This one time I snuck onto the Pontins site at Plémont, because I was a rebellious youth and wanted to find a suitable action to complement the small streak of blue dye that I ran through my hair to piss off my parents.
I’m still fairly convinced it was haunted – the whole place looked like everybody just got up one day and left forever. Now, before you all go dobbing me in to the ‘Old Bill’, I didn’t actually sneak in to cause mischief, throw stones, or snog girls, or whatever else teenagers like to do these days. OK, I’ll come clean, that thing I said to you earlier about being a rebellious youth? I made it up. The blue hair thing was really the only honest bit, and truth be told my mum didn’t really seem to mind, I actually think she quite liked it. The real reason I went to Pontins was with my cousin to take some photos for a school photography project. Before you ask – yes, I was the model. (In my head this is where I pause to wait for you all to stop laughing at me).
Anyway, that happened, and I remember thinking about what a shame it was that this place was just there, forgotten and barely even existing. Legally, I don’t really know what the deal was back then, but of late I have cast my eye back to the isle and found out that the decision to help the National Trust buy the land has been approved – at least I think that’s what’s happening? To be honest the main vibe I’m getting is that though this is good news from an environmental perspective, there are quite a few people upset about their taxpayer money going toward it. I looked at the story online and one guy was like ‘the nine people celebrating in the photo are the only ones who care’ or something akin in sentiment. Somebody replied with the observation ‘you’re missing out the tenth person’. Now I didn’t see the tenth person either, until I looked again. By the way, as much as I want this to be a story about a haunted building, and a ghostly figure appearing in the JEP, it’s not going to be. Sorry. Anyway, I looked back at the photo and apart from the person in the puffin costume that the first bloke thought their respondent was referring to, I saw one of the nine holding a baby. This got me thinking about the future.
My experience with the future is usually limited to wondering what’s for dinner or whether I should go to the toilet before I leave the house, just in case – but this decision, which I guess is essentially to protect the wildlife and keep intact some of the island’s natural landscape, is a decent one, especially when you think about the future generations of beans to come. Yeah, maybe it’s using taxpayer money, but isn’t this sort of thing taxpayer money should be used for? This same person who complained online would probably have also signed some sort of Facebook petition to stop housing being built on the site anyway, if that was the plan – you can’t have it both ways! Maybe neither way is right? Maybe the whole place should be turned into an entertainment complex? Imagine that – a new cinema! Maybe one without allocated seating? I know, I know, ‘that’s way too much to ask, pipe down Alex’. We may be saving the puffins but for God’s sake if we can’t sit wherever we want in the cinema then what the heck is it all for? Anyway, let’s get back on track… I can’t help but feel that building more housing to cope with overpopulation is like trying to fix a broken leg by taking a couple of ibuprofen, but if you’re supporting the conservation and protection of the land in question, then our island is permitted to keep some of its natural beauty. At least the bloke in the puffin costume will be kept happy too – a return to its natural state will mean the land can thrive as a home for the threatened bird that, if I’m honest, I worry about more than the future generations of people.
As a proud islander (as I hope many of you are), surely this decision was made for the right reasons, bearing in mind the best interests of you, or me, or the future generations – or hopefully even the seven puffins that are left on the island. Even if you don’t agree with it, you can’t say it doesn’t prove as evidence that The States are capable of making the right decision. Or maybe not – maybe they should have launched a ‘thorough investigation into the effects it has on society’? I hear that seems to be the fashion nowadays…