Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Time For a Change


Does anyone have a time travel machine about them? I though not - you never seem to see them on eBay so they’re obviously incredibly rare. You see, the thing is, I seem to have managed it all on my own. Time travel, that is. It’s called ‘Going on holiday to the Isle of Wight’.

For those of you resident outside the UK, The Isle of Wight is a small chalky island of about 150 square miles located off the south coast of Britain and when you arrive there by ferry from the mainland, it’s suddenly about 1957. For the duration of your visit, the sky remains azure blue with those unfeasibly fluffy white clouds you only see in books and it never rains. And you wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were muffins for tea.

Not only that but everything is like you remember it from your childhood (if you’re old enough). Farmland – there is no industry - is divided into small fallow fields with proper ragged hedgerows and water troughs and odd trees where they ought not to be i.e. in the middle of the field. Tractors with hay-balers produce old-fashioned brick like straw bales that build into haystacks and livestock mooches around out of doors – whatever next? It’s a bit like stepping into an infant school Janet and John book.

‘Look, John! Look!’

There are no major multi-lane highways to drive along, only narrow, hedge-lined roads that wind and twist between hedgerows and snake through picture postcard villages. There’s hardly any traffic even in the rush hours. There’s even a steam train that runs between Wootton and Smallbrook Junction.

If you want some retail therapy the High Streets contain few multiple stores, only independent businesses with unfamiliar names and disconcertingly welcoming staff. In fact there are names on signs that I thought had vanished decades ago, like Regent petrol and Lloyds chemists. Unfortunately, due to some malfunction with my time machine all prices seem to be set at 2007 levels.

The whole experience is very disorientating, so about a week is generally enough otherwise you tend to get sucked into a way of life that is only a distant memory to most people. But don’t worry, on the return journey you can get back to 2007 and feel much more at home stuttering along on gridlocked motorways that cut a swathe through huge barren fields and identikit towns…in the rain.

It’s good to be back.

2 comments:

sue lacey said...

I have read every one of these and really enjoyed them. It does beg the question though....when did you last go to a live gig? If it is your passion surely you should be out there sweatin' it like a good 'un with your warm pint whilst mainlining your latest fix?
Love the picture - wish I could just get a closer look!

musicobsessive said...

Hi Sue
If I revealed that it would see my carefully constructed rock critic facade crumble to dust. After all, how many professional reviewers actually go to the gig? I'll just say that I don't miss the warm beer, tinnitus, restricted view and wallet busting ticket prices. Telly has a lot to answer for.