September 6, 2015

Monday 24th-Tuesday 25th August Wading Through Puddles At Osborne House!

Morning…last night after my sons pub work shift had finished, we drove down the M3 to the South Coast to visit my parents. We are going to the Isle Of Wight for the day, but have sadly woken up to horrendous weather. Not what you want when you have to go on a ferry.

The Isle Of Wight is a place that as a family we love to visit as it holds so many memories. Both my parents were bought up in Cowes and my dad was born there. As children we used to spend a lot of holidays and Christmases there. I even spent the first year of my life living in a granny annex flat adjoined to my grandparents house, (with my parents of course…I wasn’t a home alone baby!) and of course I don’t remember it ,but I’ve been told! Both families were heavily involved in Amateur Theatre and sailing, and my parents have continued belonging to The Island Sailing Club even though they now live across the water.

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My immediate family and I have obviously inherited and followed one of these family traits with our involvement in Musical Theatre, but after my latest holiday I’m not sure what happened to the ‘sailing ‘genes. I certainly didn’t inherit any of them!

Although my parents live in Lymington and there is a ferry that goes from there to Yarmouth, my dad had booked the Southampton ferry which takes you to East Cowes. We left late, a terrible family trait! Having to drive in torrential and heavy rain meant that it was difficult to make up time, although mum whose driving has always been jokingly compared to James Hunt by family, gave encouraging words to my dad by saying “keep moving!” The conditions weren’t exactly easy to do so and at times the rain was so heavy we couldn’t see in front so the journey was a bit stressful! We should have been at the ferry terminal at 10.30am but arrived at 10.45am, so just made it. We were all much relieved when they let us line up with all the other cars…we weren’t the last so others had obviously struggled to get there on time too. Once on the ferry and the car was parked, we found the café area.

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Drinks were brought and mum’s knitting came out.

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As we came into Cowes we could see the new breakwater being built which is supposed to give more protection to the harbour, but in some ways spoils the view.

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Once we arrived, we had to travel from East Cowes to West Cowes across the Medina River on the chain ferry or floating bridge. We parked the car along the sea front and went into the Island Sailing Club for lunch.

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A quick walk up the high street and I spotted two cushions in a rain splattered shop window that I hope will depict me as an ageing old bird!

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Having dodged several heavy rain showers we returned to the car and went back over the floating bridge to the historic palace of Osborne House, the family home of Queen Victoria.

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As we walked up the long entrance path to the house we came across a fairy ring of mushrooms. In folk lore they apparently can bring bad luck, so I’m not sure if I’m happy my mum spotted them. We also came across a man looking very embarrassed trying to turn his car around. He had missed the entrance to the car park and was driving down the private road towards the front door! It’s the sort of thing I would have done, so I sympathised and laughed at the same time.

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The house itself was full of very grand furnishings and artwork. We visited the state rooms and family rooms . We saw the four poster bed and bedroom, where Queen Victoria died and the photograph of Prince Albert and his pocket watch hanging on the headboard. We went up to the old nursery and servants quarters. We had a sit down in the famous Durbar Room which was elaborately decorated for state functions with Indian style plaster work. The staff were very helpful and found us a lift so my mum didn’t have to climb the many stairs. They were also very knowledgeable. When we finished our tour we went out into the lovely gardens, which were very well looked after and with views over the Solent. We managed a quick walk round before suddenly the heavens opened again. I even managed to get a few photos with my son, which is always a challenge.

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The rain started but was torrential and we found ourselves wading through huge puddles..my flip flops no longer seemed such a good idea! We decided we needed to take shelter, but the café at Osborne House looked busy and more expensive than we were looking for, so we headed to a local pub. When my parents had a boat they used to go to it as it was on the waters edge. It was called The Folly Inn.

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We ordered hot chocolate, cake and a pot of tea and it came with my favourite, a piece of fudge. I was happy and my son was happy as he had marshmallows on the top of his chocolate.

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We returned home on the early evening ferry, having made sure that rain did not spoil our day or dampen our spirits.

It’s Tuesday. Returning home for physio and hoping I might be able to kneel this week as sailing wound finally healed.