Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Nightwork

A terrible night, with a sudden, painful and inflamed knee, coughing and general sleeplessness. Felt dreadful and hobbling so did not go up to London. Instead was in bed most of the day, reading and dozing and consuming various pills. Finished A Confederacy of Dunces at last, which made me smile a bit through the haze of tiredness and general discomfort. It is a good book to read in snatches.

Also forced to miss the poetry workshop tonight, which is galling too. Chelsea lost today too. Gah, generally.

On a happier note. I got the artwork, by Hannah Clare, through for the front of my pamphlet the other day... Looks pretty cool I think. The pamphlet is going to be called The Nightwork, and I gave a brief involving birds and dark stuff, and this certainly met the brief...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mush head

Working from home today, with half a day's work to do. A pleasant day, and I sauntered off to have a silent haircut afterwards looking like a man of 100 in the mirror. Then return to work on my poetry MS. Everything I touched this afternoon turned to mush though, and I was feeling coldy and tired.

Bob called today, from the banks of the Mersey. It was good to hear him.

Lorraine and I had a meeting with our neighbours Mark and Nicky and Tom and Mark this evening. Discussing some legal stuff to do with ownership of the common land outside our houses. We were all in agreement, but it still all took a long time. To bed early.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Novelty rat race

Off to London again with a tickling cough and cold. However a pleasant enough day, and feeling quite cheery walking up  Villiers Street with the streams of people disgorged from Embankment station, dodging the chuggers, and a young man in a business suit talking about Jesus. These days although I still commute in London quite often, it has almost become a novelty, and the strangeness of London life is striking.  

Meanwhile, I was really delighted to hear back from Rhona McAdam, an old friend who I asked to help me with my poetry manuscript. Trying to get this sorted as the deadline is rearing its head. Just excellent to reconnect with her as she has always been a bit of an inspiration to me.

Home again and simply happy to be at home with my lovely wife, who had just parked up as I was arriving and walked down the street to meet me. A fairly early night. Luckily I am working from home tomorrow and not having to travel is going to be a big help in bouncing back from my cold.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Art couriers

Lorraine and I lay abed till late today, drinking tea and so on till it was time to get up and fashion with Beth and John a very large breakfast, which was eaten with gusto. Beth and John left on what turned out to be a ghastly long journey to London. While Lorraine and I after a certain amount of tidying and getting organised for the week, into the car and off to Edgware to pick up Mum's paintings and courier them back for Janet's Diva Open House.

Mum sad about her half-brother Alex's recent death. She also had lots of things of his. I was given a Freud book that my grandfather had, as well as some excellent illustrations for a children's book that my Grandfather had done, that Mum said I should write a story for. Meanwhile Mason preparing to go to Dubai shortly for a business trip.

Off to the Harvester restaurant for a bazillion calorie, mercifully some of them in the liquid form of a couple of pints of beer.  Then back home to load up, and after fond farewells drove back to Brighton. Feeling somewhat coldy by this evening, and apart from watching match of the day, where Chelsea satisfyingly beat Liverpool it was amazing to finally crawl into bed.

Below two photos of photos...  Carl and I when we were in our twenties, and a glamorous one of mum when she was about 16.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Evening in the Yeoman

Up before seven and working on the French Cows and Pigs project. The work done before nine. Then I fiddled about with Betty's poster for her Fringe show. Beth and John came home late last night, while I was in the land of nod. Beth off to teach this morning, and Lorraine getting her hair done. Weirdly, and in a way that makes a lie of things like physics, Lorraine came home with hair that was longer than when she left, due to the way it was cut. It looked good.

Sat about chatting with John, who is a really nice guy, and after Betty returned, I made my way upstairs to have a long sleep feeling a bit coldy and wan.

The four of us went out to the Sussex Yeoman where we met Dawn, Rosie and Matt for a few drinks and a good feed to celebrate Lorraine's birthday. We like that place. I had a comforting plate of sausage, mash and vegetables. Lorraine had plaice, which was brill. Much laughing and chatting all night.

A taxi home before sliding off to bed.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Thank God it is Friday. Up to work, working on my various bits, feeling a bit of a song on my lips due to it being Friday at last. However my French cows and pigs client had a new problem, so the edge was taken off this slightly by knowing I had to work Saturday morning. All well at work, however, and I managed to dream up a solution during my lunchbreak for some of the French problems.

Talking of French problems I have been sitting next to a French woman who has been steadily coughing on me for the last few days, and as I left work my throat began to hurt. She uses French in her job and mutters putain! under her breath. I heard a new French Phrase today: Je suis ouf! Which may mean something like: I sigh and/or I am crazy.  

Home mercifully, feeling tired on the train. Met my good wife in Sainsbury's and after we came home laden with food slipped over to have a Shahi meal. Dr Raman still unable to get a job in a University, which is saddening, for he is trying all the time. Just really happy to be with Lorraine and not working.

Home again, and I soon needed sleep, feeling worn thin.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book binge

Up to London again. Working on the train on poems this morning, trying to shuffle the poems of The Nightwork pamphlet into some kind of order as the deadline for getting the stuff ready for the pamphlet is looming.

A happy day's work and I went to Foyles, which was a treasure trove for books when I was a lad.  I came out with four books, the new Forward Anthology of poetry, a first collection by a poet called Tara Bergin which looked quite interesting,  and Fictions by Borges which I heard being discussed on Radio 4. Reading my final purchase, the ubiquitous Simon Armitage's Selected Poems. I have had a bit of a stupid prejudice against his work till now and I found myself mildly enjoying the dozen or so poems I read.

Great to be home and not have to do more work. Lorraine had cooked a chicken tagine which was full of lemony goodness, and we relaxed in front of Masterchef before taking a walk in the park after dark too. The air was thick with pollen, and even I found myself feeling peppery around the eyes, and my nose running. Still lovely to be walking about with Lorraine chatting.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All work, no play

Up early and off to London. Working on the train in the morning, and then a full day's work, which was pleasant enough and involved popping out at lunchtime to buy some scamping pads. Working on the train home, and after a reviving lasagne supper cooked by my lovely wife, I had more work to do from my French clients till gone eleven. To bed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A long wait for a nice meal

Lorraine's birthday. Up early and blearily handing her some presents, the same presents we bought together yesterday. Up to London working on the train, and then talking to Mum at lunchtime, as well as popping into Foyles to research some business books.

Home from Victoria, and happily on time for the meal we'd booked at GB1 in The Grand Hotel. Sadly however, someone was hit by a train at Preston Park, which meant that the train I was on was held on the line for a soul sapping hour and a quarter just two minutes outside Brighton.

This meant I was almost an hour late for lunch, but Lorraine was waiting, looking quite glamorous  and sipping a gin and tonic in the lounge. Some pleasant fish-based knife and forkwork with my lovely wife, and a bottle of bubbly looking out over the road to the dark of the sea. I ate pollack and chips, which was excellently done. I remember catching lots of pollack as a kid around Guernsey. In those days they called it a cat's meat fish. Lucky cats. I ate a couple of the ones I caught, but they had been sweating in a plastic bag all day, and didn't taste that good as I remember.

A taxi to our happy home, and I was very grateful for bed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cat starving

Up early and got up to make porridge and tea for Lorraine and myself.

I got to work early on re-engineering my social media presence. This blog will stay the same, but other stuff is all up in the air. One new bit is intended to amalgamate my old personal website and my notebook site. This slow and slightly infuriating as Wordpress is unintuitive and all the help is overly technical.

Lorraine meanwhile doing useful, and practical things, such as painting.

Tired today. In the afternoon off into town to buy some presents for Lorraine whose birthday it is tomorrow. I bought her a CD, some earrings and a stand to hold cookery books open in the kitchen. Ultimately, this latter present is in fact one for me, as Lorraine cooks some damn fine food from cookery books.

From here we took a stroll down to the seaside and sat on the pebbles looking out  to sea and chatting. Then home again before slipping out to the Shahi for a early evening meal. While forking down the curry I was texted by Anton. Only as he was thanking me for feeding his cats, did I remember that I should have fed them this morning. I felt quite bad about this especially as Anton said by text: "so first your fish and now you are trying it with my cats".

Home, and to bed worn out by my days off.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunrise and Klaudia's Confirmation

Up at an utterly appalling 4:25am, after a few hours sleep full of nightmares and ghastliness. Scrabbled around, amid confused cats, and found my suit, a tie, overcoat and my wedding shoes, and made off to the Church of St Nicholas. Arrived there at 5:15, having passed a few stragglers returning home after a night out. And and walked into the unlit church and was found by Oskar, and guided to the others by a woman with a little torch like an usherette. Joined up with Anton, Anna, Anne and Oskar, and of course Klaudia whose Confirmation it was this morning. Sitting in a darkened rustling church perfect for the post-nightmare mood.

The service started in darkness, with a fire lit at the back of the church and candles being lit one from the other as the day brightened all around the church. Readings from Genesis rather magical, although the Exodus bit about Pharaoh's army drowning, and celebrating over the dead bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore I find barbaric. My adorable God daughter seeming to enjoy the experience. I am not an atheist, but I have many reservations about the Church and did not go up to receive communion, which of course as an unbaptised heathen is not an option open to me. 

A bit of breakfast, a croissant, a hot cross bun and a cup of tea in the church. I enjoyed chatting to Anton's mum as usual, and to Anna who was looking well. A surprise glass of bubbly too. Then we walked back to Anna's place where I had a hobbit's second breakfast of a second hot cross bun.

I walked home then arriving at about 9:20 where I fed the cats and took Lorraine up a cup of tea, and slipped back into bed myself and had a much needed snooze. 

Up again and had my hobbit's third breakfast at noon, and had a fairly leisurely afternoon.

In the evening Lorraine and I went to The Duke of York's Picture House to see a rather splendid Irish Film called Calvary about a priest being threatened with death. Really enjoyed this, and rather apt to see it on Easter Sunday after a morning in church too.

Klaudia on her Confirmation day, and with The Bishop of Chichester who led the service, and whose sermon I rather enjoyed.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tetchy day

The day started nicely enough, but I got bogged down in the work I was doing on cows, pigs and horses and I didn't complete it till 5pm. Meanwhile the reorganisation of my websites has hit a tiresome snag preventing me from progress.

Meanwhile Lorraine went off to get her hair done, but the hairdresser was ill and so was postponed. She bought some easter eggs for Klaudia and Oskar, and Oskar's birthday present for Monday.
Having finished at last, downstairs to relax with my lovely where I noticed that the fish were behaving erratically and found the water had overheated as the thermostat had broken. A fault which cost seven of my fish their lives. I had a spare heater/thermostat, but netting dead fish was sad and horrid.

Lorraine and I off to the Basketmakers, where we bumped into  Beth's drama pals Lene and Sophie. We ended up sitting next to them, and Lorraine knocked some beer onto Lene's back which was a bit embarrassing. Matt popped in briefly too. However the place was unusually noisy tonight, with blaring rock music, against the usual ethos which wasn't helping my general irritability. We went home soon and stayed up late watching music on TV which was far better and I at last relaxed.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A haze of bluebells

Up early in the No Rest for The Wicked Dept. and spent much of the day on a freelance job coming up with concepts about a medication for pigs and ruminants. Have a lot of work to get done this Easter weekend. Lorraine out doing some shopping, then doing a spot of embroidery until I laid aside my cow and horse covered concept pad, and we went for a stroll in the bluebell wood we often go to at this time of year.

Drove over the downs and down into the wood. But it made me remember last year, when we visited last May and I'd just received an urgent callback from the hospital which was filling me with nerves.  In much better spirits now. The wood itself was carpeted with bluebells, and the air was full of the lovely pepperiness as usual.

More work this evening, this time on trying to sort out my new blogs, which I will unveil shortly, and doing complicated stuff in an attempt to sharpen up my social media profile.

Below beautiful bluebells in the Sussex countryside.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Melting back into Brighton

Another pleasant enough day, and the interesting work I've been doing is going down well. A good train journey in the morning doing some good work. A lunchtime stroll, talking to Lorraine, and then I found my way to Forbidden Planet, the comic and SF store, blending in with geeks and at least three father and son geek teams.

Home early and highly grateful that it was only a three day week for me. I was met by Anton at Brighton Station and we melted into Brighton eager for a beer. Followed by a visit to the Chinese restaurant at the bottom of Trafalgar Street. Mostly Chinese folks in there eating superior looking food not on our menu. We were given eating irons, but swapped those for chopsticks.

Then a few more drinks arguing about the best version of Move On Up me (correctly) Curtis Mayfield, Anton (erroneously) The Jam. We ended up in The Eddy for an absolutely bloody final. A good night with Anton shooting a good deal of breeze, while Lorraine entertained a variety of ladies at home.

Below a random snap of Anton in a Chinese restaurant.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Baleen mode

Up at the, for me, disconcertingly early time of 6:50am. Off to the station in the cool morning. And up to Victoria, doing some thinking about poetry on my laptop. Working on my poems on the train. Another lovely bright cool morning, and I quite enjoyed strolling through the centre of London first thing.

Work was fine, on day two people deciding to talk to me and be friendly. The work I've done so far seeming to go down very well too, which makes things more relaxing. Another quick stroll through central London, passing the doors of The Salisbury without being drawn in.

Home easily and early, and Lorraine had just been shopping. We ate trout and salad and new potatoes and all was well with the world. Starting a new freelance job on a three day week rather big and clever. I have however more work to do over the weekend, not only on my projects but on a pig diseases brief I have picked up. Since I have bought my new lucky green wallet I am on a baleen whale mission for a bit, to suck down the cash krill wherever it is to be found.

Below reflections in a sunlit backstreet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Icart on Long Acre

Calliope waking me from about 5:30 this morning, something I did not miss in La Barbarie. Despite having not to be up in London till 11 I got up at a sedate seven under The Cloud of Things That Must Be Done but my desktop decided not to work after an update, so this flying start was wasted.

Off to the Smoke doing some work on the train, and found the new agency. All okay, and an interesting project, the commercially sensitive details of which I cannot go into here. Off at lunchtime and found myself walking along Long Acre near Covent Garden thinking that this time yesterday I was walking on the Icart Road with Lorraine and Mum. I closed my eyes and could still picture it. A beautiful day though. I spoke briefly to Mum and Mas as I mooched along eating a salmon and cucumber sandwich. A slightly lonely day, being the newbie and knowing nobody. Some stir in the office when people spotted a couple making love in a room in the building opposite.

Home again, walking though London and down to Embankment Station then to Victoria. A nice journey home in the sunlight, early to Brighton station but then wasted 20 minutes in the useless ticket office. Home and Lorraine, naturally working at home when I am working in London, cooked a delicious vegetarian meal. Felt like I need to engulf some veggies.

Upstairs to do some more work at nine. But my computer may have a virus or something, and after an hour of futile struggling with it I simply came back down again feeling tetchy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back to Blighty

Final morning in Guernsey. After breakfast we went to Brouards to buy some flowers to put on my Grandparents' grave. This done, and a certain amount of looking at other graves and thinking of the people Mum and I knew in them, we went down to St Martin's church to say hello to La Gran'mère and pop into the Church for a brief mooch about.

From there we walked to Icart Point, and sat on the bench and looked at the cloud patches on the turquoise water and felt rather sad to be leaving all this beauty.

Collected by a cab from La Barbarie and off to the airport. Little to report here, a pleasant enough flight with clear views from my window over Alderney and the French coast. We flew over Brighton too.

Fond farewells with Mum at Gatwick train station. Lorraine and I speeding home with a cheery taxi driver from the station. Beth and John at home, but I had to go upstairs and start work taking a brief on the freelance work I am going to be doing over the next few weeks.

This done, and a delicious chicken, roast vegetables, couscous with harissa sauce downed, I made off to a poetry workshop at The Caxton. I took the wrong stuff so didn't personally get too much from it, but one or two intriguing poems.

Walking home from this I spotted Claudius and Richard outside the Evening Star, and I joined them for a fast beer before heading home and arriving at a very respectable 9:40. Chatting to young John for a bit before making off to bed quite early.

Below inside St Martin's Church, Mum (rather irreverently) holding La Gran'mère, and a farewell to Icart.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Moulin Huet

A slow start to the day. Mum off to see Ken, Dave's brother, and Lorraine and I lurked about in our room in the morning. Lorraine sitting on the balcony in the sun.

When Mum came back we walked down to Moulin Huet and had a long sunny afternoon on the beach. The tide out quite far when we got there, and we gradually retreated back in as the tide rose. I did things I rarely do, such as a good deal of paddling, and some scrambling on rocks, disturbing gobies (cabou) that flitted in rock pools. A mystical wondrous beach with almost nobody on it but us and some gulls nosing among the big rocks. I kept noticing the colours of aubergine and honey coloured rocks against the green sea. I wanted to paint a room in those colours.

Mum searching for sea glass, Lorraine eventually settling to do some needlework in the sun. All rather lovely and all of us were reluctant to climb the hill back to La Barbarie. A meal in the hotel tonight, and a few drinks in the bar afterwards, feeling slightly sad that this was the last night here for a while.

In Moulin Huet valley, then on the beach variously and some sea thrift which randomly caught my fancy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

To Jerbourg with Mum

A slightly sadder and wiser man I opted for a vegetarian breakfast this morning. Lorraine decided to have a quiet morning of embroidery and relaxation, and Mum and I went out for a long walk to Jerbourg. Another utterly beautiful day, and a good chance for me to catch up with all that is happening with Mum. Mum scampers up and down the cliff paths amazingly well and my step counter told me that at the end of the day we had done about 20k paces much of them up stairs and rocky paths along the seagull and kestrel haunted paths.

We stopped off at Jerbourg to be sullenly supplied with tea by the kiosk lady before walking home along the roads. Found Lorraine, and we had a bit of downtime before getting a taxi into town this afternoon. Lorraine shopping for bras and had a proper fitting and came away with two excellent new bras. I learned quite a bit about bras today.  Mum and I slipped off for a cup of wretched coffee in the place that now does crepes by the market.

Eventually after lurking about somewhat ineffectually we opted for an early supper in Dix Neuf, found myself to be very hungry then, not having had lunch. I was more restrained tonight, and we got a cheery local taxi home, and had a nightcap and game of rummy in the hotel bar, and Lorraine showed Mum a few more iPad tricks.

An interlude of drama as an older woman was carried out dead to the world from the restaurant through the bar outside to await an ambulance. I thought she had joined the majority, but Lorraine went outside and took her pulse and generally was fantastic till the ambulance got here. However ten minutes later, she returned imperiously on her feet right as rain. Her daughter and son in law sought the consolation of a brandy after her mother had gone to bed.

Below the view towards the Dog and Lion, and Petit Port at low tide. Was attracted buy the hooky bits of iron poking from a Nazi bunker.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heavenly walk

Up for a large breakfast, and then took Mum off to Torteval to see Betty Tostevin. A difficult journey in which we got lost again, and many of the lanes were blocked off. Cue me swearing again. Finally arrived at Torteval Church and said a quick hello and kissing of Betty, who was looking fairly well considering she has been sick for some time.

Then back to the hotel, where we drove Pat and Maureen to Icart Point again to say goodbye to the island. A stunningly beautiful day. Pat and Maureen really liked Guernsey and were sad to be leaving. Off in a taxi to the Airport with them, and saw them safely off through the security gate.

Then Lorraine and I decided to walk home from the Airport. We walked down towards Petit Bot again, but then cut up the cliff path and made our way through astonishingly beautiful paths decked in wild white garlic and sea campion, bluebells, daises, yellow gorse and pink flowers too. A riot of beauty in fact, and the sea looking stunning below us.  Lorraine and I in heaven.

Nature red in tooth and claw however, and we noticed lines of big ants surrounding large writhing furry caterpillars. Felt really good to be walking freely. We saw Pat and Maureen's plane take off into the blue sky too while we were on the cliffs.

Then back to the Barbarie and sat outside by the pool drinking lager with Mum and cheerily shooting some breeze. In the evening we three walked off to The Queens Hotel where we had a decent meal with plenty of vegetables. I had lemon meringue for pudding. I have disgracefully put on about a stone in the last week. To compound my badness, back to La Barbarie for a couple more drinks, and a plot and scheme about tomorrow, before bed.

Below Pat at Icart, me brooding Byronically at Icart, Maureen, wild garlic at Icart, me on the cliffs and nature being red in tooth and claw, Lorraine in a leafy path, and Icart from a distance.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Freesias and worm hearts

Down to Petit Bôt this morning Mum, Maureen and Pat all squished in the back of the car and talking about sardines. Walked about over the stones, to the sand, and then returned to doze meditatively on the bench above the bay.  The sun flirting with us behind a large black cloud.  An American woman staying at the Barbarie passed by and we had a chat with her.

Then off to Torteval again to the Imperial Hotel for a spot of lunch, slightly chaotic but filling food. Mum spoke to her other brother Peter on the phone, and then I got a work call to confirm an interesting freelance assignment to start the moment I get set foot in the UK.

Then we drove off to find the Freesia centre, and spent some time circling down lanes in the middle of the island accompanied by me swearing at the map. Finally found the Freesia centre was in fact four or five long greenhouses with freesias growing in them. I love the smell of freesias, so was in an olfactory heaven.

Some mooching here, and Pat and Maureen bought some corms and other trinkets. Then off to the North of the island to the sandy northern Pembroke Bay where Lorraine and I stripped off our socks and shoes and had a lengthy paddle, cool but delicious on the toes. There was a tiger striped Guernsey donkey there too which is something you don't see every day.

From there down Port Soif for a cup of tea and a joke about mother in laws with a man working there, then to Cobo, where we went to the fish and chip shop I'd been to once with Richard and Jane, and we got some rather excellent fish and chips and ate them on the beach striding about looking in rock pools and so on.  Then with the sun lowering over the sea, we motored back to La Barbarie, for a drink after what had been a rather lovely day.

Below Petit Bôt, inside the Freesia centre, the tigerish donkey, Lorraine and my feet in the sea, and a heart shaped worm cast and rock pools at Cobo.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Mum arrives in Guernsey

Breakfast, Lorraine and I late again, but having had a good night's sleep.

A beautiful day to drive around Guernsey in. First stop The Little Chapel and the clockmaker's nearby. Pat I think particularly enjoyed The Little Chapel. Its diminutive caddis fly shell beauty rarely disappoints. From here we drove to Jerbourg and pointed out the islands, had a stroll down the road to the corner of the island where there is a donkey under a Guernsey flag, showing its nether regions to Jersey. A cup of tea at Jerbourg, served by the world's least smiling tea kiosk lady.

From there, an aborted attempt to reach the cafe on the seafront at Fermain Bay, so instead we scooted off into Town, to a place called Hojo's where I have been a few times without ever really noticing the Japanese theme to its food. The place is amusingly pretentious but we all opted for a Japanese-lite chicken soup with ramen noodles, which was eaten gamely by all with a variety of eating irons and chopsticks.  Then a quick wander off to buy a new battery for Pat's watch and satisfy Maureen's sudden craving for cake. After demanding cake shops one was found, whereupon she ate a large muffin with jam inside and then experienced a dizzying sugar rush. She soon recovered, and Lorraine drove us back to La Barbarie.

Off shortly after to collect Mum who had arrived safely and on time. Back to the hotel where she has the room next to Pat and Maureen's. She said she would knock on their wall if they were noisy. Mum, Lorraine and I then went for a walk to Icart together before supper, spotting a pheasant in a field, and sitting on the proposal bench.

On returning we found Pat and Maureen in the bar, who had been joined by Maureen's cousin Bob, who she hadn't seen since he was a little boy, and met his two twin boys and wife. Bob lives on the island and is a designer who works in local agencies and is only a little younger than me.

After Bob's family left, someone from reception came to tell Mum that Mason was on the phone. Mas called to say that Mum's half-brother Alex had died. He had been ill for some time, and the news was expected, but it still sad. I sat with Mum outside talking about it, but she typically didn't want to ruin the night for everyone-else, so we came back and actually ended up having a really good fun evening.   Maureen forcing various members of the serving staff to have their photograph taken.  Then a few drinks in the bar afterwards. Good that Mum was with us tonight.

Below a couple of snaps inside The Little Chapel, Pat and Maureen at Jerbourg, Pat and Maureen eating ramen noodles, Lorraine and Mum on the proposal bench, the dog and lion shot on the way back from Icart.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

West Coast of Guernsey

Up for breakfast after a good night's sleep. We were late and Pat and Maureen were already in place at the breakfast table straining at the leash for breakfast.

Once this accomplished Lorraine and I met the car hire guy in the bar and secured a grey ford fiesta. We were soon off in the car to Icart. The morning beautiful but just as we got out of the car, the rain lashed in but it was over in a minute and we started again. We walked them around the corner to what is now being called The Proposal Bench, and looked down at the sea and headland with great shadows of clouds mottling the water rather beautifully. A few snaps there and a toddle around in the other direction to see my favourite cliff raising its head to look out to sea.  Pat and Maureen loving the flowers everywhere, predominantly bluebells, white garlic (stinking onions) and bits of early yellow gorse and other yellowish spring flowers.

Then into the car again, and we drove off past the airport across to the west coast. We parked up by the tiny Portelet Harbour in Torteval, and walked around to Pleinmont Point. Maureen not walking so well at the moment, so she chose to sit on a wall looking at the view and we walked on for a short distance. Later Pat and I nosed into some German bunker lit by the light of my iPhone.

Then into the car and we drove off to Vazon bay, where we had a light lunch in a new cafe. Then we drove a few hundred yards to Fort Hommet, where there was open to the public a 10.5 cm Coast Defence Gun Casemate Bunker. I'd never been in this before. Interesting how, over the years, Guernsey is slowly changing its attitude to the occupation. The bunker was well worth a visit.

Lorraine and I went for a walk around Fort Hommet, and Pat and Maureen had a quick snooze in the car. We then drove back to La Barbarie.

In the evening off to the Captains for some cheap and cheerful grub and I enjoyed a couple of local beers called Wonky Donkey. Lorraine didn't much care for hers so I helped her out.

Back to the Barbarie for a few more drinks and a game of Cribbage in the bar. I have only played once and it seems to involve a good deal of arithmetic to work out your score. Pat is trying to teach me and looks at me with a combination of infinite patience tinged with sadness as I fail repeatedly to be able to work it out. All good fun though.

Eventually it was bedtime and we all sloped away happily to bed. Rather a lovely day.

Below Lorraine, Pat and Maureen hair being blown in the wind, clouds on the sea from Icart, Portelet harbour, the lane to Pleinmont Point, the view once there, inside of a neglected bunker, inside the casemate bunker at Fort Hommet with Maureen looking down the gunsights, and Fort Hommet.