Mini-moon · non wedding post

A vintage visit to the Isle of Wight – 22 weeks to go

First things first, Doctor Who is back, hurrah! We’ve been very excited about it in our house, as you can imagine; I celebrated by bringing out my TARDIS onesie (yes, it’s a thing of wonder), while The Boy has been feverishly updating his own blog.

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But onto wedding stuff! I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but The Boy and I have rather ambitious plans for our honeymoon; we’re looking to travel around Europe by train (The Boy planned to do this during a gap year that never happened, I have lovely images in my head of it being like a Grand Tour from the olden days).

As Grand Tours are generally quite expensive, it means we’re going to have to save up once we’re married, what with our wedding itself costing rather a lot. So, we’re looking at our options for a few days away (a “mini-moon”, if you will), when we first become husband and wife.

Front-runners at the moment include Bath and Canterbury. We’re still on the lookout, so if you have any suggestions, please let us know (unless it’s the Yorkshire Dales and/or the Lake District – they’re already on the long-list).

And in the name of research (honest), a couple of weeks ago, I managed to convince The Boy that we should go on a caravanning holiday in the Isle of Wight. Having gone twice in two months at the age of 10, and never returning, it holds a certain amount of nostalgia for me (read: “It never rains there”, “It has tonnes of fun stuff to do”, “There are beaches” and so on).

The drama started the night before we were due to leave, when I realised I’d done my sums wrong, and it was going to take half an hour longer than I thought to get to the ferry. Which would have been fine, except I’d also convinced The Boy we’d be best off doing our food shop (it being self-catering and all) the morning before. So, one mega-early wake up call, one trip back to the house because The Boy forgot his shorts, one whizz around Tesco, one realisation that we’d still need to go shopping when we arrived because I’d forgotten tea bags and Fry Light, and three tremendous traffic jams later (one right outside the ferry terminal), our faces looked like this:

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But through sheer luck alone, the ferry hadn’t left yet!

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Growing up, almost all of my holidays were caravan-related, unless it was a chalet, and that one time I went on a narrow-boating holiday with my friend and her family (which was a lot of fun). As such, I love caravans. The Boy – not so much (essentially, the opposite of our feelings towards camping holidays). The caravan we stayed in was a bit musty and rickety (we couldn’t both sit at the table without our drinks tipping over), but I loved it. It’s a running joke with some of our friends that I’m too glamorous (read: snobby) to enjoy camping or caravanning, which led to this gem from The Boy:

“You know how our friends think you’re too snobby to stay in a caravan? Could you be?”

However, the bay where we were staying was beautiful, and we spent one lovely day (and sunset there).

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The Isle of Wight is known for being a bit of a goldmine for vintage lovers, and The Boy very graciously let me do some exploring, so we popped into Ventnor (if anyone’s up for coming with me next time, I still need to visit Ryde, Sandown and Shanklin, because I didn’t want to push my luck). There I found the lovely That’s So Vintage, which had an amazing collection of vintage handbags, and a fabric shop that had just about every colour and pattern on the planet. We also discovered a pretty rockery halfway down the cliff, and as you can see, I got so excited at its beauty when taking a photo that I obscured half of it with my thumb.

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It also had a lovely (if pebbly) beach, and as The Boy and I have never been on a beach holiday in the five and a half years we’ve been together, I decided to make the most of things and dragged him onto it to enjoy the view. Then I made him take photos of me, to show off my pretty dress. Being the obliging sort, he took a couple.

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As The Boy had been so accommodating, I agreed that during our trip to Freshwater (look! Another beach!), we should go and look for red squirrels, (the Isle of Wight is known for them, see). Unfortunately, I forgot that with The Boy, one should always be prepared for an impromptu hike, and ruined my lovely, stylish ballet flats. We did, however, definitely see one-and-maybe-two red squirrels, and watched what looked suspiciously like a stand up comedy open mic night for ducks.

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Freshwater also has the most amazing second hand bookshop in the world. Not only do they have books on every conceivable topic, but they have squishy armchairs dotted around so you can curl up and read. I would have moved in for the week if they’d let me.

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And, of course, no trip to the Isle of Wight is complete without a trip to The Needles, where I again made The Boy take photos of my pretty dress. We walked down to the beach (because why take the chair lift when you can walk down a pebbly incline in impractical shoes?), and took the boat trip out to see the lighthouse up close, which I loved. As someone with an overactive imagination, who likes to make up stories, I would like to suggest a “Giants playing skittles knocked one of the needles down” series of events, rather than the generally-accepted “Thunderstorm took it out a few hundred years ago” nonsense.

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If we weren’t getting married in February (and therefore mostly looking to keep warm), I think the Isle of Wight would be a lovely place to spend a few days after the wedding; it’s got a lovely, relaxing feel to it, there are tea shops on almost every corner, and it has a place called Dinosaur World, which I am dying to explore – I’ve never seen Jurassic Park, but am assuming Dinosaur World is similar, where there are lots of friendly dinosaurs who want to be friends with humans. That’s the premise of the series, right?

Also this week, I bumped into an ex-boyfriend at a work thing, and we were having a chat about what’s going on in our lives (lots of exciting things on both sides). He jokingly asked if we were going to have a film of us driving like James Bond playing as the guests arrive, what with it being filmed at Pinewood Studios and all. I made the mistake of mentioning this to The Boy, so if you need me this week, I’ll be juggling phone calls with Silverstone, Aston Martin and Ben Whishaw.

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