Thursday, October 11, 2007

PI 4





My mother had a very close friend who owned a pretty average house at the far eastern end of Cowes. Sadly my mother's friend died at the young age mid forties from a brain aneurism just after being successfully treated for breast cancer. She was my mother's closest friend and a great person with a good sense of humour.

Mum would have rented the holiday house at least eight times for a modest rental. I have stayed there for the whole time of holiday or visited for overnight stays and I have fond memories of the house in Rose Avenue and the local beach, which was only a couple of minutes away. Being lulled to sleep by the pig like noises of mating koalas sounds implausible but they certainly never kept me awake.

R and I visited the old house and what was vacant land next to the house has been built on. The house looked sad and lonely without the laughter and squabbling of children.

From there we went on via Ventnor to The Nobbies. We stopped briefly to view the Isle of Wight Hotel. Some redevelopment next door is happening and it might mean the end of the well known pub. My grandparents had stayed there when they were younger.

I had never heard of Swan Lake but I saw a sign and followed it. It was a walk along a track from the car park and then a boardwalk to the lake. There were a couple of bird hides there to watch the wildlife. Very nicely done with information signs at regular intervals. I was puzzled by the freshly dug holes in the ground and thought they were perhaps wombat burrows but no, they were too small and all too fresh. The sign explained it. They were burrow renovating. What a long way shearwaters, or colloquially mutton birds, travel just for some warmer weather. Alaska to Australia.

As we were walking back I spied our slithery friend in front of us. R was beside me and I flung my arm out to stop him and elbowed him in the stomach, almost winding him. We stamped our feet and jumped up and down on the boardwalk and after some time, the snake slithered off the boardwalk. I ran past. R just walked. I grew up with snakes and he did not.

Onto The Nobbies.

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