ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.21 CHAPEL OF ST APOLLINE

We gave thanks and blessing to the Saint of Dentistry this afternoon;

“Blessed are the fillings, joy to all veneers! Under his implants!”

I have driven by the small church hundreds of times since moving to Guernsey, and today I went over its threshold for the first time! In the Proustian sense of the universe, that’s what I love about this hobbity island – seeing new things with the same old pair of eyeball goggles on! You could literally park a small tractor by the front gate and toddlers can enjoy exploring the garden. We could see that the fae were in residence as there looked to be a doorway at the base of one the trees in the garden. However, we didn’t knock or take any chances that they might just put the kettle on for us and rustle up some biscuits… It is well worth a visit (but don’t visit RIGHT NOW or THE GOVERNMENT will fine you TEN THOUSAND POUNDS – if you don’t have a valid permit).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapel_of_St_Apolline,_Guernsey

It all feels a bit like ‘f*ck off if you’re not from here!’ in G-land at the moment, and that’s sad. We could have all taken in a shielded person from the UK for the duration of the pandemic at this rate. St Appoline lived in Alexandria 249BC and her house still stands – yet we continue to ‘define local’ in a way that betrays the myriad and beautifully rich depth of colour and culture of the island itself. There’s a well of sadness holding up the armpits of any victory cheer we may raise to the skies; all dark and comfortless. Ringing the bell when it’s not a church service gives an air of the impression that if you did such a thing, it may, albeit microcosmically momentarily, take the edge of it. Ring the bell! Up yours corona!

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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.20 HOT SWEATY YOGA

LIVE LOVE SWEAT!

https://www.facebook.com/LOVE-HOT-YOGA-101073861895108

On Monday night I took my post partum body along with me to Love Hot Yoga, Guernsey’s newest yoga studio. Entering the mother womb like tent we went through some flows and sweated a lot, together. Yes, it feels like Guernsey is Hershel’s farm (from the Walking Dead, Season One). We can all come together in lycra and stretch ourselves out, without a sexual predator in speedos in sight (ref. Bikram yoga founder). This is surreal. It was honest, easy, challenging, difficult, sublime and relaxing in equal measures. The host of Love Hot Yoga was easy going, unpretentious, smooth, natural and put everybody at ease whilst at the same time taking us through a difficult yoga session. I slept the best I had in a very long time afterwards. I have also been upping my running kilometres this week and have already clocked just under 15K – a bonus! I hate stretching properly after exercise so I hope that this class will be a weekly occurrence.

When I moved to Guernsey just over a decade ago, I had never even heard of it. Lucky my mum’s hairdresser had lived there and parted two great gems of wisdom about the island 1)Everybody knows everybody else’s business, and 2) Everybody is sh*gging everybody else. I mean I wish I knew everybody else’s dirty laundry secrets and my life routine since having a child dispels half of that! Yet here we are, attending sweaty yoga classes in a confined space during a global pandemic. Yes, we are all the children of Rick Grimes now. I have set my expectations for the pandemic lasting five years and that our Bailiwick bubble may likely burst suddenly and at any time.

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Jack Reacher

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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.19 BATH TUB RACING AT THE MODEL YACHT POND!

Yaaasssssss!!!! What a banging way to kick off TWENTY TWENTY ONE!!!

https://guernseypress.com/news/2021/01/01/bathtubs-to-battle-for-supremacy-on-saturday/

We did not make it to the model yacht pond this afternoon as we had a toddler party to attend. It’s random events like bath tub racing that colour the Bailiwick of Guernsey with whimsical, honest and unique magic that you would not find anywhere else. This event will be in our diary for 2022 (unless we get invaded by Aliens lol?).

Photos below are from our travels today. I feel the gravity and weight of lockdowns happening around the world. I lean into nature to escape and hope that others can feel that release too, in a flower or a fallen tree.

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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.18 MONT CHINCHON BATTERY

Mont Chinchon battery was also known as Druids Altar Battery due to its close proximity to Le Trepied dolmen. In 1801 the battery had two 20 pounder cannons which would have been manned by the Guernsey Militia. A magazine was also recorded in 1816, which would have held black powder and shot for the guns. The site was dismantled by the German occupying forces to make way for more modern defences. The construction of a cutting for a railway line also damaged the rear of the battery and the magazine. After the 1940’s the battery fell into disrepair. In 2006 work began to restore the battery and was completed in 2008. 

[source: http://www.museums.gov.gg/batteries%5D
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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.17 ROCKPOOLING AT PORT SOIF BEACH

We had went for a wander along Port Soif beach in the grey misty dirge of December in Sarnia Cherie, gem of the sea. Winter is a brutal time on a small rock that is only 12 miles long. When the wind is blowin’ a hoolie it is hard to be active outdoors, especially when the sky is the colour of cheap grey marl leisure wear. Port Soif is a horseshoe shaped bay, at low tide the rock pools stretch out far into the distance. In the summertime swimming at sunset, at high tide, across the golden white(ish) sand is sublime. I miss those summer evenings meeting friends for a swim and to bathe in the sunshine streaming down into the bottom of the skyline – pure bliss! I think that is why wintertime is like being Lord Commander of the Night Watch, you know? The sun rising so late, at 8 oh clock, and setting at 4 oh clock(ish) is so heavy on the soul. I am going to cry so many buckets of joy when I finally see my family on the other side of vaccination street. The heavy energy in the air is an unbearable weight at the best of worst times. Rockpooling at Port Soif at (‘David Bowie kind of’) “Low” tide most bodaciously took the edge of it!

*I am not using a filter on any of these photos. Unfiltered Guernsey is a real gem, and much better than anything fake plastic and dishonest.

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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.15 TOWN CHURCH

We had a mooch around the charity christmess trees that had been put up in the Town Church today. I don’t think I have ever been in there?! Only a decade into my Guernsey sentence and I am still doing new things for the first time! It is a truly beautiful church. If my husband does the big legs and I ever have to get married again, I would love to get married here please! Yes, yes, yes! Next time it would be lovely to fly Church of England. https://www.townchurch.net/ For a short history lesson, go here: http://www.museums.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=76720&p=0

ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.14 LATE NIGHT CHRISTMESS SHOPPING

Zero social distancing, scant hand sanitization, mobs out celebrating with an early supper en masse and squashed queues inside small shops was witnessed at every turn. It was beginning to look a lot like normal christmess in St Peter Port last night (as per tradition we celebrate the christmessy capitalist crushes on the Thursday evenings). Parking at North Beach car park was a bit of a tight peach. Plaisirs, a shop that sells superliscious Neom candles, were handing out fizzy alcoholic shots. Music was playing in the High Street and yet it did not snow. Late night shopping whilst the rest of the world has gone to sh*t wasn’t so bad.

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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.13 OATY & JOEY’S PLAYBARN

Oaty & Joey’s playbarn at Oatland’s is a magical (and very clean) place for children to play and for adults to get sweaty running around after them. My mini-me is charged three pound fiddy and for that he can run riot!!! We are very lucky to be able to enjoy Guernsey village’s soft play centre. Strapped to the ceiling is Joey, an old aeroplane that once serviced the Chanel Islands. We go a few hours before school kick-out times so that my toddler can dominate the play areas that are designated for his kind. (I’m not going to say too much about Oatland’s itself as I am conscious that I have another 70ish things to do….).

We are all stuck on the rock, trapped, but covid-free. The village-island has less than a handful of cases. I often think of the intense boredom and anguish that many people are going through by isolating for fourteen days. I respect their individual efforts and I am grateful that they have made a great sacrifice to keep the rest of the island safe. That takes a whole lotta love!!! Peace and love to all who have self-isolated, all who are self-isolating now, and all who may have to self-isolate in the future!! Big salute and socially distanced ‘air’ squishy hug kisses to you all!!!

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ONE HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN GUERNSEY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS GONE TO SH*T! NO.12 LE CREUX ES FAIES

Along the coast road at the end of the island there is a prehistoric passage grave, guarded by the Guernsey National Trust, called Le Creux ès Faïes. According to folklore this is the entrance to the fairy world. I’m not sure that any fairies were home when we knocked. The earth around the monument has a grounding vibration, very much feeling like a dead end. Although, we didn’t linger too long just in case the Goblin King was in town and looking for company!

Folklore says every Friday night the fairies would leave the tomb to join the witches’ revels at Le Catioroc and every full moon would see them dance until daybreak at the Mont Saint.

It is a good smuggling hidey cove and could have been the fairy equivalent of the Alexandra Palace as the views from the mound are outstanding and the acoustics are pretty divine! All night fairy raves can probably continue in Guernsey like no where else in the world because the island’s border remains closed. We left some miniature whistles and tiny glow sticks as offerings and repeated three Calvin Harris anthem lyrics as we toddler bopped in the space and waving our hands up in the air feeling like we were at a Tomorrow Land headlining set.

A good tractor is always a bonus too. And these posts are helping me to feel more confident about exploring the world of G-Land (with a small ‘g’) with mini me, my toddler.

UPYOURSCORONA!!!

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