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Friday 7th March 2003

In Jersey the car number plates all consist of the letter J followed by a number. Each number is obviously different (or there wouldn't be much point in having the number plates) and range from 1 right through to numbers with six or seven digits.
I spent most of my day in St Hellier thinking what Hell (or Heaven) it would be to play a Jersey version of CNPS.
It would take many life-times to complete(I once read that it takes four days just to count out loud from one to a million)and also, as each number is represented only once you would have to wait a long time to progress onwards. Plus, of course if a car and its number plate are taken out of use then you would be stuck on whatever number you had reached.
I was slightly concerned about this problem before it struck me that no-one would ever play CNPS in Jersey and that no-one in the world thought as much about number-plates as I currently do(well maybe they do, but i don't think there is anyone who thinks as much about number-plates and cocks as I do. I am the world expert on those two subjects combined)

The significance of the different number plates was heightened by the fact that aside from the number-plates everything else on Jersey is the same as on the British mainland (though there are more French road names and the town centre seems curiously old-fashioned and individual, largely because it is not full of all the same shops and department stores that have turned other UK town centres into weird clones of one another).
So for me, with my number plate obsession (which started out as a kind of joke, but is swiftly becoming a genuine preoccupation) being in a place that seemed familiar but where the number plates were weird (and useless in my quest) was slightly unnerving. I felt like I was in an alternate universe, with only one very small and insignificant alteration. It felt like I had been zapped here by some malevolent force to stop my dream of spotting numbers 1-999 in order before I die. It was my personal Room 101. What if i got home and all the towns had adopted this insane un-CNPS friendly version.
My attempts to bury the failures of my childhood would be smashed into the dirt.

My mind is so used to checking number plates now that I still couldn't get out of the habit, even though I knew there was no chance of me seeing the number I required (even if I had seen J80 I would classify it as a foreign number-plate).

It is great that I have had the chance to travel to a new and unfamiliar place and that this is my only observation about life here.

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