Just returned from a blissful, broadband-free break on the Isle of Wight with my best friend, Ms Handbag. The primary reason for our visit was the festival - definite highlights were The Zutons, James and The Police; the less said about Iggy Pop and the Sex Pistols, the better. Overall it was great fun, but Ms H and I are clearly getting a bit crabby in our old age because, boy, did we find plenty to complain about.
The festival itself has got a bit big for its boots. What started out as a fairly small, cool homage to the 70s has inevitably sold out. there were some 80,000 people there this year, meaning that even the simplest trip to the fetid portaloos took at least 30 minutes. At one point we queued for over an hour to get drinks and were quaintly horrified by the amount of rubbish strewn as far as the eye could see. I'm sure this sort of thing didn't used to bother me.
One of our friends who was camping had £200 lifted from the pocket of his jeans as he slept, which is definitely not in the spirit of things. We couldn't even be too smug about our hotel accommodation as on the first night we ended up on the nightbus from hell. It took 90 minutes to go 10 miles up the road, looping interminably around a deceptively small town called Sandown. I honestly don't know how the driver managed to make a short journey so long without driving into the sea. The entire island is only 71 miles (metric folk, go figure) in circumference.
Anyway being the shamelessly fairweather festival goers that we are, Ms H and I had gorgeous rooms in a lovely little B&B on the clifftops of Shanklin, where I inexplicably managed to blow £210 in 20 minutes in the town's one and only decent clothing boutique (oops). We had cooked breakfasts every morning, then retired to the poolside for a couple of hours sunbathing and general hangover recovery time before inevitably heading off and beginning all over again.
On our last night (we stayed on after the festival had ended), even we couldn't face any more alcohol so we stayed vino-free in a lovely old country pub, then returned to the hotel bar to drink decaf coffee and play cards. Good clean family fun, for a change.
We really are getting old.