Saturday, May 10, 2008

Isle of Wight Day

I think if you have spent the vast majority of your childhood in one place, and had an acceptably happy time, then there is never anywhere else, no matter how long you live there or how settled you are, which quite has the same resonance when thought of as home. For me this is the Isle of Wight. My parents are still there and so, as I did yesterday, I ofen visit.

For those in different geographical locations, you should know that the weather in the UK at the moment is unseasonably warm and yesterday's trip to the island was just beautiful. I always travel over by the car ferry which takes 45 minutes or so, despite the presence of a high-speed catamaran which does the trip in 15, simply because there is something so magical about standing on the top deck of the high-sided ferry and approaching the island slowly. Yesterday, by midday when I made the crossing, there was still a streamer of mist laying over the Solent, just high enough that the tops of the forts were made to float suspended in the bright white haze and the sails of small boats were coming in and out of view. The photos can't really do justice to the eerie quality of the light, the mist and the quiet over the water. Similarly, on the way home after dark, standing on the top deck of the ferry, you filter out the low rumble of the ferry's engines so the still and placid solent, illuminated only by lights from further down the ferry spilling out below, was breathtaking.

As well as visiting my DNA donors I spent the afternoon in a bookshop in Ryde. A fair few things of interest were purchased including the first UK edition of Jean Cocteau's Journals complete with the classic 1950s lettering on the jacket.

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