Jersey day 4 – never try to renew old memories

The principal event of the day

Given that the gap was over 30 years since my last visit to Jersey, lets say that most memories of the place were pretty blurred. And walking around St Helier has only confirmed two things, one that it has changed dramatically in the interim, and that beyond a couple of landmarks, I don’t remember anywhere!

So fine, you know already what one of those memories were, or do if you’ve been reading the rest of the blog this week. The Alexandra Hotel, gone about 10 years or so, and the one place outside the hotel that Sue and I would eat together, which I havent mentioned before, a really good curry house, which as far as I can tell, is also no longer there.

Why I say that is simple, the town centre has changed so much, that when I get down town, I cant get my bearings as to which way I would have gone, when going from town, back to the hotel. And the back route for that, is where the curry house was. So yes, highly unlikely it is, but, it could still be there, and I just cant find it. Chances of that, less than 1%, but… I’ve decided that before Saturday comes around, I need to walk up the front, to West Park, go to where the Alex used to be, and try and find that road, so I can at least vaguely try and work out where it was, and what it is now.

Right, get to the story. Last night, as I was either going into the bus station, or leaving it, what did I spy across the road, yes, you’ve guessed it, an Indian restaurant. And fine, like a fool (as I now know) I thought it would make a good place for an evening meal, for old times sake, and all that.

So tonight, I went in. One thing I am sure of, especially having looked at a town map of St Helier, that wasnt it! Keeping this brief, the food was really good, the service was equally good, and it was all reasonably priced. But I couldnt go back there again, not even for a million dollars! Why, simple, talk about invoking the ghosts of holidays past, big time! All too much, thinking back on the times of curry houses, in St Helier in the past, with her, way too much for me. I know she wasnt there tonight, but it really felt like she should have been!

Fine, I got through the meal, but as soon as I’d eaten my main course, I called for the bill, paid it quickly, and went just as quickly once I’d done so. Yes, as I discovered, way too much of an emotional experience doing something like that. So, if anyone from the Jaipur restaurant, on the Esplanade should read this, or anyone who knows anyone who works there should read this, say I’m sorry. The reason I almost rushed out of the place had nothing to do with them, and was entirely down to some memories of events over 30 years ago, that the place invoked for me.

The video, well, this was the most Indian song I could think of, nothing more. Great song though

Not really much else I can say after that, still a bit overwhelmed by it all. But in all honesty, beyond a couple of pleasant walks around a pair of harbours (St Aubin, and Greve De Lec), there wasnt much else worth mentioning!

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I’m going back!

One thing I’ve never been sure on, is how wise it is to go back to somewhere special, after a really long period of time? I know I went back to Rochester last year, after 26 years, and Richmond, after 13, but neither held any great emotional attachment for me, in that sense at least. So that is a bit different to what I’m doing this year.

And seriously, even though I have contemplated the idea of returning to Yeovil, in Somerset, where I lived and worked for 16 years, a couple of times, in all honesty, I’ve decided I dont want to do it. As for returning to the Medway Towns, in Kent, where I lived for 20 odd years, until I fled the nest at 25, absolutely no chance, the thought holds no appeal whatsoever. The funny thing is, the Grammar School I went to, holds a special day each year, on the first Saturday in July, and given this marks the 40th anniversary of my departure, it would be a nice landmark visit, but I just think it would all be too strange somehow.

But despite all this, I’m going back to Jersey this year on holiday, after more than 30 years, and yes, there was a romantic attachment of sorts, way back when, though I’m not saying with which gender. The first time I stayed at this hotel (its no longer there, by the way), I got on well with one of the members of staff, and over the next couple of years, lets just say I spent a few holidays at that hotel, and leave it at that! 😉 I know its over 30 years, because I moved to Somerset in ’83, and it was over by then. And no, never been back since. But in May, I’m going back!

Seriously, I dont expect to recognise much, if anything, and as I say, the hotel that was my island landmark is long gone. I cant remember how I found out, but I did a few years ago, anyway. And as to where ‘that person’ is, no idea, havent heard from them in over 30 years, since we drifted apart, probably not still in Jersey, for all I know. But, will it all seem like a new place to me now, I would imagine St Helier has changed dramatically since then, or am I going to find places that I remember from back then? Who knows, I dont! But, its going to be the first time that I go back, after a very long time, to somewhere that was special in my life, and I have no idea what its going to be like. Interesting though, I suspect, for sure.

Oh, and a landmark for today, for those who care, and I do, for an obvious reason, happy birthday, Kansas. 153 years ago today, it became a fully fledged state of the USA.

The video, not quite that old, but it is nearly 40 years old, all the same.