“If you want to know what the Isle-Of-Wight was like in the 1950’s then visit the Isle-Of-Wight”
I forget which comedian joked about the Island being stuck in the 1950’s but in a way he wasn’t wrong.
My heritage is the Island, it’s where my family has come from for 100’s of years. Some recent DNA tests I have had done show that my Haplogroup means my ancestors have been in South East England since at least the Bronze age.
The only reason I wasn’t born and bred there is because my father left in the 1950’s to Join the Metropolitan Police in London.
All my relatives remained on the island so as a child every school break and holiday I was dragged down to the island to spend time with my grandparents. I hated it, I absolutely hated it, a kid from London on the island, for me it was like stepping back in time, I mean they didn’t even have an indoor public swimming pool only an outdoor one. There was nothing for me to do and it bored me to tears, I couldn’t wait for the breaks to be over and get back to civilisation.
As I became an adult I didn’t go there again until my mother became to elderly to drive safely and I them became her IOW chauffeur and we would go there for 4-5 weekends per year so she could see her family.
My mother passed away in 2018 and by then all my other direct relatives on the Island had also passed away so I had no family connections there any more and so no reason to go there and I very much doubted if I would ever miss it.
Well didn’t Coronavirus, specifically Covid-19 change everything? Mar 2020 to Mar 2021 a year in lockdown, not travel either domestic or abroad. I am used to going to Spain at least twice a year and have done this for the last 10 years and I have also managed to make 2 trips to the Far east and 2 to Africa as well. In fact in 2019 the year before this virus I went to Tenerife then Marrakech and in Dec 2019 Gran Canaria.
In Sep 2020 there was a lull in the lockdown and I actually managed to get away from home for an overnight trip to see some friends.
in Wigan. Wigan FFS my exotic destination for 2020 oh how I have fallen lol ???? but I can’t grumble I guess, given all the restrictions I was lucky to get that trip in.
Light at the end of tunnel
Having been so long without getting away I was beginning to get a bit stir-crazy and at long last we had a “roadmap” out of lockdown and we would be able travel again. Sadly I am still classed as CEV (clinically Extremely Vulnerable) and realistically even though foreign travel is starting to open up again I would be foolish to even consider it for the rest of 2021 but I did need to get away, badly.
But where to go? well I looked at Scotland and then at Cornwall and straight away found issues.
Or price gouging, OMG both Scotland and Cornwall prices have gone mental 3x normal price was not unusual and Facebook was full of posts from people bitching that breaks they had paid for were being cancelled then re advertised at much higher prices.
I found the high price to be eye watering especially for Cornwall, the British holiday industry is shooting itself in the foot with this craziness and they are pricing themselves out of business, the real stupidity is some people will actually pay these stupid prices, well Cornwall and Scotland had priced themselves out of my range so i strted to look elsewhere.
This time it’s for me
Well lo and behold one of the places within my price range was the Isle-of-Wight ???? That place of childhood terror that I would die of sheer boredom in, the place I was dragged to every school break and the place I hated so much because it was so 1950’s. But wait. I realised something, every damn trip I have ever made to this Island has always been for someone else, be it for my parents to visit their parent or for weddings/funerals of relatives, always for someone else with the last 5 trips being so my mother could visit with her sister and cousins.
Because all my trips were always for someone else I didn’t really get a lot of choice in what I did or where I stayed.
However a few months back we decided that the Island might be a place to go for a short break and that’s exactly what I have booked for a few weeks time.
I am going back to the place I swore I would never ever go back to, but this time it’s different, I am not going for anyone else, this time I am going for me. I can do what I want, stay where I want and visit where I want.
I don’t have to stay in the spare room of my grandparents freezing cold house, I don’t have to stay in the m,iddle of a social housing estate in the county town, no, now I can do touristy things, I can stay in one of the resort areas, I can visit some of the place I have always wanted but couldn’t because family would say “it’s boring there” “It’s too expensive” “I don’t want to do that” I don’t have to dragged round all manor of old houses in Newport visiting relatives that smelt of piss and lavender and had black and white TV’s that they never turned on. I am free to do my thing and that’s exactly what I intend to do.
Now I am free to see the island as I want to see it that’s exactly what i have done, we have booked a hotel In the main resort area of Sandown, I have booked a journey on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, We will be visiting Quarr Abbey and doing lots of other stuff I have always wanted to do.
I am actually quite looking forward to seeing the Island through different eyes now and I will of course blog about tmy trip.