This is a quick postcard from Guernsey where I’m here for the long Jubilee weekend. This is a small island that’s not quite English and not quite French. It reminds me of the craggy coastline of Cornwall, with an old fashioned nostalgia of flower filled hedgerows and stone farmhouses. It’s the sort of place where you can slow right down (the speed limit is only 35 miles per hour) and where people put out their surplus produce to sell in hedge-veg stalls on an honesty system where you leave the money in a box.
So far we’ve been eating local crab sandwiches bought from a buckets-and-spades beach kiosk and stopping to buy home-made cheese made from the milk of the golden Guernsey goat. We’ve walked a bit of the south coast cliff path from Fermain Bay around to the concrete bunkers at Jerbourg left over from the German occupation of Guernsey. At Sausmarez Manor we walked the sculpture trail with Dali-esque heads in the tree and metal storks in front of the pool surrounded by bamboo.
Later we visited the Museum of the Occupation where behind the whitewashed walls of a traditional house were a collection of uniforms, roomsets, machinery and information about occupied Guernsey during the war. For the Germans on the island it was a bit of a holiday from the war in the rest of Europe, but by the final year the people of Guernsey were close to starvation and were only saved by the Red Cross food parcels brought on the Red Cross Ship, Vega.
In St Peter’s Port this evening the harbour was full of yachts with bunting and flags flying from their rigging, for the Jubilee celebrations. Tomorrow, we’ll be cycling around Sark, the island without cars where it’s a choice between horse-drawn cart or bikes to get around. Wish you were here!
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