I live on the Isle of Wight in the UK, just across the waters of the Solent facing Southampton and Portsmouth, surrounded by delightful countryside and beautiful beaches. Sea sports and swimming, walking and cycling are the most popular pastimes on the island, and twice a year we have Walk the Wight, and Cycle the Wight. The world’s most famous regatta, Cowes Week, which once saw the crowned heads of five nations in attendance, takes place in August and if the number of royals in attendance is less than in previous years, the number of royally rich have increased and their stunning yachts grace the waters of the Solent. The island is considered a microcosm of England and in fact, Karl Marx, who spent a few years here, once wrote to Freidrich Engels to say, “This island is a little paradise”.
We are a very literary Isle and apart from the number of writers who live here now, the Island was home to many famous writers in the past, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Noyes, Keats, Longfellow, and J.B. Priestley among others. It is even more famous for being the home of Queen Victoria and her consort Alfred, who built a home here for their growing family away from the stress of London and the Court. This home, Osborne House, is now one of the most visited places along the south coast as it remains much as it was in Victoria’s day, a family home full of photographs, knick-knacks, children’s toys and lots of love.
I love to travel and love to take photographs but find that travelling with heavy camera and an extra lens or two is difficult in hot and humid countries where I often find myself. I now travel with the best compact I can afford, so if my images sometimes appear to lack that “wow” factor you will know why. My big camera takes better photographs I know, but balanced against comfort, comfort has to win.
I love some countries passionately, Thailand, Italy and Spain, and travel to them as often as I can. I am fortunate in living in Europe where good transport links and fairly cheap flights make it possible to do long week-ends in favourite cities. I hope to contribute articles that will appeal to both armchair travellers as well as get-up-and-go travellers. There will be reviews of hotels I have stayed in, not always at the luxury end because sometimes the family pensione or a little b & b can be just what’s needed: the dress down facility is often the factor that sways me in my choice of accommodation.
Most travellers are avid readers too, it goes with the territory, so I shall be mentioning books in my blog, not guide books but novels about a country, or a novel whose setting portrays the country better than any guidebook, films too if they fit the book.
So join me in my travels and maybe add your comments if you have experiences that mirror mine.