Mark Crilley must be in Britpop heaven, with me following the Spandau Ballet reference with a pun on our favourite Northwestern chiming guitar moptops (Oasis, I think).
With two nights in Pompey, I made Tuesday “Isle of Wight Day“, just edging out “Southampton Micro Day”. Southampton will always be there, but Wight is probably drifting further out to sea each year and will soon be lost completely.
Tuesday was also one of the designated days when under-60s are allowed onto the Island, which I presume BRAPA has factored into his own plans.
So, after that assault on the west of Wight back in February, could I finish it today ? Do you care ?
Let me be honest. I was thrilled as I boarded the 10:30 from Southsea to Ryde. My first EVER trip on a hovercraft, and only a fiver more than the slow crossing from Lymington.
It was the week after schools went back, and well after rush hour, but I was still surprised there were only 33 fellow travellers.
At least that meant the queue for the bar would be short.
Oh, there is no bar. You just strap in and pray for ten minutes.
I thought I’d need to use the plastic bag protecting my Isle of Wight Pub Guide for less pleasant purposes.
But I survived. Ten minutes later, I was on Ryde Harbour.
Almsost as exciting as arriving on Papeete all those years ago. And I mean that.
Apart from the extreme heat, the watermelon sellers on every corner and the lack of a Wetherspoons, you could confuse Tahiti with this classic Victorian resort.
Something tells me Ryde has a sense of humour,
and I can’t wait to visit the excitingly basic sounding Railway with its 200 million year old gingko biloba tree.
But it’s not open till noon, and I could have ticked two pubs in Sandown by then.
So I followed the official graffiti trail to the bus station, where the 10:50 is about to depart.
Aren’t bus station murals great ?
Twenty minutes after standing on Solent Harbour, I was in a different land, wondering if my bladder would last the 30 minute journey.