My basil has wilted round the edges – we need more sun.
I keep looking up long range forecasts as if I had some say in the outcome of the weather. I tip-toe though the garden so I don’t slip on the soggy grass. I pinch out buttercups and daisies that are growing abundantly between the yellow flowering courgettes, the bushy broccoli and the gigantic garlic. My spinach is perpetual and the runner beans are flowering red but the climate is inconsistent and all my geraniums have damp, wet petals, my dahlias have died and the yellow roses bow forlornly next to the discoloured hellebores.
So what does an old girl do when it’s too wet to weed? Well she does what any self respecting licensee does she watches Wimbledon. Consequently I am bog-eyed from tennis balls, square-eyed from footballs and exhausted by the rest of the balls on the box. I am tired of channel hopping, nipping from here and there and then forgetting where I’ve been and what I’ve seen, and now there’s the added pressure of listening. Whether I like it or not I am being encouraged to enter Planet Podcast.
Everybody’s got one from ‘Cher’ to ‘Eternity’ a podcasting site with ‘Carefully considered, Biblically informed, creative productions that aim to fill your ears with seriously good sounds.’ How the fuck can I compete with that? I’ve never been carefully considered in my life and I am wilfully uninformed let alone Biblically.
I’ve had the multiverse and her husband asking why I don’t have a podcast. After all Russell Brand, Jessie Ware and Christopher Biggins broadcast to the nation so why not me? The answer is I don’t know where to begin with a podcast, I can never find the time to research them, and what can I say that Oprah hasn’t already said?
Yes I know we are all unique in our own way, that there aint anybody like me, or you or Emma Barnett, but the truth is I feel a wave of terror at the thought of adding yet another 30 minutes of blather to an overly rambunctious world. Time it was there were only four TV channels – now we have a fire stick that with the press of an arrow can bring up any number of programmes, all of which are about as entertaining as watching paint dry, which if I’m not mistaken is a new series on Channel Y. What can a septuagenarian offer that hasn’t already been covered by two Cambridge Grads who think they are sooooo funny, or the barrow boy from Bermondsey who thinks he is sooooo funny, or the Vicar from Hove or the Doctor from Dymchurch who think they are sooooooo fucking funny.
There is so much information out there that me adding to it can only cause more confusion. I crave silence in my head, the gentle hum of nothingness. I crave peace and quiet not more bantering and argy-bargy, not more commentators that tell me that vaccines are wrong- sorry right – that the Covid is a hype – sorry NOT – That I am being genetically modified and tested on by the likes of Bill Gates – Noooo – and here’s a new one that ‘Flip Flop Fouci’ is the root of all our evils. I am tired by the know-alls and influencers, the authoritarian Right, the limping Left, I am honestly exhausted by the rights and wrongs of everybody who thinks they are right and the rest of us are wrong, and the wrongs and rights of everybody who thinks they are right even though the rest of us know they’re wrong. I am breathless under the weight of so many narcissists who believe they have the answer to everything. I am flattened by a world of trolls and twits and the anomaly of rolling news that transmits shocking stories every minute of every hour of every day filling the void with yet more nasty-babble.
And yet here I am writing this blog which is only one step away from podcasting only you can’t hear me, see me or feel me.
‘Do it for them.’ say my encouragers.
‘But first of all know who your target audience is.”
I’ve never targeted an audience in my life, I do what I do because I have to do it and thems that want to come along for the ride come along for the ride. So were I to record a Podcast it would be because I felt the need to expiate something in me.
So as the night turns into early morning and I’m preparing my eye balls for the semi-final against Denmark, I find myself considering the possibility of a podcast.
Firstly I have to find a name and then make sure nobody else has claimed it. I have to jump on a platform, I have to reorganise the studio, I have to really, really, really want to do it, and then I have to enlist social media with its’ instagrams and tik-toks, it’s ‘Flixors’ and ‘Habbo’s’ – do you know what the fuck I’m talking about? Because I sure as hell don’t. But then when have I ever let my all consuming ignorance get in the way of my career?
When I started on telly I didn’t know an autocue from an autobahn. When I did the food show I couldn’t tell the difference between a shin bone or a radish, when I started on the radio I couldn’t tell the difference between Vanessa Feltz and a radish. And now, even though the airwaves are full of genius’ and specialists, pundits and Clair Balding, I have the audacity to think that a podcast from me is the next best thing since watermelon seed butter.
As the clock hits 3.00 and the kettle has boiled ready for my water bottles, as Italy celebrate their win against Spain and Djokovic awaits Federer, as the drizzle continues and my aubergines grow in the greenhouse, as the cat snores and my belly is full of late night snacking, as the night-quiet settles the idea of a Jeni Barnett podcast is as unlikely as a programme about a group of tattooed youngsters shagging on an island whilst a camera crew films them and an audience of millions tune in to watch them doing it – as if!