Tuesday, 14 August 2012

When The Going Gets Tough, The Writer Gets Going.

Going on a writing retreat, that is. As I've blogged about this in my Chris Power website, I won't repeat everything I wrote there.

Visiting the Isle of Wight has been on my list of Places To Visit for years, and the final push was knowing that two writer-friends had written stories set on the island: Sue Brown's The Isle of... Where? and JL Merrow's Wight Mischief. I've now read both stories, and I thoroughly recommend them *g*.

It was overcast when I left Portsmouth Harbour, and some of the photos I took through the windows of the catamaran-ferry make it seem even more gloomy.

I rather like this very atmospheric image of the sail training tall ship moored not far from HMS Warrior in Portsmouth's Dockyard. 

I enhanced the photo a little, and now the details show *g*.Unfortunately, so do the reflections from the window! No idea of the ship's name...

The Spinnaker Tower is beautiful, especially against a dramatic sky.

It hasn't been slogging over a keyboard all the time. I did manage a wander along North Beach to give my feet their first - and probably last - dose of sea water this year, and explored Ryde itself.

Ryde is a small, oldfashioned town, with the kind of shops that have long departed the High Streets of most UK towns and cities. There are fascinating glimpses down side streets as well. This is my favorite - straight down to the sea.

JD Wetherspoons have a pub on Union Street, also with free WiFi, so if I wasn’t writing in my room, I was there, beavering away.

As you can tell from the photos, the weather on the island was perfect. Once I was back in Portsmouth, it started to head towards overcast again. With nearly an hour to wait for my train home, I took the chance to take some photos of HMS Warrior while the sun was still cooperating.

She was built in 1860, the Royal Navy’s first iron-clad warship, and is now part of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards complex.

Her figurehead is rather fine as well.

There’s more information on the Historic Dockyards – home of HMS Warrior as well as Nelson’s HMS Vistory and Henry the Eighth’s Mary Rose, HERE. One day I’ll treat myself to a visit to the Dockyards. I haven’t been there since I was a child.

So all told, I had a damned good – and productive – time, and I'll be going back to Ryde in the not too distant future.

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