This pub blogging business is very competitive. Having lost out on the Pipers sponsorship deal to that Bailey fellow (I’m not bitter Paul, but watch your back), I’m exploring other monetisation opportunities.

The Tripe Society offered me 0.0257p each time I mention chitterlings, for example, and Maidenhead‘s MP has offered me a quid each time I don’t visit that town. Fortunately, that deal doesn’t cover Mrs RM, who now has a Head Office there (she really does).

Perhaps Southern Vectis will sponsor me this Spring, if I refrain from mentioning the lack of spring in their dreadful Isle of Wight buses.

Isle of Wight ? There’s no such place !” you say.

But there it is, on my spreadsheet. Taunting me with its 17 pubs to do.

GBG 29 jan 19 (1)

Inspired by PubHermit and his discovery of the mythical lost isle, I abandoned plans to follow BRAPA round Purbeck like a puppy dog and set off myself for some foreign travel, keen to take a large bite out of those 17.

(Cue obligatory passport shot)



Over an exceptional Full English the nice man at Brantwood Guest House had told me that it was theoretically possible to get from Christchurch to Wight in a couple of hours. And he was theoretically right.


But you’re obliged to spend nineteen minutes in Brockenhurst, which is nineteen minutes more than any human should be obliged to spend there. No ponies, but the church looks atmospheric in black and white.

As dead as Brockenhurst

I was, I confess, disproportionately excited to be heading to Wight. That heady combination of ferries, a new language and expectations of warm beer was intoxicating.

But what do you do at Lymington Pier for 40 minutes that isn’t punishable by stoning to death ?

One for Tom Irvin

Admire the views over Pylewell Lake ?

Overhear conversations by twitchers you can recycle in future blogs ?

They’re just birds.  Just like we’re just humans. Deal with it.

No. You buy the brand new Isle of Wight CAMRA Pub Guide from Costa Coffee.

A superb (if ambitiously priced) publication that kept me amused for the 40 minute trip to Yarmouth, while the other four (4) foot passengers debated other essential purchases at the café.

No. After you.

I tell you, I haven’t been as excited at a disembarkation since I landed at JFK back in ’88, reliving the U2 song off Joshua Tree.

Yarmouth.  T’other one.

I strode confidently to the King’s Head, my first new Guide tick on Wight for a decade.

Oooh, hidden down little streets. Bet it’s great.

It was closed.

24 thoughts on “TAKING A BITE OUT OF WIGHT

  1. Here we go.
    This is Malta all over again.
    You’re going to get at least a week’s worth of posts out of the Isle of Wight.
    What’s the story with the see-through headstone ?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. > “told me that it was theoretically possible to get from Christchurch to Wight in a couple of hours. And he was theoretically right”.

    As Yogi Berra said :-

    “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice there is”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I mean, it seems to me you could make quite a lot of money not visiting Maidenhead. 😉

    Looking forward to these Isle of Wight posts, even if fate dealt you a cruel ‘closed pub’ card at the start of the journey. I watched bits of a Michael Palin documentary series about the Isle of Wight, but otherwise know nothing about the place.

    Curious about that “since I landed at JFK back in ’88”– depending on what time of year it was, I was either about to graduate from college or heading off to my first job. Did you enjoy that visit?


    1. It wasn’t really JFK, of course, I just assume every US airport is called that. Actually it was LAX. Rachel Stevens from S-Club 7 sung about that one.
      My first trip was Disneyland LA and Knotts Berry Farm, i.e. the real America. The breakfasts were great. Hawaii was better.

      I would say I still know little about the real Wight after 3 trips (2000. 2008. 2019) while I feel arrogant enough to think I know everything about the Isle of Man now. Odd that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great- it simmers to that inevitable climax. Your blogs are like a long running soap opera – a mix of new experiences and familiar characters. Can’t understand why Pipers aren’t throwing money (and crisps) at you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe I should try Pun-ch Taverns? (Sorry). Hard to answer. First time on Island was the night of the hurricane in 1988(?). Went to Mill Bay, Spyglass and Volunteer in Ventnor and wind was so strong I could barely walk up that steep hill from the front. The next morning shop fronts had blown in and the some of the pier at Shanklin had been blown away. Part of the roof blew off our b&b so we all had to huddle in the lounge – recall the Milkie delivering at the height of it wearing a colander to protect his head. Second visit was for the Island Games 1993 when a friend and I met some Russian sailors in the Railway Medina. They were so proud of their tall ship we went back to see it. They plied us with vodka and we got back to our digs in time for breakfast. Good memories!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Those adventures would put BRAPA in the shade.

        I was “greeted” at the door to my hotel on the scruffy edge of Bootle this morning by a Russian drug smuggler (Guess) from Vladivostock who told me I had killed someone.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Could alternate between you gatecrashing hen nights in South Shields and Simon walking along the hard shoulder of the A449 to Worcester.in the rain. I can see it working in Japan..


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