Back at The Mornington

Ahh The Mornington Hotel. Cork above the bed with defunct Rediffusion alarm clock radios that were THE THING in like 1974. A large beige safe in the wardrobe. The alarm clock radios no longer work. But some of the other period features do. I’ve got a hairdryer and I’m not afraid to use it.

“Mummy? What is that thing with buttons?” “It’s a phone, darling.” “Why is it so big?”

This was the future when I was born, this room. These appliances.

It all works, but for the Rediffusion. I’m very happy here. I could’ve booked into Hotel Fuck for a couple of nights. Hotel Fuck has a spa and a view of the sea and they switched out their appliances a few times since 1985. In the end it’s only money, and whatever they spent on Bose soundsystems, you’ll end up paying it for the room. I booked the Mornington because it doesn’t hate you. Even if it’s outdated, it’s clean and comfortable and it wears its history openly. It’s an honest, fun and friendly hotel. Don’t stay if you hate people and love yourself. But for the location, I’m thrilled they have never shut down for a year and upgraded all the rooms, because then I would be looking elsewhere and so would a large number of people. This place fills a very necessary slot that is often taken up by Airbnb these days. It’s the best hassle free reliable and comfortable stay on this island. The whole island is sold out on Friday because of some sort of event, and of course this hotel is sold that night. I had to find somewhere else. But it’s a good place and the rates are just the right side to keep out Airbnb. I will gladly evangelise for this place, to anybody like me who isn’t interested in the insincere veneer about customer and money that you find at most hotels. This hotel employs happy staff, and it runs cleanly and tries not to fuck the customer in the eye.

I’m back in Jersey. Where I’m from.

I want to move back here frankly.

But right now I’m in a hotel again.

The next few days I’ll just be connecting once more with this island. With my history here. Then I’ll be off to connect with a bunch of artists from who knows where, and we are gonna throw a load of shit at the wall together.

I was here, in The Mornington Hotel, when Lucy sent me the information about this artists residency. “You might be interested in this?” She happened to read my blog saying I was in Jersey and just … thought it might be something that would be of interest to me. I applied while I was isolated in a room in this hotel surrounded by pot noodles and rice crackers and at the tail end of my sober year. Miraculously, I was accepted. I have literally no idea what to expect and I’m not planning anything. I’m just gonna go in wide. But it’s lovely that I’m going in wide here, in Jersey, where I was born and where I was an enthusiastic child. I’m gonna channel that little fucker, who could laugh so much and so hard that it scared his parents.

For now though, an early bed in this beige bedroom, with all the period features. This one even has a bunk bed. If I cared about watching telly I’d be a little put out by the location and angle of their one. But I don’t. I’ve got my iPad. I’m gonna boot up Sunless Sea. And then an early sleep and up in time for breakfast. The amazing packed lunch bags I got during Covid are no more. It’s time for bacon and eggs.

Ahhhh. And I’ve just looked at the website. “Hugely popular continental breakfast…” No bacon and eggs. And I have a horrible suspicion that, even if they do offer coffee, it’ll be as retrograde as their decor. But that’s fine. In May I found all the best coffee places in St Helier. I’ll just grab a sad croissant and go to Curiosity Coffee Shop. Good coffee, good music and literature.

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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