We decided in the end to travel by train to Weymouth and then by Fast Ferry to Jersey, an 8 hour journey without allowing for stops. Since we needed to change trains twice each way we allowed an extra 2 hours each way. Dee, Richard and Norman were there to greet us - unexpectedly I might add since I had told Dee not to worry about collecting us due to the lateness of the hour that we were to dock (20:40 + delays expected with disembarkation). Wow! what an emotional reunion - we got so carried away that everyone had left the terminal including all forms of transport before we actually stepped out of the terminal.
Fortunately Dee and Richard knew how to get some transport for us (there was no way 6 of us - not so slim people - were going to fit in her little VW). It was off to Dee's place for a drink (just as soon as we had booked into the hotel) - nothing has changed other than we were a little older and wiser. Hah! I think we were all shocked by one another's appearance since people do not age in one's memory and I know I've shocked a few people... I have always looked older than my age and am not easily offended (so many people think I'm Ronnie's father, it's actually quite funny:) No hair dye or comb-overs for me I'm afraid, what you see is what you get - the real me! Norm was quite a bit larger than me in the day but is now a fair bit smaller than I.
It was as though we were getting together for one of our usual sessions - back in the day we often retired to Dee's place particularly if there were no reasonably social venue's able to accommodate us. A couple of bottles of Ode Meister Brandy in hand and some mixes for the fussy drinkers:) for a few hours of frivolity, story telling and bloody good old fashioned laughter. I was absolutely delighted to find that their personalities had not changed one iota and we joked and laughed till we cried.
None of us drinks the way we used to but we didn't need the alcohol to have a good time and come to think of it back in the day we probably didn't need it either, but it was fun. Well it was well after midnight before we decided to retire for the night, funny! but I seem to recall that our sessions often lasted till sunrise - must be getting old!
We had decided that everyone would come to our Hotel for the day on the other side of the island due to the cost of transport back and forth. The day started late morning (08:30) with a full English breakfast, some vicariously obtained diving lessons and a swim in the almost freezing swimming pool (I was too chicken to go public in my boxers having left my swimming trunks back in England). No sooner had I pulled on my trousers and the gang arrived. What a wonderful day and night we had - Dee's son Stephen and his daughter stopped by to say G'Day which was great and I was quite surprised that he remembered us as he had been so young back in the day (No doubt we were the cause of at least one nights lack of sleep, back then).
A great lunch and then a fantastic dinner was had with many jokes and much laughter while the fantastic Hotel staff looked after our every whim, fascinated by our story and reunion at the Hotel, many of the photo's were actually taken by them. The following day we had a 14:00 hour departure so Dee offered to collect us early for a bit of a trip around the island.
We made sure we were ready early, checked out and Dee collected us to meet with Richard and Norman in town. Shane being the tallest was to travel from Town to one of the tourist spots in the company of Richard and we would travel by car to the same spot and have a spot of brunch. I'm sure Dee had forgotten Norm's rather irritating preponderance for precision which allows absolutely no room for delays of any sort, which in turn creates delays everywhere when something does go wrong... well guess what! Norm's breakfast didn't finish precisely on time, he hadn't set his mobile phone to 'Roaming' and the book-in clerk was delayed by a customer, so turning Norm's precision into a debacle. After a little traffic dodging, several trips around the block, some choice words and the beginnings of frustration showing on Dee's face I offered to go and look for our wayward friend. Rescued my frustrated, stressed out mate of old, thinking I love the way he becomes so bemused at the total chaos his precision timing failure, leaves in its wake. (I'm always tickled pink at his logic).