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Late Doors

Jersey

18 months ago MrsDs clan joyfully announced the engagement of Favourite Niece (FN) and boyfriend from Belfast (BB) FN is a wonderful and beautiful women and BB if punching way above his weight aesthetically a warm, intelligent fantastic fella full of personality and drive and is an absolute rock of integrity. We are all very happy for them both.  

So Jersey was the venue for a wedding that has taken 18 months to plan because of its mutual location for assorted Family and friends.  Guests travelling from Australia. London, Edinburgh, Ulster, Yorkshire, Manchester, France and Jersey itself reflected the manic cosmopolitan, high flying Social whirl the bride and groom have enjoyed over their five year relationship. They in fact met whilst both “travelling” the inv. commas because when they say "travelling" these days they in fact mean going on holiday for a year with all the other students and post grads and if that sounds a tad cynically jealous it’s because I am.

Like any other wedding involving the meeting of such large families and circle of friends it wasn’t without it’s baggage of course, some of it unwanted but a bit more of that later.

It’s the Third time now on the Island but the first time in summer so I've got to know it reasonably well as a tourist. The most apparent aspect of it that hits you immediately is the incredible tidiness and neatness of the place coupled with the manners and politeness of almost everybody. There is a 40 mph Speed limit and an almost surreal etiquette on the road that is a pleasure to behold. The climate is just about as perfect as I can imagine with four distinct seasons ranging from mild winters to sometimes scorching summers producing not only a fantastic outdoors living culture but a wonderful floral and vegetation eco system. The island abounds with lush greenery and hills making it perfect for walking and biking and of course the surrounding channel produces superb sea food.


There seems to be a very sociable going out culture as well. Loads of fantastic traditional pubs and plenty of contemporary stylish bars and cafes so every day and night these places are busy with all ages and creed. Finally there seems to be very little real overt poverty or degenerative anti social behaviour. Even the winos in the beautiful park seem happy and don’t bother anyone. Yes we like it a lot.

This time we spent the weekend in the capital St Helier and St Aubin on the other side of the huge bay .We pushed the boat out for this one and stopped at the Royal Yacht Hotel, We had a terrace above the shield in front of the hotel where we waved at and addressed the crowds below in Liberation Square. In and around our hotel were many of the late night bars with outside seating. It was quite funny watching it all from the balcony seeing the gulls swooping down trying to make off with assorted kebabs and burgers from unsuspecting revellers wandering around


Some ace boozers to recommend. Pietersons and Cock n Bottle in Royal Square for picturesque and atmospheric al fresco supping. The lamplighters and Prince Of Wales were fine pubs as well with good ale. Green Olive was a restaurant specialising in Sea Food Chicken and vegetarian food and was ideal as we were looking after two vegans on Friday Night. The Scallops and Sea bass I can report were brilliant and seemed fresh from the sea. Jaipurs Indian was good quality if a little mild for the fire eaters. The boathouse across the bay in St Aubins was the areas trendy place to be seen with a fine situation on the harbour edge with sea views with prices to match. 6.85 for a pint and a wine. Classiest place of all was La Mare Winery were we had the reception. Very Elegant and traditional with beautiful landscaped gardens and very accommodating patient staff.

Jersey People are a mix of pure islanders called Jersey Beans with their Afrikaaner/Portugese/Irish hybrid accents, long term immigrants (British and Irish mainly) and shorter term temporary immigrants. There seems to be lots of twenty somethings and younger who were born on the island to immigrant who although are Natives speak with that ubiquitous Southern/American/Aussie/university hybrid twang that seems to taking over middle England these days. These people and younger ones I guess are the future of the island and from what I see are a Stirling credit to their generation. Work hard, respectful and immaculately behaved but with a penchant for fun.

It all seemed a throw back to how I imagined past times were in England. I suppose you have to see it to understand. Craggs has been there recently hasn’t he? Id be interested to hear what he makes of it.

Anyway a few words about the wedding and the day. Lots of traditional massive family incidents as you’d imagine with all sorts of people. On the Brides side the dysfunctional broken Northern working class family with the waster borderline alcoholic father not even bothering to turn up, the wayward 30 odd year old skateboarding slacker brother who did turn up exceeding expectations In his Wu Tang T Shirt and freshly bought shirt for the service from the Oxfam shop for a pound and borrowed shoes. He is a nice lad actually if a tad unconventional. The brides Mother MrsDs beloved sister all proud and emotional making people cry with her unrehearsed and heartfelt simple speech. The bride’s friends and Bridesmaids from Huddersfield neglecting their duties to party instead although they all did look stunning. The sandal wearing non drinking strictly vegan auntie and uncle like fish out of water in the social kaleidoscope of it all. The  drinking and partying prowess of the brides other uncles and their partners assisting the ageing and slightly deranged Grandma around the place. Finally the utterly normal Mrs and Mrs LD positively illuminating grace style culture and restraint.

On the grooms side the immense Belfast clan who saw the Brides uncles drinking capacity as a mere aperitif and must have single handily raised the Islands dwindling tourist alcohol revenue back to normality in five days. Welcome to the family the Best man said at the reception. I swear I saw the Bride gulp and a look of terror spread across her face, I tell thee, I've seen drinkers and I’ ve seen heavy drinkers but this lot are something else. The more than capable bar staff everywhere we went were visibly flagging and looked fit to drop keeping up with them, phenomenal.

The grooms mates as I mentioned I think in the stag do york races account are a tad tiresome. All city slick banking nouveau laddish aren’t we fucking awesome groomed up to the hilt loadsamoney types who despite that I would feel sorry for if and when they ever got the kicking they truly require by carrying on like that in the wrong place. The one bit of even slightly potential flash point was when one of the smart arse fuks took the piss out of the Brides Brother on the dance floor by mimicking his dancing. Thankfully the brothers Girlfriend smartly took control and whisked him away. Other than that it was a massive aggression, conflict, fantastic leisurely and relaxed weekend enjoyed by all

Next Rendezvous the Christening I’d imagine, should be good
bearing

Did you see Sir Serf whilst you were there?
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

we shall compare notes and photos in due course!!!

ACE!!! As Dock says!
bearing

I bet there's a toad involved
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

bearing wrote:
I bet there's a toad involved



uncanny!

bearing

Told you...
Pond Life

Fantastic as ever Mr Doors. I have managed myself to avoid weddings, my own and others. They are enormously complex and this sounds like my idea of a nightmare. Please do not take that the wrong way but if i was the groom in that lot, very quickly i would have been asking 'can we not just do this down the civic place then move on to a bun fight in the pub?'.

Thankfully the world is not filled with lazy, responsibility dodging slackers like myself and so good people like you get to enjoy what sounds like a great island.

Thanks (as ever) for posting.
Late Doors

Well funnily enough PL MrsD fell out with me big time when I suggested to FN when she was stopping with us that all this stress and grief for a wedding is ridiculous and is by now doing my head in. She was very upset. I apologised straight away saying that came out all wrong and was not really what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it and I think she accepted the apology. MrsD though was fuming and it was a good weeks worth of "afters" that followed . Not that I can’t cope with a week’s silence you understand  

Between you lot and me though and just entirely my own opinion of course it was utterly and completely superfluous, entirely ostentatious and a massive waste of money. Course I realise others will think differently and it seemed to be what they all wanted so fair enough but the pomp, ceremony, expense and shear effort that went into it just seem way disproportionate.

It’s not just the money thing either even though I could probably think of a thousand things that amount would be better spent on. It’s the whole emotional energy and time spent planning it. I don’t think I'm entirely in the same boat as you about the civic and pub do. I think you’ve got to make it memorable and enjoyable for family and friends. There’s a gulf between Civic/Pub and Ice statues/Swans and I suppose everyone can put a line where they want. Mines certainly more to the former.

As an aside I think M'Brother takes the biscuit for bargain basement no frills wedding. I went into the West Riding Pub in Town one Saturday afternoon after being away a few year back. I saw him sat at the bar with his girlfriend and a few mates. He was in is England Tracksuit which was not unusual and his Girlfriend was all dressed up, which was. I said what’s going on here? He said have you met your new sister in law.

They’d got married in the Reg Office across the road that morning, him in his tracky her in her frock, no best man, no guests and they’d asked an old bloke at the bus stop to be their witness which he did in exchange for a few pints. They’d not told anyone just asked a few people to be in the West that afternoon and that was that. As it happens it was a brilliant day out and very memorable. The memories certainly having more longevity than the marriage which ended two year later in a blaze of cutlery, policemen and an ambulance.
Pond Life

Well my views on weddings are about the same as yours i think.

Firstly it is a lot of money to spend at the start of, what hopefully be, a life time together at a time when most have fuck all. There are houses to pay for, kids to have and feed and so on and so on. I also think *puts tin hat on* a gamble. You are gambling a lot of money on the fact that you will stay together.

I would much rather that 'bride and groom' wore a ring each, spent all that money on houses kids, cars, holidays. After say....10 years have a big wedding then as a celebration of the time you have had, not the time you hope to have.

That has seen me unmarried to this day.

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