The night before the morning after.

Well, just how quickly does it come round? One minute you’re booking the tickets on e-mail and wondering whether it really is too much money to be spending on three weeks away in a ridiculous clinic in the desert, being starved and having a nightly date with an anal pipe, and the next minute you’re packed and ready to go.

I am travelling light since the girl in reception said ‘No ma’m, (to rhyme with spam, just like Queen Betty), you don’t have to dress. It’s a casual code. Most folk wander round in sweat pants.’

And by that she meant jogging bottoms not undergarments drenched in perspiration.

So I have a big case full of tee shirts, trainers, one set of ‘sweat pants’ and a little case with my ‘Bose’ headphones (to keep out the noise), my ipod with Charlie Haydon playing sublime jazz, my cd player with Stevie Wonder and Donald Fagin, and my five year diary which goes everywhere with me.

I can only write about ten lines so it’s a lesson in brevity, but it is a good discipline and I need to remember what happens so I can tell you just exactly what it’s like to go from the sublime to the ridiculous.

On GFL I was eating the equivalent of 5 meals a day. At the OHI I will be eating the equivalent of 5 meals a year.

I have a small piece of hand luggage with my book, my pens, my notebook, my homeopathic remedy for jet-lag and all my money and tickets.

Jim and I have just eaten a slight lunch. We shared a salt-beef sandwich and tortilla. I had a wonderful herby tea that tasted of angelica and he had a Scottish beer from Edinburgh. Then I had some water and Jim had another Scottish beer from Edinburgh. Then we shared a lemon and blueberry cheesecake and because the restaurant has only been open for two days the owner struck up a conversation. She then brought three bottles of their house wine: one Merlot, one Cabinet Sauvignon and one from Spain. Jim tasted. I sniffed. He slurped. I sighed. He drunk. I moaned. And, before you could say ‘pass me the decree nisi’, we were back to our old selves. A little jab, a tiny uppercut and then a defiant roar.

We’re okay now because he’s on the balcony watching the birds through his binoculars – the feathered ones on the river – and I’m not.

So, dear readers, wish me luck as I fly over the pond. Think of me as I starve my way to fitness. Have a care for the old girl who is about to dump all her negativity on American soil and come back renewed, refreshed and utterly skint. May the worst of last week be the best of next, and perhaps we may meet in cyberspace. Cusooooooon.

14 thoughts on “The night before the morning after.”

  1. Hi Jeni
    May you have a wonderful time, all your blog faithful pals will be waiting for you when you come back refreshed and full of wheatgrass.
    Just remember how much you inspire people (like me to start my own bloggin lark), and how much you are loved.
    Hang on it’s not like me to go all serious I usually have some funny quip to add….. nope that’s all I got 3 weeks without a post from Jen it’s too much I tell you.
    Lots a love Marmite Girl xx

  2. Dear jeni
    Just to wish you a happy holiday and hope you come back feeling fresh and happy and not too skint. Dont starve too much! i did that once and regreted it! anyhoo take care and have a lovely time. We will all miss u xxx caz xxx

  3. Right Mrs B, I don’t care how kind and nice those Yankees are, just remember that you’re our Jeni and we don’t want to lose you across the pond! Seriously though, have a fab time and I’ll miss reading your updates for 3 weeks but I’ll be thinking of you each and every day.
    Keep it glam babe.

  4. I do hope they know what they are letting themselves in for across the pond!! Do have fun (if you can by having a pipe up yer bum)come back refreshed and fighting, loads of love from me and I am sure your many fans that have all still been writing messages on the food board.x

  5. Dear Jeni
    Have a wonderful trip and come back refreshed and ready to go. We will all miss your blog but we’re all pleased you are getting away from it all and it sounds as if you should be cleansed in body mind and soul – lead me to it!!
    Don’t forget us – can’t wait to hear from you again.
    Lots of love
    Jenny B

  6. Have only just found ‘blogs’ and chuffed that I can let you know Jeni how happy I was to have you in my home Monday to Fridays and the occasional Sunday lunch! We are not that different, mums, vertically challanged and lusciously rounded but you have the talent on screen to bring the human race great pleasure and joy!
    I do hope that you will be back on the screen soon and look forward to reading your blogs – again such fun even when moaning!
    Have a restful and fulfilling break, you never know you may fly home without the plane!!!

  7. Dear Jeni, hope you have a really relaxing time and come back feeling on top of the world. We miss you loads, but know we will see you soon. Have a lovely break and take care of yourself. Lots of love
    Jen xxx

  8. Wow Jeni – you are going to have a FABULOUS time, meeting all kinds of people and probably rediscovering yourself too along the way. I’ve been a loyal fan of GFL for some years now and still mooch about at either 1.30pm or 6.00pm feeling again the loss… But now considering you a virtual friend, I want to thank you for your scribblings and look forward to more. Enjoy the 3 weeks and don’t be scared if it gets a bit lonely. You’ll be SO glad you’ve done this I am sure. What an inspiration you continue to be girl!
    An East Sussex lass xx

  9. oh Jeni have a lovely lovely time, I’ll be thinking of you often, My daughter and I watched you every day on GFL and we will miss u so much, HAVE THE VERY VERY BEST OF TIMES Hope to speak on the web soon. Love to Jim xx

  10. Jeni the thought of you in “sweatpants” is appaling you always dress so elegantly! stop it immediatly and show those yanks how its done! enjoy your celery 😉
    come back tanned and even more georgous that you already are.
    luv ya X Gayle x

  11. Off-topic: I am so missing you from my TV screen Jeni. The new food programme is as tedious as anything and can’t see that it can get any better. You meanwhile, just got better and better. I loved all your banter and your pornographic relationship with food and all the people on the show with you. But you did hold the show together like a fabulous party hostess. So there, I said it and had to say it.
    Now on-topic: I hope you are not too hungry on your trip and that so much good will come your way in the next stage of your career. I look forward to hearing more from you.
    Hugs from just another viewer 🙂

  12. Glorious Jeni B!! How thrilled I am to have found your blog! I miss you & GFL so much; you & it were the perfect antidote to a horrible day at work. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried too as I watched the last one. I had my doubts about MK just from watching the trailers & my goodness, the programme confirmed those doubts in spades! It’s awful & I haven’t watched it since, nor will I. The message boards at UKTV Food are full of complaints & everyone misses you so much. But enough of that. Have a wonderful time, hopefully there’ll be lots of relaxing, great – healthy! 🙂 – food, massages, facials, for you. I can’t picture you in ‘sweatpants’, but I’m sure you can glam them up a little!! Come back refreshed & raring to go. We’ll be here looking forward to reading your words of wisdom. Hugs to you.

  13. Hi Jeni
    Just wanted to let you know that my husband John and I really miss GFL. You made us laugh so much and you knew how to get the best out of the chefs, even the less attractive and boring ones!
    Market Kitchen is just as irritating and boring as I thought it would be. The presenters have no personality. It’s like watching laundry dry. If I accidentally stumble across it, steam comes out of my ears within seconds!
    Bring back Jeni and GFL and all the handsome chefs!
    Have a lovely holiday.
    Love, Clare

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