We took our bikes out to Puckpool Park this morning. It was great to be back after 5 months of winter. We were dismayed to find that a huge sinkhole had appeared during lockdown along the seafront, just by the cafe where we usually like to stop for a bite to eat. The cafe was temporarily out of business, as heavy machinery had been put in place to fill in the rather substantial hole in the ground and a large section of the esplanade was closed to the public. Imagine cycling along minding your own business and then disappearing down a sinkhole – in theory it could have happened if we had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Anyway, there was a diversion set up, which went up a steep hill and around the car park at the back of the cafe. I found it was much easier to cycle uphill on my new bike, or was it that I’d become fitter after doing so much cycling during lockdown? Whatever, it was quite a pleasant discovery. There aren’t many steep hills in Suffolk, but you certainly get your share over here on the Isle of Wight. It was the first time I’d had to use 1:1 gear.

Sam is jet-washing the van at the moment, and so I have a chance to catch up before we go out walking. The holiday site has been very well maintained during lockdown. The maintenance team have put in new fences, and some new pitches for more caravans and lodges. Old caravans have disappeared, and the new management seems to have made a big difference. The clubhouse is still closed due to the Rona (thanks, Rona), but the Harbour Bar is open for anybody who wants to sit outside. The swimming pool is open, but swimmers have to arrive in their costumes and get changed in their vans as the changing rooms are closed.

All the caravan owners along our row have arrived; all of us had been eager to find out if there had been any damage over the winter. One poor sod at the end of the row has a mouldy van and a rather large gas bill due to person or persons unknown leaving the hot water running in the draining up process and subsequent steam filling up the caravan for days on end. Thankfully Sam drains our van down, and we suffered no winter damage. We left the thermostat on its frost setting, and had a gas bill for just £30. Another neighbour had set his thermostat on 12 degrees and had a gas bill for £200, but as he has a new Jag the £200 is probably just pocket money…

It’s a tad chilly mornings and evenings, but the sun is shining at the moment and during the day it’s quite summer-like. I’m pleased to be here at last and don’t really care if it rains, but at the moment the sunshine is a big bonus.

Speak again soon. x