Monday, June 30, 2008

Au revoir to the Isle of Wight


Well, the month has been and flown.

My bags are packed, and I’m about to plunge into my big, soft Wightish bed for the last time. Tomorrow, after lunch, I head to Shanklin to deliver the faithful Red Fred back to his rightful owners, take the little train back to Ryde pierhead and head for Portsmouth and the night ferry to St Malo.

France. It’s just as well it’s France, because there aren’t many place in the world I’d leave this one for.

My last days here have been a little less gallivanting. First of all, we had a bit of grey and a bit of drizzle, so outdoors didn’t look so inviting and Victorian Vocalists found all its old charms. But then, when the sun came out, the end was in sight, so it seemed best just to go round all my favourite bits from the other weeks and sort of say ‘goodbye’. The downs, Niton, Brightstone, Shalfleet and so forth. I took a few unfamilar ‘less than 4 metres’ roads, joining up the dots between places where I’d already been, I rolled through a few new villages, passed by a lot of fresh, pleasant, green countryside and clocked up the regulation amount of old churches and fine old houses … and simply confirmed that wherever you go here, it's grand.

Tonight, we have had a ‘farewell’ dinner -- Jayne, Chris, Jack, Charlie and Kurt – and I took the chance to line up my Wightish ‘family’ for a last-night snap. Thank you the Holmes family, thank you Hermitage Court Farm, thank you Wight.

I’ll be back, of course. (I promise I will, Charlie). But who knows when….

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