Tuesday, December 4 2012
We would have been hard pushed to have picked a worse weekend away. The rain barely stopped, there were weather warnings all over the country – and where were we last weekend? On a ferry to the Isle of Wight.
When I was a kid, we used to go camping a lot. We had this bright orange tent which somehow dad managed to wrestle onto the roof rack, along with anything else he could strap down.
The boot would be packed full of clothes, wellies and food for a week – no mean feat in a Vauxhall Viva, for a family of four.
I remember sleeping bags and pillows being piled high on the back seat and, somehow, my brother and I clambering on top of them and trying to sleep on what seemed like an endless journey to our destination. Everywhere seems a long way from Kent.
We’d often go to Devon or Somerset, but one year set off for the Isle of Wight.
It was one of the best holidays I’d ever been on and felt wonderfully adventurous getting a ferry over the water. We were almost abroad.
I loved it: Blackgang Chine with its model dinosaurs and pirate tales, the model village at Godshill and the coloured sand at Alum Bay – I filled bottle after bottle with that stuff, most of which ended up on my bedroom carpet after I dropped them when I got back home.
This time was a more grown-up affair – a comfy B&B and walks (in between the downpours) to admire the scenery.
But we’re going back, just so I can get my hands on some more of that coloured sand.