Sunday, May 20, 2007

20 May: Back from Jersey

That is not a knitting reference.

We arrived back yesterday lunch-time, and since then we've waded through the pile of mail on the mat, washed most of the laundry, been to the supermarket, watered the house plants, cut the grass and tidied the garden - now needing a lie down!

We had a great holiday. In spite of the weather - variously mist, rain, cloud, wind, and just a bit of sunshine - we managed to do many of the things we wanted to, and have returned rejuvenated, and with batteries re-charged.

Actually, if you are under 75, it's not hard to feel young on Jersey. At Newcastle Airport, the tide of grey heads creeping and hobbling towards the plane was slightly alarming. And the tourist buses and cafes were also wall to wall with white hair and walking sticks. But when I claimed the reduced OAP entry fee for one attraction, the dear lady was very reluctant to believe me.

It was strange to use our usual money and get foreign coins and pound notes (yes, pound notes) in change. There are what seem to be about 2 million cars on the island, mostly enormous BMWs, Mercedes, giant 4x4s, or people carriers. Everywhere is prominently labelled *No Parking*, or *Parking for Residents Only*, so there seems to be a problem with cars. Having said that, all the drivers are extremely courteous to each other, and to the cyclists and pedestrians on the narrow, twisting, and often pavement-free roads.

Little of the island is left from housing and agriculture. There were, surprisingly, not many cows to be seen, but many, many fields were devoted to potatoes - and if they are all Jersey Royals, they may be putting too many eggs (or indeed potatoes) into one basket. Remember what happened to Ireland when they went in for a mono-culture of potatoes? All the woods are in valleys too steep and rocky, or too marshy, for other use, and there are small areas of nature reserve and sand dunes.

We avoided all the parking problems by not hiring a car, but walking everywhere we could, and using the excellent bus network. We did go to several of the visitor attractions, and wondered what the many German tourists felt about the emphasis on WW2 and the Liberation.

Most of the cafes, hotels, and tourist shops are staffed by people from Eastern Europe - as was the excellent Polish Deli near our apartment.

The photos - over 200 - have been downloaded to the computer, but not yet sorted out. They will follow in due course.

Before I whizz round and see what everyone else has been up to in the past week, I'll leave you with the story of the piece of cod that passeth all understanding.

Having arrived on Saturday afternoon and had a brief walk round the locality, we were very hungry. (When on holiday, we are not strict veggies, as it's not always possible, and local food enhances the trip.) So we thought fish and chips were a good and simple meal. And we ate probably the worst cod and chips that either of us has ever had. A day or two later we were in the Jersey Museum (it was raining), and there was a large display devoted to the cod trade, which claimed that the trade in dried cod had completely disappeared; well of course it hasn't, it's alive and well, and being badly battered, teamed with tasteless soggy chips, and being sold round the corner!


Murph said...

Jersey Unravelled?

Has crime run amok since that nice Mr Bergerac went off to Midsummer?

Enjoyed your cod piece.

Lucy said...

Hello Stitch! Lovely to have you back.
Were you more flattered or annoyed when the lady didn't believe you were an OAP?
We took a ferry over to jersey from here for a weekend the first year or two we were here, one of the things we were looking forward to was fish and chips, but they were rather disappointing. We visited the tuna fish museum when we were in Morbihan - it was quite impressive in fact!
We still receive Channel Island news here - on a terrestrial ariel, no hills between us and them - and always think there seems to be a surprising amount to crime in Jersey; I hadn't connected it with Mr Bergerac's seconment to Midsomer, but that must explain it!

Z said...

Do you ever get around to labelling holiday photos? It's such a fiddly job, I never get around to it.

I had very good fish and chips (well, fried potatoes) in Krakow last week. Maybe a Polish fish & chip shop would have been better!

KAZ said...

Welcome back Stitch:
Jersey sounds a bit like Grange over Sands where I spent a pleasant day or two last week.
It made me feel like I was about thirteen.
But did you find any time for your knitting?

stitchwort said...

murph - every one a little gem! (Was that Tommy Trinder, or are you too young to remember?)

lucy - definitely flattered. We saw a policewoman on a bike, which was painted in blue and white checks to match the cars.

z - since doing family history, I am meticulous about labelling photos. Probably any fish and chip shop would have been better!

kaz - Did the sun shine on G-O-S? I didn't take any knitting away with me; I can live for a week without it. Twitch, twitch...