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Notes from an even smaller island

Notes from an even smaller island

Old Mar 17th 2019, 9:54 am
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Default Notes from an even smaller island

...... with apologies to Bill Bryson.


Well here I am, just over three months into living in our new home here on the Isle of Wight. Not been out and about as much as we liked, mainly because we’ve been busy redecorating and furnishing our new home. We’re almost there now, just a few bits of personalization and we can settle into island life.

Before buying a home we stayed in a caravan for eight weeks whilst we looked at properties in our chosen area. Living in such a confined area made us think again about downsizing. I’m sure in time, we could have adapted to smaller accommodation than we had in the USA, but in our search for a property, so many houses felt claustrophobic. Psychological, I know.

Whilst staying at the caravan we registered with the doctor in the town where we were going to live. This was about a 25 minute drive from the caravan site. Arriving back at the caravan we received a phone call from the doctors surgery informing us that it was okay to register there and live so far away from the surgery, but the doctor would not be able to do home visits. HOME VISITS!, I thought they died out with DR Finaly’s casebook.

Also whilst staying in the caravan, one night we had an almighty storm. If the thing wasn’t anchored down with chains it would have been off over the cliff. It creaked, it rattled, it swayed in all directions and all I kept thinking was, I lived through half a dozen hurricanes and I’m going to meet my demise due to typical blustery British winters night.

Some quirky Island moments.

If the postman has a parcel or something that can’t fit in the mail box and your front doors not locked he just opens the door and leaves it in the hallway.

The newsagents sells individual paperclips.

The local hardware store is an Alladin’s cave of one of everything. ( I’m so tempted to ask four candles. )

Dogs are welcome just about everywhere.

Still early days, but so far all is going well. No real negatives. Proving who you are and where you live seems more difficult than it should be and I find a certain kind of irony in receiving a letter addressed to my address asking for proof of my address. Still can’t figure that one out.

Parking spaces take a bit of getting used to. I can get in the parking space ok, I just can’t get out of the car. I end up doing a vertical limbo dance whist squeezing my self with the car door in order to avoid hitting the car parked next to me. Time to diet.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Bud the Wiser,

Very nice update and glad things are going well. Hope things continue to go well. Best wishes.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 10:25 pm
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That is a wonderful uplifting post .
Thanks so much.
I could consider the IoW .
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Old Mar 19th 2019, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Bud,
Thanks for the update. My better half and I have looked at the possibility of the I of W so it was nice to get an insight. I was raised in Devon but spent a lifetime roaming the world and although my wife is US (I'm now dual) we both are leaning to the quiet life, Dogs, Cats and a local Pub. We both will enjoy any updates from the Isle..
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Old Mar 22nd 2019, 12:36 pm
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Love the update!
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Old Mar 22nd 2019, 8:02 pm
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Hi Bud - which town are you in? My daughter and granddaughter live in Ryde, one block from the beach. My sister-in-law has retired and lives in a ground floor flat in posh development in the countryside near Newport (although she always seems to be off travelling somewhere).

My daughter would love it if we moved to the island but it would drive me insane; all the local non-chain shops close so early (around 5pm, sometimes even before that) even in the peak tourist season. You didn’t mention the high cost of parking virtually everywhere on the island, there are yellow lines everywhere and the parking wardens are demons!

I know that if I relocated there I would get ‘island fever’ - we used to get it when we lived in Singapore which is a similar shape and size to the IoW - but at least we could drive ove the causeways to Malaysia, or even take the train, bus or fly to other parts of Malaysia. Sometimes we would even take a ferry to one of the Indonesian islands for lunch! Unfortunately the IoW passenger and car ferries are so expensive and so is the hovercraft.....especially in the Summertime and you have to plan crossing times carefully (easier said than done when coming from the mainland and getting stuck in traffic delays).

The main problem is that the local economy is so dire with a lack of employment, although it is a good place to retire and property is much cheaper than say, Devon or Dorset.

Have you been to Steephill Cove in Ventnor? (Near the Botanical gardens). Lovely little beach shacks and a nice place to have lunch next to the beach. I also really like Seaview - it’s nice to walk along the seafront between Seaview and Ryde - and to dine at the Seaview Hotel, or to buy an ice-cream and watch the kids learning to sail little ‘Topper’ yachts. (However, this little village seems to be full of the posh ‘Chelsea’ yachting set with their big Range Rovers...)
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

One of the saving graces of the Isle of Bute is the total absence of "The Chelsea Set"
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Old Mar 25th 2019, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
Hi Bud - which town are you in? My daughter and granddaughter live in Ryde, one block from the beach. My sister-in-law has retired and lives in a ground floor flat in posh development in the countryside near Newport (although she always seems to be off travelling somewhere).

My daughter would love it if we moved to the island but it would drive me insane; all the local non-chain shops close so early (around 5pm, sometimes even before that) even in the peak tourist season. You didn’t mention the high cost of parking virtually everywhere on the island, there are yellow lines everywhere and the parking wardens are demons!

I know that if I relocated there I would get ‘island fever’ - we used to get it when we lived in Singapore which is a similar shape and size to the IoW - but at least we could drive ove the causeways to Malaysia, or even take the train, bus or fly to other parts of Malaysia. Sometimes we would even take a ferry to one of the Indonesian islands for lunch! Unfortunately the IoW passenger and car ferries are so expensive and so is the hovercraft.....especially in the Summertime and you have to plan crossing times carefully (easier said than done when coming from the mainland and getting stuck in traffic delays).

The main problem is that the local economy is so dire with a lack of employment, although it is a good place to retire and property is much cheaper than say, Devon or Dorset.

Have you been to Steephill Cove in Ventnor? (Near the Botanical gardens). Lovely little beach shacks and a nice place to have lunch next to the beach. I also really like Seaview - it’s nice to walk along the seafront between Seaview and Ryde - and to dine at the Seaview Hotel, or to buy an ice-cream and watch the kids learning to sail little ‘Topper’ yachts. (However, this little village seems to be full of the posh ‘Chelsea’ yachting set with their big Range Rovers...)
I can concur with some of your observations and I certainly know the IOW would not suit everyone, but for me it ticks all the boxes that fit in with my retirement wants and needs,

We live in Ventnor and the only negative I have is that the steep roads and walk up to the downs have strained my achilles to the point that I had to see a physio. But I’ll get used to it.

Yes, parking is a problem. Having a home with parking and within walking distance to the town was one of our priorities. Little by little though we are finding places where you can park for free, local knowledge is an asset. Local independent shops do close on a whim, some all day on Mondays and even half day Wednesdays. I find that quirky and to be honest, maybe because I’m retired, I don’t have a need for late night shopping.

Island fever. Yes, I have had a bit of that. At the moment though, I put that down to being too busy making the house a home and continually having to go to the same old places to get things for the house. I’m sure that will change once we start immersing ourselves in local activities etc. I’m actually off the island at the moment visiting family and now I have big island fever and want to get back to the IOW .

Ferries are expensive, no denying that. However as a resident there are several ways to cut the cost. Last week Mrs Bud travelled as a foot passenger to Gatwick by train and ferry. Shanklin to Gatwick for under £20. I don’t consider that too bad, though I don’t have any comparison.

Yes we’ve been down to Steephill Cove, but haven’t dined there yet. I don’t think they open till Easter.

All in all more positives than negatives so far, but there’s the summer to experience when the grockles ( tourists ) arrive in numbers. For now it suits us, though I can perfectly understand why I wouldn’t suit others.

Must sign off now. I have a ferry to catch.

Last edited by Bud the Wiser; Mar 25th 2019 at 5:54 am.
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Old Mar 25th 2019, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Ha ha! Grockles is the nickname for tourists used mainly by people who live in Devon and the West Country in general. On the Isle of Wight they call tourists ‘Overners’ (ie. From over the water....)
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Old Mar 25th 2019, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
Ha ha! Grockles is the nickname for tourists used mainly by people who live in Devon and the West Country in general. On the Isle of Wight they call tourists ‘Overners’ (ie. From over the water....)
An 'Overner' is someone who has moved to live on the island. There is a facebook page called 'Isle of Wight Overeners'.. Grockles are tourists and caulkheads are locals.

https://onthewight.com/isle-of-wight-words-grockle/

Just part of the way of the island.
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Old Mar 25th 2019, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

I'm Bournemouth, Dorset born and bred. We always called tourists 'Grockles'
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Old May 29th 2019, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

This is so nice to read, thank you. My grandparents lived in Ryde and my dad was born in Newport and went to sandown grammar. I lived in Ryde when I was 6 and so I have so many happy memories there. Puck pool Park, black gang chine, Robin Hill, Ryde esplanade, going up on the downs. Now I live in Edmonton Alberta! My folks are moving back there from the mainland to Totland, and I’ve got a lot of thinking to do!
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Old May 29th 2019, 2:16 am
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Originally Posted by Bud the Wiser View Post
….. Also whilst staying in the caravan, one night we had an almighty storm. If the thing wasn’t anchored down with chains it would have been off over the cliff. It creaked, it rattled, it swayed in all directions and all I kept thinking was, I lived through half a dozen hurricanes and I’m going to meet my demise due to typical blustery British winters night. …..
After 23 years in the States you should have known that "trailers" are magnets for damagingly severe windy weather!
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Old May 30th 2019, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Originally Posted by Bud the Wiser View Post
...... with apologies to Bill Bryson.


Well here I am, just over three months into living in our new home here on the Isle of Wight. Not been out and about as much as we liked, mainly because we’ve been busy redecorating and furnishing our new home. We’re almost there now, just a few bits of personalization and we can settle into island life.

Before buying a home we stayed in a caravan for eight weeks whilst we looked at properties in our chosen area. Living in such a confined area made us think again about downsizing. I’m sure in time, we could have adapted to smaller accommodation than we had in the USA, but in our search for a property, so many houses felt claustrophobic. Psychological, I know.

Whilst staying at the caravan we registered with the doctor in the town where we were going to live. This was about a 25 minute drive from the caravan site. Arriving back at the caravan we received a phone call from the doctors surgery informing us that it was okay to register there and live so far away from the surgery, but the doctor would not be able to do home visits. HOME VISITS!, I thought they died out with DR Finaly’s casebook.

Also whilst staying in the caravan, one night we had an almighty storm. If the thing wasn’t anchored down with chains it would have been off over the cliff. It creaked, it rattled, it swayed in all directions and all I kept thinking was, I lived through half a dozen hurricanes and I’m going to meet my demise due to typical blustery British winters night.

Some quirky Island moments.

If the postman has a parcel or something that can’t fit in the mail box and your front doors not locked he just opens the door and leaves it in the hallway.

The newsagents sells individual paperclips.

The local hardware store is an Alladin’s cave of one of everything. ( I’m so tempted to ask four candles. )

Dogs are welcome just about everywhere.

Still early days, but so far all is going well. No real negatives. Proving who you are and where you live seems more difficult than it should be and I find a certain kind of irony in receiving a letter addressed to my address asking for proof of my address. Still can’t figure that one out.

Parking spaces take a bit of getting used to. I can get in the parking space ok, I just can’t get out of the car. I end up doing a vertical limbo dance whist squeezing my self with the car door in order to avoid hitting the car parked next to me. Time to diet.
Nice update.

You can wave to the Little Lion just across the water at Portsmouth Uni. In fact he was around Ventnor just a couple of months ago on an engineering field trip, looking at soils and whatnot. I used to know someone who lived in Freshwater at the time. I like the island although I think it must be tough for young people growing up there.
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Old May 31st 2019, 1:11 am
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Default Re: Notes from an even smaller island

Originally Posted by Bud the Wiser View Post
...... with apologies to Bill Bryson.
Think you need to apologise to Neil Humphreys too.
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