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