50 reasons why it’s still great to live in Jersey...
LIFE is a little tough at the moment. But while heeding the very important advice from the authorities it is worth remembering two things: 1) One day this will all be over and 2) there are far worse places to be at the moment.
So while we continue to bring you all the latest news and information on coronavirus, we thought we'd also help keep morale up by celebrating what's good about our little Island.
Here are 50 reasons to stay positive...
1. It hasn’t stopped raining since October, but summer is coming. Slowly. Roughly one day at a time. But it’s coming.
2. Road-side hedge veg stalls. There are few greater pleasures than paying a few pennies for a lovely bag of fresh veg. And there is a huge sense of pride in explaining to a tourist that the stalls are unmanned because no one would dare to rob them. Some people do rob them. But mostly we don’t.
3. The humble filter-in-turn – the little Jersey road junction that a) enables traffic to keep moving, albeit slowly and b) allows us to show common decency towards other road users. Except when the other car has an ‘H’ on the number plate – because then it is always our right of way.
4. Superman. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Doesn’t matter. What matters is he is from Jersey. Henry Cavill was born in this Island. Suck it up, Guernsey.
5. There’s no council tax. You may not like paying the annual rates bill, but believe me, there’s nothing worse than shelling out £200 a month to a UK council to have your bins emptied twice a year while you watch the pot hole on the road outside slowly grow into the size of a lake.
6. If you disregard Columbo, Poirot, Inspector Morse, Miss Marple and that woman from Murder She Wrote, then the best fictional detective of all time was from Jersey. Well done, Bergerac. And he may be back on our screens soon.
7. Most places in the UK could only dream of having a castle. And we’ve got two. Or three if you count that wall and bits of rubble up at Grosnez.
8. Our petrol prices are cheaper than the UK. And every family here has at least four cars. So that amounts to a massive Islandwide saving.
9. You are never more than a short drive away from a restaurant that sells meat on a skewer with a side order of every conceivable type of carbohydrate. The wheel, the combustion engine and the espetada – the world’s three greatest inventions. And not necessarily in that order. Stick your Nando’s. Jersey has proper Portuguese/Madeiran food.
10. Just search ‘Santa Jersey Airport’ on YouTube.
11. If they aren’t digging up a road, your commute is never more than 20 minutes.
12. King Street is definitely less dead than the average high street in England. Most shopping centres over there are just a loose collection of pound shops, bookies and characterless chains. Not so here. And there are lovely cobbles (not tarmac) under your feet and if you look up, most of the buildings are really rather pretty. Yes, St Helier has much more going for it than the average UK town. Don’t believe me? Then go to Goole. Or Barnsley. Or Swindon. Actually don’t. Just take my word for it.
13. Other places have potatoes. We have Jersey Royals – the real reason why God created butter and mint. It is a vegetable so revered that anyone referring to it as a ‘spud’ should be marched down to the Magistrate’s Court and bound over to leave the Island (on the boat that leaves in the morning, of course.)
14. The sea is warmer here. Unless you are reading this online from France or Spain or Australia or wherever. In which case, a swim in our sea is much more refreshing.
15. Pizzas – good. Beaches – good. It is therefore an indisputable fact that St Brelade’s Bay is home to the best Pizza Express in the world.
16. There’s no way of saying this without sounding like a snob, but it is a fact that we do have a higher class of charity shop here. Many such shops in the UK sell stuff that was thrown away for a very good reason. That’s simply not how we roll here. A colleague reports that many years ago she bought a Chanel suit from the Hospice charity shop in town. And the best bit about it? She didn’t even know it was Chanel until she got home. That’s the sort of middle-class surprise you get from our charity shops. A big thank you to all our rich people who can’t tolerate the thought of wearing something more than once.
17. The Petit Train. What better way to enjoy the sights of St Aubin’s Bay. OK, perhaps walking or cycling. But it’s certainly the best way to enjoy the sights of St Aubin’s Bay when it’s raining.
18. We have lots of buzzards. Look up and you’ll see these birds of prey everywhere. And they make a funny meowing noise as they swoop around. So you could say we have flying cats.
19. We are only an hour from France.
20. We are a whole hour from France.
21. We have the honorary police. OK, OK, OK. One minute please. If they didn’t exist the States police would be doing all that work too. And you’d be paying for it.
22. Condor keeps the sea links going. I know it sometimes goes wrong, but they do try really hard. And operating a ferry service across the Channel is no easy thing.
23. The Elizabeth Castle ferries. One minute they are a bus. The next, they are a boat. Blows my mind every time.
24. We have a statue of C-3PO from Star Wars in the Royal Square. I think it’s C-3PO, or it could be King George II. Either way, it’s very nice.
25. We have easyJet. They are cheap, usually on time, and when it’s cloudy, at least they give us something orange to look at in the sky. And now Flybe have finally gone away, they are more valued than ever. Please don’t leave, easyJet. Please.
26. Enjoying a beer while watching the sunset at St Ouen’s Bay is the perfect end to the day. But let’s face it, a pint of dishwater would taste just lovely with a view like that.
27. Most of the UK have big, angry, dirty, grey squirrels. We have cute little red ones.
28. Our Island is magic. Literally, it pretty much doubles in size every time the tide goes out.
29. Some internet connections in rural England are so slow that instead of trying to find something out online it would be quicker to get in a car, drive to a Waterstones and buy an Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ours, meanwhile, is one of the fastest in the world.
30. We have Durrell. They save animals across the world from extinction. And their café does excellent coffee. What’s not to like.
31. Ever been to a tip/recycling centre in the UK? Most of the time you can smell them before you can see them. Horrible places. Not ours. Ours is lovely. Yes, we have a lovely recycling centre. There, I have said it.
32. And we have Acorn. What a wonderful organisation doing wonderful things. Very well done to everyone involved with this gem of a charity.
33. We have our own language. Sâpré mille pipes! Know what that means? Thought not. It doesn’t matter that hardly any of us can speak it. It’s just nice to have. (It was ‘good heavens’, by the way.)
34. The Steam Clock. Whooah, Hang on. Let me explain. It may have cost £250,000. It may be falling to bits inside. And it hasn’t told the time for, well, a very long time. But, if nothing else, it is a reminder that we live in an Island that used to be very rich. Doesn’t it make you proud.
35. We all give lots of money to charity. Give yourself a big pat on the back.
36. What do people in the UK have to look forward to when they leave the office? An hour’s drive home, breathing in car fumes while listening to Sara Cox on the radio and watching the rain bounce off the windscreen. Not us. We can drive or walk to the beach. You could even get a takeaway espetada. (Note to self: investigate espetada beach delivery services.)
37. The Vienna Bakery shop in the Central Market. Wonderful bread. Amazing cakes. I could go on. OK then, I will. Duffins (the sweet, juice-laden lovechild of a doughnut and a muffin). Jersey Wonders. Jersey Gache. Did I mention Duffins? No, OK then. Duffins.
38. We have the Jersey Bulls – the newly formed undefeated football team that Salah and Mané wish they were good enough to play for.
39. We are officially the warmest and sunniest place in the British Isles. Other places, like Bognor Regis and the very silly Isles of Scilly, may say otherwise. But, come the summer, our sunburnt faces will say otherwise.
40. We grow our own tea. God knows why. But we do. And it makes us sound quite fancy.
41. People think we are sooo continental. French road names. French place names. French surnames. They all make us feel that we live somewhere slightly continental, and it doesn’t matter that some of us can’t pronounce them.
42. We don’t have foxes. The upside to this is that, apart from seagulls, there is nothing out there which will trash your bin. The downside is there is nothing to keep our feral chicken population in check. So sometimes they have to be shot.
43. Liberation Day gives us one extra public holiday than our friends and family in the UK. Come on, who hasn’t emailed a mate in England on 8th May to ask them what they are doing with their day off tomorrow, just because you want them to confirm in writing that they will actually be at work. (Extra points to those who send a follow-up email on the 9th, attaching a picture of themselves at the beach/having a barbecue.)
44. We still have lots of pubs. And craft ale houses. Whatever they are.
45. Astronomical house prices. What? Seriously? This is a positive? Well, for some, yes. Many, many people may be struggling to get on the ladder, but there is another side to this. Those who do own a property can sell, move somewhere cheaper, and bank a hell of a lot of cash. And by cheaper, I mean practically anywhere else in the world.
46. First: Wake up. Second: Get dressed. Third: Drive to St Catherine. Four: Buy a bacon roll. Five. Enjoy. No finer start to a day. Fact.
47. In the summer you can catch a mackerel and have it for your dinner. Well, most summers you can. It didn’t happen so much last year. Possibly due to the fact that sometimes the fishing is bad for no reason, or possibly because massive Russian trawlers were scooping them up in the Channel. No evidence either way, but probably best to blame the Russians.
48. Our cows are so pretty. There is a reason why nowhere else in the world puts cows on their postcards. Think of the giant, dinosaur-like black and white beasts stomping around muddy fields in the UK. Then think of our slightly-built, friendly doe-eyed girls. Their beauty stops locals and tourists in their tracks. Oh, and they produce the world’s greatest milk. Bravo, ladies.
49. Okay, Jersey may not be the we-have-been-leaving-our-homes-and-cars-unlocked-for-so-long-we’ve-forgotten-where-we-have-put-the-keys haven of tranquillity that it used to be, but our crime rates are among the lowest in Britain.
50. We aren’t Guernsey.
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