Himself had his seventy-first birthday this week so we took the Red Funnel ferry across to the Isle of Wight to celebrate. In his childhood he had spent happy summer holidays in a flat above a boathouse on the beach of Seagrove Bay. A trip down memory lane was on the cards! I had never been to the island but I'd heard about his holidays; the flat with its big bay window facing the sea, the hours spent exploring the rock pools or pootling about in a rowing boat.
In this cold, inhospitable month we took the precaution of booking a hotel that had a pool, a sauna, steam room and hot tub, and we made good use of them all!
The weather was unkind. Where looks more desolate than the English seaside in winter?
On the plus side we had no problem parking and the single track road winding down the hill, past the pretty houses of Bonchurch, was easy to negotiate. In summer it must be well nigh impossible.
It took a bit of searching to find our way to Seagrove Bay, Himself was unable to recognize anywhere. Eventually we arrived, but just a little too late. Oh, dear! Scaffolding and a pile of stones stood on the site of the fabled boathouse.
We drove on to Ventnor and consoled ourselves with a good cup of coffee and lunch. From our comfy window seat we had the pleasure of watching nothing at all happen on the seafront promenade.
Unfortunately Osborne House, Queen Victoria's home in East Cowes, was closed for the winter, but all about the island there are delightful examples of Victorian architectural styles.
The sites of many old houses appear to have been taken over by much larger, modern, multi-occupation dwellings.
Slap bang next to a charming little seashore delight on Seagrove Bay
a huge modern monster has been built.
We wonder what is going to rise from the rubble of the old boathouse that had held so many happy memories.
In Ryde I spotted this collapsable tray table. Everything in the shop had a nautical theme.
And when we crossed the estuary on the chain ferry to Cowes
it was still all about boats.
When we got back to the mainland the sun was shining on a dusting of snow
and it was an easy journey home.