I start this blog with a massive than you to Jo (I know you read this), for her unwavering support,for being there for me, for lending me the silly bit of her other half, I am forever indebted to you.
So a Saturday on the Isle of Wight with my oldest (he is 40 after all) friend, what can I say? Firstly the Isle is home, it feels like home, it feels natural even in the desolate winter, its the very next place that I live once I’m through the issues. Thank you Jo for not imparting your knowledge on Dave such that he travelled with ‘beer for the boat’ despite the ten minute crossing forbidding the consumption of alcohol! As we drove to Portsmouth it snowed, severe weather warnings abounded but my old mate kept driving, the truth is that the Isle is not a lads night out Dave was there for me as Jo had ensured and I have to love them both for that. We made Portsmouth, a couple of arcade games and a pint of some rather rancid beer filled the time whilst waiting for the hovercraft.
First stop then King Ludd on Ryde seafront, a pint of ale for me and a decision for Dave, which cider should he drink? If only we had known that Old Rosy came with friends, but the old boy made a friend in Dave much to my amusement. Congratulations Dave for side swiping me with Rocky whilst you had a toilet break, only in a pub can ‘two of them turned me over, I got one and I’m looking for the other’ translate into ‘I got drunk and fell over’. Union street led us to Yelfs, no olives or sitting outside in February but the memories were warm and the beer was cold, we made the Crown and Wimpey before finding the train. Ryde was school memories (I have none) and happy days, reminiscing like two old men, well one and me, it was good and has been a long time coming.
Dave was entertained by the 73 stock that forms the Isle railway and my careful selection of routes at Sandown meant we walked the long way through the rain to the hotel. If we had taken the short route we may have beaten the coach load of oldies that arrived just in front of us and perhaps got quicker service, but we will never know. A beer in the room was followed by several in Shanklin, various things happened so a synopsis is in order: we drank beer, made friends (they were mad) I got the arse with being told to take my hat off, we left. Taxi to Sandown and the delight of Flanagins before a Chinese.
Chinese was fun, if your going to duck a hideously over priced bill them the worst thing you can do is stand in the street debating ‘left or right’ an extra twenty resolved that and we headed to the old comical for a pint I could barely swallow. Windscreen wipers throughout Sandown will have been found raised this morning and to the fella that lost his aerial its in the church, Dave decided that was repenting for his crime but probably only because I refused the aerial contest.
Hat off to the spectacular ‘lets do it Die Hard style’ moment in the lift when Dave opened the doors between floors only to stall the lift, and a bonus point for pulling the fuse on the hallway lights, it really should say ‘instant 16 year old just add alcohol’ on our jackets.
Breakfast was misery on a plate and the 3 kilo of prunes tells you more about the average age than I need to. We made good time to the hovercraft and a good run back, I gather Dave took to the sofa but I headed to the pub the minute the shakes had subsided and was impressed that Emily ate the entire sugar dummy that I brought her!
Men + beer means a lot has been said and discussed this weekend, I will note some of what I have learnt before I forget, I have amazing friends, I love the Isle, Jo is amazing, I am incredibly jealous of Dave’s life (in a friendly way), what you build you can always rebuild and that’s enough life continues to be but a game and you play the cards that your dealt. Thanks again Dave and Jo for everything.
In other news, the wind on the East coast today is horrific, my door may as well not exist anymore than my windows its just the duvet making me feel human. Congratulations to Mickey for taking Elaine’s humour so well, hey it’s only 88 pints mate!