The rain came. It was warm but the rain came down and I feared I wouldn’t get a train.
In the event the 11.39 trundled into the station. I had on a little waterproof jacket which revealed itself not to be proof against any kind of precipitation.
‘A’ level results day and the mother of two daughters, sitting opposite me, spent the whole journey talking about options, cousins and jobs in Germany.
Coming home I had to sit with the family from Hell. Their very loud entitlement included teeth braces, hockey tournaments, pierced ears and enough plum-speak to irritate a full carriage of tired commuters. I fell asleep reminding myself not to veer to the right, which I’ve never down in my life.
So on the train I snoozed until Charing Cross. Two stops on the Piccadilly Line to Oxford Circus, then a very damp walk to the Beeb.
I shouted at the security guards inside our British Broadcasting foyer since they wanted to check the contents of my bag before allowing me to use their Public facility.
I called the producer I was working with to let me in so I could have a less harrowing micturition.
Then me, Hewete Haileselassie, and Lizzie Mabbott, shared our foods of love.
Enjera and shirro from Hewete.
Congee from Lizzie.
And chicken soup from me.
I made the chicken soup last night. A perfect little free range organic chicken in a huge pot with a big, fat red onion, 4 carrots, two squashy tomatoes, a stick of celery and parsley from the garden.
Brought the chicken and water to the boil, skimmed off all the impurities, added the vegetables, a tablespoon of salt and a flash of white pepper, then on to the stove it went for at least five hours.
This morning I strained the veg and chicken out of the soup, and boiled up the broth for five minutes. Poured it into a thermos flask and took it into London.
Four of us in a dark little studio, the hot soup emptied into mugs, the aroma of my grandmother’s cooking, and all the women in my life, permeated Portland Place whilst the rain lashed against the window. It was a delicious moment to savour.
The enjera and sheera was spicy and filling. A kind of flat bread with hot curry. Whilst the congee, although looking like congealed tripe, tasted absolutely delicious.
A lovely thing to do, and my debut for the World Service.
Whilst the chicken was bubbling on the back burner jim drove me to Chigwell. Down the M25, off at the A127 towards Hornchurch, all the way to the Moby Dick pub, past houses that only East End mafia could have built, into Chigwell and Taylors, an industrial estate and the brilliant Brian Udell.
Brian is not tall, with a white beard, white ponytail, an earring and a warehouse with Harley Davidson’s, and another warehouse with gongs, didgeridoos, vast baskets of free fruit for everybody and a SCENAR machine. SELF CONTROLLED ENERGY NURO ADAPTIVE REGULATOR.
Developed by the Russians it sends electro magnetic impulses to the brain, refocuses it and before you can say pass me the ibuprofen, your pain has subsided.
After the trial and tribulations of the American road trip my poor old sciatic nerve took a pasting.
Brian lay me down and ran the little machine over my body. The machine tells the body when its had enough so when it was placed on my left arm, and the newly mending broken elbow, bugger me if it didn’t stay put for at least 6 minutes, when it landed on my right arm it had done its stuff after 30 seconds.
To day my back does not hurt. Today I can walk better, sit down, without shooting pains No pain killers. I cannot believe the difference in all aspects of my body. Please look it up if you have pain issues. It’s marvellous.
So today, having done my bit for Chicken Soup and Jewish love and kindness in the kitchen, I walked in the pouring rain – yes I walked well, in the pouring rain and met the dawter for lunch.
The sun came out and we had evil pastries in Old Compton Street, then we sat on the roof of Groucho’s, drunk water, put the world to rights until I left to catch the 5.17 from Platform 3.
No problems – only the family from hell – 45 minutes later there was Jim waiting for me.
I’ve set the telly to watch Mr. Hollywood on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, then I shall have a bath, and thank the Russians for their electro magnetic play thing.