Alex Farnham’s diary of a Postgrad


‘Let’s go to the beach, each, let’s go get a wave’ (Minaj, Nicki. ‘Starships’. 2012.) Setting aside my poor excuse for academic referencing, take note of the opening lyrics to this popular hit song – let’s delve deeper shall we? What was Ms Minaj really getting at? Is it that the sun is out, the heat waves are shimmering in the air, and the soft sandy beach and refreshing salty air instills a sense of tranquillity and happiness throughout the summer months? I think that’s exactly what she meant! 

As a topic of conversation, the weather is often considered ‘small talk’, but the near tropical climates we’ve been experiencing lately seem to drive everyone toward the beach, especially in Jersey. I’m currently spending a week on the Sussex coast, as I’ve got a fair amount of work to be getting on with and I feel more productive in a large open space with a constant view of the sea, instead of a stuffy attic apartment in Bath with no air conditioning. As nice as this is, the beaches just don’t match up to the likes of St Ouen, St Brelade, St Aubin, or in fact any of our Island’s sandy coastline.

I have this romanticised image of going to the beach back when I was a young boy. I remember running round in little baby Speedos (thanks Mum), digging holes and jumping in rock pools. We were particularly fond of one specific pool on the beach that we frequented year after year. We even named it. David. That’s right… we named a rock pool. We named it David – a person’s name – and not even a particularly interesting person’s name.


 I can’t be the only one to have been raised as somewhat of a ‘beach snob’. I saw a photo of a heavily populated Brighton beach yesterday (the hottest day of the year so far), and it was so, so packed. 


It goes without saying, obviously, that you’re not going to get a beach nicer than the ones in Jersey. I know I’m biased, but so are many of you. And I can’t be the only one to have been raised as somewhat of a ‘beach snob’. I saw a photo of a heavily populated Brighton beach yesterday (the hottest day of the year so far), and it was so, so packed. There was barely a metre between ‘plots’. We all know from the vast expanse of Jersey’s seaside that there’s certain etiquette when it comes to finding space on the beach. You can’t just turn up and plop your stuff down right next to some old couple – there are rules. I think allowing a fifteen-metre radius is acceptable. Not in Brighton though. Not yesterday. It was just a massive free-for-all! They don’t even have the luxury of personal space! Even during the busier days at the beach in Jersey, when cars are lined all the way up the Five Mile Road, you’ll still have room to breathe at the very least.

I do miss our beaches, living away from home and all that. This is my sixth Diary of a Postgrad, and I have to take a moment to reflect on my past five articles. I seem to remember making a start on my first one by discussing the benefits of living on the mainland, and what great lessons our little Jersey could learn from vast, grown up, advanced metropolis known as England. Now though, I seem to always be writing about what I’m missing, and often take for granted. Perhaps it’s time to come home? I would say I’m due a holiday, but working freelance and being a postgraduate student on a creative writing course is hardly strenuous. What I can praise about it is that I can bring my work with me wherever I go. Maybe I’ll hop over to the rock and take my laptop to the beach? This time though, I think I’ll leave the Speedos at home. Oh, also… I’ll probably be spending most of my time in David. Hmmm… now that I’m a bit older, that doesn’t sound as sweet and innocent as it once did.