The Wild Atlantic Way.

Posted by Jeni in | 18 November 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Words are my thing.' she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'It's alright' she said.

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

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

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

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

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Gongs and things

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 10 November 2017

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

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

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

That was Monday.

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

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

That was Tuesday.

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

So that was Wednesday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Big Borowski's

Posted by Jeni in | 2 November 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Frost Moon on Saturday to ya'll.

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Grancangirlcan't

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 1 October 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Feng Shui

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 16 September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Afternoon Treat

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 9 September 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless us all.

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Runners and Courgettes.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 29 August 2017

In-between the floods of Texas, the old gits birthday and a glut of runner beans, the month comes to a balmy close.

This August has gone so quickly I can almost recall it minute by minute.

My little red car had new pistons because I drove it into the ground without oil. My car does not have aeroplane controls, it's just me, a sound system and a clock thats stuck to the dashboard with blu tac. So I had no idea, until the knocking started, that we were clear out of the crude stuff. What will I do when we go electric, or hybrid, or even wind powered, which is what happened to my body when the car stalled in the middle of a road, on a bend, round the corner to my Bowen bloke in pouring rain. My mechanical genius turned up, threw me the keys to his car and rattled round to his garage in my car, where he fixed it.

I've attended a birthday in a tippee, a gathering on Hastings Pier, a dinner in a Hackney Warehouse and two trips to Brighton to see ANGELS IN AMERICA, the live streaming from the National Theatre. Don't like them as a rule but this marathon of 7 hours was full of Denise Gough, Russell Tovey, Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Susan Brown, James McArdle, Amanda Lawrence and Nathan Stewart Jarrett, plus an assortment of angel shadows and star turn scene shifters.

Not even a bout of senior Sciatica, could mar the performances. The man sitting next to the 'oosbind brought a jute bag full of sandwiches, bottles of wine, suckable nibbles and his mobile phone which he turned on in the two intervals. There were several plaid shirted women and short wearing men, there was a full house of oldies and an army of professional armchair critics. The consensus was that Tony Kushner, who wrote it yonks ago, didn't put a foot wrong. I was utterly enthralled.

No foreign travel this year, although we are going to Galway in September. Just reading about the flight delays, road works, station closures and traffic accidents, was enough to remind me that a Staycation in Stop-at-Home was just what the doctor ordered.

I'm gearing up for the autumn, three projects are sniffing round the corner, and a gals body is nearly what it should be given it's vintage.

I made a Nadiya inspired banquet, which included Latkes, old style. Last Thursday I craved my mothers fried fish and fried potato cakes. Prized the Jewish cook book, off the shelf and pulled the food processor out of the corner. Grated potatoes and onions, added matzo meal and 2 eggs, mixed and slapped them into shape. Vegetable oil, heated hot in a wok, three Latka's slipped into the boiling fat, turned constantly until a crispy golden brown. We ate them with carrot and parsnip bhargis, watermelon/helloumi cheese/and focaccia kebabs, alongside a huge green salad with two home made sauces - tamarind and chile. Not to mention Lamb Chops marinated in pomegranate molasses and garlic. The only thing birthday boy really liked.

I cooked for three hours, then sat at the table as my guests praised and applauded me. I swear we cooks only feed people for the plaudits.

Tonight is the new Bake Off. should I, shouldn't I? I'm too curious not to watch, but I do feel guilty, like reading the Daily Mail bar of shame.... I swear if people only read the Daily Wail they could be forgiven for thinking that life was only about breasts, boobs, mammaries and a Big Bother, yup it doesn't deserve an 'R'.

From Brexit humiliation to Trumpeting terror, we all have to keep the nasties in the light, don't we? Never giving up on believing that humans really are good, because if you believe what you read half the time, along with me, we would be holding hands and jumping off cliffs.

Time for some left overs and a new batch of running beans in spicy tomato sauce.

Helloo September.

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august 7th.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 7 August 2017

The sky is low. the purple lilac outside the kitchen window looks limp. I've been watching the butterflies, because Saint David Attenborough wanted us to count them.

One orange, two red admirals, and some white ones. Not as many as there used to be, in 1984 we had blue butterflies fluttering by.

So I went for a walk through the oat fields. 'The fruits hang like chandeliers' said the old git. Wheat is tightly bunched and Barley has long hairs. The weather has smashed the crops, I wondered this morning whether, if I were to be in a drone, would I be witnessing a crop circle. At ground level it looks like a slushy mess.

Like apples the blackberries are ripening. I've learnt to my cost that if they don't drop easily into your hands they are tarty and sharp. I ate some juicy ones.

Everything feels autumnal. The spitting rain, the petals on the brown tinged lilies. I've a jug of flowers on the kitchen table, from the garden, never done that before, but the roses looked so forlorn I harvested them along with sweet peas, a sprig of fennel and a twig of marjoram. They are in a jug which was a wedding present from Jayne Irving. do you remember her?

Last night there was a Sturgeon moon, big and bright and good enough for the little fishes to come out. I couldn't sleep so I lit a candle, put some Rose Madoc essential oil on me finger tips, sniffed the scent and meditated. All a bit lary as we have a visiting house spider that is SOOOOO big, i'm concerned if I fall asleep it will walk all over me. Jim tried to catch it but it disappeared inside the kitchen dresser. It has longer legs than Naomi Campbell.

And the pigging slugs have found a way into the kitchen. Slimy and grey, I push the dustpan under them then chuck 'em into next doors garden. He's moved so they have a gourmet lunch on his chickweed.

Today it's writing in the attic, worrying in the kitchen and snoozing in the sitting room.

The suns just come out, teasing me......I asked the 'oosbind if he wanted to go and see SPIDERMAN.

'No' said the old man. Perfunctorily without a gap for negotiation.

Trumps playing golf, Theresa's walking, Jeremy's cycling and Aldi is selling the best gin in the world for a tenner.

I dont drink gin.

We haven't got an Aldi in our village.

So I look toward the day that our leaders do right by us.

heard a good quote.

LIFE HAPPENS FOR YOU NOT TO YOU. Hope that helps.

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