I had never been to Jersey until last weekend. Friends, R…… and L…… have just moved back to the isle of their childhoods and Mr C and I thought it a brilliant idea to carpe le weekend and go somewhere new and not too far away.
We arrived just behind the pantechnicon containing one thousand plus boxes. Actually it was slightly more complicated than that. Because of the narrow, unforgiving, stone sided roads, the furniture removal truck had to remain in St Helier and the gang, van the boxes to our friends in a convoy of white. There were a lot of boxes. Both opened and unopened all over the house. Thankfully it’s a very big house.
We arrived just behind the 789th van deposit. I think R……. was quite pleased to see us as it gave him the perfect excuse to stop unpacking boxes. L……, like most women, was much more dedicated to the task and I believe, because of l……, the thousand boxes will all be opened and contents assigned quarters in a relatively short space of time. If it were left to R……., I have my doubts.
We flew in at lunchtime so out for lunch we went.
I considered going the surf school but opted for
calamari, chorizo, beans and rocket salad with garlic mayonaise. Oh, and a nice big glass of rosé.
Then we went for a drive. Jersey is only 45 miles square. You would think it were much bigger if you, like me, were in the backseat of a Volvo going at speed, breaking at speed, cornering at speed and attempting to cover each and every mile of the isle before pre-prandials.
Before I got really car sick we saw a lot of beauty.
After a wee nana nap (to settle my stomach and prepare it for the evening) we went out for a slap -up meal. I remember very little about the food. I believe it was good. It seems I might have drunk my body weight in rosé at the restaurant. In my defence, it slipped down very easily. Although I did manage to force another down back at the ranch, it would be fair to say that I slept like a baby. An unconscious baby.
I woke feeling a tad seedy but two slices of toast and a strong black coffee sorted that out. Once I woke from my 9.30am nap I managed to make it to a sun lounger (another strong black in hand) and have a well deserved sleep while L……. unpacked more boxes. She is a machine.
I must tell you that L…… is also a Michelin starred chef. At least she has been referred to as such, so great are her skills in the kitchen. Unfortunately, her kitchen was brown- boxed- in last weekend. R…… rounded us up and all four headed to Marks and Spencer for lunch. Mr C insisted I come to ensure he didn’t horlicks up his choice of sandwich for yours truly. L…… came because her husband refuses to pay M and S for the carrier bags so many hands were needed to carry our carb laden repast back to the Volvo. I ate way too much and, bolstered by another mug of caffeine and an indigestion tablet, I dressed for an afternoon on the high seas.
Have any of you see the movie, Captain Ron? Made in the early 90’s it stars Kurt Russell and Martin Short and if you’re in a silly mood and want to watch a silly movie, this is a goody.
R…… is learning to captain/sail/drive a rather powerful motorboat. He’s mastered the going fast in a straight line in open water. He does that very well. Anchoring and mooring are proving ever so slightly more problematic. There are aspects of Captain Ron’s character that I see reflected in our friend R…… I was thus relieved to learn that, in ensuring the well being and longevity of all on board, he’d invited N…, his best bud, along for the ride. N… is good at anchoring and mooring and as such an asset to our afternoon’s adventuring.
We headed to St Brelade’s for a spot of swimming.
We anchored twice and began to bob around. I began to feel ever so slightly queasy. The queasiness got worse. Then it stepped up a gear. My mouth got all watery – usually a vomit precursor. By sitting high up, in the centre of the boat, looking with a fixed eye towards land and not talking to anyone I managed to hold my chicken caesar wrap down. I could not swim. The thought of changing in a confined and bobbing cabin brought tears to my eyes and more saliva to ma bouche.
We then drove/sailed to deeper water and fished for mackerel. This involved more bobbing so I couldn’t fish – having to keep my eye on land and sit atop the motorboat but Mr Carmichael gave it a go. He has fished once before when he was starving in Greece but is not sure if he used a hook or just bread and, unsurprisingly, caught nothing.
Saturday was very different.
“I think I’ve got the line caught on the bottom,” he says and with R…….’s help reels in a fish.
R…… catches a fish. And another.
Line cast again, Mr C is now a fisherman. “I’ve got another,” he shouts but he was wrong.
He had five! All tangled together on his now, and forever, unusable line.
R…… unhooked/cut them all off narrowly avoiding a tumble into the Atlantic.
I wish I could show you the photos. They are hilarious but, in the efforts of anonymity and without a pixalator, the amusement must remain on Mrs C’s camera. You will just have to use your imaginations.
We sailed/drove back to the marina.
At this point Captain Ron came to the fore and N… came into his own. Well, he would have if he hadn’t jumped off the boat prematurely. I think he was under the impression that because R……. had driven our craft full throttle into the berth he was planning to leave it there and ropes would need to be tied.
R…… had other ideas and within moments we were reversing rather quickly towards the behemoth moored behind us.
Because Mr Carmichael’s only job was to offer words of support and nothing else, I could actually enjoy the next thirty minutes or so of in/out manoeuvring, swearing, long distance exchanges between Captain Ron and land lubbered, N… and a few very close shaves.
We parked and had a rosé to celebrate and wait for other boaty people on their boats to stop laughing.
That evening, as a starter, we bbq’d the mackerel at the beach and watched the waves crash against the sea wall.
Mr Carmichael’s catch was delicious.
We had some rosé and and went for Italian. L……., my husband and I ordered seafood pizza. R…… doesn’t like fish so steered well clear. Sensible R…….
There are words that one never thinks they will concatenate into a single sentence. ‘Pizza bisque’ is a perfect example. Bisque as a soup – fantastic. A pasta sauce – perfect. A topping for a pizza -hmmmmm. So shocked was I, I neglected to take a photo. Again, please use your imagination. Think brown, think runny, think as far away from any pizza you have ever seen and you’re almost there.
“It says bisque on the menu,” our waitress informed us when I mentioned the utter oddness of my dinner.
We asked for a menu, believing that three of us could not have missed the warning. It said rein about the bisqueness of our chosen meal. Quel surprise!
L…….., she of the ‘michelin star’, took over from me and spent the good next while in the kitchen with manager and chef reinventing their menu. I drank rosé and waited to hear how she got on.
“Don’t think that’ll be appearing again,” she said and quaffed a well deserved mouthful of pink wine.
Mr C and I flew home in the arms of Hurricane Bertha, our little prop plane circling Stanstead in a left sloping holding pattern just long enough to make me airsick.
And so, to summarise:
A trifecta of motion sickness and then there was the rosé.
Fresh fish caught my Mr C, my pecheur d’island husband.
Beaches, beaches, sea, sea, sea and stunning hydrangeas.
It’s Thursday and I have almost recovered.