I was in Jersey last week, and had rather a lovely time. It was all thanks to Mr Kitsch's generous brother, who was working over there and decided to take me and Mr Kitsch with him. We had a marvellous time. It was the first time I'd been to the Channel Islands, so it was interesting to see this little bit of Not-Quite-Britain. The first thing that struck me was that there are daffodils everywhere at this time of year.
There are fields of them, banks of them, woods full of them. I guess that as they are cultivated there, they seed freely all over the place.
There are also some beautiful, huge, sandy beaches, pretty much empty at this time of year. When the sun shone, the sea was blue, the waves lapped, and we breathed in the tonic of the salty sea smell.
The flip side of the off-season's wonderful empty beaches,was discovering the number of places that were closed until April. Most disappointingly, the Shell Garden, which looked very enticing from the bits we were able to see from the road.
One place we visited was the charmingly eccentric Reg's Garden, with an enormous carp pond, and aviaries of parrots, cockatiels, and the very entertaining Charlie the Cockatoo. I have to admit that we spent a ridiculous amount of time chatting to Charlie (admittedly his conversation is somewhat limited - mainly 'Hello' and 'Bye-bye'), stroking his feathers, jumping up and down with him, and letting him gently bite our fingers. I have to admit that if I could have smuggled him home, he would been in my bag in an instant! What a charmer...
We also went to Gerald Durrell's zoo, which concentrates on the conservation of endangered species. Again there were benefits to visiting in the off-season, as many of the animals were indoors, and therefore easier to see at close quarters. This little macaque looked rather sad and wistful, though.
These lemurs were all cuddled up, dozing and cleaning themselves. I love ring-tailed lemurs, ever since seeing Dotty on 'Animal Magic', sitting on Johnny Morris's shoulder. I could have watched them all day.