I was going to book two nights at L’Etacquerel Fort but they asked me to fill in lots of paperwork and I got cold feet. I decided it’s too much to pay just to sleep in a bivouac in an old stone building. Just because I seem to have made good progress over here doesn’t mean I should immediately be an idiot with money, so The Mornington it is until I leave – I think – and I can save the luxury for when I’m better able to share it with others.
I had a bit of a different type of luxury though, today. The luxury of good company. Brian and Mel had a flight back at six and had found their way to St Brelade first in order to stick their feet into the water. After my meetings I went and stood with them on the sand. The still freezing channel water lapped over our toes on the last two hours of a rising tide. It’s lovely just to stand in the sea. I still haven’t jumped in fully. Best get on with it. “No towel,” is how I got away with avoiding it this time.
With damp toes, we went to the park across the road. I remembered once more the extremely geeky pursuit of Geocaching. Brian and Mel are paid up members. It’s a hobby that makes you go to places you wouldn’t otherwise go to. People hide things in the world and then drop a pin on an app. You have to find the thing that’s been hidden and mark a little roll of paper and then return the thing to its hiding place and tell the app you’ve done it. I’ve been on the app since 2015 and I’ve only found seventeen things. They’ve found hundreds. Today’s was in the Winston Churchill Memorial Park – beautifully landscaped, virtually completely empty, and just off the path somewhere with a fence is an ingeniously hidden waterproof container with a tiny list.
Then we had pizza on a bench overlooking the tide, and more or less before I had even said goodbye to them they were back at home in Croydon. It’s so quick to fly here so long as there’s no fog. Property though is off the scale. Houses like the one I grew up in would require a lottery win to buy back now. If I were to live here I’d likely end up in a flat smaller than the one in London. The Mornington is one of a few businesses that make it manageable to be here. God love ’em. Long may they keep trading. I just had my fruit salad and kitcat at five to midnight and now I’m gonna brush my teeth and crash for one of the last times in my little beige bed.