I knew it was going to be tough getting over Jackson, but I didn’t expect melt down.
Jim and I went back to the cottage last weekend..
It was difficult.
The rain turned it into a cliche.

On Sunday we went out to lunch and talked about dogs. Our eating companions had known Jackson all his life.
By coffee I was thin lipped and terse.
Jim and I snapped at each other.
The sun came out and we walked the orchard. It dawned on us that we hadn’t been able to walk Jackson through the apple and pear trees for months. By the time we got to the stream I went looking for the wild garlic. Shows you how out of touch I am with everything I was two months late.
Jackson used to swim in the stream and clamber up the banks. For over a dozen years we walked the fields with the hound. Sat on the little bench and surveyed the Sussex landscape, walked through ‘Forest Clump’ our name for a pathway through gnarled old trees. When B and Jackson were small we spent ages looking for faces in the Beech bark, elephants and seals heads in the Oak trunks. Over the style and back towards the cottage.
I cockled my ankle at the end of the field. The pain shot through my leg, it made me cry. I guess I was looking for any excuse to get rid of my grief.
By the time we got home I was snivveling like an 8 year old.
Jim was stony and I needed to get away so I decided to come back to the flat .
My garage have given me a courtesy car. Its a very swanky silver Mazda MX5, with electric windows, leather seats, 6 gears and a soft top. Driving back to London was a gift. Even though I cried until I got to Crystal Palace.
I met Jim at the flat and he apologised for being snappy, we didn’t talk we just watched the river and held hands.
So you see blogging has not been my priority.
On Monday I took tea in The Square with Ursula James, hypno therapist to the stars and a rattling good gal.
On Tuesday I went to a screening of THATCHER a new film for BBC4. The cinema, a fancy red-leather-bucket-seat kind of venue is in the basement of the Charlotte Hotel. A beautiful bijou, overpriced Inn in the centre of London. I bumped into a girl I used to teach who is now pregnant and about to set up home as an army wife. The years have been kinder to me than her.
I sat next to an oak sideboard admiring the hessian wallpaper which had large 7 petal sepia poppies stamped all over it. As the room filled up with producers, writers, grey suited money men and thick thighed female execs so did my glass. I dont drink, as a rule, but I made an exception. As the Claret swirled round my brain so the noise level rose. I watched the assembled crowd nibble their way through fancy canapes.
Wide hipped women apologetically munching through crispy vegetable samosas. Shiny cheeked men raising their eyebrows and shrugging their shoulders as they crammed tiny baskets of mushrooms and mascarpone in their media mouths. I brazenly stocked up on smoked salmon and creme fraiche, picking the little pieces of fish off white china spoons. I stacked them up neatly, I had eaten my way through a shoal of shtarters.
And then we went into the cinema. The head of BBC4, wearing a dress that came out of the Anne Widdicombe catalogue for broad beamed television ladies made a speech and the lights went down.
I dont know whether the film was good or not. The colours were muted and the acting terrific but the combination of red wine, smoked salmon, and grief sent my head nodding back and forth like a weary commuter on their way home from Chiselhurst.
I then walked through two alley ways to Newman Street and the ‘Blue Post Pub’, where I joined several generous people, we were celebrating the life of Andy Harris a wonderful man who died suddenly a few weeks ago.
I left earlier than most. I had done enough crying.
Tonight I drove my very expensive swanky courtesy car to the Savoy. I took Chrissy Straker to see NEVER FORGET a musical based on TAKE THAT. Apart from the water sports at the end of act one it was as empty as an old casette box. The musicians were brilliant, the dancers buff, the singers good, but the show itself played to an audience of morbidly obsequious females who whooped and bayed at the semi naked men on stage. They talked and shufffled throughout and I knew in an instant that I was too old for yet another musical based on pounds, shillings and pence. If merchandising is an art form God help theatre.
It took me fourteen minutes to get home and find out that the agent has booked me four dates for AN AUDIENCE WITH JENI BARNETT.
All I need do now is write the damn thing.
Its past midnight and I’m about to have supper, asparagus and egg. Yes I know its late but blogging came first….
I’m back in the cottage tomorrow until Tuesday.
If the weather works I will go into the garden, weed and thin, mow and moan.
Should be fun. All being well I’ll be back at the keyboard tomorrow night.
until then.

8 thoughts on “TAKE THAT….”

  1. Hi Jeni
    Grief is the price we pay for love, how true. I do hope day by day it will hurt less and less and every time you think of Jackson you will be able to smile.
    Enjoy the cottage and your family this weekend Jeni.
    Thinking of you.
    Love June

  2. Dearest Jeni, I am so sorry that Jackson is no longer with you. I’ve been in hospital & wanted so much to tell you that I was thinking of you, but I could only listen to you. I do know how you feel but I hope that one day you will be able to remember the good times with Jackson without those memories causing you pain. In the meantime cry all you want & know that so many of us are thinking of you & sending you (((((HUGS)))))

  3. Jeni, My condolences to you and all the family on losing your boy…had a cry with you.
    What joy to read what your agent has been up to – let us know the dates and venue! If you ever find yourself in Jersey let me know – would love to have a gas with you!
    Belinda (also a “B”)

  4. Hi Jeni
    Bless you, what a week. All our sympathies are with you. Fingers crossed for the weather so you can mow the grass at the weekend, I know you find it theraputic , and if you need a bit more I’m letting mine grow specially for you.
    Love and big hugs
    Marmite xx

  5. What’s wrong with being a commuter from Chislehurst – my husband and daughter do it every working day!
    Try losing a child!!!! Believe you me far worse than losing a dog! Life goes on!

  6. Ah Kirsten, it’s good to hear from you. I hope your stay in hospital has helped and that whatever treatment you’ve had is making you feel better.
    All the best.

  7. Oh Mrs Jones
    as sad and painful as your loss undoubtedly is/was you really do need to get a grip !
    If you knew anything about Jenny at all you would know that her sense of humour is one of her most endearing qualities!
    If Jenny had used Uxbridge instead of Chiselhurst I would have just laughed and felt no offence at all.
    I cannot believe that Jenny would consider the loss of Jackson would be worse than the loss of a child.

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