I have loved the Isle of Wight for as long as I can remember. Family summer holidays would involve a trip to stay with our granny who lived down in Newport. As I grew up I would holiday there on my own staying with relatives and later on with Brenda and Josh. When I was a young single mother I went to live with an auntie in Ryde for a year. Living there was fab but it was not the right time for me.
Go forward 12 years and myself, Brenda and Joshua had an opportunity to move to the sunny Isle that felt too good to miss. Brenda had been offered a voluntary redundancy and I had been offered a job as a Brazilian Samba Drumming Tutor on the Island. There was a downside to the move of course, we would miss our family and friends but it wasn’t that far, was it?
Two weeks before we were due to move down we still did not have anywhere to live and were a wee tad worried. Brenda and I went down to look for somewhere in Ryde, my aunties lived in Ryde and it was a town we knew so it made sense to move there, unfortunately there was nowhere to be found in Ryde but an estate agent did have somewhere in Cowes if we wanted to look, we didn’t know Cowes but we were desperate!
We moved to Cowes on the Isle of Wight on July 31st 2004. We moved ourselves, with the help form Brenda’s sister and niece, Brenda drove a van down with her sister and Josh and I drove the car down with our niece and 3 cats.
Brenda was enjoying her redundancy with a months’ holiday, Josh had another 6 weeks school holiday and I had a couple of months before starting work so we set about discovering the wonders of the Island.
With a population of approx 10,000, Cowes is very much a sailing town, there are 6 sailing clubs including the Royal Yacht Squadron. The week after we moved down was Cowes Week which is a world famous event in the sailing calendar. A fab event that became a firm favourite. The town comes alive with around 8,000 competitors and 70,000 spectators, creating a festival feel to the whole town.
We also discovered a lot of beaches, fab swimming spots, cream teas, garlic, sunshine and Pimms.
Life was great.
Over the years our work lives got better as Brenda moved to a job she loved, she got to travel loads and only a 5 minute commute on her bike. I was loving life as a self-employed samba tutor and with living on Carnival Island there was plenty of work. There are at least 15 carnivals every year and many more festivals and events. There was always something to do and plenty going on across the Island.
My favourite part of living on the sunny isle was life on the water, the yachts, the cruise ships, the power boats, the ferries and even the container ships. It was a few years before we actually got out on the water but when we did we joined a sailing club, joined a racing sailing team and completed our Power Boat level 2 certificates, we also did some safety boat work with the club.
It was so good to get out onto the Solent and be on the water amongst all the other boats and ships. As well as Cowes week there was also the Round the Island Race and the power boat racing which I love the most.
My second favourite thing was the Red Arrows would come down and do a show at least 4 times a year and being on a small island we got to watch them from our back garden a lot of the times.
Having friends and family visiting was always good fun, we loved showing off the sunny isle, there was always things to do and of course days on the beach.
We made lots of new friends, learned lots of new skills and loved our lives. We truly were living the dream……..why did move back to Scotland?!
We had a very sad time when Brenda’s dad Douglas died very suddenly. It was a total shock to us all. Brenda had flown up to her mum’s immediately, with me following after, and spent 2 weeks with her family. When we came back to the Island Brenda felt that she wanted to be back in Scotland near her family and we both felt that it was time to put family first.
Saying goodbyes to new friends and our sunny Isle was hard but we knew it was what we wanted to do.
Moving away to new areas can be scary but it can also be the best thing you will ever do. I will never regret moving down to the Isle of Wight and will also never regret moving back to Scotland, it is all part of life’s rich tapestry.
If you ever get the chance to visit the Isle of Wight….do it!
Here’s to living the dream…..with Pimms,