Adventures of Jersey Girl is now officially blogging from the motherland. Blogging HQ is now set up in my mum’s conservatory, even though she still smirks when I say I’m going to spend a morning writing whilst she is out and about. I’ve been back on my little island for just over a week now and apart from the rain, I’m loving everything that comes with being back on the Rock. It’s surprising how quickly I jump back into my old life and feels like I’ve never been away. So this is a little self-indulgent post about all the things I love and been up to, my first week back in Jersey.
So at 8.45am last Saturday morning Hubby, mum and I were queuing, yes queuing at that time on a Saturday, with many other like-minded islanders for one of my favourite eateries, El Tico at St Ouens bay. This iconic beach side restaurant has been visited by my family for as long as I can remember. Now the newest incarnation is a beautifully light, airy cantina style set up with large tables and benches, for everyone to pile onto whilst looking at one of Jersey’s best vistas. When the doors opened we filed in and without looking a the menu 3 full English breakies were ordered up. This was beyond yummy and I think Hubby and I practically inhaled the bacon and sausages after a 6 month abstinence.
I finally got to see my little sis, albeit a whole day after I arrived. I was climbing the walls with anticipation on seeing her, so when I finally did clap eyes on her I practically bowled her over. Her perfectly formed 5 month bump is too cute for words and quite frankly from behind you would never know she was on the verge of motherhood, she was glowing – well facially anyway, even with fake tan on she was still her ghostly white little self (sorry sis). She was delighted with the large pink elephant I managed to squeeze into my hand luggage, this is not a euphemism I actually did bring a big pink elephant with me!
On our last visit home we were lucky enough to attend one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve witnessed. On this whirlwind visit and with a little thing called Christmas, we only managed to see this lovely couple on their big day. So when a dinner invitation came we jumped at the chance to get some quality time with the newlyweds and their little 1 year old. We last had a proper chat with them in Dubai, where we met them, from Kuwait, whilst they were holidaying. As this was only a couple of months into our desert landing everything was new and unknown, so over a delicious dinner conversation flowed, along with the wine, as the opportunity to catch both couples up on the changes in our lives was grabbed with both hands.
The thing I both love and hate about coming home is that St Helier shopping is dire. Since having the immense middle eastern choice, town at home seems very backward, limiting and weirdly at the same time comforting. I both love and hate that nothing changes visit to visit. I love the fact that the local shops (unfortunately not as many as there used to be) are still there, looking the same, with the same sales staff they had 10 years ago. The fact I can walk down King Street and know what is there, get friendly nods from locals, is lovely and provincial. When Hubby and I did go shopping, all we came back with was new luggage! Who said expats weren’t exciting…
No post from me would be complete without a little foodie narrative. Being back in the UK makes food shopping simple and I end up walking round popping things into our basket, we don’t even need, purely out of sheer nostalgic delight at something I’ve missed on my travels. This week alone it has been an M&S extravaganza with British pork sausage rolls, pie and mash and scotch eggs! It’s not just me that has this weird obsession, my Facebook feed fills with posts from my desert gals all snapping that first glass, OK bottle, of wine back in Blighty or cheese and ham toasties. I was beside myself when I popped into my locale for some milk and spotted these….can life get any better than a giant crumpet!?
The first few times it rained I actually liked it. One thing you don’t get in the desert is what I call real rain. We get the odd drizzle, but it’s still hot outside and the rain is dirty, quite literally if caught in it you look like you’ve been to Glastonbury. English rain is different, it’s proper rain, it’s wet and even smells different, I know that sounds odd but it does. Even though my hair went back to its natural frizz bomb state, feeling the rain and clean air whilst it rained was a refreshing change. Ok romanticism over, I’ve had quite enough rain now, it’s July for heavens sake where is my summer heatwave the British tabloids promised?
Rain rain go away
There is a sense of freedom about being home. Due to not being in extreme heat (no kidding) you can walk. I know this seems like a simple thing, but I can’t tell you how much I miss just to be able to go for a stroll. We manage this for about the 2 month window in Kuwait before you just can’t stand it, so when Hubby was here last week, we did the local thing and went for a Sunday walk to St Aubins. This is something that most islanders do as the sea front fills with family bike rides, kids on scooters, runners and weekend brunchers, all taking in the Sunday views. So like we did so many times when we were newly married, we took a walk, hand in hand to the little village in the west. Not only is walking back on the agenda but I can drive! I choose not to drive, due to the mania that is Kuwait roads, plus licensing can be a struggle, so when I can jump into my mum’s fiat 500 put the roof down (ok this hasn’t happened yet due to the bloody rain) it feels awesome. 5 mile road here I come.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, my mum is the best. I love coming back and being able to have some quality time with her. We popped into town, did a spot of sale shopping, where we went a bit mad in The Little White Company (Auntie and Nanna to be prerogative), a bit of lunch and picked up some great fabrics. For those that know my mum can vouch that she is a superstar seamstress, so I take full advantage and set her a project to run me up some dresses and hareem pants whilst I’m here! Cheeky I know but she loves it and I go away with a unique mummy creation, can’t wait to see how these turn out.
In the words of Bugs Bunny, that’s all folks. As my first week (ish) draws to a close and my social calendar fills with more friends and Jersey delights, I’m settling back into island life and all that it has to offer. Just hope July brings the sunshine and you dear reader will continue to enjoy my motherland adventures.