holiday

All posts tagged holiday

Observations from my mini break to Jersey, February 2019

Published February 9, 2019 by Naomi Rettig

Welsh cakes from the executive lounge in Cardiff airport don’t taste as delicious when you swallow them down for the second time on the plane. It’s about getting the balance right between comfort eating for flight anxiety and leaving enough room in your stomach for Welsh cake tumbling. I haven’t quite got this balance correct yet.

The synthesiser drum beats on Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ are perfectly matched with my heart beat on take off in the plane. Except when my heart got to 145 bpm.

I’m glad the windows on a plane don’t open as when looking down on the fluffy clouds my brain thought it would be a great idea to jump out and feel how spongy they’d be on the way through them.

If you sit in the last seat at the back of the plane, on a small propeller plane, you get to hear all the juicy gossip from the airhostesses as they sit by there. Especially on a flight where no one else is sat anywhere near. The downside though is you never get closure, I’ll never know if Hazel got rid of her lacklustre boyfriend that she was deliberating over.

I still get excited when I get Jersey notes in my change, foreign currency! I know it’s the same currency as the UK but having the different bank notes with a smiling not stoic queen on them makes me smiley too and feel like I’m in exotic lands.

I still get excited when visiting my favourite lighthouse at Corbiere. I still pretend I’m on a star trek set when walking through the boulders. I always wonder if I’d get told off if I got deliberately trapped out there. I want to feel isolation panic, but not get banned from lighthouses. I always walk out at the peak of low tide to be extra safe, but I think on my next visit I’ll be more risqué with my timings.

My favourite bench on the top of the cliff looking down onto Portlet Bay is still my favourite bench in the world, and I feel territorial if I see anyone else approach it. That’s my bench. It’s this spot that would be the place I’d leap from if I was going to jump off a cliff to end it all. But if anyone reads this in the future from an insurance company it was a windy day and I fell accidentally.

My second favourite bench on top of the cliff between St Brelade’s Bay and Ouaisne Bay is still my second favourite bench in the world. But always try to remember that there is a tier behind the bench that someone else could sit on, so when you think you’re say there by yourself, taking photos of your horror toys and talking to yourself, you may be being observed and judged by a silent man and his equally silent dog. And being judged by a dog is quite harsh.

I nearly went to a church service, by choice. My favourite church is St Brelade’s parish church and I love sitting in there by myself. I’m an atheist but for some weird reason when I sit in this church I always feel overcome with emotion and cry. Probably my evil demons having a panic inside me. I got to the church on the Sunday ten minutes before a service was going to start and deliberated on going in. I’ve only ever been to a church service on occasions such as weddings, funerals, and christenings, never for a ‘regular’ service. I decided not to go in because I didn’t want the magic of the church to be broken by sharing it with other people, and I felt like I would be spotted as an imposter when I entered. I loitered around the graves instead chatting to the dead.

Once again, even though at a different hotel to my last visit, I had a lovely Portuguese waiter brightening my mornings at breakfast. I should visit Portugal/Madeira.

I love hearing the clanking of boats in a deserted harbour at night. It makes me think of Jaws and I get comforting excited chills in my upper spine and left femur.

I often feel that having anxiety and depression is a bit mean and maybe someone else could have my anxiety instead, but sometimes I can see why I have the two together. The depression part of my brain always wants me to walk into the sea and keep walking and never come back. But the anxiety part of my brain won’t let me go into the water past my knees without shouting ‘shark’ at me and making me retreat to dry land.

I broke tradition of going to the cinema for a holiday film. I did go to the cinema and sat down in the foyer to choose what film I was going to see but there were lots of people and children there. Too peoply for me so I absorbed the smell of the cinema then left.

I aggravated my knee injury by walking ten miles a day, but when the coast and scenery is as amazing as Jersey it’s hard not to want to walk everywhere. But walking back from Normoint Point to St Aubin was my ultimate nemesis, it looked a lot nearer on the map and I did a lot of internal head swearing.

The railway track walk from Corbiere lighthouse to St Aubin was reviewed as a delight. But the day after my nemesis walk was probably not a good time to do this as I felt anything but delightful. Lots of benches along the route though to rest up so that was good!

Walking along St Brelade’s Bay is so relaxing and calming, until your brain keeps noticing the little worm casts in the sand and tells you that you’re about to be attacked by ‘Tremors’ like creatures at any moment. Cue a middle-aged lady in purple go from smiling strolling mode to panicked limping run mode, much to some dog walkers amusement.

I’m still disappointed that I see an abundance of dogs on the island but no cats. If I get to live in Jersey I shall have twenty cats to attempt to bring some balance.

I discovered the lovely Venezuelan lady in Costa Coffee in St Aubin brightens everyone’s day. She makes it impossible not to smile.

The bus drivers are still so friendly and polite, and the buses run like clockwork. All bus companies should strive to be like Jersey Buses.

The Old Court House in St Aubin is a wonderful place to stay and I would stay there again. With an old staircase and indoor well dating from 1450 it’s magical staying in a part of history.

I didn’t know there was a chapel in Jersey airport until I accidentally stumbled into it while trying to locate departure gate nine.

I still love Jersey, it’s still my favourite place on the planet, my go to happy place. And only eight months until I go back!

Advertisements

Mugged by a seagull, named Steven.

Published November 4, 2017 by Naomi Rettig

I set off for a challenging two-mile coastal walk. Probably not challenging for most people, but this was involving climbing up high then descending onto a beautiful deserted bay that can only be accessed on foot, a challenge for me. It was scary at some points as the wind was up, would I get blown over the cliff tops? Would my knees cope with the steep drop down? Would my phone get signal to phone the coastguard if I couldn’t climb back up out of the bay? And if not how long would my hotel biscuits, that I’d packed in my bag for emergencies, last for?

At many points in the walk my little miss negative kept telling me I couldn’t do it. I had to keep reminding myself that I could, and when I couldn’t convince myself I resorted to bribery. ‘If you climb that cliff you can have an ice-cream.’ ‘If you make it down there you can have an ice-cream.’ My inner five-year-old responded to the ice-cream bribe, and I climbed, scrambled, and completed my walk.

Walking back to the bay that I’d started from, all I was thinking about was my ice-cream reward, my prize for being an awesome adventurer. Guilt free too as my Fitbit was telling me that I’d burnt eight hundred calories on my walk. I was a smug adventurer. I felt epic.

At the ice-cream kiosk I requested one scoop of rum and raisin. The lady asked if I wanted a flake in that. Feeling like I’d trekked from outer Peru, I declared, still smugly, that yes, I would like to have a flake in that. That was my mistake right there. Floored by a flake.

Holding my ice-cream in my hand, like an Olympic torch, I started strolling off towards a bench along the promenade. I was going to take a deserved seat, relax in the tranquil setting, and savour my rum and raisin heaven. I was going to do that, but that never happened.

My mugging happened so fast. I felt a smack on my head, a blackness in front of my face, and my ice-cream was snatched from my hand. With my hand still in ice-cream holding pose minus the cone, I realised I’d been attacked by a seagull. The smack on my head was its wing, the blackness in my face was its fat body. I’d screamed loudly when I was hit on the head, which drew the attention of a couple on the beach and two pensioners behind me. I wish my natural reaction hadn’t been a loud scream. I wish I hadn’t drawn attention to what happened next. I have never been so ashamed of myself.

As the seagull lifted the ice-cream, via the flake handle, with its mangy webbed feet, the flake snapped in half. My ice-cream plummeted to the floor, presenting itself at my feet. All the build up to my ice-cream, the longing, the desire, the deservedness, the anticipation, all lay at my feet on a dirty walkway. My emotions exploded at the seagull, still flapping by my head, brandishing half a flake at me. I swore. In public. ‘Bastard!’ I shouted at the seagull. Aggressively. Just as loud as my scream. I was instantly mortified at myself. I’d let myself down.

The intrepid heroic explorer had been replaced with a potty mouthed fishwife. I could feel the pensioners disapproval boring into me. A lady on the beach laughed, then covered her mouth to disguise this. I picked my ice-cream cone up. Taking a tissue from my bag I wiped down my ice-cream to removed traces of the pavement. I then walked to the furthest bench on the beach to eat it. Steven the seagull followed me. Bastard. As I sat on the bench he landed at my feet. I told him ‘you have got to be joking.’ He wasn’t. He stood there, his greedy beady eyes focused purely on my ice-cream. His eyes were indeed on the prize.

So, my image of relaxing to the sounds of the sea while slowly enjoying my rum and raisin ice-cream didn’t materialize. Instead I got mugged by a seagull, swore angrily in public, disappointed some pensioners, and shoved and ice-cream down my throat in world record speed.

The flake was my mistake.