jersey guernsey diary

Jersey Guernsey Diary – Day 5

The final day of my Jersey Guernsey Diary includes a disappointing museum, Ben’s birthday and a shock in the gents toilets. Read on to find out more.

On the last day of the holiday, I woke up about 8:30am. Grandad had already gone out for a walk, so I turned the TV on. To my delight, one of my favourite children’s programmes was on, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. I do love that cartoon, not just because it’s got my name in it, but it’s brilliantly written.

In this episode, it was Ben’s birthday and Holly had forgotten to make him a card (unthinkable!) so she had to try and make one. She didn’t even think about getting him a present, but there you go. She tried using magic to make a card, but Nanny Plum (yes, I know their names) was too busy, so in the end she had to make it by hand, which Ben was really pleased about and he loved the card. I particularly like this episode because I’m exactly like Ben, in that I’d prefer a hand made card as well. My favourite line in the episode came from the ever wonderful Nanny Plum.

Holly: “I’ve forgotten Ben’s birthday.”
Nanny Plum: “Don’t worry, he’ll have another one next year.”

The way it was casually delivered made me laugh out loud, which is quite impressive for a children’s TV show, especially one on channel 5. But anyway, this isn’t a review of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom (although if you do want to read a review I did of it, you can do so here) so I will move on.

Breakfast was nice. I had the same as the day before; two pan du chocolats and a bowl of Frosties. One woman on a table near us had just a single prune. One prune for breakfast! After I’d finished my breakfast, I left Grandad to finish his and returned to my room to ‘pack’. Little did he know I was actually writing his Father’s Day card. When I met up with Grandad shortly after, he told me that he’d gotten lost on his way back and wandered into the hotel kitchen.

During breakfast, I also came up with a joke:
“Show me the man who called you ugly and I’ll show you a fool.”
“You called me ugly!”
*holds up a mirror* “And there’s your fool.”

Since we’d been to Herm and the Little Chapel the day before, we were out of activities to do in Guernsey. However, because the coach was picking us up at 3pm, we had 6 hours to kill. Grandad suggested we start with a ‘wander around the shops’. We did have a quick look in a few shops, but I was determined that we wouldn’t spend the final hours of our holiday killing time. It had been a great holiday and we shouldn’t spoil it by doing nothing on the last day. So, I suggested we have a trip to Sark. Grandad had been before and enjoyed it, and we’d enjoyed Herm the day before, so it seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, when we got to the ferry port, we found out that the earliest ferry back from Sark would be 4pm, so we couldn’t go there after all.

Determined to find something to do, we went to the Information Point and I asked the woman if she could give us some suggestions. She gave us a couple of very good recommendations. The first was Candie Gardens.

Guernsey Candie Gardens

We made our way to the gardens via a long uphill road. After walking all around Herm, you’d think this would be a piece of cake, but we were both exhausted when we got to there. The gardens were quite nice, although there weren’t any particularly nice plants or features about it. Still, it was sunny and there was a cafe. I had a glass of milk. I drank a lot of milk on this holiday. It started that Jersey is famous for its Jersey cows, so I wanted to try it. Then I just got into a habit of ordering milk.

Guernsey Candie Gardens Victor Hugo

After our drink, we went into the shop and I got a couple more presents for Mike. By this point I’d bought him five gifts. I had only planned to get one, but I kept seeing things and thinking “Oh, Mike would love that… ooh, I’ve got to get that for Mike.”

Next to the shop was a museum, so we decided to have a look inside. The woman at the till called us back and said we had to pay to get in. We had time to kill and this was something potentially interesting, so we paid the £11 fee (£6 for me, £5 for Grandad) and went in. Let me tell you, it was not worth £11.

The museum consisted of one room. Just one room! Most of it was artefacts from a recent excavation, but this just meant bits of broken pottery and differently shaped rocks. There was also a collection of coins. The theme of the exhibit was the Roman era of Guernsey, but upon reading the information on the wall, I realised that they didn’t actually know very much about the topic. It included lines like “We have no idea what the people of the channel islands called themselves, but we can be sure they spoke a Celtic language.” and “We do not know the name of Roman St Peter Port or how large it was…” Why are they doing exhibits about something they know nothing about?! And if they don’t know something, why are they mentioning it? Surely they could just leave that bit of information out, nobody’s going to question it.

The worst line was next to a little model of a Roman burial, which read: “The making of this model required imaginative guesswork but it is based on excavated evidence.” Excuse me?! Imaginative guesswork?! You can’t create an exhibit in a museum and say that it required imaginative guesswork! That’s basically admitting that you just made it up. The evidence they had was 4 holes in the ground near the grave, which they assumed meant that there were 4 poles which held up a platform above the grave where the body lay while two doctors performed rituals around the body. How did they get all that from some holes?! I really wanted to get a photo of it, but there was no photography allowed in the ‘museum’ and considering how strict the woman had been about us paying, I didn’t want to risk it.

There were a few other things in the ‘museum’ that riled me. Another line was: “The archaeology of Guernsey is special because there is a lot of it.” What?! You can’t say that! Something isn’t special simply because you have ‘a lot of it’. It could be a load of junk – and most of it was! There wasn’t even a lot of it. I’ve seen bigger excavation findings in other museums and they were a lot more impressive, with jewellery and weapons, not bits of rock and chipped away crockery.

There was also a little taxidermy section (because why not) that mostly comprised of seagulls. Why seagulls?! Go outside and there’s hundreds of them flying around! Were they that desperate for exhibits that they just went outside, shot a seagull and stuffed it?

The final part of the exhibit, the one which really got me mad, was a collection of shells. Shells! There were about 9 or 10 shells. As I told you in Day 4, I got a dozen of them myself on Shell Beach! Shells are not that uncommon on islands like this. So why are they collecting them and putting them in museums?!

There was also another section of the ‘museum’ that was for kids. It was a little activity centre where you can colour things in and play with some toys and such. There was also a little mock campfire from the caveman period. Next to it was this sign:

guernsey candie gardens museum

If you can’t read that, it says “In the time warp you can experience different historical times.”

No. No you can’t! You can experience one historical time. There’s only one set and you can’t really do much else with a tent and a stool. Yes, I took a photo of it. By this point I’d given up on politeness towards these charlatans. £11 to see bits of rubble, dead birds, shells and imaginative guesswork. I don’t think so.

We left the museum and headed to the town centre. The market square hadn’t been very active while we’d been there, but today it was booming. There were market stalls selling food and gifts, the cafe chairs were set up and there was a man playing pop songs with an Italian classical guitar twist. It was perfect. We sat and had a drink and cake and it was one of the nicest times on the holiday.

Guernsey Market Square

While we were sitting there, a woman was trying to get her dog to behave. It gave me an idea for a sketch:

“I am like the Ceaser Romero of Birmingham.” and then in an angry cockney accent, “C’mere! Siddaaan!”

This made me laugh profusely and I kept having to stifle my laughter for fear of Grandad asking me to explain the joke. After the drink, we had another walk around the town centre. By now we were very familiar with its layout. We also heard a car alarm, which went off for about 30 seconds. Afterwards I turned to Grandad and said “That’s one excited builder wolf whistling.”

We then headed towards Castle Cornet, which was the second place the woman in the Information Point had suggested. On the way we stopped off at the Victorian Shop and Museum. Again, this was not a museum. It was one room dressed in period furnishings and the rest of it was a gift shop. By now I’d given up on expecting places to live up to their titles.

On the way to the castle, we saw a man struggling to open a door whilst carrying a pile of boxes. My Grandad, who was in a rather upbeat mood after buying a new hat, called over to him “Now clap your hands!” Which made me laugh and probably annoyed the man.

guernsey castle cornet

We got to the castle and paid our entrance fee. We walked around and had a look in a couple of the museums. Unlike most of the Guernsey museums, these ones actually had interesting facts and detailed displays. It wasn’t really that interesting though, as it was all just about the history of the castle. After we’d been in two museums, Grandad pointed out that the coach would be coming to pick us up soon, so we’d better head back. He apologised that we hadn’t seen much of the castle, but I wasn’t too bothered as my legs were getting sore and I didn’t really fancy the walk around the castle anyway. So we left and went to the hotel.

We got to the hotel quicker than I expected, so I suggested we go to Costa for a drink to pass the hour wait. Again, more waiting. Quite a bit of the holiday was spent waiting, which I did not enjoy, but the holiday was nearly over, so I was grateful just to still be in Guernsey for a while.

The coach came, it was another big coach, but this time with more people on it. We got to the airport and checked in. When we went through security, I forgot to take my ring off, so the scanner beeped and a guy searched me. Only once have I ever been through security and not been stopped, and that was on the way to Jersey. When that happened, I was suspicious of myself and had to ask someone “Is that okay then? Everything’s fine?”

One thing I find when I’m in airports is that I can’t help but act suspiciously. It’s like when people say “Don’t touch that”, you can’t help but want to touch it. The aim in an airport is to not look shifty, but I panic and look around a lot, worrying something’s going to happen or that I’m looking suspicious. I guess that doesn’t help things and that’s why I’m always being searched.

While we were waiting (more waiting!) I went to the toilet. Whilst I was doing my thing, I heard a woman’s voice. I looked around, but quickly realised that it was the woman on the tannoy announcing something about planes. But the thing was, everyone in the toilets looked around, like they suspected a woman infiltrating the men’s toilets. That made me smile.

So we got on the plane. It was a nice flight, and there’s not much to say after that. The holiday was over. I’d enjoyed it. My Grandad had enjoyed it. That was it. But I can’t leave on that note. It’s nice to have a happy ending, but it’s better to go out on a joke. So I’ll end this diary with something I saw at Guernsey airport that made me chuckle. I leave you with this photo of Nazi toilet signs.

Guernsey airport toilets