the isle of wight tourism blog (?) part 1

So seeing as when we woke up this morning it seemed quite nice me and Debbie stuck to our plan and decided to make a day of it as we headed of to Carisbrooke Castle and then Osbourne House. Now me personally i love the history of these places and i know that Debbie loves it too although she isn’t too keen on all the walking both entail. So we made a deal that i would go along the top of Carisbrooke Castle whilst she sat in the sun. Now as much as i love visiting these places i still object to paying £7.70 for Carisbrooke Castle and £13.80 for Osbourne House. In fact the only saving grace is that i don’t have to. One of the perks of working for Royal Mail.!!!  God i love my job. However as much as i love these places the price is offensive. For a family i can quite understand why people wouldn’t go to and visit. When you walk in to pay  the staff  push people into joining the english heritage  and at £48 a year it’s definitely worth that money much more than the money they charge singularly. I for one don’t understand the logic of charging so much, surely the more people that visit the better, surely if you get three people in at £5 a time thats better than one person in at £13.80?, word of mouth at a cheap place out would spread and more would visit?, maybe i’m wrong and thats why i’m not a business man. I’m not sure if this is just an island thing but seeing as its english heritage owned i’m thinking it’s the same nation wide. However the island is guilty of overcharging for places and attractions, in fact i have visited these attractions every year since 2011 and this is only because it’s free. Before Royal Mail brought this perk in i had only been once since moving over to Carisbrooke Caste and hadn’t visited Osbourne House at all.  Anyone who has either visited the island or wanted to knows that before you even step foot on the island it has cost you the best part of £100 due to the ridiculous prices that the ferry companies are allowed to charge, however this problem isn’t limited to the ferries, my main gripe with island attractions is that not only are they overpriced they aren’t also particularly  worth a second visit. Alum Bay, The needles, Blackgang Chine, Robin Hill and the Isle Of Wight Zoo are all also in this bracket (please note this is only my own personal opinion). Maybe i was spoilt growing up in London where places would take you all day to look around and every time you went would be different. I love going back to London Zoo and the Natural History Museum for instance. However i’m digressing from the point (sorry)
So the first of today’s visits was Carisbrooke Castle. This place i have visited lots of time, in the 80’s with my family, the 90’s with my school and since i’ve moved here as previously stated and yes ok it’s something that hasn’t changed much if at all over the decades (sound old) there’s something about it that attracts me to here. Obviously the history of the place is amazing and when you read into what has gone in over the years it’s a pretty awesome day out. Well i say day i probably should say couple of hours. Debbie sat down whilst i went walking along the top of it as the paths and staircases are quite steep, one set takes your breath away. Hopefully these photos will give you an idea of it’s beauty both inside the castle and the views from the top P1320564 P1320569 P1320570 P1320575 P1320581 P1320584 P1320603 P1320610 P1320616 P1320626 P1320632 P1320642 P1320650 P1320679 P1320680 P1320693 P1320736 P1320758
From Carisbrooke and after eating lunch in the car (romantic eh?) we drove to Osbourne House. One of the things i love about here is the garden and flowers, however due to the inclimate weather when we visited the walled garden there was nothing in bloom except a couple of daffodills and tulips most disappointing. We caught the courtesy bus down to Swiss Cottage and had a nose around, from there we walked down to the private beach that Queen Victoria loved so much, funny to think that i may have walked in the footsteps of royalty. We only go around the grounds here as looking around the house is a bit much with all the stair cases and all that and i get the arse as i’m not allowed to take photos!!. Again the issue of overcharging reared it’s ugly head, we were going to buy tea and cake from the cafe inside the grounds and was amazed at the cost of £6.35 for one cup of tea!!. Honestly what do they think we are made of money. Luckily when we left we went into the english heritage cafe and got a cuppa for the more respectable price of £3.30 and cake £3.25 (victoria sponge) which was delicious mmmm me love the cake.P1320771 P1320785 P1320790 P1320792 P1320796 P1320805 P1320841 P1320852 P1320855 P1320856 P1320860 P1320863 P1320864 P1320868 P1320874 P1320878
I was trying out a setting on my camera that i found which i think has worked out quite well.
So there you have it, it was a lovely day out for me and hopefully Debbie enjoyed it too. Was good practise for the cruise me thinks. If it’s nice next weekend we might go to other attractions. If we have a spare half hour we might do the zoo
 

my week in general

After my rant on Sunday about how my stammer is this week has been . . . . . .. well surprise surprise more of the same. i’m still doing exactly the same as before and i just cannot get out the habit of doing it. My head is telling me to stop and start again my mouth is just ignoring it, however as in previous blogs i’m not too bothered about it. I am determined not to let it get me down and just focus on the positives and the steps i have taken to get here. My asthma is very much controlled now so i can’t use that as an excuse it’s just simply one of those things i just have to accept. I honestly didn’t expect to conquer my stammer and i will take the progress i am making. Small steps is a phrase i use in a lot of my blog but it does really sum how i feel perfectly. I’m 34 not 13 and am not going to pick things up straight away and boom perfection. Debbie will tell you i am very much set in my ways and i fear change but i will make it (eventually). As long as i am still putting myself in difficult situations and facing them i will be happy to continue as i am. I am hoping that now the warmer weather should be heading our way my asthma will start to ease also, the cold mornings plays havoc with my breathing especially as i cycle to work, hopefully things will improve, i am in the middle of doing a peak flow chart for the asthma clinic to assess and again once I’ve completed three weeks of it we shall see what happens.

This week we have taken the opportunity with the lighter evenings to get out for longer with Charlie, his favourite place is definitely the beach, he absolutely loves it, i’ve got a couple of photos of the beach in Sandown but it was a bitterly cold afternoon and my hands were freezing and i didn’t want to hang around too long as the wind coming of the sea was going straight though me and also we have gone down to the bird hut in alverstone, hopefully weather permitting i’ll be going to Osbourne House and Carisbrooke Castle this weekend

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Stammer rut

So for today’s post it’s back to the origins of why I started writing this in the first place my STAMMER. For about 6 weeks now I have been very lax with my speech and to be perfectly honest I don’t know quite how to get out of this rut I am in. The problem for me is that I’m happy with where my speech is, it’s far from perfect and I am much less fluent than I was when I first started my blog but because I don’t feel frustration anymore does this mean I’m not bothered? Should I continue with my techniques when I am content with how things are going?
It’s a strange situation for me and to be honest it has me stumped, I DO want to be more fluent especially with the cruise coming up so soon but I don’t want to push things either. Although I have done two things this week that I haven’t done since I started my blog. I made a joke about my stammer and also stopped talking altogether. I did notice that I did it though and it did annoy me that I did it maybe I’m more frustrated than I realised.
I’ve still not got round to try the tai chi that I wanted to do, I just can’t motivate myself to do it at the moment. I’ve spoken in the past about my complacency and again it’s still there I can’t shift it, don’t know how to get rid of it either !!
Been a strange few weeks all things considered

Tattoo’s and me and how i became known as INKWELL

As well as music and photography another major passion of mine is tattoo’s. Growing up i never really took much interest in things like this until i was probably 18 i never even considered getting one. As a kid i hated art lessons at school. My art teachers were never complimentary on anything that i did in lessons and fair enough i wasn’t particularly ‘arty’ in anyway but still there was no encouragement to try and expand my knowledge. Once i started working and playing men’s football i noticed tattoos and probably listening and watching rock music i began noticing more and more tattoos, however i didn’t think i would get one. When i was 19 i decided to take the plunge and get one, i knew what i wanted (Chinese writing) and knew that there was a tattooist in Walthamstow  so i caught the bus and headed down there. I spent 20 minutes looking for the shop!!! couldn’t find it, couldn’t find a phone number for it so thought ok that’s a sign that i’m not supposed to get one and headed home. I think i left it about 18 months and eventually in early 2000 i heard that a new shop had opened in Gants Hill called Steel Beauty and i booked it. Back then i never really knew what i wanted so i used to just go into the shop have a look at there books and picked one. At the time i liked the Tazmanian devil character so that was the inspiration for my first tattoo Taz Devil

Unfortunately this hasnt aged well over the years!!. Also a few weeks after doing this the bloke who had done it was sacked for bad workmanship!!. Once i had one i was told that they were addictive and they were right over the course of the next twelve months i had four more donedragonBulldogarsenalTiger

The tiger and arsenal badge i had done on the 25 of May 2001. I know this because this was the day that changed my life. It was when i first made contact with Debbie

I didn’t have anymore tattoos done until the summer of 2003 when we were honeymooning in Somerset. We were staying at pointins in brean sands (which holds great memories for me as a boy and an adult) and whilst looking round the shops in Weston Super Mare we found a tattooists i think called Pumpkin Studios and i had two more done that week. Again i never really planned anything so just picked the two from the shop that i liked the look of taz devil boxingshark

For a birthday present from Debbie i had these down in ryde in 2004  pantherdragon

Then in 2005 i was working in ryde and went into the studio there and found this celtic cross

In 2007  after i had been working for royal mail for 6 months i went back to ryde and had these two starsdragon

In 2007 i had these done from a friend i worked with davetribal

Then in 2008 a new tattooists were opening a shop on my round in Shanklin, this was fatal for me!!. When i first walked into the shop the atmosphere was fantastic. The people working there were friendly, helpful and encouraged you to design your own ideas rather than just looking through the books. They took the time to listen to what you wanted and discuss any issues with you unlike previous shops i had used who just worked in complete silence.

So ladies and gentlemen i give you the RAVENSKIN collection from 2008 to the present and in no particular order. please just admire the beauty of their work shrekwish you never met me lyricspuss in bootsravenskin logoshinedown logopapa roach albumnative american bearthe used logodave the minionleave out all the rest lyricsmr bumpsmurfetteforever lyricsflowersnuffypenfoldcount duckuladaffy duckkoihomer rockstwinhomerkurt cobaincannonnemomushroommr potato headmickey mouseinspector clueseaugypsygrumpygingycookie monstercharlie doodlecartoon mecartoon collageby the wayalien

As you can see some quite brilliant tattoo’s there. My inspiration has been music and cartoon characters mostly. Debbie has been really good with my addiction in fact she sometimes picks out my designs so technically it’s her fault!!. I will stop at some point as i’m running out of room and i dont want them to merge into one.

The reason they call me INKWELL?, that was from Nick at Ravenskin because i take it so well. I must be lucky in that i always seem to take whatever colour and whatever pain is put my way

If someone would have told me when i was 16 that in twenty years time you will have over 50 tattoos i would have laughed at them. I am fiercely proud of all of my tattoos and i don’t regret any of them. To me they are personal choice fair enough not to everyone’s taste but it sums me up perfectly. To the people who say when you’re older you’ll regret havin them done. Why would i? they were never forced onto me, they may look bad in 40 years time but quite frankly so will i

Shameless plug time now. If you are living on or plan to visit the isle of wight i would whole heartedly recommend going to see NICK, JOSH or JETHRO at Ravenskin Shanklin trust me you won’t regret it tell them INKWELL sent you!!!!

the beautiful isle of wight

Some of my favourite photos are not from far afield but from the beautiful isle of wight. I moved here in 2001 but had previously visited when i was younger with my family in about 1984 and with my school in 1990. Had someone would have told me then that i would be living here i would have laughed but 12 years on i have never been happier. The island whilst admittedly is very boring for the youngsters who live here and can’t wait to leave, us who have moved from the mainland find it a haven. From growing up in East London and Essex this is a totally different world. When i moved over it took me about six months to get used to people talking to you and asking how you were!!

My memories of holidaying in 1984 are quite vague really, i think we stayed in ventnor. I remember mum couldn’t drive up the big hill from the beachfront to the bed and breakfast. I do remember visiting the zoo in sandown, carisbrooke castle and playing on the beach but not much else!!

Me and Garry enjoying the view (?)

Me and Garry enjoying the view (?)

This is one of only a couple of photos i have from this trip. Strangely enough carisbrooke castle still looks the same unlike me or Garry. I do have fond memories of this holiday as i think it was one of our first and i seem to recall enjoying it.

When we went with the school in 1990 it was all a bit rushed, we didnt find out we were going until a few days before. We stayed in Little Canada holiday camp in Wootton Bridge, Ryde. I remember we were in the last chalet which was opposite where the ferries came in and we always heard them coming in first thing in the mornings.  We did the usual school trip things again, carisbrooke castle, osbourne house, alum bay and again had a great time (sorry no photos)

It wasnt until i met Deb in 2001 that i ever considered going back to the island though. Things happened so fast between us that we really didn’t have time to pre think things it just came together so naturally that it just happened.  I have never regretted moving here, everytime we go out something about the island takes my breath away. Parts of it are so beautiful which is why i take thousands of photos. I’ve got a few photos to show i hope i can do the island justice.

The iconic lighthouse and needles

The iconic lighthouse and needles

Me doing my best king kong   
Me doing my best king kong

Luccombe beach

Luccombe beach

ventnor downs looking at sandown bay

ventnor downs looking at sandown bay

ryde beach looking towards portsmouth

ryde beach looking towards portsmouth

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St Catherine's Oratory or the pepperpot as its known locally

St Catherine’s Oratory or the pepperpot as its known locally

st catherine's lighthouse

st catherine’s lighthouse

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rainbow ryde seafront

rainbow ryde seafront

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me and charlie doodle

me and charlie doodle

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bembridge windmill

bembridge windmill

Unfortunately i have no recent photos of carisbrooke castle or osbourne house (i can feel a field trip coming on). Well thats my beautiful isle of wight. It may be boring to some, it might be olddy worldy to some but to me it’s magic

some favourite photos

have been very encouraged by the feedback I’ve received from my photos that i have put on and so I’ve decided to put some more from the past on here. Have chosen some from holidays in Tunisia, Bruges and the island. Mainly scenic ones and a few sunset ones ( off course)!! Might seem a bit self indulgent but i’m happy to share as long as people are willing to look at them!! As per normal hope you enjoy.

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