I don’t think I ever would have visited if my grandparents hadn’t moved there 8 years ago, but now it’s become a place I know quite well. During my most recent Christmas visit I took my two James’ as a sort of comfort blanket. I’m very, very lucky to have such wonderful friends. I get on well with both my parents, but there are some members of my American family who genuinely trouble me! I knew the Christmas visit would see me arguing about something at some point and I needed my two knights in shining armour to act as my own suit of armour.
Family aside, it was a really lovely few days spent in the Isle Of Wight. I took very few pictures apart from this bracing walk in Quarr Abbey, a peaceful (still operative) monastery in the north of the Isle. We wandered through the ruins of the original monastery, exploring and adventuring through original doorways and under broken arches; now display cabinets for mossy boulders and occasional skulls. It was nice to have some time just the three of us, away from my problematic family. We spent most of our time in the big shared family house playing chess and watching films or at my grandparents place; playing the piano, listening to my Granddad talk about Vietnam and Kenya and celebrating his 90th birthday with a huge elephant-shaped cake.