Monday, 5 October 2009

Birthday, Debs and Other Stuff


Last week I was taken away for a Long Birthday Weekend. To Jersey. In a beach hotel. With sea-view and balcony. And The Toyboy Trucker arranged for me to have my birthday breakfast on the beach terrace in the (really hot) sun with the sea - brilliantly blue and sparkling - only feet away, and he gave me a fabulous new engagement ring to replace the old one which had worn thin and fallen apart and has been glued together and is on a chain round my neck. It was SO romantic. And I cried. A lot.

We spent the Day Before My Birthday at El Tico's (pictured above) with the beautiful Debs and her lovely R and the gorgeous world-famous Grumpy. It was fantastic. We had a really, really l-o-n-g lazy laughing lunch in the sun and it was wonderful to chat for ages face-to-face instead of simply through the ether. The weather was amazing (like Karen I've got a burnt chest and am proud of it!) and I could have stayed there forever with D, R and G, gazing out across stunning St Ouens Bay and being lazy... It was so nice to be at El Tico's again and I love the way it's been lovingly restored without losing any of its original 1930s feel - oh, and the food was wonderful - as was the champagne! Thanks Debs - I'll remember it forever!

I do love St Ouens. When I lived in Jersey I worked (among other things) as a waitress at Le Braye (pictured below) just along the road from El Tico's and was sacked for releasing the freshly-caught lobsters each morning. They lived in a tin bath at the back of the cafe and were served fresh (i.e. alive - well, at least, not alive on the plate of course, but boiled to order) and I became a one-girlie-lobster-liberation-squad. It took the then-owners weeks to discover who was pinching the makings of their lobster salads... We sometimes go back now (I think it's safe to do so after many, many years) and have lunch at Le Braye and joyously there's not a lobster on the menu these days!


Now I'm back home and it's cold and grey and raining a bit. And I'm trying to write Midnight Feast but keep drifting off to Jersey in my head...

Fortunately I'm falling in love with the dining room now. Having taken all your advice, I've incorporated some old bits, added some new ones, and there's lots of colour splashed about. It still looks a bit clean and neat for me, but it's beginning to feel like home. And the table (the only old thing I couldn't fit into the shed) has a lovely new home at our local British Legion - so I think my Gran wouldn't have minded that at all...

Elle and The Doctor, having JUST got their wedding photos back (oooh, there may yet be a pic of the elusive m-o-t-b frock!), are on holiday in Vegas at the moment. The Toyboy Trucker and I are baby-sitting their newest acquisitions - four goldfish called Lambert&Butler and Benson&Hedges... (this we feel is Not A Good Thing for health professionals). The cats are very excited...

And we have new neighbours. At last. Will give their arrival a blog post of its own. I hope they'll cope with life in the terrace. They seem very nice and scarily normal.

I met Wilf-next-door this morning, he looked very smart and a bit glum, and said he'd just come back from a funeral. I made all the appropriate noises and he said "ah, but she asked for it. Smoking related, it was. She was a heavy smoker. Silly girl." I winced (yes, I smoke) in terror and vowed to give up (again) and murmured about that being very sad and asked how old she was (praying that she wasn't anywhere near my age or - God forbid - younger)and Wilf shook his head and said "bless 'er, she were only ninety seven...". I skipped all the way home and lit a fag by way of celebration.

Oh, and my Writers Bureau ad has been seen on the telly by lots of people - but not by me. However, it is on YouTube now - and (if you want to see the result of my fab time in Manchester) I think this link below works if you cut and paste it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK_CQvwGHwI
well, it did for me. Elle thought it was weird to see me with dead straight hair and a lot of slap and looking a bit "stiff", but she also thought I looked "quite thin if a bit wrinkly". There's a compliment in there somewhere - I think...

19 comments:

alzamina said...

Cool - Jersey - always wanted to go there, may still make it!! Will we ever see a picture of the dress and will the fish (cool names)survive the cats fascination!

Facebook good for raising profile of author - you can either set up a page for yourself of let someone run an 'offical' page for you!! (Am up for it if you need a mod!!) Put up a link to your blog on my page recently! Have never twittered so could not comment!


Had a pretty bad couple of weeks - lost one of our pedigree cows - broken leg then we found one of our Clydesdales dead in the field. We have a pair of them tha we use for Living History displays - usually the role of women and agriculture in WW1 / WW2. Post mortem showed liver failure bought on by the anibiotics given to him by the locum vet!! Absolutely gutted. Is now in the hands of the usual vets insurers but it not getting easier - that horse was more human than anyone I know, had lips longer than Elvis and would have an ice cream or sandwich out of your mouth (gently) before you realised it!

A lot of you have probabally seen him - he was in the first episode of BBC's Land Girls shown recently charging down the lane dragging a friend of ours! He was also in the harvesting scene with our other Clydesdale as well.

Oh well - is getting a bit easier now - working on other horse and lookign around for others. Just been 'awarded' or designated by the ILPH as a place of safety for rescued horses which is really cool. A nice positive to end on!

Jan Jones said...

What a wonderful birthday, Chris.

Glad you're back in blogland again.

Christina Jones said...

alzamina - do visit Jersey if you get the chance. You'd LOVE it.
So very sorry about the cow and your poor Clydesdale. You poor thing. Heartbreaking - and so much worse as it was preventable. Like losing one of the family. Takes ages to get over doesn't it? Am sending hugs. Great news though that you've been designated as a sanctuary - thank god for people like you. Will let you know about the FB page as soon as I've got my holiday head packed away... Thanks for the link from your blog - much appreciated!

Jan - thank you! Nice to be back - I think...

ChrisH said...

Oh, now I'm really envious; you, Debs and Jersey, not to mention champagne, I would so love to have been there. I can just imagine what a good laugh you had together. Hmm, might also have to print this out and paste the bit about the engagement ring in a prominent place. Happy belated birthday to you.

Christina Jones said...

ChrisH - thank you! Sorry to make you jealous... We did chuckle a lot and it was FABULOUS! The engagement ring was a total surprise - I'm still blown away by it... Good luck!!!!

Debs said...

We had a lovely afternoon too with you and TBT. It was great to catch up again, and Grumps was so well behaved, allowing us to chat properly. I caught the sun, so still look relatively healthy at the moment.

Glad you had such a fab birthday, you deserve only the best.

Thanks for the link to the advert, I'll have a look now (if I can get it to work, as am in the office and they block things).

Debs said...

Ooh, have just seen your advert - literally, no sound at work, so couldn't hear what you were saying - and you look so pretty. Shall watch it at home later, with the sound turned on.x

Karen said...

The holiday sounds (and looks) wonderful! I'm bereft now the rain is back, having got used to prancing around in the sunshine, but my chest is still a nice teak colour :o)

I'm off to check out the advert on You Tube now!

Christina Jones said...

Karen - if I hadn't been schmoozing with Debs in Jersey I could have met up with you 'cause I think you were getting your chest browned just up the road from here!!!! Don't laugh too much at the ad - please...

Christina Jones said...

Debs - so glad you've "seen" the ad at last!!! And so glad we were able to meet up on such a gorgeous day - still can't believe it happened now as it's so wet and windy and dark here and El Tico's seems like several lifetimes ago. Ah well, there's always next year! Thanks again for making it so special.

Olivia Ryan said...

It sounds fab, Chris - how lovely about the ring. I haven't been to Jersey since 1972 - two years after we were married! We loved it then, and hope it hasn't changed. Apart from the lobster thing, which needed to change! Well done, you, and there's a lobster-themed short story waiting to be written there! xx

Nell Dixon said...

Ooh, we're going to Jersey in May for our 25th wedding anniversary. Such a lovely place.

alzamina said...

sorry - been re-reading Moonshine and spottd 2 more spelling mistakes (hopefully in time for you to get them sorted beforepaperback comes out!)
pages 236 and 240 both have Blackberry Bush instead of Blush! (can you tell I used to work in a school!!)

Christina Jones said...

Olivia - thank you - it was all amazing and a huge suprise and very romantic and so lovely after last year's awfullness... Lobster-themed story coming up after the dining room one!!!

Nell - many early congrats on the 25th - and you'll LOVE Jersey in May. Such a beautiful, romantic place... sigh...

Alzamina - too late! The paperback is printed straight from the hardback template (not the technical term but you know what I mean!) and is done by now. It's sooo annoying because I spent hours doing the proofs as did two eds and a proof reader - but these things always slip through... Word blindness I guess!

Jilly said...

Just spotted your blog - will add it to my list. Jilly (your Amazon reviewer!)

Christina Jones said...

Jilly - THANK YOU so much! And not just for joining the Bucolic Frolickers - as you know...

Brand-ie said...

Sounds lovely. Happy belated birthday.
My sis is still waiting for an engagement ring her partner proposed on facebook!

Colette said...

Sounds like a great holiday. If its any consolation I haven't seen the advert yet either.

Christina Jones said...

Brand-ie - thanks it was great. Proposing on Facebook??? Is that romantic? I'm not sure...

Colette - thanks - and I still haven't seen it - although loads of people have because they keep stopping me in Tesco and telling me - sniff....