Monthly Archives: May, 2014

Fast food, and eating out wasn’t always so dull!

Lets face it, nowadays its pretty hard to tell one McDonalds (with very few exceptions) from another, and you can pretty much say the same for KFC, Burger King and the like, but its not always been that way. Mind, it seems a disease far more prevalent over here, than in the US, where a few fun places still exist. And no, I dont mean Denny’s, IHOP and the like, in a sense, they are just as bad!

But at least over there, you find the odd gem that will take you back to a different era, and the last time I was in the Seattle area, I was fortunate enough to find one.

http://davesdiner.us/

The first time I saw the place, it looked like an outpost from the 1950’s, and I knew I had to eat there. And yes, beyond the prices, it was like being taken back to the 1950’s, and was so much fun, I ate there twice more that week! It seemed to focus on Route 66, and thankfully that road just about runs through Kansas (about a dozen miles), so I could sit in what I jokingly called the Kansas section while there.

But it was fun, it was different, and not an identikit place a la the chain diners. Not that there is anything wrong with the 2 I mentioned above, or others like the Cheesecake Factory, but you know what they are going to look like, and what will be offered, before you enter the door, this place was fun to go into. No, sadly back then I wasnt so into vintage, but agreed, going in, dressed in a 50’s outfit would have been fun. Not sure if anyone would have blinked, who knows? Well, maybe then I would have, it was before full transitioning, so…but now, hmm?

I’m sure there are many similar gems in the US, hopefully in the KC, or Albany areas, for later this year, but we shall see. I’m sure that if there is, in the KC area, and Kate finds out about it, we will end up there, with me dressed as a 30’s babe, I’ve no doubt.

But fine, you’re right, thats not the reason for this blog, fond memory that it is. No, one of my twitter contacts posted about this place, that used to be in Los Angeles

http://www.retronaut.com/2012/10/the-zep-diner-los-angeles/

Fine, its no longer there, in fact it didnt survive the 30’s, let alone till now. Ironically now, the site is a McDonalds, and car park, aargh! But hey, even at modern prices, that would be such a fun place to eat at. If someone can invent time travel…

One of these days, I really must go to Los Angeles, though the thing that concerns me is something I was told a few years ago, its a lousy place to go, for a non driver like me, but not sure if that’s true? But yes, it would be nice to go and see Harlow’s star, I have to say. No, Louise Brooks never got one, too naughty a girl for that lol! And that house that Harlow allegedly haunts, hmm, unless as I say, she wants a quick trip to KC to see me! And yes, obviously, if Glendale is reachable for a non driver, it would be nice to pay my respects, as I did with Louise.

But fine, the video, the most famous 50’s diner I could think of. Oh happy days!

A Real 30’s night

As some might already know, if you read these blogs regularly, I’m off to a concert in Manchester next month. I know, I know, most go to these things quite often, but I’m not most, in more senses than one! Last year for OMD was certainly the first for about 12 years, but now I’m going wild, going to another the year after lol! But this time, being absolutely radical, its not a group from the past, its a group around now, though the sounds they produce make it sound like they’re from the past, Postmodern Jukebox.

Please, dont ask me how I found them, because now, being a good blonde, I cant remember. I suspect someone posted something of theirs on a forum, or Facebook, or something, and I was hooked, unsurprisingly. But even then, me actually going to a concert, I know…To be honest, I was assuming they would just be a You Tube phenomenon, but then they announced a concert tour, including the UK, including Manchester! So fine, at £10 a ticket, oh why not? Of course, by the time I’ve paid the rail fare, and everything else, it costs more, but what the hell, its not often I get in at the start of a group hitting fame, so…I went ahead, and bought a ticket. It seems I wasn’t the only one, because a few days later the show was moved from a small place down town, to a larger place, a bit further out from the centre!

Of course one thing appealed to me on the invite, the advice to

Come visit the Postmodern Jukebox universe (preferably, while wearing your best vintage clothes)!

appealed to me no end. No, unless I have struck very lucky in my charity shop buys, I dont own any actual vintage clothes, but I have a number of items that are definitely vintage in style, both blouses/tops, and dresses. So they would qualify, I guess? I doubt most would notice the difference anyway!

No, in all honesty, given that as things stand, I’m going, and returning by train, the chances of me wearing a vintage style dress are slim, to say the least, given its the night that England play Italy in the World Cup, and I’m sure there will be some idiots about, over imbibing on alcohol, and however much I pass, a Trans woman, in a dress late on Saturday, when drunk, might be seen in a bad way? I know, maybe not, but I dont think I want to take the chance, not solo at least. But I can always take the lead of my favourite 30’s lady, Jean Harlow, and go with the blouse (vintage style) and slacks look. Yes, I know she was seen in gowns, but generally, of her own choice, she preferred the casual look, so I could do the same?

However, if any of my readers are going to this concert, or know of anyone in the Huddersfield area going to the concert, with a spare car seat, then I could really doll up! My rail fare would be just over £12, so I’m more than happy to match that in petrol/parking money. Hey, maybe even a little more, as it gives me dress flexibility, and also I wont need a taxi home from town when I get back.

And before anyone wonders, yes, I’m making an effort for the big day (more expense lol) having booked up for a make up session for that day, and to get my hair styled, both in a 30’s fashion. So I might still be trans, but I should be quite glam! So if anyone wants to make my day, by allowing me to safely wear a dress, oh please do! Email at stephmajor8@hotmail.com, if you want to contact me. I will be buying a rail ticket in advance (to reserve a seat going), but not for about a fortnight yet. So…

Yes, Abby will be doing my make up, though I’ve already told her that I dont need ‘those’ Harlow eyebrows that could scare anyone! The rest of the look though, yes please. I suspect she will be googling the look in the interim somehow. Sophie will be doing my hair, as is the norm, though normally when she sees me, its not just for styling, but that will be, plenty of blonde curls, I hope.

Right, the video, one of the comments claims this is Harlow singing, but I’m treating that with a massive pinch of salt, as far as I know, Jean’s voice was always dubbed for singing, lets just say it wasnt her strong point! Not sure if she played the piano either, but…

So, if anyone knows someone who can aid this damsel in distress, or can do so themselves…let me know!

A genuine contest, or just another scripted event?

Somehow I doubt I have any Indian followers here, and if I do, and they are cricket fans, maybe they should leave now!

I’m old enough to remember that back in the dim, distant past, on a Saturday afternoon, on ITV, they would show wrestling, long before WWE and the like were ever dreamt about. Lets just leave it by saying that it was entertainment, not sport, I suspect even the commentator had a script to work to, in all honesty. But no one actually said there was a script, but…Yes, thats right, I mentioned it, WWE. Modern day wrestling, this time from the US, but at least to give them their due, they admit its scripted, and it can be treated by its fans as entertainment, not a sport.

Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying that supposedly clean sports arent fixed, only to a lesser degree, in different ways. Look at all the horse racing coups over the years, for starters. Fine, not every runner in those races was running according to a script, but the planning was there, and someone was picking up money ‘dishonestly’.

And its an issue that despite claims by the various boards that are getting worse, not better. Back when I first started in the betting industry, over 30 years ago, you couldnt do a single on a football match. Maybe, the cup final, and internationals, but otherwise the minimum was trebles, sometimes fivefolds for home teams, and betting on games outside the UK (apart from international matches), no chance.

Then in the early 90’s, rules were relaxed (so people could do singles on the live Sky matches, I suspect), but pretty much it was still win/draw/win, and that was it. Then we get to internet betting, and you get more markets on a match, and matches from further afield, pretty much anywhere in the world now, to be honest.

Thing is, certain folk in Eastern Europe and the like, might like to bet on football, but they dont like losing. So strange betting patterns start to creep in. And as for lower league football, last week of the season, most noticeably Italy, anything goes. I remember a game in that country where the draw price ended up at 4/11 (suited both sides), and unsurprisingly it was. Of course, some had got on at much bigger odds, but anyway.

No, this isnt just an attack on football, btw. Snooker’s record in betting fixes often makes football look innocent! Several players have had lengthy, or life bans, due to ‘interesting’ results.

Oh fine, the thing that got my ire today, cricket! Yes, in India. As several have proved over the years, match fixing is possible, but spot fixing on 1 over markets is just crazy, as a few Pakistani cricketers proved a few years back. 20 over cricket, with its wild price fluctuations simply opens itself up to opportunities like this, and the original Indian Cricket League was so in tow with the local bookmakers, you wouldnt believe. The funny thing is, the Indian Premier League (the official, and now only Indian version) took the high road about this, but…its as fixed as the ICL ever was.

Today, there was a game between Rajasthan, and Mumbai, for the final qualifying place in the semi finals. Not straight winner takes all, Mumbai actually had to win within 14.3 overs to qualify. Important factor here, there is a supposed cricketing god in India, called Sachin Tendulkar, and he played for, and now seemingly runs the Mumbai team. The other team, no cricketer worshipped in India.

So anyway, Rajasthan bat first, scoring what looked a very good score in the process, 189 in their 20 overs. So Mumbai have to score at over 13 runs an over to qualify. So Rajasthan bowl the biggest load of soft deliveries, and Mumbai are about to get there, and qualify. 2 needed to win off the last delivery that sees Mumbai through, a mix up, and a player gets run out. Then, its pointed out to everyone that if Mumbai score a boundary off the next ball, they still qualify. So the bowler bowls an inviting full toss down the leg side, the batsman hits it for 6, and Mumbai qualify. Fine, it might have been skill, but for the fact that not one Rajasthan player was showing disappointment in losing!

So, the next time anyone tells you the IPL is a genuine cricket competition, just laugh. Whether its more rigged than WWE, I dont know, that would be pretty hard. But a genuine contest, no chance, its controlled by the BCCI, and Indian bookmakers. And serious bookmakers take large bets on this, ah well…

Meaning there are too many chiefs involved, which leads me to this video, from my distant past.

Come and get it. Your last Jersey blog

Yes, the video inspired the title, so sue! 😛

As you might have gathered, this is the last blog from Jersey, by this time tomorrow night, I’ll be back in Yorkshire, all things permitting. Due to fly out, at 3.15, for Manchester, if anyone wants to mark my progress, which I doubt you will!

Today, when I woke up, it was raining hard, which I thought was going to mess up plans somewhat. Fine, but by the time I was ready to leave, about 10.00, it was cool, but dry! So, back to plan A. Well, as much as I had a real plan at least! During the week, I’d seen buses going to somewhere called ‘Living Legend’, and I assumed it wasnt an air flight to Carmel, to meet Doris Day. It wasnt, unsurprisingly. Its one of these tourist places of course, telling what it calls the ‘Jersey story’. It does, one of these film things, and it certainly showed me the history of Jersey, in an entertaining way, mainly because Brian Blessed was involved. This man, of the loud, distinctive voice could never be dull, if he tried to be! Yes, it was quite good, certainly for the price, by modern tourist attraction standards.

My niggle with the place though, was that they opened the doors to the building at 11.30, and the film starts at 11.45. So the time to see the display upstairs, before heading down to where the film was shown, was limited to say the least. Even more so if you go in a couple of minutes later, to avoid the rush! I did manage to see the montage of shots from the 1930’s (I know!) before we were called downstairs, but I wanted to see the 20’s as well, so I thought fine, I’ll do it afterwards. Err, no, because at the end of the film, you come out into the shop, with no way of getting back to the display, aargh! Yes, I’ll live, but its annoying.

So after that, back into town, and what I thought was one last lookaround, before going. Did that, got the bus out to Gorey harbour, for one last look at the view, then back here. Yes, last lookaround, or maybe not? I ended up deciding to walk back over into town, for my meal, though beyond finding this delightful Italian restaurant, where the pizza was wonderful this time (irony, Pizza Express, the one big chain I’ve eaten at, is the one less than good meal this week), and good value too.

That was it, and I suspect the next time I leave here, will be to go back to the airport, and home!

Its been nice coming back to Jersey, and beyond one mentioned event, I’m really glad I did it, to see the place again was nice. But yes, 16 weeks from now, I’ll be heading to Kansas, really cant wait!

However, 3 weeks tomorrow, I’ll be seeing this group in concert, in Manchester, so looking forward to that too.

So which do you want?

Do you want the details of the day, or do you want the tale of someone who is no longer a Facebook friend of mine, due to homophobic comments.

OK, fine, a bit of both.

Right, for want of a better term, I did my last lap of jersey today. Yes, the alert ones amongst you will say that I’m here until Saturday, and you’re right. But Saturday will be pretty much just pack, and dash, and tomorrow, after a brief trip out, will be to say goodbye to St Helier, for, who knows? I doubt I will return again in 32 years, I’d be 88 then, if I’m still alive, which doesnt seem to be a guaranteed event, even now, with people living longer. To be fair, once the body, and insurance rates say that I can no longer travel to the US, then for as long as I can, I might holiday nearer home, but even so…

Today, I did what most sensible people would do (but I’m blonde) at the start of their holiday, I did the circular tour of the island, heading out east, then looping around at a nice pace, till we got back into town. The east coast, I did up to Gorey under my (helped by buses) steam, and the west coast, as you know, I’ve been all the way round to Greve De Lecq. But lets just say that most of the north coast, plus the east coast above Gorey is a ‘challenge’ by public transport, not really doable, so that was nice for me.

The woman next to me on the coach, even more so, as she left us at Greve De Lecq, having done most of the ‘tricky to see’ bit, though she missed out on the very north west corner, but hey, I can understand not waiting around an hour at lunchtime for that. But I’m glad I carried on, if only to be able to say ‘How much!’ for the items on sale at Jersey Pearl.

Fine, the second bit. Today, in the UK are some elections, both local council, and more critically the EU ones. I could have arranged a postal vote, but I didnt. I know, dont complain about results, but…So, when I got back on here, and logged into Facebook, what did I find?

A supposed Facebook friend (not that I know him, I suspect he befriended me from one of those ghastly ‘do you know?’ lists, as it was showing 2 mutual friends when I checked. Basically his posting was something about being proud to vote for UKIP, and hoping they’d see off those gay b******s in the country. Might not have been his exact words, but get my drift?

Now, given I have the whole gamut of LGBT folk among my real life friends, am Trans myself, and either lesbian, or bi, if I was interested in romance, you can imagine how I felt! Lets just say the jerk lasted about 5 minutes (while I ranted on Facebook) before being rapidly defriended!

His politics, no, I’m not a fan, but I wouldnt unfriend him just because of that, of course the killer was his homophobia, sadly there are still too many people like that about. I’m left wondering why he friended me though, unless he didnt realise I was trans! But thats not the point, his attitude just sickens me.

OK, last but not least, the video! No relevance to the post, its just that I’m on Jersey, and this was mine, and Sue’s song. Oh, and it was on the radio at breakfast this morning, which reminded me.

Britain was invaded during WW2

As Michael Caine would certainly say, not a lot of people know that, especially today, 70 years on! But yes, its true.

Back in June 1940, Hitler was roaring through Europe, and all that was left, was Britain. Thing is, because we’re an island, Hitler did realise that trying to invade our country was going to be a bit more of a challenge than mainland Europe. Didnt stop him trying a bombing campaign, and if he hadnt made the crazy decision to turn on his ally, the Soviet Union, to rid the world of communism, well, who knows if we would have held out eventually? But thats all hypothesis, and no more. He didnt, and as history proved, it backfired on him massively.

But despite all that was said about him, Hitler wasnt entirely stupid, and quickly realised that invading a little bit of Britain might not be so hard. Yes, the Channel Islands of course. And back in June 1940, the navy decided that it either couldnt defend the group of islands, just 14 miles from occupied France, or just didnt want to. Who knows, those details are lost in history, all we know is Churchill decided to demilitarize the Islands, and leave them to it. He did offer an evacuation process for people, but hardly made it look an attractive offer!

Anyway, after a brief (one off) bombing campaign of the islands by the German’s (they were tipped off after that, that there were no military on the island), they took control on the 1st July 1940…and stayed until 9th May 1945. Thats right, nearly a year after D-Day, the German’s still controlled the Islands, partly because they had no way out, even if they’d wanted too! They were well defended, had little benefit to the Allies, and so…got ignored, until the war was over! Snag was, no supplies were therefore getting in, and people were beginning to starve.

Finally, at the end of 1944, a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ was reached, and a Red Cross ship sailed into the island, with provisions for the locals. Sadly, that was it for about 5 months, so the benefit was soon gone again.

Lets not mention the atrocities that went on, we all know the history of that. But one of the things constructed, partly by slave labour (from Eastern Europe, who lasted on average 6 months, being starved, brutalised, and over worked), and partly by others, including locals, who were paid well for their efforts, was what is now known as the War Tunnels. Initially as a defence, and communication hub for the island, and toward the end, a military hospital for the invasion that never happened, for the wounded.

Yes, they are where I went today, a follow up visit from over 30 years ago. Back then, the tour was extremely basic, just a few passages you could walk down, a very basic display, and that was it. Now, with time, and modern techniques, its far better done, and I’m glad I went back.

Its hard to imagine, in more senses than one, what life must have been like for the Islanders back then, and I’m not even going to try!

Oh, and for the journey back to town, I travelled on a bus, that may not have been around during the war, but saw service soon after, an amazing treat for someone like me.

The music, what could be more apt, than a German singing about peace, in her own language, English, and at least 1 more for her trouble. It won Eurovision, in 1982, before the contest became a political joke!

Wonderful place, but don’t ask me to ever go back

Given that the gap was over 30 years since my last visit to Jersey, lets say that most memories of the place were pretty blurred. And walking around St Helier has only confirmed two things, one that it has changed dramatically in the interim, and that beyond a couple of landmarks, I don’t remember anywhere!

So fine, you know already what one of those memories were, or do if you’ve been reading the rest of the blog this week. The Alexandra Hotel, gone about 10 years or so, and the one place outside the hotel that Sue and I would eat together, which I havent mentioned before, a really good curry house, which as far as I can tell, is also no longer there.

Why I say that is simple, the town centre has changed so much, that when I get down town, I cant get my bearings as to which way I would have gone, when going from town, back to the hotel. And the back route for that, is where the curry house was. So yes, highly unlikely it is, but, it could still be there, and I just cant find it. Chances of that, less than 1%, but… I’ve decided that before Saturday comes around, I need to walk up the front, to West Park, go to where the Alex used to be, and try and find that road, so I can at least vaguely try and work out where it was, and what it is now.

Right, get to the story. Last night, as I was either going into the bus station, or leaving it, what did I spy across the road, yes, you’ve guessed it, an Indian restaurant. And fine, like a fool (as I now know) I thought it would make a good place for an evening meal, for old times sake, and all that.

So tonight, I went in. One thing I am sure of, especially having looked at a town map of St Helier, that wasnt it! Keeping this brief, the food was really good, the service was equally good, and it was all reasonably priced. But I couldnt go back there again, not even for a million dollars! Why, simple, talk about invoking the ghosts of holidays past, big time! All too much, thinking back on the times of curry houses, in St Helier in the past, with her, way too much for me. Even though it wouldnt work now, she was into guys, not girls, and I doubt that has changed, even if I have, dramatically.

Fine, I got through the meal, but as soon as I’d eaten my main course, I called for the bill, paid it quickly, and went just as quickly once I’d done so. Yes, as I discovered, way too much of an emotional experience doing something like that. So, if anyone from the Jaipur restaurant, on the Esplanade should read this, or anyone who knows anyone who works there should read this, say I’m sorry. The reason I almost rushed out of the place had nothing to do with them, and was entirely down to some memories of events over 30 years ago, that the place invoked for me.

The video, well, this was the most Indian song I could think of, nothing more. Great song though

Waiting for my boyfriend!

Ah well, this is what you get for blogging early yesterday, the big news is a day old by now!

To be honest, beyond some shrewd charity shop buying when I got back to St Helier, generally, its been a pretty quiet day. Seriously, 5 tops for £11, 4 of them definitely vintage in style (though not in age) is not a bad way to spend your late ‘lunch hour’ back in town! Covering the rest of the day briefly, I went up to Gorey this morning, though I didnt climb up to the castle. My knees took one look at the steepness of the steps up to it, and said you have to be joking, and that was it! Especially given the cost of entrance when I got up there, assuming I did!

So after a walk around the harbour, and the cheapest coffee I’ve had out in a long while (95 p, for a large mug!) in a cafe, I headed back to town. Its fair to say, with the exception of said charity shops, that most of the clothes shops in St Helier are of the more expensive kind. And being a tight fisted Yorkshire lass (yes, I admit it), the only other thing I bought was an ice cream!

So right, lets drop back one day, to last night, and the far more interesting events! Just a few yards down the road here at Havre De Pas from my guest house, is another guest house, with a restaurant attached. Or I suspect more the case, a restaurant with a few rooms as a side business. But anyway…they had seats outside, they were offering a fish supper at a fair price, so I went in.

Got a nice table outside, though like a total blonde, I sat on the wrong side of the table, and though the view was nice, the one in the other direction was better! Fine, glass of wine arrived, and I sat there sipping it, as a lady should. After a few minutes (it must have been quite a few, as the story will show), a gentleman came across, and asked if he could sit at my table. Me, quite stunned by this sudden male attention, said yes. He started chatting away merrily, for at least 2-3 minutes, and then my food arrived, he excused himself, saying he wouldnt disturb me while eating, and that was it! Why is it that when you wouldnt mind your meal taking a few minutes extra, it never does! He was about my age, but I wasnt exactly making any effort to attract men. No make up (I really cant, with the slight tremor in my hand, it would just be a mess), and to be honest, it was only as I was sitting down that I realised I hadnt tidied up the ‘shadow’ on my top lip before coming out, although there isnt much nowadays, but…I pulled, or was about to!

I dont know, have I brought some aura of Harlow on holiday with me, or something, men seem to be falling over themselves for me! Either way, it was flattering in the extreme, it has to be said, even if I’m not interested lol! Good job I dont wear makeup, if thats the effect the plain me has on men at the moment! Oh alright, it was nice.

No, I wouldnt have sung this to him, might be singing it about him if dinner hadnt arrived when it did. But fine, you dont get the Piranhas every night, do you? 😉

In my room

As some of my readers at least will know, most of my holidays nowadays tend to be in North America, principally the USA, of course. Over there, I tend to try and select a room at the smaller end of the scale, but to be honest, most of them are as large as, or bigger than some flats/apartments I’ve lived in, in my time! All they’ve lacked is a kitchen, and…

Quite seriously, my room at the Walker Center in Boston even had some sort of kitchen too. Fine, most hotel rooms over there have a microwave in them anyway, so you could survive, but…

Of course, this time I’ve come to a guest house in Jersey, and though my single room isnt that small, it just feels so, by comparison to the accommodation I’ve got used to over there! Believe me, I’ve had plenty smaller than this in my time, but back then, I hadnt stayed in US hotels at all! Seriously, this is quite comfy, and sweet, and not a bad size at all. And being frank, some of those US hotel rooms are just too big! I know I shouldnt complain, but the one I stayed in, in Richmond last year was like having 3 separate rooms to myself! A work area, a living area, and then the bedroom. I know, they cater to the business crowd (indirectly why I was there) and they need space, but…

Lets just say you get spoilt by these things! Oh, and another thing I’m being spoilt by, the weather. Seriously, as I type this, its 72 here (23 for those who live by C?)! I’m looking for somewhere to eat tonight where I can sit outside! This is mid May, in the UK for heavens sake!

Oh, and a moment of amusement today. I know, I shouldnt laugh, but…

After visiting Corbiere, and enjoying the view of the lighthouse today, I decided to apply that well worn tactic of not coming back by the same bus route as I went out. Therefore, I got back on the next 12 (an hour later) and caught it to the end of the line, at Greve De Lecq, where it turns into a 9, and takes a different, and quicker way back to St Helier.

Fun started when the bus finally turned up, he didnt have the correct destination showing, he was showing St Brelades Bay, a point he had already passed through, instead of his destination. Apart from one couple, everyone listened to him, and all that wanted that route back to St Helier got off again. They didnt even realise until he was calling everyone off at Greve De Lecq! To be honest, they were ignoring him even then!

Finally he got the message through, or so it seemed, a bus to St Brelades Bay (a 9, turning into a 12) would be along in under 15 minutes, and after much discussion they got off to wait for it. Or so it seemed, because just as we were about to pull off, they jumped back on again. Despite again being told we were not going to their destination, they stayed put, and finally, about 10 minutes late, we pulled out.

I think they only finally got the message when we hit the main road to St Helier, on the front, and we turned left, when St Brelades was signposted right! I’m guessing that meant they would eventually get back home nearly 30 minutes later than if they had listened to the driver in the first place! Before you say anything, they spoke English, so should have understood what they were being told, but…all part of life, I guess?

The video, it hurts me to say that this is 50 years old

A gap in the distance

Well, actually, to be honest, since I last posted, not much blog worthy has actually happened. So lets focus on one strange, and ironic moment that happened today, on the journey to the guest house.

As we were coming along the front in St Helier, I was talking to my driver, who was shuttling me from the airport to here. And of course, soon after the airport, I got asked that question that I suspect so many visitors get asked, “Have you been here before?”, and I admitted that I had, but a very long time ago.

After some chat, he asked me where I’d stayed back then, and I told him, The Alexandra, and he confirmed what I already knew, that it was no more, seems it closed about 10 years ago or so. In that time (unsurprisingly) there have been developments along the front, and indeed some land reclamation as well, making it almost impossible to get many bearing points that I could remember.

So I asked him (just in time, in fact), to point out to me where the hotel used to be, and he did. I’ll admit, even after all this time, seeing the park, but not seeing the hotel was a bit strange. I have a vague image of it still, but thats all, I visited it enough for that. And yes, now its got me wondering, whatever happened to Sue Clark(e)(?), the member of staff I had regular contact with, and visits to, back then. No idea, its over 30 years since I last spoke to her, and given she was just slightly older than me, I assume she’s still alive, but have no evidence. Beyond her work at the hotel, I know she was originally from Bristol, but thats all I can remember.

If anyone who knows her, realises who I’m talking about, let her know I mentioned her. No, I dont expect contact, and lets face it, I’ve changed a lot since then, in more senses than one!

So anyway, as its been a glorious day over here today, late afternoon (I only arrived at the guest house about 3.15), I took a stroll down into St Helier, and didnt recognise anywhere! Not surprising I guess, in all honesty, but I sort of thought, one landmark, but, not one so far. 😦 Mind, I ended up in the shopping area, and that would look totally different anyway!

Tomorrow, probably plan to do another memory trip, by getting the bus out to Corbiere lighthouse, then walking back a way, and then getting a bus back to town. No, I doubt very much the lighthouse has changed lol! The buses, what I saw of them, are a lot more modern than then!

I never was a diary keeper (I have one, but only for recording my work shifts in), and I have no idea if Sue kept one either, and if she did, whether I ever made an entry in it. But despite all that, this brilliant Yazoo song deserves a bit of love!