Jersey. Beauty and memory and the mundane.

Of all the things I expected to be consistent throughout my life, who knew it would be the little bag on top of the loo. I first discovered these when I was too small to remember properly. I probably came back into a restaurant brandishing one to ask “What’s this thing for mummy?” I was probably admonished – “Put it back immediately,” which would have piqued my childish interest and seared the item into my mind. It probably went folded up into a sweaty pocket for further persual in private, to work out what it was that the adults found so shocking about this freely available little bag.

This hotel is full of period features, and perhaps this is just one of them – another touch of something old that has been around just about long enough to be chic again instead of old fashioned. Like the Rediffusion Radio. The petticoat lady sanitary product disposal bag. “She has a tache,” Lou remembers when I show her a photo. And by God she does. And there she is, free for all comers, on top of the beige loo in my beige room.

“So basically you’re staying in a doss house,” says my half brother. I just renewed for a week and it cost me £297.50. My half brother has probably spent more than that every night for a week and thought he was getting a bargain. But I’m okay in this for another week even if I can’t cook. I’m hoping to get this all done in time for the fifth of June and I’ll likely have to eventually hit upon a place with a cooker. But here, in the bathroom of this actually rather sweet family run hotel, is yet another thing that roots me back into the memory of the child I was, not so very long ago, in a world with different edges. A tampon bag showing a very old fashioned woman sporting rather fine moustache.

Another wonderful thing about The Mornington Hotel is the location. Bloody hell, it’s well placed. You don’t get the beach and the sea which I guess is what a lot of people come to Jersey for. But you’re close to the town centre in one direction, and less than a minute’s walk from Howard Davis Park in the other.

The park looks extremely disappointing until you get past the huge pigeonproofed statue of some dead monarch and into the gloriously landscaped lawns and rose gardens and trees that we probably bequeathed to the people of Jersey by whichever one of the Edwards it was. Had I known it was so lovely, so full of scents and birdsong, so close to the room in which I have festered, I’m not sure if my isolation would’ve been more bitter or more sweet. Perhaps a bit of both.

The wind is up now, coming in off the sea, buffeting my windows. The best of the weather so far was definitely observed through the window but I have another three weeks here and now I can move around and see all the wonderful vistas, the trees, the huge beaches and vast skies and all this wonder, and still, with all the possible things, I only have a photograph of this stupid disposal bag. Here she is. Enjoy.

You’ll have to zoom in to see the ‘tache

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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