Look, there’s no beating about the bush today. The final of ‘The Apprentice’ with Alan Sugar is on at 9.00 and I have to make myself a salad and stop crying. No, I have not turned into a sniveling feeble wet but today I had some news that so upset me, I can hardly dare tell you. I made phones calls about it. Talked to my husband. Cried to my osteopath, shouted at Rob, who I think is probably the best agent in the world, and choked when I talked to my friend Annie. When the chips are down, none of it really matters. After all, I am healthy, well and I am not living in a war zone, although sometimes I do think telly is just that. It’s like the Gaza Strip with designer labels.
Today has all been a bit topsy turvy. I scrubbed the kitchen floor with all sorts of floor scrubbing utensils, silver scourers, green sponges, creams and liquids. My lovely Gae helps me out once a week but there has been a build up on the flag stones since April. So, I entered the kitchen wearing my bathing suit, the turquoise one with the baggy gussett, wrapped a blue towel around me and, looking like an Hawaiian Madam, I commenced my cleaning. Ninety minutes later, with the perspiration dripping off me, I had a clean, really sparkling kitchen floor.
Jackson observed the activity patiently waiting for his carrot and vitamins.
I organised the cleaning route so I had a little window of floor to stand up in at the end. The dog and I exited to the garden. I wrote my affirmations etc. whilst Jackson lay patiently under the pungent Philadelphius, the first shrub that I ever planted 24 years ago. By noon we were ready for our perambulation in the forest.
Oh, before I forget, Jackson peed on the rug this morning. I was advised that the the best way to get rid of the smell of dog ammonia is with – wait for it – tonic water. I bet you knew that! It just so happened that I had some on the cellar steps, so the Persian rug is now covered in Schweppes tonic water with a twist of lemon.
The sun was shining. I was feeling almost together when a pack of rescue dogs decided to terrorise us. They were so excited. Their walker started to shout at them like they were troublesome children. ‘Shut your gob’, she said to the collie cross, ‘sorry to put you on the lead’, she said to the lurcher. ‘It’s Trixie’s fault for making such a racket.’
All this done in the middle of nowhere with acres of space and they had to run into ours. Their walker, short cropped grey hair, white vest, shorts and sandals, seven leads round her neck and a mobile surgically attached to her ear, was totally unequipped for the job. I nearly told her to stop yapping on her mobile and get a grip of her dogs. But I didn’t. This is Sussex after all.
By the time we got back, I was soaked. Trixie had jumped in the only existing pond and decided to shake 38 gallons of turgid water over my nice clean trackies. Jackson was of no help. He calmly flopped down in a pile of badger pooh just to make my day complete.
I drove to the shops and parked my car outside Waitrose. I have a problem with supermarkets, as you know, but I had to buy the newspapers, more floor cleaning products and on my way round the aisles I came across a really good local range of vegetables. I was just putting a punnet of tomatoes in my trolley when a voice over the tannoy said. ‘Would the owner of car no K$8+!7 please go to the front of the shop…’
What’s interesting is that I don’t know the number of Jackson’s car. It is called the ‘Jackmobil’ because it’s a tin can and it’s only fit for driving the dog around in. It smells of dog, looks like dog, all the seats are covered in golden labrador hairs, and apart from an old blue sweater and furry bath mat, has nothing in it except dog. Anyway, the girl who made the announcement, ex-Halifax Building Society who gave up her job because she couldn’t stand Howard on the ads, repeated the registration number and I just knew it was my car. I left the trolley by the organic lettuces and dashed outside.
‘Is there something wrong with my dog?’, I anxiously asked the traffic warden. ‘No’, he said, in that officious voice that men in ill-fitting uniforms use. ‘No’, he repeated with an upward inflection. ‘No, madam but you have parked on a double yellow line and your dog is hot in the back.’ How did he know? Jackson was covered in badger pooh and as cool as a cucumber. ‘I won’t nick you this time’, he said, ‘but…’
Before he could finish, I leapt into the Jackmobil and drove home, dumped the dog on the clean kitchen floor – I know, don’t tell me – drove back to my trolley full of tomatoes and thanked the lord that I had bypassed a traffic fine.
After unloading my goodies, the tomatoes were sweet and divine by the way, I went off to my friends for another 30 minute swim. The cover had been on the pool so it was warmer than yesterday. I still set my clock for 31 minutes and swum really hard so that I could get over my crying, having just had the news.
I opened my mouth to take in some air and a tiny little lizard missed my mouth by inches. I swam around the pool and the lizard for 30 minutes, pondering on amphibious creatures in Sussex, climate change and my ego.
I got home and, still in my damp swimsuit, decided to do my exercises. The Tibetan Five… but I’ll tell you about that another day.
I felt a little better having got Rob to email the perpetrators of my misery when the phone went and it was Lucy, the producer at LBC. We chatted through what I thought might work and parted company. In the middle of my sit-ups the phone went again. It was Rosie B, my ex driving instructress, who now drinks, sells and writes about wine and is coming down from Derbyshire so that we can slurp and chat.
Then it was off for my second session with my old osteopath who is remarkable. He looks like a brick-crap-house, has a shaved head, does martial arts and is as soft as butter. He is the most brilliant cranial geezer there is. He laid his hand on my head, then my knee, then my solar plexus and announced that my body was doing well, the slip on the kitchen step was only a blip, the de-tox hadn’t taken away my energy but the most recent news had hurt me badly and that my knee was a result of not letting go. I said that I had let go and that none of it actually mattered but he interrupted me and said ‘Oh, yes it does. Otherwise you wouldn’t be talking about it.’ The tears plopped out of my eyes like peas from a pod.
I got into my car and blubbed all the way home. I mean really cried, almost misting up my glasses. Jim said I was to do nothing and told me he loved me, which, let me tell you, really helped. Then I got a call from a girl friend who used expletives that only low-lives in the sewers of Carracas use.
Then I remembered ‘The Apprentice’ was on so I thought I would write up my day sooner rather than later and so, my blog pals, this is what sent me over the edge.
I’m not even sure I should be writing about it. It seems so petty now. I don’t know that it doesn’t breach some kind of code. But I’m going to tell you anyway. UKTV Food won an award for the best digital channel. Sybill, La La land’s greatest soothsayer, predicted it some weeks ago. A picture of me was used in a magazine that announced it along with dear old James Martin and the lovely Gary Rhodes. I’m not upset about them using the photo, so why am I upset at all?
Nobody called me to tell me the good news. Nobody telephoned Rob. Nobody invited us to the award ceremony. Not one word. I was so hurt, I went into a tail spin. But then you know all that.
I would love to say horrid things but they aren’t worth it. Five years dedicated to creating a programme that gets them an award and all the thanks I get is a perfunctory glass of champagne, last July, in scratched plastic glasses. I wondered whether it was my ego spiraling out of control but I worked it through. It was a shabby act by a bunch of folk who don’t seem to be able to face me. Maybe it’s because they axed a successful programme?
It’s not my ego that’s bruised, but I am hurt that they have shown no common courtesy and no heart. I am okay now. But I wasn’t.
I am now going to watch ‘The Apprentice’ and put the day to bed. GFL was wonderful. Those five years were great but all good things do come to an end and I’m certain more lovely stuff will happen. There are worse things in life than being ignored by a bunch of television players.
I’m off now to prepare my salad, eat my seed cheese and cheer on ‘The Apprentice’ winner. Which I believe, we all are, in our own way. Have a good night and all being well, I’ll cu2morrer.