Pure Charity Or Sweet Tooth

Charity shops and fundraising are huge here in the UK. Pubs have quiz nights where everyone contributes a pound or two to play and the money goes to a different charity. We have auctions to support our parish church and there’s always outdoor activities like the big cookout we have every year with donated burgers from our village pub to raise money for cancer research. I have to say that despite living in such a giving country, I’d not seen a fundraising coffee shop until we went to Jersey last week.

John and I were walking through the Central Market in St Helier when we spotted a place I wanted to have a quick bite of lunch. It was bright and clean with fresh flowers and a menu that was so reasonable in price I was a bit surprised.

Click to Enlarge

I’d like to say that it was the information cards that talked about charities, CLIC Sargent and Jersey Hospice Care that the café supports with its proceeds or the name of the coffee shop, Pure Charity that drew me in, but …

Peanut Butter & Jelly & Red Velvet Cupcakes

… if I’m really honest, I’d have to say it was the cupcakes that caught my eye and that I only became aware of the charity component at the counter when ordering. Once I realized that it was for charity, it seemed only right to order a second cupcake.

I’m sure you would have done the same,” I mean it’s for charity, right?”

L’Etacquerel Fort – Not As Good As My Imagination, But …

I have a very busy imagination which sometimes leads to disappointment when the truth is revealed. Such is the case with L’Etacquerel Fort. Seeing it from a distance, I’d created a much grander story than the truth as we walked the along the coast path in Jersey.

Researching its history gave me an idea though after I discovered that it is available to rent along with several other properties such as one originally named after Queen Elizabeth’s favorite, the Earl of Leicester. We’re looking for places to gather in September when John has a big birthday ending in 0 and I think this one would be great! Fort Leicester has things L’Etacquerel Fort doesn’t have like running water, flushing toilets and beds.

 While John was taking this shot of some posted information about Fort Leicester …

 … I was taking one of him with the top of Fort L visible over his head and later I snapped the one below showing Fort Leicester from a distance.

I think it would be a grand place to stay for a week and an almost perfect place to celebrate a big birthday. It would be best if the weather was good on the day as none of the interior rooms are connected. John was a bit skeptical when I shared my discovery with him so we’ll have to see how it goes. It is his birthday as I keep reminding myself and I MUST listen to what he wants versus what I think he should want.

Getting back to the reason for this post, the orange blob in the photo above is me advancing on the Fort. John decided to stay back and take photos as I went closer for a look around.

I was disappointed to see it locked up tight as I crossed a wooden footbridge, but after discovering it is available for rent, I understand why it is closed to the public. I can’t say I like it, but I do understand.

I have to admit that it was kind of scary tripping across the wooden link from the hillside to the Fort.

Having served as an outpost for soldiers, I could almost hear their boots scraping against the stones as they walked back and forth watching the sea for intruders.

This close-up image from the information plaque below that was posted near the coast path.

While it was not the romantic place I’d envisioned, it does offer possibilities for future fun.

Eating, Sleeping, & Walking On A Jersey Holiday

I’m back with a bit more about our trip to Jersey. Due to John’s daughter having moved last year, we stayed in a B & B this visit. Rachel has a loft/attic room that will eventually be added space she can use for company, but given she’s moved to a seaside location, I think a slightly smaller home is a good tradeoff for being steps from the sand.

The photos just above and below are pictures of Undercliff, the B & B where despite having the best bed ever, I managed to have busy dreams each night. John and I agreed that it was great value for the money. Our room very clean and spacious and only a short walk to the sea. With a tasty breakfast each morning and strong and plentiful coffee, we felt so well looked after by Ida and Richard Huson that we’d recommend Undercliff without hesitation.

Here’s a shot John took from a hill nearby of Undercliff now. It looks as if it’s grown some since the black and while photos below were taken. We had breakfast everyday in the room with the big fireplace shown in the bottom left photo of the four below.

These black and white photos were a series of framed photographs showing Undercliff during or shortly after WWII. As Jersey was occupied by the German military during WWII, John and I decided the terms below for staying at Undercliff were probably after the war because people were not coming to Jersey on holiday when it was occupied. Ration cards are mentioned in the terms below and John said they were using ration cards for some things as late as 1954 in Britain. We stopped rationing in the US in 1946.

This is what you see when you follow a path near Undercliff. It takes you right by the sea and onto the coast path.

John was standing on a rock trying to take a similar picture to the one I snapped just above this one.

There are steps in some places to help along the coast path, but sometimes they seem to go on and on making you wonder if you’ll ever reach the top.

If you look closely at this photo, you can see something that looks like a castle on the piece jutting out near the broken off looking point on the left. We explored the area on our walk and I’ll have close-up images of what we discovered in tomorrow’s post.

We walked about two and half miles to meet Rachel and Jersey Baby Girl for lunch in Rozel which is home to the famous Hungry Man! The food is great and mostly fattening, but a trip to Jersey is not complete without a visit here for lunch.

The best part of lunch was not the yummy bacon-burger I enjoyed, but having a chance to cuddle the little sweetie below.

Jersey Baby Girl Comes Home

Okay, so I’m not being very original with my blog name for the newest member of the family, but I thought Jersey Baby Girl would work for a while. I intend to refer to her most often as JBG for short and will likely shorten Jersey Girl’s name to JG. I hope it doesn’t get too complicated.

My friend Patrice and I were talking about this last night and how some people go their whole lives being called by a nickname. She said she grew up with a much older cousin who everyone always called Baby Sister and to this day she’s not sure what her cousin’s name really was on her birth certificate.

John’s been having all the fun (I’m so jealous) and doing a great job of taking care of Jersey Girl while her mother and baby sister were in the hospital. They both came home a few days ago and I wanted to share some of the sweet pictures John and others have taken that show what I’ve been missing.

Mom shares a moment with her Jersey Girls

I wonder what he’s thinking here …

John with both of his granddaughters.

That baby looks hungry to me.

Jersey Girl gives Boris the Bear a peek at her baby sister. The crates you see behind JBG’s head are there because they moved into their new home by the sea just before she was born.

Mom out walking with her girls.

JG clowning for the camera in a hat and shirt that John and I gave her two years ago for her birthday. She finally grew into them. My daughter Miranda would tell you that I always bought her clothes about two sizes too big when she was a little girl too. John said she came downstairs wearing the hat and shirt and announced that these were things we had given her for her fifth birthday.


I just hate missing these sweet moments. John’s been sending loads of pictures which help, but I wish I could have been there too.

John with his youngest daughter Rachel and her new little JBG.

And Then There Were Two …

“Only love can be divided endlessly and still not diminish.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

There was a happy cause for celebration last Friday when John’s youngest daughter safely delivered a new little Jersey girl. I mention safely, as she was considered high risk and in the end had to have a Caesarean section several weeks before she was due. Both mother and child are doing well although they are still in the hospital.

This is John’s second grandchild and I am sure I’m going to love spoiling her just as much as the original Jersey Girl. As JG’s seventh birthday approaches it will be interesting to see her navigate the change involved in going from an only child to an older sister. Being the eldest of four girls, I may be a resource for her ‘older sister’ questions as well as retaining my role as the ‘chief fun planner’ of future stays at Bapa’s & E’s house in Cornwall.

I only have the one photo, but I’ll pop in more when I receive them. I’m struggling a bit with what to call this new little one when I write about her here. It may get a bit complicated … any suggestions for what to call the youngest Jersey girl?

Taking To The Open Road With Jersey Girl

When the rain of the last few days eased up yesterday we finally had a chance to do some bike riding and scooting around the village before our visit with Jersey Girl was over. Our little houseguest went home early this morning and John and I will be taking the next few days to pack and get the house in top order for the folks that will be here while we are away.

Before I begin tossing the contents of the frig and emptying dresser drawers for our housesitters, I wanted to share a few pictures from our last day with JG and her mom.

Jersey Girl gave me a brief tutorial before we headed out with our scooters. The most important thing I learned was how to use the brake. I had not even realized these things had brakes, (I think I had the Fred Flintstone foot-dragging approach to stopping in mind) but once we were shooting down a hill I was glad I had mastered slowing down and stopping in the proper way.

Here you see us demonstrating how braking works. See our back feet pressing down on those metal flaps … it’s easy-peasy.

John caught us pausing on the path across the village green.

Earlier in the day we took a ride on the Camel Trail. We all got pretty muddy, but we were determined to have a bike ride together before JG and her mom had to go home.

This is the bridge that leads to the buttercup field and even though the buttercups are long gone for now it is still one of our favorite places to walk. John took this photograph of his daughter Rachel and his granddaughter, JG today. It is difficult to catch her when she’s not pulling a face as they say here.

While reading a book together last night, JG and I were discussing rather sadly how long it may be before we see each other again and together we came up with the bones of a story that may turn into something sweet.

Since it falls to me to write it, I may work on it during the first leg of our journey next week as we will be in the air for 22 hours with one short stop for refueling. (That’s a big hint for those of you still guessing about the trip we begin next month)

Summertime Rocks Using Dandelion Clocks

After a week with Jersey Girl, I can almost tell what she’s thinking before she makes a move and I know whenever a dandelion is in sight, she is going to want to check the time. I never knew about dandelion clocks until she taught me last spring during my first visit to Jersey.

Notice the look … hmm … I wonder what time it is.

Carefully … she picks the clock.

Then giving it a few puffs of air …

She counts what’s left …

Sadly, it looks as if our time is up.