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A few days by the sea

Palm-fringed beach

Palm-fringed beach

The conference was very interesting, but extremely hard work. So I was very pleased that I’d had the foresight to book the following week off work on leave. The parents of a good friend of mine from university own a seaside holiday home which they let out commercially during the school holidays. But in low season, they very kindly make it available to friends and family at “mates rates”. I arranged to borrow it from Monday to Friday, for some seaside relaxation.

As you can see from the photo above, it was all very idyllic with virtually no other tourists around out of season. But, despite appearances, I wasn’t on a tropical island, although getting there did involve a ferry-crossing. It was in fact on the Isle of Wight, twenty-two minutes away from Portsmouth by SeaCat, and approximately 30 years behind the mainland in terms of pace of life. It was an ideal place to go to relax.

I went there by train to Portsmouth, followed by the passenger ferry to Ryde. I had thought about hiring a car once on the island, but as it turned out, I didn’t need to. There was a bus stop at the end of the road, from where I could get to Ryde or Newport, and thence practically anywhere on the island. Even better, I was able to order on-line for a Tesco delivery to arrive a few hours after I reached the house, so I didn’t even need to spend any of my precious holiday doing a food-shop. I pottered around, seeing a few of the local sights, but equally importantly spent a lot of time simply sitting on my backside reading and unwinding.