I live on the Isle of Wight in the UK, just across the waters of the Solent facing Southampton and Portsmouth, the most part of which is recognised as “an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Sea sports, swimming, walking and cycling are the most popular pastimes and twice a year Walk the Wight, and Cycle the Wight draw hundreds of visitors. Cowes Week, the Regatta which once saw the crowned heads of five nations take part, is a major event in August and if the number of royals in attendance is less than in previous years, the number of royally rich with their super-yachts has increased.
It is a very literary Isle and apart from the number of writers who live here now, the Island was home to many famous literary figures in the past, including Keats, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Noyes, Longfellow, J.B. Priestley and others. Karl Marx, who spent a few years here, wrote in a letter to Fredrich Engels, “This island is a little paradise”. It is even more famous for being the home of Queen Victoria and her consort Alfred, who built a residence here for their growing family away from the stress of the London Court. Osborne House is now one of the most visited places along the south coast and it remains much as it was in Victoria’s day, a family home full of photographs, children’s toys and lots of love.
I am a keen photographer but find that travelling with a DSL and extra lens is difficult so I travel with ta compact system camera and although my images may lack that “wow” factor, my back feels better!
Thailand, Italy and Spain I love passionately and I am fortunate to live in an area with good transport links which make it possible to do long weekends in favourite cities.
I hope this blog will be mostly about my travelling life, museums that impress, and the occasional bit of travel ephemera. I’ll try not to be too “Pliny the elder” with dates and figures and if I do go overboard sometimes on the historical data, no doubt someone will pull me up for it.
There won’t be too much personal material here, my main aim is to offer my view of the places I visit, to savour its smells and its spices, its hidden highways and byways. I shall try to show behind the scenes if possible but I won’t be offering any intimate tales. I was in Thailand when the tsunami struck, lost some very good friends in that tragedy, but can’t write about it, though I did re-visit Khao Lak in 1919 and managed a piece on the recovery made in that area.
The travel bug has been with me since my teens, more years ago than I care to reveal, and I was a feature writer for many years before turning to travel writing. At the same time I was helping my husband run a business so I always seemed to be wearing two hats. My writing seems to fall into the same pattern as I go from destination travel to battlefields, museums to photo challenges.
So join me on my travels and I’d love to hear from you if you would like to add your comments. Otherwise I’ll never know if anyone is reading my rambling thoughts.