SallyP

Retroladytyping …

The same but different …

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“Almost a third of British travellers visit the same location for their annual break, or so says a survey of 2,156 adults by TravelSupermarket.com. And 10% of those have admitted to going to the same place more than 20 times! Can’t that get a bit dull?”

I happened upon this quote today, the first day of our annual return to ‘our’ cottage in Guernsey.  I say ‘our’ cottage – if only it really was.  We have been returning (not visiting) for 6 years to this particular cottage, plus probably 20 or so returns to the same beautiful island.  We first visited before we were married, almost 40 years ago – camping then – we had very little money.  There was  a break while we investigated the questionable delights of holidays camps and similar all-singing, all-dancing holidays,    with our two  sons.  Peaceful parenthood:  if they were happy, we were happy, and we were, then.

Now, we only have ourselves to please and we are pleased to know that we will continue to return to Guernsey every year for as long as possible.  We occasionally have a conversation along the lines of “Shouldn’t we go somewhere else, for a change?”  But, we wait till that feeling passes, then rebook this cottage.

I could list many reasons, with pictures and links borrowed from the VisitGuernsey website, but the real reason is that we both know that the feeling of relaxation we experience as we reverse the car off our drive each year is going to continue for at least two weeks and will echo throughout the rest of the year, to be recalled on rainy Sunday afternoons in November.

We know Guernsey as well as we know our home town.  As in our home town, we know which tourist traps to avoid – most of them.    We stroll along the designated Ruette Tranquilles (quiet lanes where cyclists and pedestrians have priority); we talk, and listen to each other, so much more than at home; we buy  from ‘Hedge veg’ stalls and we buy very fresh goats cheese from the Golden Guernsey goats just down the lane next to the cottage.   We buy plants from local gardeners; last year  we brought home a couple of oak saplings..  Yes, they did survive and  have thrived in their new situation.

golden-guernsey-kids           hedge veg                                                                        We read; we sleep in the sunshine; when it rains, we settle down indoors with a pile of books and take time to read newspapers properly; we just do what we could do at home, but don’t, even at the weekends when we aren’t at work.   That’s why we return.  That’s why we’re not visitors.  That’s why we don’t feel we ‘ought’ to go somewhere else.  We’re comfortable here.  We know what to expect and we like that.  We have ‘our bench’ in St Peterport, where  He Who Likes to Watch the World Go By will be waiting, and watching,  while I browse around the local shops.  We know where we will go for coffee, where we can sit in the window seats and people-watch.  We know where the best ice-creams and crab sandwiches are to be bought.  We know what we need.  We need this place.

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Returning to the quote at the beginning, I take issue with TravelSupermarket.com’s use of the words “10% … have admitted to …” etc.  Admitted!!!  And, no, it doesn’t get dull.  It gets to be the same, but different.  Different from everyday life, but familiar, relaxing and healing.Belvoir Bay

 

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