Sunday, 15 May 2016

"All" Revealed

In my previous post, I gave you a few clues as to where exactly the "away" in the "Away in May" was, but they obviously weren't enough for any of you to guess right. 
Let me put them together again:

- I crossed water but still was - geographically, at least - in Europe.
- English is not the only official language of the place.

- The place has its own currency but a very similar currency is accepted everywhere, too.
- Fortifications feature prominently along the border. 

Admittedly, that is not very much to go by, but if I tell you where I've been, you'll slap your foreheads, exclaiming "of course!": Jersey, the biggest one of the Channel Islands, and a "dream destination" for me for many years.  

On Saturday, the 7th of May, we (the "we" will also be revealed shortly) took a plane from Stuttgart to Jersey. That had been my first surprise about this holiday, by the way: the existence of direct flights from Stuttgart, without having to change planes in London or elsewhere.

As you can  see on the map, it's not really far - just across the northern part of France, and accomplished in about 1 1/2 hours.
It took nearly as long as that from St. Peter (where Jersey's airport is) to Bouley Bay, where we were staying, in spite of it being not many miles apart:

But eventually, we arrived at Undercliff guest house. Their website is here if you want to know more - I really recommend it as a great place to stay, with lovely hosts and excellent breakfast.

Here are pictures from the 7th of May.
Our plane:
 

Getting off the bus in Bouley Bay and having a first look round:



View from our window across the gardens to the cliff top:

View from our window towards the bay:

Our room:

We had "stars" on the ceiling - sorry about the fuzzy picture, but it really was very nice and rather romantic to have them on as the only light in the evenings:

I said in my previous post that "all" (maybe not really all) was going to be revealed after my return. Well, now I am back, and shall keep my promise. It was interesting to see what some of you, my dear readers, had come up with, but neither a wedding nor a carreer as a super-model are on the cards!

Actually, it is quite simple: RJ and I have split up more than a year ago, and after some months of trial & error I met O.K. (those really are his initials, and I have his permission to use them here) who is the new (and hopefully, VERY long-term) man in my life. 

Maybe now you think, wait a minute, didn't she still mention RJ, only a few posts back for instance, in the context of setting up the new sofa? Yes, that's right. RJ and I remain good and close friends, and our working relationship has never suffered, both of us being determined to keep working together and staying friends.

When I first visited OK at his place (where these pictures were taken), I looked at his book shelves, as is my habit when I come to someone's place for the first time. It does help geting to know a person better when you see what kind of books they have, doesn't it?
Anyway, one of the first books I spotted was a travel guide about the Channel Islands. For many years, Steve and I had been talking about wanting to go there, but it never worked out, and I had sort of given up on the idea, imagining it too expensive and too complicated to get there.
Of course I thought that the book was there because O had been there - but it turned out that he, like me, had always meant to go without it ever having worked out. That determined the plan for our first (but definitely not last) holiday together!

We had a great week, with no nasty surprises about each other cropping up, and you'll read and see more about Jersey in the posts to come.

36 comments:

  1. To tell you the truth, Jersey did cross my mind. When Shirley and I visited Jersey we stayed in the nearby village of Trinity at The Best Western Highfield Country Hotel. I am so pleased that you have found OK. And he is a lucky man to have found you. Thanks for sharing the information and best wishes for the journey ahead.

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    1. We've walked through Trinity several times and once had a drink at the Trinity Arms.
      Thank you, Neil!

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  2. I love Jersey. It's been a long time since I was there but it's so pretty and has lots of history and interesting places to visit.
    It's great that you and R.J are still good friends and colleagues and I'm glad you have someone new who makes you happy. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

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    1. It is a great place of which we have managed to scratch only the surface, I think; in spite of it being a small island, there is plenty to do and see there.
      RJ and I are glad we made the transition to being "just friends" (I don't like the expression "just", since friends are worth so much, but you know what I mean).

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  3. My first guess was Ireland but I also did think of the Channel islands. (Have you read 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'?) Glad you had a good time! And congratulations on managing the relationships balance.

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    1. I am pretty sure I've read that book, Monica; it must have been before I started reviewing every book I've been reading on my blog, because I can't find any reference to it although the book sounds very familiar.
      Thank you for your kind words!

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    2. Well, oddly enough, Meike and Monica I can't find the book on either of your blogs using the general search but on 12 April 2015 I ordered it having read about it somewhere and your two blogs are by far the most likely (though admittedly not sole) Blogland sources of my book inspirations. I think it's out on loan at the moment as it happens.

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    3. Like I said, I am pretty sure I've read it, but I know that I did not post a review of all my reading material when I first started my blog. Maybe I should re-read it, now that I've seen one of the islands for myself.

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    4. I dearly loved this book! I wrote about it here, if you are interested: http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-reportthe-guernsey-literary-and.html
      I don't give anything away about the plot.

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    5. It pleases me so much that you shared your new love with us. I'm very happy for you both. He's getting a gem!

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    6. Thank you, Nan, you are so kind! And you've been VERY busy, going through all my recent blog posts.

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  4. I hope you'll post more about your holiday as Jersey is a place I'd like to visit too. Such a big world, and so little time!

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    1. I will post loads more - I took over 200 pictures :-D

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  5. I never would have guessed Jersey as a destination! But Elizabeth Goudge made me aware of the channel islands, long ago, and I think they would be a wonderful destination, any one of them. I am so glad you have a new dear friend to travel with! Looking forward to hearing more.

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    1. I am not familiar with Elizabeth Goudge's connection with the Channel Islands, it is something I shall look into.
      Yes, each of the islands are great places to visit; this time, we didn't get round to a trip to any of the others, but who knows what we'll be doing and where we'll be going in the future :-)

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    2. Her mother's family were from Guernsey and her book Island Magic is set there...

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    3. Thank you, Kristi! "Island Magic" sounds like something I want to read...

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  6. So glad you enjoyed your trip to Jersey. One of my sister-in-law's neighbours goes there every year. She loves it. And good luck on your new relationship. May skies always be sunny for you, and rain storms rare and brief. xoxoxo Carol

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    1. My sister-in-law and her family went to Jersey last year, and although I think they were rather unlucky with the weather, they enjoyed their holiday a lot.
      Thank you, Carol, for your good wishes!

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  7. How good to have a romantic getaway with Mr. O.K. and I like your choice of destination. I check out friends' bookshelves too and I wonder how we can check out friends' ebook readers (Ha Ha). I think the books we keep and the books we read are a form of autobiography.

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    1. Very true, Terra! Sometimes people have books on their shelves just "for show", but I think that is pretty obvious soon after meeting them - and not the case with O.K. :-)
      Hmm, you're right, how can we check other people's ebook readers? We'll simply have to ask and then take their word for it!

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  8. Fun! Glad you got to do something so long on your list. Best wishes for you and OK!

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    1. Thank you, Marcie! Yes, I never thought I'd make it there, and then everything happened really quickly and booking and organizing was so easy.

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  9. Well, OK, then, now we know! (Ha, I love a play on words, don't you?)
    Very happy for you and also glad that you have remained friends with RJ and that your job is not affected. One does have to consider these kind of things!
    JERSEY! Oh, how lucky! I have always wanted to visit there myself, so I am glad that you were able to go!
    O.K. You will laugh when I tell you...folks on the phone these days don't say OKAY anymore, they just say "KAY", and very often, I will think that people are calling my name! :-)

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    1. When I first started working for/with RJ, we had thought and talked through all that could happen, and what plan B would be in case things weren't going to last either in our private relationship or professionally. Thankfully, we are both able to think and act rationally and with logic when it is called for :-)

      Jersey was truly wonderful, and I am very happy that OK and I had this first holiday together.

      I've observed people saying "kay" insteald of "okay", too :-)

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  10. I'm envious, the Channel Islands are on my list too. Good luck with your new man, a very exciting time in your life.

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    1. Thank you!
      You should go if you can, it is neither as expensive nor as difficult to get there as I originally thought.

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  11. Very nice! I look forward to the pictures and to hearing more about O.K. !! :)

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    1. You will, Jennifer, you will :-)

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  12. I'm sorry to say that over the last while I've had a guest and haven't been following your travels though, of course, I knew you were away. Oddly I said to my friend over breakfast one day late last week that you and RJ were no longer 'an item'. This puzzled her as she didn't know either you or RJ but she is used to my eccentricities. However she is also used to my gut feelings so didn't demur. Like you I have managed to stay friends with past lovers so, knowing your logical approach to life, it didn't surprise me that you and RJ have separated but remained friends. I wish you a very happy future with O.K.

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  13. I should have added that your post has raised many other interesting points which I shall mention at another time.

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    1. It is always good to know that what I write rises an interesting point or two in a reader; more often than not, I fear that I am simply reporting and logging, not really "writing".

      Thank you for your kind words and wishes, Graham. They are much appreciated.

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  14. Great to have the chance to do something new, for both of you. I realised I have missed your posts about Jersey during my absence from blogland, so will start here and work my way back now.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! I hope you'll find it worth your time.

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