The good people of Jersey are out today. None of the shops are open, thwarting my plan to get some shorts and leap into the sea. Everybody that would usually be working in the shop has come to the beach. I’ve come with them.
The tide is wrong for swimming so I’ve installed myself on a bench at the top of the beach with an alcohol free Super Bock in the blazing sunshine. On the other side of the wall some local kids are rapping along to some French dude who is doing more or less exactly what Snow was doing in 1992 with “Informer” – just in French and now. It’s a festival atmosphere today for the bank holiday. The tide is right out. You could walk to Elizabeth Castle. So the beach is huge and white in the sun. Frisbees and dogs and balls and prams. Women wearing nothing but string and men wearing nothing but tattoo.
They’re building flats down by the edge of the beach, and much of them are completed and tenanted. They’ve built those little over-perfect gardens they build near new flats and I walked through one to get here. It seems the whole of Jersey is going to be flats before long. There’s a complex that comes with the flats housing everything that’s wrong with the world. Macdonalds next to KFC with Burger King hanging on beside. None of the baddies have been forgotten there, although there’s also a cinema which has me tempted. My grandparents were constantly moaning about how it’s just far too crowded in Jersey these days and it’s not like it used to be. They’d be turning in their graves to be sitting here, watching these crazy holiday crowds. I’m enjoying them though, as I drink my Portuguese beer and listen to their French music. I’ve chosen to come here instead of driving somewhere. There’s life, even if it does suddenly feel like Bognor life in the eighties.
There’s tons of alcohol being consumed everywhere. I know how most of these people will feel tomorrow morning as I’ve felt it too many times myself. Booze and heat and fun and running around and suddenly there’s no moisture left in the body. At least I’ll be up and running properly, and good thing too. It’s back to work, and two weeks left being here and still so much to do.
I’m glad the weather has come though. This is how I remember it.