Our Friday morning Slackers & Skivers run group – an offshoot of the amazing Jersey Girls Run – had its heyday during Covid lockdown. Since then, most of the group have found themselves returning to work, resulting in regular turnouts of three or fewer. So it was this morning I kept the flag flying by running solo in the lanes of St Martin, the parish which best retains the character of old rural Jersey.

Starting point on a damp morning, the Millennium Cross at Archirondel.

To head inland from this coastal road one has no option but to head uphill. The long Mont des Landes provides an early opportunity to get the heart going and the calves stretched.

Ignoring the little track to the right which is even steeper.

Each of Jersey’s 12 parishes has its own character. St Martin always seems dark and quiet, no one ever seems to be out and about. Today the heavy drizzle is welcome after a dry summer and early autumn. Nature reigns, happy in its solitude and gets on with gently adapting to the season’s turn. Acorns and chestnuts lie in profusions along the lanes.

If there are fairy sightings in Jersey, St Martin would be the most likely spot.

Then over to the Farmers’ Cricket Field. The season having just finished, Jim Perchard has scarified the outfield in preparation for re-seeding. The ground was formerly agricultural land but opened for cricket in 2005 thanks to Jim the landowner and his passion for the game. It quickly replaced Grainville as the premier cricket ground in the Island, just as Grainville supplanted the FB Fields in the late 1970s.

Turning back towards my starting point and a little diversion down another quiet lane which runs, little used, back to the coast road.

La Solitude cottages
And the strange datestone at L’Oasis

Back to civilisation after just 9k. A welcome coffee at the Driftwood Cafe and entertainment from a woman complaining bitterly over the freshness or otherwise of the croissants.