This island also includes its sister islands including Herm Sark and Alderney, but you need more time to explore and if you are a fan of Les Miserables, then coming to Guernsey is a must, as Victor Hugo lived in Guernsey and that is where he wrote this amazing story. Guernsey, as Jersey, also celebrate their liberation day, the 9th of May, each year and it too, is a very big deal. Remember, the Allies, while they landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6th, 1944, bypassed the Channel Islands and they were not liberated until almost a year later, even though their location was about 23 miles away from the closest landing beaches. There was not strategic value to the islands, so in the end, when Germany capitulated, then the islanders were free, and they truly experience the day each year.
When I left Guernsey 4 days ago, I finally was together with Rosa as she came up to London to share the weekend. We met up at Gatwick and with some fits and starts, we connected at the south terminal and took the train into London and then onto to our hotel in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. As the day had been long for both of us, we basically chilled out, but found a nice Turkish restaurant and enjoyed a nice evening together. As this was a very quick weekend, two nights in London and one in Brighton, we tried to do a few things. This weekend was for her as her birthday is coming up. We spent the next morning at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and they had a very nice photography display. Rosa just finished a photography course. She also wanted to see the Diva program, but apparently that was sold out for weeks. We made the most of it and then headed over to Hyde Park.
I had purchased early entry tickets for the concert festival, and it was a very hot day, but we were able to make it to an area which had a bit of cover and settled in for the a few music acts including Daryl Hall of Hall and Oats fame and his band played mostly the hits of Hall & Oats and the headliner, the piano man himself, Billy Joel. We found seats, so for that we were thankful, but it could have been sitting on the hard ground, or it could have been raining, which it was neither. I had him before and Rosa had not, and this was for her. Although it was difficult to hang out all afternoon and hear the other bands and then finally to hear most of the songs you know he did 30 + years ago, she was a trooper and hung in there. She was not 100%, but in the end, we had a really good time. It is interesting to me, that at the end, and even though he started early and did one encore, she thought he should, with the band, come out one more time and, perhaps take a bow, thank everyone and while they had a limit on time, do one more song. In the end, it was a more abrupt end and her Italian approach to a concert is very different. Hyde Park has rules and he had to be done. For me, it was not a problem, but different for her. I am glad we went there and got back to the hotel late, and so settled in and even had a late check out.
While the concert was a highlight for me and I think inside, for her, as well, the real highlight for her was going back to Brighton, a place she had gone to school, some years ago and had learned her English. I had been to Brighton for a weekend several years ago before covid as I had time between conferences up in London, so it was a new place to see, but it was in November. July is a totally different animal and for the day and a half we were there, it was crazy busy, and it was a weekend, but I must say, it was nice to be back and more importantly, it was nice to see another place through her eyes. In the end, we walked to rocky beach, went out onto the pier, ate oysters and fish and chips and did an English Tea with the scones and clotted cream and a bonus, there was a Van Gogh program at the Brighton Dome, so we went to see that. I did not realize he was only with us for 30 years and did so much in that short time, over 2000 works and this show was called Van Gogh Alive and it was very cool to bring his works and his history alive and she took lots and lots of pictures with her new camera and we wandered the streets of Brighton. For her, it was closure of a time when she was in her 30’s and this was her place, but I believe she realized that the image of this place in her 30’s is different now.
I know there are places in my travels, which were absolutely amazing in my earlier years and when I returned, I felt differently and there have been many, especially these past few years of travels, both domestic and international and even more so since I met Rosa, as I have had a chance to share those moments and see many things through here eyes, so I totally understand that she felt different about returning to Brighton. It was a place of her youth perhaps or at least younger years and you have a different feel when you return whether the place has changed since you have last been or maybe, and more importantly, the person has changed, which I think is more accurate. That is constant in our lives, and it will always be. Change is growth, good or bad, and how we see it differently or how we handle it differently is part of life. For me, the changes I have made and continue to make are good and as I have now settled into life here in Rome for the next three months with Rosa, we will see what changes happen as we move into our apartment by the end of the week!!!
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin