Isle of Wight Blog, 2017
Mr Bullard will be updating this blog regularly (internet connection permitting!). Keep checking for updates...
Tuesday 16th May 2017:
What a fab day! We awoke to a bright sunny morning (although a few had to be woken from very deep sleep) and a good breakfast, plenty of cereal, toast, croissants and pain au chocolat. Tidying up their rooms proved to be a challenge for a few but after some pointers they scrubbed up alright. Downstairs to make our sandwiches for lunch and then ...
First thing on the agenda was a lengthy coach trip to Waitzing Waters; well it was five minutes which made Austin the driver very happy. The children, as ever, loved the show, but sadly this may be our last time at WW. The council are not renewing the lease so they are looking for a new venue. As we were the the early show we had the theatre to ourselves which was great. There was a range of music but the best response was, "I knew two that no one else did; the Jurassic Park theme and Benny Hill". How did that happen??!! Then came another 5 minute trip to the seafront at Ryde where we spent a happy hour and a half on the beach making sand sculptures and just generally doing beach stuff. We watched the hovercraft making its rapid trip across to Portsmouth and decided we wanted to visit the exclusive hotel on one of the towers in the Solent.
After our surprisingly non-sandy lunch we then walked the coast path back to the Westbrook past Appley Tower and the lovely old coastguard cottages. We spent a lovely afternoon at the centre playing football, table tennis and pool in the brand spanking new games room, outdoor chess, swimming and on the difficult low ropes course. Some children also spent time with Mrs. Imrie acrylic painting pebbles collected on the beach. After our supper we got ready for the Talent Show! It was fab! Lots of children plucked up the courage to perform in front of an audience for the first time with a range of acts including poetry, singing, dancing, gym, cheerleading, piano, guitar, ukuleles and some comedy. Well done to everyone. Our chief judge Ms Paterson was so impressed.
There are many tired bunnies tonight and I'm pleased to say they went off pretty quietly and quickly tonight. Ms Paterson has had a lovely birthday and would like to say thank you for all the kind cards and gifts. Time for bed ourselves now. Carisbroke Castle tomorrow! Night night everyone.
Monday 15th May 2017:
A cold and damp start didn't stop us from setting off on time and in very good spirits and we made good time to Southampton in time to board the Red Falcon. It was a real Combe Down affair as our driver Austin is a Combe Down old boy. Not too much queasiness on board but we did break a record with someone saying they felt unwell before we had even reached the University! On board we stayed inside as it was pretty wet and blowing a hooly on deck. Within 15 minutes of docking we were at Osborne House racing around the playground and having a bite to eat.
The house itself was as fabulous as ever and the children loved the intricate ceilings and the sheer size of the place. A brisk walk afterwards to the Swiss Cottage where the children enjoyed a bit of dressing up and playing some of the games the Royal children would have played. In the little museum they found the three strange things as well as Mugger, my favourite exhibit. you'll have to ask them who or what Mugger is! But the best thing we saw today was a red squirrel. The Isle of Wight is one of the few places in England it survives so it was a real treat to see one. The heavens then decided to open and the return trek was a little damp. However the walking must be doing us some good as we have all done over 17,000 steps today!
There were lots of whoops from the children as we arrived at the Westbrook and once the rooms had been called out the children went off to start on the annual duvet challenge. A few passed. After our first supper and a fair bit of tidying up afterwards it was off outside for free time playing football, rounders or playing in the woods. It had stopped raining by then which meant the bonfire was a challenge. However, with our Combe Down resilience and never give up attitude we got an excellent fire going much to everyone's delight for that meant marshmallows - hooray!
As I write the children are settling down to bed. Waltzing Waters, the beach, swimming, games and the Talent Show tomorrow - another busy day in prospect so let's hope we see some sun!
There was touching moment at supper when Mr. O'Neill gave me some lovely notes from the children as well as a book from Year 5 & 6 called Memories (of the IoW). I will enjoy reading those very much; thank you everyone.