to scratch until he's let out into the wild.

I watched the lunch time news with a masked Potus swaggering with his band of grey advisors, all covered up and supportive of the new tone that the cock womble is now using. As November hurtles towards him he knows that he'd better try and stem the death toll if he is to come anywhere in the polls. I dont want him to be a better man, I dont want him to be saner and more generous, I want him to keep revealing what kind of wanker he is so that he can be consigned to the dustbin of time.

Wednesday is still shining through the window, I'm about to make a Korean saucy dinner, then settle down to Mrs. America with the head of the house, whilst the off spring is upstairs starting on her new project. I'm finding the walk up to the attic and my writing like a pilgrimage from here to Camino de Santiago, or more accurately Knock, since I am on my knees trying to break the deadlock of writing, creativity, Covid and 'The House in Paris'. I am, however, dedicated to a morning routine of meditation, Wim Hof breathing, ice cold showers and yoga. Doing yoga outside in the sunshine is lovely, but then the day gets in the way and my writing suffers.

Dennis is asleep, the other two are outside and I'm left with any bag of Basmati and bottle of Chinese rice wine wondering whether to put the news on again or whether to play Chet Baker. The smooth horn player wins out over the buffoon blowing his own horn as he dismantles life as we know it.

Enjoy Mercredi soir.

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Endless Days

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 17 July 2020

The builders have finished, after early morning buzz saws, chain saws and metal grinders, the next door neighbours' labourers have finally gone.

The builders have finally left the building, on the other side of the hedge, where we now have an open air car-port with a fancy roof and happy neighbours.

In between all the building a little girl was born to the neighbours on the right side, a new/old cat arrived for us, and a barking sausage dog now dominates the garden on the left side. The cat known as Andy/Dennis/Houdini or Sandra, sleeps behind the settee and comes out for his evening sachet after the 6.0'clock news. He went missing for a night, all the neighbours mucked in to find him, and when he returned home jumping off next doors roof, we celebrated with a take away curry which was so sloppy and tasteless we didn't even offer the cat the left overs. The lovely furry fluff-ball doesn't actually watch the news because he has more sense than to sit through information which is frustrating, annoying, confusing, irritating and so negative it causes palpitations.

Today the 'oosbind is fixing the third dead light switch, our bedroom now has no overhead light, the bathroom is waiting for the plaster to dry and the kitchen has a new push-on-and-off dimmer which means we can eat in relative luminosity.

So life goes on, in a fashion; making a timetable that requires nothing more than getting up, walking, eating, sleeping and waiting for the phone to ring. Like all of us, I can't remember what I did three hours ago, let alone yesterday. My circadian rhythm has gone awol. I have suffered insomnia for years and years, and now with nothing to do but to contemplate how to do nothing, my insomnia is managed thus; I watch videos of Zach Bush, telling me how to be positive from a scientific point of view, videos of Deepak Chopra telling me how to be positive from a spiritual point of view, videos about the tapping solution for anxiety, videos about diabetic eating, videos about fuck knows what else.

I have 17,000 books on the go, I breath deeply with Wim Hof, I mediate daily with The Masters of Calm, I do yoga with Jessie and Julie, who drawl at me from their peaceful living rooms in Atlanta, and seemingly have no problem balancing. I roll out my yoga mat and do the 'Tibetan Five', why I even did it and four o'clock this morning before sliding into bed next to the sweetly snoring old git, I was up again at 5.00 listening to the birds and watching videos of the Orange Cock Womble digging his own grave.

For isn't there a lot of talk about death now? Bodies being exhumed in Brazil, graveyards, the size of Olympic Stadiums being dug in rich, red earth. Research telling us how to be healthy, how to live longer, how to survive this crippling pandemic, and I wonder what is the point of longevity if the quality of life is only good for the lucky few.

When I started in my career we had to work for 40 weeks before getting an Equity card. Somebody had to take a punt and then you could work in the bizness. My first professional job was at Watford Palace Theatre with Stephanie Cole and Ken Campbell, it's now fighting to survive. My second job was at The Phoenix Theatre in Leicester, its now defunct, my third job was at The Royal Court, dark now. My heart breaks. Back then I had the freedom to travel and hammer nails up my nose with the likes of Sylvester McCoy, to tour Scandinavia with the likes of Colm Meany, to sing for my supper with the likes of Jim Carter, to sleep in a VW camper van on the canals in Frankfurt whilst collecting money from the crowd - bottling it's called - I had to the freedom to flirt and dream to gig at the 'Greyhound' on The Fulham Palace Road, to scream for Ian Dury at the 'Hope and Anchor', to perform at 'The Wyndham's Theatre' in Leicester Square. I had freedom and youth and dreams. I had a sweet future mapped out.

So what now for our young ones? What now for all the lost children, what now for the artists and musicians who practice in their bedrooms waiting for the arseholes in charge to get it right. How do we recover from an illness that apparently has no end, and whose beginnings are still being argued about.

Lao Tzu said:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

I say if you can find peace in these mangled times then good for you. if you can stay calm in the face of the bollox that's being thrown at us, then good for you. If we can keep our humour and know this too will pass then fucking good for us.

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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 28 June 2020

Ta da today I bring you EUDAEMONIA.

Yup I hadn't heard of it either.

Eudaemonia is a Greek word. It translates as happiness or welfare; or human flourishing, or prosperity and even blessedness.

So why do I bring you Eudaemonia at 3.18 a.m. on a windy night - well I bring you a bit of Grecian joy because I watched the last three episodes of 'Tiger King' which triggered my insomnia and because the latest psychology now knows that there is some kind of science in the making of us happy.

We've all heard of being in the flow and altruistic actions that give life meaning, like shopping for your elderly neighbour, or picking up litter, and since we all aspire to living our best life, I decided to watch a Ted talk. I sat down with a cup of newly ground coffee at the kitchen table, having boiled a pan of beetroots and whizzed up some peppery hummus from cannelloni beans, I slurped the coffee whilst enjoying an American professor, who gave a slide show about how to deal with misery when up came the word Eudaemonia, which sounds like a fancy perfume from Guerlain or the latest offering from Enya.

Anyway there I was listening to this fascinating lecture by the yank in baggy trousers and it set me to wondering just how happy was I? I did a test to find out; firstly I had to acquaint myself with my signature strengths -24 questions resulting in 24 strengths in descending order which would indicate my calling. Find a job which covers my first three strengths and that would lead to some kind of probable happiness. My 24th was Prudence, but my top three were;




The questionnaire asked questions like forgiving and forgetting, finishing tasks and treating people equally. Well I mulled over what kind of job would suit my top three strengths and decided being a nun was one, being a police chief a la Cressida Dicks was another or being a midwife would all be suitable, and then I thought actually being what I do is the very thing for me. And then I thought, apart from random acts of kindness, like giving a tenner to the geezer who sits on a sleeping bag outside Sainsbury's, all my honest acts have always resulted in me getting the elbow.

I breast fed the dawter on air - got the sack.

I declared that I was bored shitless on an LWT programme - got the sack.

I bemoaned that a BBC series I was travelling round the country for was soooooo fatuous - got the sack.

And so it went on, refusing to tell lies on live telly always got me the sack.

Standing up for 29 young colleagues when they all got fired contributed to me getting the proverbial.

So honesty has not always been the best policy, although you would probably say what else could I have done, and you would probably be right.

Kindness is not the most obvious attribute in this business either. I have been the recipient of acts of Random Unkindness from a female presenter, who shall remain nameless, who though sitting not a gnats breath away from me turned her back on me, ignored me in a mini van on the way to the Olympic stadium and talked over my head whilst sitting in the next seat to me in the Theatre. The male presenter, who shall remain nameless, kindly removed me from a show on the morning of transmission, and a leading BBC boss who ever so kindly told the producers, who had fought for me for three months, that I was too rich meat for the BBC. Jimmy Savile was on air at the time.....

And as for Love, not always the easiest thing to practice when you are working with a pile of self serving, inglorious bastards.

However, this is not a whinge fest for whilst I have been in the firing line for my trio of psychological parts, they have also stood me in good stead for nearly 50 years in the business. And now that the phone is dead, the emails have dried up, and the voice-overs are thinning like the old gits pate, as theatres close their curtains, and concert halls shut their doors, as my industry folds its arms and crosses it's legs in the chilly foyer of lock-down, I will use my skills to survive the moment.

Magnesium, zinc and niacin help, Alan Bennett is a positive tonic, weeding through the onions is not 'alf bad, meditating with Deepac fills the Eudaemonic glass, watching Ted talks, listening to my music, the dawters music even the 'oosbind's choices feed the soul. Buying grapes for the neighbours and sweeping their path, practicing yoga and bicycling in front of Andrew Marr whilst shouting at Priti Patel is a marvellous de-stressor. For make no mistake this lock down is taking its toll. Are we at the end of the first wave, in the beginning of the second wave, waiting for the third wave whilst waving goodbye to Europe, The NHS, and Democracy? Are we witnessing the downfall of the orange cock-womble? Will we recognise the new normal, old normal, near normal? Will litter louts ever learn to recycle their rubbish? Will corruption stop? Will The Cum be removed from Downing Street? Will the Queen survive another anus horribilis? Will we get a new series of 'Would I lie to You' or shall we forever be watching repeats from Dave.....

The new psychology says we must live in the moment. This moment, not what has been or what is to become, just live in the now and then EUDAEMONIA can be yours, come on you've got nothing to lose but your misery!

loipon aft to simeioma kalinychta

So on that note goodnight.

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Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 19 June 2020

Whitney wore 'em, Ms Garland wore 'em, even Sir Elton of the John wore 'em, and me well I not only wore em' I helped name a theatre group after them.

It all began back in 16something or other when a 'cheap coarse, thick, cotton cloth - often coloured blue' - was created in Dongri, a dockside region in good old Bombay. The Hindi name for this cloth was Dungri. Anybody who wasn't anybody wore it, in fact anyone who needed clothes for hard labour embraced the fashion. Then along came the industrious British entrepreneurs who, with their finger on their noses, tapped knowingly into the smell of profit, and before you could say Mahatma Ghandolph they brought a load of Dungri over to Blighty where the impoverished sewed cheap clothes for the impoverished. Why even over in The ol US of A, braves, naves and slaves began wearing this utilitarian garment which we Englishers had now renamed 'dungaree'.

I came across my first pair of dungarees in a hardware shop in Whitechapel. Always the preferred choice of outfit, since they required only one other item of clothing a t-shirt, ideal clobber for shlepping in a stage set, setting up a stage set, performing on the stage set, taking down the stage set, travelling to the next gig putting up the same stage set, performing to an audience of howling miners, ship builders, dockers or steel workers, then taking down the set, loading the set into the van and off to the Watford Gap. To be fair the fellers did most of the lifting I just hung around in my dungarees, puffing on a Gaulois and looking moody.

One drunken night ( why do they always have to be drunken nights, because my friends, light bulb ideas never happen on sober nights ) in 'The Lord Palmerston Pub' in Tufnel Park, (remember pubs....ah! them's were the days...) four of us, three men and me, decided on calling our latest touring band of vagabonds 'BELT AND BRACES'. I was indeed wearing the very emblem of our enterprise.

So I've worn dungarees since 1973. I purchased them from hardware shops for 9.99p. Then in 'Baldock's in Tunbridge Wells for 19 pounds and 99p. Now I buy them from 'Screwfix', or 'Dirty Harry's' in Brighton - where they cost a whopping 30 quid. Sometimes I buy them off the internet, in fact I've just bought two pairs for a tenner each that make me look like Luby Loo, I also have a brown Dungri, with a square neck that I'm told is just my colour.

I've had several run-ins over my choice of outerwear. From TV-am to ITV, from the BBC to UK TV Food. I was told they weren't sexy, appropriate, girly or classy enough. I was told by an engaging male boss at ITV that the men who watched my gardening programme didn't find me sexy. My agent, at the time, attended the meeting, offered to come shopping with me, I told the bosses that the men who didn't fancy me couldn't get it up, and whilst walking to Waterloo East Station I sacked my agent. The dungarees stayed, as did I, for a second series.

When I wore a leather jacket over my fancy dungarees on TV-am I was told that it was redolent of an attitude of arrogance and defiance, they promptly sacked me, I sued and won. The dungarees lived on.

Then whilst filming at 'The Inn in Little Washington', dungarees came into their own. A double five star establishment with food to die for and dungarees to dye for I fell in love with their kitchen attire. 'The Inn' rescued Dalmatians. The head chef wore dungarees with a dalmation pattern. The sous chef, the front of house, the washer-uppers all wore the same black and white belt and braces, I bought two pairs from the onsite shop.

I still wear them even though they are twenty odd years old. I've never walked a road without somebody shouting 'Oy Jen, love your dungarees, where didya get 'em'. I point to the label on the thigh which says 'The Inn at Little Washington' and if I can be bothered I tell them the story of the male Dalmatian who sits in the entrance hall to the right-hand-side of the door. The dog wears a bow tie. The bitch sits to the left of the door, and she wears a pearl necklace. Their personal walker, to the best of my knowledge, also has a pair of these wonderfully chic dungars.

So June, in answer to your question where do I get my dungarees from, anywhere I can. The cheaper the better. The more pockets the better. The bigger the better. Shakeel, my wonderful dressmaking friend has made me a pair in fancy smoky grey material with chains, and a blue velvet pair with jewelled straps, I look like a builder in drag.

I have white ones, blue ones, denim ones, calico ones and now two Andy Pandy pairs with stripes. I go out wearing nothing but my trainers, a t-shirt and my chosen Dungars. Mobile phone and cheque card in the front pocket and that's your lot, you could say a woman of power with no dress sense, or you could say an independent woman who doesn't give a shit.

I have a photograph on the piano of me and the old git. He's wearing a leather jacket and sporting dark glasses and long hair and me, scowling, wearing a striped t-shirt and my trusty dungarees, it was taken in Brighton in 1978. I managed to find an identical pair in Bury St. Edmunds years later. I've worn them for so long they are now distressed. The straps fraying and the colour totally faded but I still get stopped regularly by young hipsters who went to know where I bought them.

I've remained constant to my dungarees for over fifty years. Fashions come and fashions go and now in 2020, when know one can see me and I couldn't care less if they did, I am considered the height of fashion.

Oh dungarees my dungarees

I love you more than gold

I wear you when its sweltering

And I wear you when its cold.

I wear you in the country

I wear you on the block

AndeventhoughtheoldgitthinksIlooklikeanoldbagandwishesIwouldwearsomethingage appropriate

I think you're still shit hot.

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To Hygga or not to Hygga

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 10 June 2020

Seventy eight days ago I was celebrating my birthday on the first day of lock down.

I - with the help of the old git who hobbled around calling the shots and hammering - furnished the new shed, I also reorganised my kitchen cupboards, weeded the Stromboli roses, seeded the potatoes, bought a box of masks, ground up endless coffee beans, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, aniseed seeds. I've bought copious amounts of - plant milk, washing up liquid, sprouted bread, dungarees, olive oil, blue filter glasses, vegan cheese (packed with wonderful little freezing bags), tomato plants, geranium plugs, hampers of fruit, industrial boxes of kettle crisps and Bee Venom Cream With Hyaluronic Acid - all on line.

I've watched the BBC, ITV and Channel Four news bulletins and counted the cost of our weedy government and their dealing with the virus; watched CNN and Sky to see just how the orange wank-biscuit ( courtesy of Gina Yashere) has been fucking up America. I've argued with dear old friends about schools opening, argued with dear old friends about whether watching anything at all on the state of our Union is of any use to the parasympathetic nervous system, argued with the old git about whether the 45th moron should be slowly poisoned or meet his maker with just one perfectly aimed bullet to the brain. I've watched gut wrenching films of tiny children dying from starvation in India, refugees ailing, I've watched despicable footage of police brutality, and only last night watched, open mouthed, as the Oxford peeps turned out to topple Cecil. It has been a time of tumult and excoriating pain. A time when I count my family and friends, daily, and make sure they are all safe, a time of weight gain, pain gain and will we ever get to Spain again in the rain again....Shut up!

Now, to set the scene, our sitting room apart from books and Dvd's and Cd's and more books, is a fireplace, a television, two armchairs and a big yellow settee with an expensive red and yellow throw over it. Lock down has brought the old git and I together in a rare pairing - holding hands, not quite canoodling but pretty damn close - whilst watching Michael Jordan on Netflix, Corrie on ITV, and the Wednesday night Aunty Beeb indulgence of 'The Repair Shop' and 'The Great British Sewing Bee'.

It was whilst watching Will on 'The Repair Shop' fixing a spinning wheel from the Shetlands that we learnt a new word, pertinent because a walk down the end of our road finds a flock of sheep in our neighbours field. The dawter has named one cheeky chappie Freddo, he has a black mole in his right ear, the softest of lambs coats, a brother or sister, we cant tell which, and a doting mother with a massive woolly fleece. Freddo trots over to the fence, shoves his velvety face through a fence hole and we tickle and stroke him, feed him grass and let him breathe his soft lamby breathe on us. The wire fence, above the wooden bit, is full of wool off the back of the flock. Now, in Shetland they collect the fence wool take it back to their spinning wimmin who industriously turn it into Shetland thingies. So, whilst holding hands and nibbling on a date, the 'oosbind and I were delighted to learn that The Shetlanders call those handfuls of left over wool HENTILAGETS. Ain't it a delicious name for left over tufty bits

If you listen to the voice on the internet saying HENTILAGET, it's as soft as a pullover with a little upward inflection at the end which in one second transports you to Quarff or Ollerberry.

'Hentilaget' got me thinking that there are very many words that describe things in one utterance like,


which means 'The law for the delegation of monitoring of beef labelling.' Always good to know when you're out and about in Lower Saxony or Westphalia delegating bull-shit.

P'raps later on in the year, you may find yourself in Iceland, and travelling North. Now should you be looking for the key ring to the tool work shed in the road works on the mountain road in Vaolaheioi, there is one Icelandic word which will help locate that key ring to the tool work shed in the road works on the mountain road in Vaolaheioi. Now, hear me out, Iceland is a small country full of mountain roads. You may well find that you really do need to find the key ring to the tool shed on that mountain road to Vaolaheioi, so instead of panicking all you need do is shout out,


and every Icelander, including Bjork, will know that you're looking for the key ring to the tool work shed in the road works on the mountain road in Vaolaheioi, and, in an 'ogenblick', will down tools and before you can say, 'Bob's your uncle', or in the local vernacular 'Bubbi fraendi pbinn', I bet you that key ring will turn up.

Now of course many of us will be sunshine seeking when the lock is sprung and we'll have the British summer we normally get, so if you decide to visit, for example, South Africa and you're watching the telly for the latest goings on in the forthcoming election in the ol' US of A you will probably come across the 'Issuable media conference's announcements at a press release.' No I don't understand it either, but if you want to sound like you do this is why you say,

'Tweedehandsemotorverkoopsmannevakbondstakingsvergaderingsameroeperstoespraakskrywerspersverklaringuitreikingsmediakonferensieaankondiging' -

And the receptionist will not have a fucking clue either but she'll do the next best thing and bring you some biltong.

My favourite word however, applies to any of our so-called leaders. This Danish conflagration invented by Hans Christian wots-his-name translates as 'The goaty-legged-above-and-under-general-war-commanding-sergeant.' So I give you


And whilst you're waiting for tonight's 'Repair Shop.' maybe you could try saying it.

Anyway back on the settee, the 'oosbind and I will be holding hands - from eight o'clock until the ten o'clock news - when the whole fucking thing starts all over again.

Happy Hygga

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Stand up for Emily.

Posted by Jeni in | 27 May 2020

So it seems Emily Maitlis stood herself down after telling the truth about The Cum.

I have been stood down, more than once, for telling the truth.

Mr.Blobby says we can all make up our own minds about The Cum, and thats it's time to move on from a little political skirmish.

Matt Cock stands at the podium and defends his leader with a stutter and a nod.

The Keir is 24 points ahead in the polls but what does it mean?

We are being played like a kipper. We are being strung along like a chain of bewildered chipolatas. Wool is being pulled, ever so neatly, over our tearful eyes.

Obfuscation, confusion, mystification. Even the commentators sound baffled, upward inflections can be heard all over the newsrooms.

And yet we are being told, reluctantly, to swallow The Cum.

We know there's something wrong but we can't quite put our finger on it.

We know they do us wrong but we can't quite articulate what it is.

We know they are fumbling and lying and fiddling the books but we haven't got the facts in front of us.

We know The Blob is aping The Fart in the Whitehouse with his fakey shaky news.

We know it has something to do with destabilisation and Bannon and nasty double dealings but we can't prove it.

We know things they-are-a-changing but we are holding on, our knuckles white with terror.

We know something is ailing, we know something is sick, but the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

If The Cum is sitting in the Rose Garden, his shirt sleeves rolled, his manner calculated and chilling, if The Cum is spewing excuses and the Tory faithful believe him, and the Tory stalwarts give him a chance, if The Cum feigns contrition, and the frightened Blob exonerates him because were he to let The Cum go then he, The Blob, would be even more tongue tied. If The Blob is sooooo inept, incompetent and ineffectual that he cannot dismiss his naughty political strategist then what hope for the rest of us.

We know who put his fingers in the pie, we can see the gravy dripping off his talons, and yet we watch as Master Blobby refuses to do the right thing and punish the rotter for his misdemeanour.

The Cum did wrong, The Cum ran past Blobby's front door, ran to his car, threw in his wife and child and disappeared oop North, The Cum did what any of us would do, given half the chance, but didn't because the rest of us did the decent thing and stayed indoors eating left overs and dreaming of a brave new world, whilst The Cum, arrogant and wily, did a moonlight flit. For this self-entitled blighter hid in plain sight, with his shirt sleeves rolled and his job in tact - the cad just slid into his car as Edith Piaf blared out 'Non, Je ne regret rein.'

The Blob makes me nauseous. The Cum makes me fear for my sanity. He gaslights, and manipulates as the likes of poor old Emily Maitlis are stood down for telling the truth.

But isn't that what we should all be doing? Calling them out. Boldly shouting from our windows that we are as mad as hell and we won't take any more, for if we don't The Cum's grip on The Blobs cojonas will get even tighter and before you can say 'second wave' there will be a third and a fourth and all the good will have died young whilst the bastards inherit the earth.

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