This afternoon The Little Mister and I went for a coffee with my friend Rachael and her gorgeous daughter who is a few weeks older than The Little Mister.
The strange thing is that Rachael and I were at school together and whilst we knew each other we weren’t especially good friends. Fate has now intervened and we find ourselves at similar points in our lives in terms of having children which is lovely.
So, this afternoon we sat and chewed the fat, drank coffee, nursed our babies and gazed at this glorious view.
Yeah, the simple pleasures of life are pretty spectacular these days.
I have had a really lovely day today. The Mister and my Dad spent the day at the house boarding out the loft and they have got loads done and have done a really brilliant job.
Mum and I went shopping, partly because I wanted to buy a few Christmas presents and partly because I wanted to find a coat for Mum to get me for Christmas. It was just nice to be out with Mum and we both shop at speed. No faffing about!
We even managed to squeeze in a quick coffee and this was the view from out table. On the right hand side is Castle Cornet, the island to the far left is the edge of Herm and the little island next to it is Jethou. The island in the distance is Sark. I think it is such a pretty harbour and the view is wonderful. We are very lucky to live here.
Last day at Sark Folk Festival and the morning greeted us with torrential rain. We had to get our tent packed up and into the container and then we were free to wander off to the site. There were definitely fewer people there today as people started to get their boats back to Guernsey.
We managed to catch the final act of the festival Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman and they were fantastic. Poor Kathryn had a hacking cough but her voice was still incredible and I was hugely entertained by their five year old daughters who sat on the edge of the stage whilst their parents performed. What was especially sweet was seeing them sing along with the songs. A brilliant way to end the festival.
So, at the end of the weekend what do I think? Sark Folk Festival is truly unique, limited to it’s size in terms of geography as much as anything I doubt whether it will attract any massive acts, but it is such a charming venue for a boutique festival. I will definitely go back, although next year might be in a B&B as I am not sure I can face camping over there with a 6 month old baby!
Guernsey has such a brilliant line-up of local folk bands and there is a really health folk scene.
The band pictured are called The Barley Dogs and The Mister and I have seen them play a number of times. The double bass player is well known for climbing onto his bass whilst he is playing it. There are great fun and generally get the crowd up and jigging. We saw a few great bands today including The John Wesley Stone and yesterday we saw The Space Pirates of Rocquaine. It’s fabulous to see local bands doing so well.
We finished off our night by watching the amazing Show of Hands who as ever were incredible. Funny and charming they played to a packed tent and everyone seemed to love it. Multiple instruments added to the entertainment and I think they were my highlight of the festival!
We slept really badly last night. The wind was so strong that it made our rather ancient tent rattle around which kept The Mister awake. What kept me awake was the inconsiderate wankers camping next to us who thought that it was appropriate to play the guitar and violin and sing badly at 2am.
However, my cousin and his wife arrived to help entertain us and we took a lovely walk down to Dixcart Bay. It is a gorgeous walk through shaded ancient looking woodland down a steep path. It was nice going down but a but of a puff on the way back up!
Today we travelled to Sark, one of the smallest and definitely one of the most beautiful of the Channel Islands. Just three miles long and a mile and a half wide it seems to tower out of the sea as you arrive by boat and The Mister commented that it reminded him of Jurassic Park. Not to mention that when we got the boat there it was quite foggy and I seriously expected the Black Pearl from The Pirates of The Caribbean to come sailing out.
We were in Sark for Sark Folk Festival. We have never been before so it is a new experience!
We arrived a day early though and did some exploring. The house in this picture is called Beau Sejour and I believe that Gran Nora lived there with Grandpa during the Occupation when she worked as a nurse on the island. There was a small exhibition about the Occupation in Sark so we went to see if there was any information. There was only a little bit, mainly a comment that she gave birth to twins whilst living there!
So, Sark is beautiful, windy and very, very dark at night. It is essential to take a torch!
In October the little island of Sark which is situated just off the coast of Guernsey brought an end to it’s claim of being the last feudal state in Europe. The island has always had the hereditary title of seigneur who has effectively been in charge of decision making on the island. However, despite the island people voting for an elected, democratic government, the title of seigneur will remain, although whether it is in a name-only capactity I am unsure.
There is a dinky little island next door to Sark called Brechou which is privately owned by the billionaire Barclay Brothers who, since moving there have pretty much campaigned and pushed for an end to the feudal nature of the Sark administration. Now it would seem they have got the hump about the way the election went and are pulling their businesses out of the island economy. Smacks of children throwing their toys out of their prams to me. This little photo on the right shows the fortress castle that the Barclay Brothers build on Brechou.
I really hope that with these changes the island will not lose it’s charm. No cars are allowed on the island, most people get around by horse and cart or walking, and it really is the most beautiful, unspoilt island. As I have said before, My Gran Nora lived in Sark for a couple of years during the German occupation of the Channel Islands, and her relationship with Dame Hathaway, the Dame of Sark, who was the seigneur at the time is well known to readers of this blog after I published some of her letters to Gran. It would be a terrible shame if the island lost it’s identity after all this time. It’s a wonderful place, and if anyone wants a place to stay for a weekend where there is nothing to do other than walking, relaxing and eating, then Sark is the place to be!