Crashing through the waves on the Condor Liberation, I am writing to you from somewhere in the darkness of the English Channel. We are just clearing the north point of Guernsey. Alderney will be to starboard before long. The sea is choppy. “Please make sure you always have at least one hand free when you are walking on board,” advises the captain. We are walking on board a great deal.
Jack and I have moved about six times so far in this journey. We try to find an area of the boat where we aren’t very close to other people, and then other people see us in the empty bit and like the look of it too and fill it up, or we find out we are in somebody’s allocated seat and they’ve just taken ages to get to it, and so we move again. “It’s like some sort of living nightmare,” says Jack. And it literally just happened again as I was writing. A huge family looked at us, at their tickets, at us. “It says 832… ?” We moved.
Everybody is coming back from their Christmas visit to Guernsey today. This is why it was such a pricey boat. “Owing to heavy cargo we are running behind schedule,” says the captain. All those cars.
It’s been good to come back to Jersey. To connect with the island and work in it. To remember the things I loved as a child. To loosely commune with the spirits of the dear departed blowing in the rocks and the waves of that ancient place. I’ve made some friends there. It has been good. Very good. Hard graft. But enjoyable.
We left the flat in a hurry this morning, after the ferry company emailed us all to ask us get through check-in an hour early, which turned out to be totally pointless as the boat didn’t even show up until we’d sat in front of an empty dock for over two hours. Jack and I are both run down after that month. Work hard, play hard. It’ll be good to stop. But first I’ve got to get to London. I should be home by midnight.
I haven’t had a bath in a month. The flat will be cold but I’ll crank up the heating and I’m gonna do as little as I can all day tomorrow.
And for the next three hours I’m gonna try and shut out the screaming of the children and get some rest before the drive from Bournemouth.