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Monday, 15 June 2020

Jersey

I was just 20 years old  when I moved to Jersey. I'd been living and working in London for almost 2.5 years when I felt I needed a change.  I'd worked for Tescos as a purchase ledger clerk since arriving in North London, checking all the delivery invoices and agreeing the payments via head office in Cheshunt.  I started in a relatively large shop but within a few months there were plans for their first superstore to be built in Edmonton. 

It was like nothing I'd seen before, set over 2  floors. Ground floor groceries, 1st floor Delaware clothing and household. It was a very busy store and I soon made friends with the locals who worked there. There was still a lot of uncertainty  in London with the Irish bombings going on and of course the Moorgate disaster, when a Northern line tube train hit a wall when it failed to stop killing over 70 people and injuring many more.  
   
One of my colleagues had a daughter similar age to me and we hit  it off straight away spending lots of free time together. After a while she kept asking if I'd go travelling with her as she thought I was more confident than her. I eventually agreed but said we needed  to start closer to home. So with our return ferry tickets booked we set off for Jersey. 

The journey over was horrendous and when we arrived almost an hour  late the quayside was above us and we had to leave the ship via the top deck, then up a very steep gangway to the shore.  Jersey has one of the highest rise and fall tides in the UK. I swore there and then I'd never get on that ship again. 

We went to lodge with a local family in St Clements and got jobs straight away. I worked for Falles garages on Bagot Road importing and exporting Renault hire cars. The island is small and cars can only get into top gear on a few roads so there was a high turnover of vehicles.  My friend went to work for the large traditional department store in St Helier called deGrucy.  It was very typical of 'are you being served' with sweeping staircases and huge glass cabinet displays. 

We would eat in the instore restaurant as she got a discount. One lunch that stuck with me all these years was 'deGruchy's open sandwich'.  It consisted of toasted wholemeal slice on the bottom, with mixed salad and ham etc on top. I still make it to this day at home. Sometimes I put tuna or eggs on  the toast before loading it with salad, today I spread avocado and finished with shredded wafer ham. 

Mr Falles,   a local businessman and multi millionaire  often gave us free tickets to events that he'd received which was great fun. I went to the opening of lots of restaurants,  bars and cafes. The downside to Jersey is you have to be resident to live there long term  and residency is linked to income! 

After almost a year  I flew home, I didn't like being a lodger having to ask to stay out late,  ask could I   boil a kettle etc. My friend had returned earlier as she was very homesick. The travelling life wasn't for her! 

Jersey is a beautiful island and I loved its many parks and gardens. I often used the leisure centre near 
Fort Regent overlooking St Helier harbour. The unmissable battle of the flower procession in August where the scenes on the floats are made flowers, Google the images it's fantastic.  The fuchsia garden I would walk through to get from St Clements to St Helier filled with every type and colour of fuchsia known to man. 

I will return one day to look at it through older eyes. Have you been to Jersey? What food transports you back to a place you've been? Bye for now .Tx 

38 comments:

  1. The closest I have been to Jersey is watching Bergerac on the TV many years ago : ) but it is on my list of places that I would quite like to visit. That is, if the world ever resumes some normality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a beautiful island and you can see the French coast especially of a night time. It's got some great beaches too. I will return someday.

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  2. I would love to visit Jersey too. It does look lovely. In fact I want to visit everywhere but know I'll never achieve that. It's lovely reminiscing though isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to go back as there is so much I remember that was beautiful.

      Delete
  3. I've been 5 times and love it there. The walks are stunning, the food is amazing and so many interesting places to visit. Would definitely like to visit again one day .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an amazing place. I think the micro climate makes it a special place. I loved the way the island almost doubled in size when the tide goes out.

      Delete
  4. Most people think you have to go to another continent to “travel” but it sounds like you had a terrific year not so far from home. I have never been, never likely to (hate flying, not a fan of boats either 😊)

    Have you seen Barbara’s Jersey blog? https://coastalripples.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The plane home was tiny compared to international planes now. But crossing the channel by boat was not good. I'll take a look at Barbara's Jersey blog, thank you for telling me about it.

      Delete
  5. I have never been to Jersey but years ago I worked with a lady who was evacuated out before the war. Obviously a different time and place cause she couldn't wait to come back to Scotland. They suffered greatly during the war years and the austerity after.
    It is a beautiful place I would like to visit though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember my landlady telling me all about the invasion by the Germans. It was occupied for quite a few years and there is historical evidence around the island still. If you get the opportunity to go you should. It's quite unique.

      Delete
  6. I went to Jersey, a long time ago. My boyfriends sister worked at a travel agent and she got cheap tickets because they sent her to check out holiday destinations. Four of us went. I remember well the sea crossing, it was horrendous, I was sick the whole time. When I arrived the first thing I did was to book a flight back the following week. No way was I going to get on that boat again. From what I remember, it was a lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can still remember that crossing. I think the channel is well known for its rough seas. I hope you got to see other places thanks to your boyfriend's sister.

      Delete
  7. My Mother, grandmother and I lived on Jersey in St Helier for a short while at Mrs. Briggs' boarding house. My grandmother was recuperating from a hospital stay. I went to school wearing a uniform - navy blue with sash, white shirt, striped tie. My walk to school was through /under a tunnel like thing... Gray stone building above me!! Loved exploring the island with my Mother... long walks... the beach. I had my 6th birthday there and we left to head for the US. My grandmother is buried there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, what great memories you have. I can remember travelling through a tunnel from St Clements to St Helier. Are you an expat in the US?

      Delete
  8. Loved reading this post about Jersey. I have left you a comment over on my blog. Certainly is a small world :) B x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Tania,
    Great to hear your story about Jersey.
    I have been to Guernsey but never Jersey, I have always wanted to visit, hopefully in the future I will do so. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marlene, I was busy making lunch and the open sandwich triggered the memory. We docked a Guernsey butch didnt see much of it.

      Delete
  10. No, I have never been to Jersey. I've been to Guernsey for a week with a day trip to Sark, and to Sark for a week arriving and departing via Guernsey but never to Jersey.

    The people of Guernsey boast at not having a MacDonald's ... and the people of Jersey boast that they have one. It's a funny world.

    But of all the Channel Islands it's Sark that I would relocate to in the blink of an eye. I love it. I just need to marry a local man!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do they have a Sark Dating Agency? LOL. I haven't been to Sark but if I ho back to Jersey I'd like to visit all the islands.

      Delete
    2. It would be a very limited pot of folk on the agency website, there are only 600 folk in total on Sark ... but it's worth a go ;-)

      Yes, it's well worth a visit.

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    3. Oh what a shame haha. I'll have a read about it. Thanks Sue. X

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  11. We had a short break in Sark and it was magical especially the getting around by cycle. Love to see more of channel Islands one day.

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