Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Ryde - Isle of Wight

Christmas day had passed and I was glad it was over.  Once again I had been living the solitary life and I had no inclination to indulge in the gathering that is your traditional Christmas experience.  For me these were days of long walks along muddy paths.  It rained almost continuously and I almost became concerned the caravan might float away.

My mind was at a low ebb and to shake myself out of it I decided to do something nomads like to do.  I decided on a trip.  It would be Ryde on the Isle of Wight.  I would take the van and so get an experience of taking the van on a ferry.  I wanted to do this in preparation for a future camping trip on the European continent.

I booked a decent enough hotel and also booked the ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight. Docking the old van into the vessel was fairly easy.  It was a bit of a squeeze but thankfully no vehicles either side of the van were scratched.

Ryde is a seaside town with a population of 30000.  It has some impressive beaches but you wouldn't be using any sun block this time of the year.  The sands are expansive and so at low tide a long pier is required to shuttle passengers over the beach.  The pier is the fourth longest in the UK.

After checking in at the hotel I took a wander around the town and snapped a few pics.

I was happy to find Pete Goss's book Close to the Wind in the book shop shown above.  

The wind blew with vigour and the air was wet with drizzle, but I did enjoy this stroll around the seaside resort town.  I was happy to be in a new environment and I could feel the frame of my being strengthening with each step and with each mile.  It is a wonderful thing for us nomads, simply to explore new towns and new villages.

I had arranged to meet a lady I had made contact with on an internet dating site.  I held a sceptical view about these dating sites, but I joined one at the prompting of my sister.  I had accepted being single as something permanent - given the nature of my life there was significant rationale behind this acceptance.

I met the lady at a coffee shop and purchased the drinks.  We sat down and chatted while sipping the coffee.  I let her know almost straight away about my strange life, living in a caravan mixed with various stretches of camper van dwelling.  There is significant prejudice around this way of life so it made sense to be upfront about it.  To my surprise she didn't flinch at the news and actually described it as "cool".  A strange term I thought for this odd way of living but I guess I wouldn't enjoy it if there was not something slightly chic about it.

After chatting with the lady a while it occurred to me that she was both attractive and intelligent and the conversation was rather interesting.  After the coffee we took a stroll around the town - so for me this was a second acquaintance with Ryde.  It was a pleasurable afternoon and we agreed to meet up in the evening for a meal in an Italian restaurant.

After the meal and taking yet another stroll around the town with the lady - an idea came into my mind that seemed to make some sense.  I thought to myself, if two people are attracted to each other intellectually, emotionally and physically then this must be a decent enough formula to a romance.  And so to my surprise this rather random meeting did indeed resolve itself into a romance which extended across the entire weekend.

The next day the lady took me in her car on a tour around the entire island.  We stopped at a couple of locations for coffee and some snacks and it was a very pleasurable day.  I was particularly impressed by a natural collection of protruding rocks known as the Needles.

Both a theme park and a restaurant were located here.  The rides in the park were closed but the tannoy fair ground tape was still playing.  So it felt odd to be prompted to take this ride or that ride when all the rides were closed.  Almost like being in a ghosted fair ground.  The restaurant was open and here we had lunch before continuing with our journey around the island.

The next day I drove the old van back to Fishbourne and boarded the ferry.  This was a pleasurable weekend.  I felt once again, my normal self returning.  It is a remarkable thing how sometimes the solution to a complex dilemma can be rather simple.  A simple trip across a stretch of sea.  A liaison with a stranger.  A stroll around a town.

Peace to All