Go on a writing retreat, that is. Which meant I packed a case and took myself and my laptop off to a B&B in Ryde on the Isle of Wight for five days, and it’s been great. I’ve broken my partial block, written more than I have in weeks [even if it isn’t as much as I’d’ve liked, and solved a couple of plot hangups.
The weather has been kind to me [and the Olympics]. It was overcast when I left Portsmouth Harbour, and some of the photos I took through the windows of the catamaran-ferry make it seem even more gloomy.
But all the time I was on the island, it was sunny and comfortably hot. Even yesterday, as I sat on the end of Ryde Pier awaiting the ferry back to Portsmouth, the sun was shining to put the lie to the weather forecast’s promise of rain all day.
It hasn’t been slogging over a keyboard all the time. I did manage a wander along North Beach to give my feet their first – and probably last – dose of sea water this year, and explored Ryde itself. It’s a fascinating little town, with only one major supermarket right outside the town. There are lots of small local shops in the town itself, the like of which have disappeared from too many town centres in the UK. I also spent a lovely morning chatting with another writer-friend who lives not far from Ryde [lucky woman! *g*].
Seahaven House, my B&B, was literally just across the road and down a bit from the Pier. Two minutes walk once you reach the landward end of the Pier – which takes nearly ten minutes on foot. But there is a train that frequently runs the length of the Pier and on to Shanklin. My room at Seahaven was en suite, comfortable, with a desk-fan, a TV and free WiFi, and if I wasn’t on a low carb diet for my T2 Diabetes, the full English breakfasts would have piled on the pounds *g*. As it was, my eggs, bacon and mushrooms were delicious, even without the rest of the trimmings on offer.
JD Wetherspoons have a pub on Union Street, also with free WiFi, so if I wasn’t writing in my room, I was there, beavering away. As well as JDW, there were other restaurants and cafes that offered basic salads at good prices, as well as pricier places to eat.
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Once I was back in Portsmouth, and with nearly an hour to wait for my train home, I took the chance to take some photos of HMS Warrior while the sun was still cooperating.
She was built in 1860, the Royal Navy’s first iron-clad warship, and is now part of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards complex.
Her figurehead is rather fine as well.
There’s more information on Warrior HERE, and the Historic Dockyards – home of Nelson’s HMS Vistory and Henry the Eighth’s Mary Rose HERE. One day I’ll treat myself to a visit to the Dockyards. I haven’t been there since I was a child.
So all told, I had a damned good – and productive – time, and it would be wrong to end this without a photo of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower…
Isle of Wight and Seahaven, I will be back.
P.S. The rain held off until I’d just started my walk from the train station to home, and then the heavens opened. But at least it was warm rain *g*…
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