Saturday, January 6, 2018

Isle of Wight–Saturday


Oh, oh, oh… I wanted to see a Robin.

And this one posed so prettily for me. (This is the raw picture, no cheating by cropping or enhancing Dear Readers).

That's 2018’s Christmas card picture sorted..


Today the weather is rather miserable, so we looked for some dry spots and hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow to explore our castle.

So its a visit to Osbourne House.

Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat. Prince Albert designed the house himself in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo.

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in January 1901. Following her death, the house became surplus to royal requirements and was given to the state, with a few rooms being retained as a private museum to Queen Victoria.

The grounds include a 'Swiss Cottage.' The cottage was dismantled and brought piece by piece from Switzerland to Osborne where it was reassembled. There, the royal children were encouraged to garden. Each child was given a rectangular plot in which to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers. They sold their produce to their father. Prince Albert used this as a way to teach the basics of economics. (Wikipedia)



One of the bonuses of visiting in winter is there is no crowds. The downside is that not everything is open to the full extent. The Swiss Cottage was closed which was a shame.


As Empress of India, Victoria had the Durbar room built, which is Indian themed.







and I found a doggie.

We also paid a quick visit to the rock formation called ‘The Needles’. Not the best day for photos.


Back at our flat at the Castle. For a change, I’ve been cooking meals rather than eating out.

We are on the top floor.


We look straight out on the castle motte and keep from the kitchen window.



And, the neighbours are very well behaved. Hardly hear them at all, except for when they push their toys about. (various, shoes, gumboots, buckets and balls).


This is Jigsaw and Jack. There is also Jill and a new donkey still to be named. They are going to have a naming competition by the local school kids.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Portsmouth to Isle of Wight–Friday

Today we travel across The Solent to the Isle of Wight. We are staying in an English Heritage property for the next few nights.


So for our last morning in Portsmouth, a last visit to the Historic Dockyards to see HMS Warrior.

HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–61.



And now its time to take a different sort of boat… a car ferry to the Isle of Wight.



We went Portsmouth to Fishbourne.


And we are actually staying inside a Castle!

Carisbrooke Castle! We are the only ones here at night and to go in and out we have to drive through the gatehouse and unlock the main gates.


Well we are not really the only ones here.

Dear Readers! There are four



and they are living right next door.

(I’ll explain all about the apparently famous Carisbrooke donkeys in a later post).

We have been warned that they may bray a little overnight. They’ll have a tough time competing with my cough.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018


Arrrrgh.. my cold has returned, its not really bad but annoying to have a phlegmy cough all the time.

I had it first then gave it to Graham who returned it to me. Tag Team!

Personally, I blame walking around in the rain in Brighton…  its rotten when one of you is coughing all night and the loved one can’t even escape to the spare room or visa versa.


So as I was feeling delicate we had an easy day and went up the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, which is also only a few minutes from our little flat. (which I have circled in the below pic, bit hard to see, sorry!)

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This area is called Gunwharf Quays.


Above – looking over the historic dockyard.


And below is the new multi million pound air craft carrier the Queen Elizabeth, which is leaking, or so the press says..


Then we had an afternoon walk in the dockyards to get our moneys worth out of our entry ticket which is valid for 12 months.



Ate in a French restaurant tonight, had Mexican last night and pizza the night before. Feeling very international…

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018



Today its a visit to Two Grand Ladies of the sea…

We walked the 5 minutes from our flat to the Historic Dockyard, as I’ve always wanted to visit Nelsons Flagship HMS Victory, and its actually why we are in Portsmouth.


HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission. (Wikipedia)


Its also where Nelson died.

She is currently under another restoration. They have taken the 27 miles of rigging down. And they ( the British government) are spending a LOT of money to sort her out.

She is spreading in the bottom as she is out of the water and doesn't have the pressure to keep it all together…. I know how she feels! 





And then next door, we travel back a couple of hundred years to visit the Mary Rose Museum.



The Mary Rose is a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 19 July 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet, she sank in the Solent, the straits north of the Isle of Wight.

The wreck of the Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971. It was raised in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust, in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. The surviving section of the ship and thousands of recovered artefacts are of immeasurable value as a Tudor-era time capsule. (Wikipedia).


The Museum is really great, it is on four levels and they play pictures on the ship as if sailors are on it.

Okay, I'm not explaining myself very well….. ..and its very dark so photos aren't so good…

Anyway, it was a big improvement on when Graham was last here in the 80’s as that was when they were spraying water on it to stop it rotting and it couldn't be seen for the mist. And now its treated and can be left dry.

We got to touch a piece of the ship, and smell the rope which still smells like tar. Graham got to fulfil a dream and play with a longbow.


It was interesting how much facial reconstructing they had done on the skeletons that they found with the wreck.

And its time to play ‘Spot the Doggie’, but this one is definitely dead…

I notice they didn't do a facial reconstruction on the doggie but just claimed it was ‘terrier type’.



As we are only 2 minutes from a huge cinema.. 14 screens! We took ourselves off to the movies tonight and saw the Greatest Showman, which was just great fun and had me dancing all the way back to our little flat..


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