Postcard from Jersey: Red sky at night

A castle in the sea, a sky torn apart by aeroplane contrails and a sliver of a crescent moon hanging high like a divine nail clipping.

That’s the view tonight from the shore of St. Aubin’s Bay on the island of Jersey, my birthplace and childhood home.

Looking to the right, to the West, I saw an even finer fireball.

In other parts of the world folk say: “Red sky at night. Shepherd’s delight.”

But Jersey is a land of lovely cows not sheep, and as children we were taught to think first of our smaller neighbour and butt of our island’s jokes. “Red sky at night. Guernsey’s alight.”

That seems harsh now. And as the egrets and oystercatchers flap their way home to roosts in the dying light, I’m happy just to stare at the last embers of the setting sun and feel small and invisible in the dark shadows on the shore.

By morning my island will have spun back to face the sun and another day and I will leave again for new adventures in 2012.

Happy New Year.

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