So yes, we went to the Isle of Wight! We were up at 4.30am as we thought we'd get a full day in if we left early. I haven't been over to the Island for years now so was looking forward to it. The initial plan was get there early and head to The Needles. It didn't however, go according to plan. We got there early enough but discovered that Quarr Abbey was oh so close to the ferry port and I had always wanted to see the old abbey ruin. So, we breakfasted in 'Poons, had a pootle around the aforementioned charity shops and headed back to Quarr Abbey.
Quarr Abbey = beautiful! It's grade one listed I believe, and was far more impressive than the ruin which we traipsed through a small wooded area and then along a long path to get to it and then found a series of small walls and some archaeologists. Oh. That was it? Indeed it was. I couldn't even be bothered to take my camera out to record the moment that I finally found it. Back to the 'new' abbey to bask in the beauty it was. I read that they had ravens roosting there but wasn't lucky enough to see any for definite. I saw big black birds but they may have been rooks or crows, they were far off, spotted from the café window.
After Quarr Abbey we went to Shanklin as I recalled from our previous visit there that it was chocolate box pretty. The Shanklin we drove into was far from chocolate box worthy which made me think the Shanklin in my memory was a false one. We then found said pretty part and a group of elderly ladies labelled my outfit as 1960's. They were there when the dress I was wearing* was sewn and worn, how could they get that so wrong? Funny how time alters memory.
Next we went to the island donkey sanctuary which was very lovely. It was clean and the donkeys looked very happy which is the main thing. I realised that I had could not recall ever seeing the beloved donkey with my own two eyes before this day.
Next on to The Needles. I had last been there as a child when my granddad decided we would walk there from the place we were staying for our holiday. I recall running ahead, tripping then falling palm down on to a huge nettle. There were tears, oh yes there were many. We got there this time just as the Old Battery had closed and the car park was free. We should have realised that this did not bode well. The walk was oh so long and I was in shoes with soles so thin and holey that I may as well have been barefoot. I was hobbling by the time we reached the end of the walk and realised we COULD NOT see the actual Needles. I was rather annoyed at this.
We got to see Alum Bay from high above though, home of the famous coloured sand -
... and a pirate ship! Shame this was as good as my camera lens could record.
And this was as much of The Needles as we saw -
By the time we got back to the car, we noted that we were the complete other end of the Island from the car ferry and had to get back, so off we went to get the 8pm crossing. I'm not good with water, I cannot swim and it scares me. The trip over I was sort of okay, but the trip back when I could hear the safety announcement clear as a bell (going over I was sat next to the air conditioning unit and heard not a peep) I started to get really scared as the water looked so horribly black and I was completely unsettled about being on a ferry in the dark. I was so relieved when we drove off the other side and headed home.
Bob did not think much of us abandoning him for the entire day and was very clingy the following day, poor poppet. It added insult to injury when we took him to the vet for his jabs next morning!
* my outfit from the day (minus perfectly complimentary slippers which would have been comfier than my shoes). My beautiful hand sewn in the 1950's vintage dress. Also, lovely shot of the ironing basket which I am ignoring!
Next time, I've been to London but didn't visit the Queen .........