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 A Jersey story

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Mart
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PostSubject: A Jersey story   Sat May 27, 2017 11:53 am

We used to holiday in Jersey quite a bit. Here's a fictional idea that occurred while walking and thinking about the German occupation of the Island:





I always rise well before breakfast when we stay in Jersey and walk briskly along the cliff tops to Groznez Castle. The route takes me past numerous reminders of the German occupation. The marks they left on the island are literally set in stone. Gun emplacements and underground bunkers litter the coastline. It is easy to think back to those days and picture the soldiers who manned them.

One outstanding structure is the Target Direction Finding Tower perched on the cliff top at St. Ouens Bay. The tower stands perhaps one hundred feet high and has a vista of nearly all of the lonely North Jersey coastline. I have paused there many times on my solitary walks to the ruined Castle. If I had been walking there during the last World War my approach would, no doubt, have been monitored by a soldier manning a machine gun. The barrel would have been pointed at me through one of the ominous looking gun slits set into the side of the circular tower.

The early morning sun shone brightly promising another hot August day. I was on my way back to the hotel after touching the ancient Castle walls. I stopped for a while to examine the German tower once again. The size and strength of it has always impressed me. Tons of concrete, hard labour and possibly even lives must have gone into its construction. I went round to the seaward side of the building to gaze at the view that the Germans must have looked on all those years ago. A slight slip filled my shoe with a few small chips of granite. I tried to ignore them but it was clear that walking would be painful without getting rid of them.

With a sigh, I sat on the roof of the bunker attached to the tower and took off my shoe. A mans voice came from somewhere behind me.

"If you had proper boots on you wouldn't be troubled with that" he said.

"You're right" I replied banging my shoe on the concrete roof "I really am going to buy a pair one of these......" my voice trailed off. Something was wrong. Something about the words? Yes maybe that was it. Possibly it was that I hadn't heard any footsteps approaching on the gravely surface. There had been no one at the tower as I walked towards it. I slowly turned around.

Momentarily, I thought someone was there but no, there was only the tower, the rocks and the sea. No sign of anyone. Then a faint smell of tobacco smoke filled my nose. Laying on the ground a few feet away was the still smouldering remains of a cigarette. My skin began to crawl as realisation dawned and fear set in. The voice had spoken to me in German and I had understood it perfectly. Even more incredible was that I had replied in German. A language I know nothing of!

I slipped my shoe on and, without tying the lace, hurried away. After a while I sat down on a rock and gazed back at the distant tower standing out against the skyline. I hoped that I had imagined the whole episode. The implications of its reality could dispel a lifetime of scepticism. I swore that I would never risk visiting the tower again.
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davo
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sat May 27, 2017 4:02 pm

great story Mart - do continue please!
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Mart
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sat May 27, 2017 6:03 pm

I wrote that ages ago Davo and I think it was the extent of my literary capabilities. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sat May 27, 2017 10:59 pm

Great! I love that Mart. It leaves it all up to the readers imagination. Well done.

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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 12:33 am

what happens if ya can't read and ain't got no imagination??
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 12:37 am

LOL! Then you've got a problem Davo!

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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 10:45 am

I had no problem - a lovely short story.

I can't remember the long ones.

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Mart
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 11:21 am

Thanks! Smile I went through a spell of writing things years ago. It faded after a while and the writings got dafter and dafter. I made a website put them all on it. They were there for ages until Virgin Media stopped providing web space for their customers and the site disappeared. I haven't uploaded it to anywhere else but kept all the old stuff an nonsense from it. Here's something else from the pages. It was written when cheques were still in common use and were accompanied by the cheque guarantee card:

===================

Cheque card

Dear Sir,

I appear to have cut in half the new cheque card that you sent me. Having received and signed the new card, I went and got the old one to destroy it like you're supposed to. I picked up the scissors and was about to perform this act. Just at that moment the kettle, which I had earlier put on to make a cup of tea, boiled. If I had put the scissors down at this point then writing to you would not have been necessary. Sadly I didn't and I feel that I must explain how this led to the destruction of the card.

As I turned round to see to the kettle, the scissor blades caught the edge of the sugar bowl knocking it off the kitchen worktop. It was a good quality lead crystal bowl and indeed, we had often marvelled at its size to weight ratio. Being first thing in the morning, my feet were bare and the left one got badly hurt when the bowl, with its contents, landed on it.

As a knee jerk reaction (literally), I quickly pulled my foot up in order rub it and hopefully relieve the pain. Not thinking about the scissors still being clutched in my hand, I stabbed myself deeply in the thigh with some considerable force due to my leg's upward momentum.

I hopped around on my other leg trying to stem the flow of blood, rub my foot and keep my balance. Unfortunately, I was unable to do this for long because I hopped on the edge of the sugar bowl. It flipped it over in a sort of backwards 'tiddlywinks' motion sending sugar lumps flying everywhere. The heavy bowl came down right on top of my foot just where the bones are close to the surface. I was soon dancing on the spot trying to take the weight off both feet at the same time.

My wife, who can only walk with the aid of crutches, came to see what all the fuss was about. Realising my plight, she tried to steady me up. I didn't have great presence of mind by this time and I rather stupidly grasped at one of her crutches. It came away easily from under her because the end of it was standing in some of my blood, which by now had made the floor a little slippery in places.

We both fell. I initially landed hard in a sitting position right on top of the upturned sugar bowl. The pain was indescribable. I only had my dressing gown on and it had flown up during the fall. It was only later that I discovered that, by sheer ill fortune, a sugar lump was delicately balanced on the bowl's upturned base. To avoid being coarse I will not describe precisely what had happened. Suffice it to say that the sugar lump would never see a teacup.

My wife came down on top of me pushing me flat and knocking the breath out of me. She somehow pole vaulted on her other crutch at the same time which accelerated her into the cooker door head first. The bulk of her body finally came to rest on my face. Then I was unable to breathe anyway, so it didn't matter too much about being winded. She was powerless to get off me being somewhat in shock and dazed by the head injury she had sustained.

It was only with supreme effort just as consciousness was starting to fade that I managed to push her off my face. A few minutes later we argued which of us was best placed to go and call for an ambulance. I eventually lost and dragged myself to the telephone to call for help.

The doctors did a wonderful job of patching us up. The removal of the sugar lump was perhaps the most painful and certainly the most embarrassing part of the whole sorry episode for me. How the doctors and nurses could find it so damned funny I just can't understand. It must have made medical history because they kept phoning other departments in the hospital suggesting that they should come over and have a look. I can only hope it stays out of our local paper as fame on account of this would be undesirable. I hate to think what the headline might read.

The ambulance finally delivered me back home in the early evening but they decided that my wife ought to stay in for a period of observation. She may be allowed home tomorrow providing she can face it. I hobbled into the kitchen to make the pot of tea that I didn't get earlier. I carefully limped around the debris and blood that was all over the floor and idly wondered what could be done about the deep dent in the cooker door that had been put there by my wife's head. It was then that I noticed the two cheque cards sitting on the worktop. I wiped the bloodied scissors clean to cut up the old one but what with the cards being identical in appearance and me not having my glasses on, I went and cut the wrong one in half. After all the aforementioned grief you can perhaps imagine the sick feeling this gave me.

I hope this letter gives you a reasonable enough explanation as to why I need another card. My wife has offered, no insisted, that she will undertake the destruction of the old cards in future. I asked our neighbour to come in and throw the now hated sugar bowl and scissors in the dustbin because the pain wouldn't allow me to walk far enough to do it myself.

I hope you will agree that we have suffered enough for my error. I would be grateful for your prompt action in sending yet another card as the old one only has a few days left before it expires,

Yours faithfully,

......
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malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 11:51 am

That's excellent Mart....really enjoyed it yes
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 1:08 pm

was all that TRUE??  just asking! hat
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Mart
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 2:35 pm

It's true that my wife could only get around using crutches at the time (wheelchair now) but the rest of it is all made up. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: A Jersey story   Sun May 28, 2017 10:05 pm

drum drum Oh that's hilarious Mart!  What an eventful day for you and your wife!
("True" or not doesn't matter!  yes )

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