It’s not just Covid-19. The weather forecast influences people’s decisions but often the meteorological office gets it wrong. And so it was today. The temperature was supposed to be around 17ᵒ with cloudy patches but we had wall-to-wall sunshine and it felt like mid-20s. The result was that only a handful of people were walking on the esplanade and fewer still on the beach.
One lonely figure sat wrapped in a blanket on the beach guarding the clothes of the two boys fishing by the pier who were wearing only swimming trunks so at least someone was benefiting from this burst of sunshine.
The Bay sands, once golden, are now less so, and many blame this on the 7 – 9 liners and tankers that used the Bay during the Covid outbreak when they couldn’t get into Portsmouth or Southampton harbours to unload their cargoes of people and goods. For some weeks they sat on the horizon, their engines pumping away to keep the ships ventilated and facilities ongoing. The noise from this was so great that a complaint was made and the harbour masters requested to speed up the entry into port.
Sandown has a new Premier Inn due to open soon on the Esplanade and it was good to see this finished at last. The Covid outbreak had stopped building work earlier in the year and we wondered if it would open for business at all this year. Now it’s looking smart and new and ready to welcome autumn and winter visitors to the town, where the winters are mild and pleasant and the temperature usually about 5ᵒ above that of the mainland.
The High Street was quiet with only a few shoppers hunting souvenirs and tea-rooms. But I noticed that one of our closed-up Banks (a few years ago 3 of the big five operated here) has been graffitied but a theme is not discernible. Intriguing yes, and from what I can see it is a community venture and they are appealing for donations. I wonder if the Bank has thought to donate something to improve the boarded up look of their building? Or am I being naive?