I have just spent a couple of nights living in the beautiful, but spartan, Archirondel Tower, a Martello tower on the east coast of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Built in 1792, it was extensively ‘refurbished’ by the occupying Nazis in 1941. A swastika and date are still very easy to find on the inside of the tower.
My father-in-law and I took great pleasure in resting on the ramparts and identifying the navigational marks out at sea, using a pair of binoculars. ‘There, I have the Giffard Port marker!’ One of us would cry as the waves pounded at the rocks below and their mist mixed with the smoke rising up from the freshly caught mackerel on the BBQ at our feet. The red and white stripes of the tower are themselves an aid to navigation, easily identified by shipping near and far.
For the two days we were living in the tower we used it as a base for trips out to ‘Les Ecrehous’, an extraordinarily wild archipelago northeast of Jersey.