Gosh – it’s been ten days since the last blog! Time certainly flies when you’re enjoying yourself. We’ve done a bit of entertaining of family and friends in the last week – James’ cousin from Plympton and her family paid us a visit last week and kindly took us for a very nice lunch at the Golf Club. It was really good to see them.
Last Saturday evening we had the annual “turning on of the Christmas lights” in Selsey. The night was cold but the large crowds enjoyed all the fun and supported the fund raising stalls very well. We helped some friends on their stall where they were raising money to buy a mobility hoist for a local lad.
It was cold enough for snow but we had to make our own!
The scene at the top of the High Street after the lights were turned on.
Yesterday (Sunday) we took a trip across to the Isle of Wight for the day. We caught the 8 o’clock car ferry from Portsmouth to arrive on the island in time for breakfast.
Leaving the ferry terminal we passed Spice Island just as the sun was coming up………….
…………. and looking ‘aft’ we got a sun kissed view of the Spinnaker Tower with a huge and rather swish motor yacht moored at it’s base.
There were very few passengers on the ferry at such an early hour and we had the “dog deck” to ourselves which was very relaxing.
We docked at Fishbourne at about 8:45 and a fifteen minute journey got us to Ryde, where it was still too early for anywhere to be open for breakfast, so we motored on round the east side of the island to Sandown where we took Oscar for a walk on the beach.
Although very old and doddery now, Oscar still loves to get sand between his toes when he can.
We had a pleasant “behind the times” breakfast at a pleasant “behind the times” cafe in Sandown and after that we went on to visit Shanklin and Ventnor. We couldn’t help noticing the large number of ‘For Sale’ boards wherever we looked - the economic downturn in the last few years has not been good for the tourist business and there are probably a lot of holiday homes on the market now. It’s such a pity as the island still has a lot to offer. We made our way westward along the south coast only to find the road closed – probably for some major strengthening work as this south side is very prone to subsidence and erosion by the sea.
We stopped here at one of our favourite places to have a coffee and enjoy the views west towards Tennyson Down and the white cliffs. Sadly half the car park is now in the sea! and this was the farthest we could go along this part of the coast due to the road closure.
We had a great day on the IOW (as always) but as we were all getting a bit tired we decided to catch an earlier ferry back to the mainland.
Approaching Portsmouth we saw the hovercraft leaving Southsea – always a treat to see, this regular service to the Isle of Wight has been going for over fifty years. In the background, on the headland, is Southsea Castle where Henry VIII watched the sinking of his prized warship “Mary Rose” in the Solent in 1545. Thirty years ago, in October 1982, the remains were raised from the seabed and are now on display in the Royal Dockyard, Portsmouth.