notes from a (very) small island…

By amy ~ October 7th, 2010 @ 3:25 pm


I’m back! That is, back having this afternoon safely returned from my (all too brief) jolly to lovely St Helier, and after a faintly shaky start aided by a 5am alarm, the usual AW timewasters, torrential rain and one lone visitor who inexplicably arrived smelling like a farm animal (but unfortunately lacking any of the gentle, serene charm and dignity displayed by the pretty Jersey cows I saw on the way to the airport this morning), things settled down and I have had a very nice trip indeed.

Given that I live in a British seaside resort, I have not personally graced the breakfast room of a traditional British seaside hotel for better than thirty years and after staggering downstairs on my very first morning, I was first overjoyed to be presented with proper triangular toast in a silver toast rack rather than being expected to prepare my own in one of those now-ubiquitous electric conveyor grilling machines (as if I had chosen to go camping instead of pay for four star accommodation) accompanied by coffee in a proper pot, and secondly invited to help myself to a buffet that offered every possible permutation of fantasy breakfast, (including Belgian waffles, real porridge and kippers as well as all the usual suspects) and kept me going until mid afternoon. Highly recommended.

My plans to explore a bit of the island eventually got no further than looking out of the bus window on the way back to the airport, thanks both to the enthusiasm of the local gentlemen and less pleasantly, the horrendous weather on Tuesday; pathologically clumsy as I am, I have always feared and distrusted the seemingly thermostat-free heated towel rail, but was soon glad of the one in my small-but-nicely-appointed bathroom, since without it I would have completely run out of dry clothes by tea time. A brief dash to the bank and back followed by another to the nearby cinema for a couple of hours R and R (comprising popcorn and Made in Dagenham) resulted in a thorough drenching both times and whilst I doubt my callers would have minded a great deal, Jersey is (after all) notoriously conservative and nice as they are I felt it both indiscreet and inappropriate to dine in my pyjamas.

Prostitution in the Channel Islands is an odd one; the trading regulations do not allow anyone to operate a business there without the required license but as suspected, licenses for working ladies (and gents) are unlikely to be forthcoming. Whilst the law (and in Jersey Law there are the usual procurement offences, found in the Loi (1895) Modifiant le Droit Criminel and also the offences of using a house for the purpose of prostitution, living on immoral earnings, soliciting for purposes of prostitution or controlling prostitutes with a view to gain, which latter offences are found in the Loi (1915) Modifiant le Droit Criminel) makes no specific reference to people working independently indoors, somewhere deeper in the local laws than I could search there is apparently an elderly statute outlawing our doings and as many will know, working on the wrong side of the law does not sit particularly well with me. But given that my attention to discretion is uppermost, no harm is being done and moreover, the local folk were extremely pleased to see me, I will be returning soon (mid January being the most likely) and will just have to accept that this law (if it even exists) is an ass. As George Carlin said, why have it illegal to sell something you can legally give away for free?

I have amassed some Jersey coins to irritate my local shops with, a nice new perfume (why I buy it when I so rarely get to wear it is anybody’s guess, but I do) and some Jersey Black Butter to put on things (that’s as far as I’ve got, ideas-wise). The fishes were delighted to see me back and whilst tomorrow will be a well earned day off (aka attaining a state of deep relaxation via the media of laundry, housework, shopping, updating accounts and generally catching up), Saturday will be business as usual and I am already looking forward to one visit from a particularly charming gentleman mid afternoon. Availability-wise I will certainly be at home for the next ten days, but since demand for my London visit on the 20th is seriously outstripping supply I may be arriving sooner than expected, and am thinking of adding on a pit stop at Heathrow.

Nothing definite as yet – watch this space!

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