I’ve just returned from a rather lovely holiday with my granddaughter. Forget the 7 hours it took to get home from the ferry terminal yesterday, I can honestly say that Caroline and I got on really well.

It all started off less than ideal; there was yet another accident on the M25, and traffic was nose-to-tail for miles after Junction 6. This meant that we arrived at the ferry terminal right on time, but the queue to get in was such that the ferry went without us. However, we boarded the next ferry 40 minutes later. Sadly, after 6 hours of travelling, Caroline looked rather queasy, and it wasn’t long after arriving at the van that she threw up. But hey, Nanny (alias Queen Sick) was on hand with a bucket and mop. It occurred to me that fortunately I hadn’t had to do this particularly onerous job for quite some time…

Monday morning we went swimming in the site’s pool, and because 9 – 10am is just for owners, we had the pool to ourselves. We spent Monday afternoon on the beach at Puckpool and enjoyed a game of Crazy Golf, lunch at my favourite cafe, and then scouting for treasures in the sand. The tide was out, and because of the heatwave we both considered it too hot to walk to the water. We sat in the shade and chatted instead.

On Tuesday we visited Tapnell Farm on the westerly part of the Island. Caroline enjoyed the go-karts, and had fun driving Nanny around the course. She loved looking at the various animals as well, but again it was super-hot and we tended to stay inside as much as we could. Later, nearly back at the site, I found the road closed because of a burst water main, causing us to have to turn the car around and go on a 10 mile detour. The day was spoiled as the taps had run dry when we eventually got back to the van, and we had to wait 4 hours for repairs to be done. I scooted around to the shop and came back with the last 4 bottles of water! The water came back on at 9pm, but the road is going to stay closed for some weeks as the burst main had caused part of the road to collapse.

I’d had the foresight to book a horse riding session for Caroline the week before, and so on Wednesday I took her down to the open-air stables on the site. After feeling slightly nervous at the sight of Arnie, a reassuringly solid cob, Caroline was all smiles and off they trotted with Lauren, one of the leaders. Then it was lunch at the Appley Manor restaurant afterwards, while Nanny’s ever-shrinking purse felt the effect of all the unprecedented spending. We spent the hottest part of the day in the van colouring, drawing and chatting, and then ventured out to the clubhouse in the evening to visit the arcades. There was also an open-air film, Sing 2, on the green outside our van that evening, which made sleep impossible and so we took our fold-up chairs and went to watch it.

Thursday was shopping and lunch in Newport, and then a visit to Cineworld to get out of the heat. I rather enjoyed ‘Elvis’, and I think Caroline did too. Strange that she had not heard many of his songs, but then again she is only 14 and Elvis had died 30 years before she was born. Many of today’s teenagers probably just don’t listen to the greatest recording artist of all time – they don’t know what they’re missing. On our last evening we sat on the decking and Caroline watched in amazement as a full Sturgeon moon rose over Bembridge Harbour.

The worst journey in the world happened yesterday as we drove back. We queued for 10 miles to get through the Dartford Tunnel, then were stuck in Birchanger Services for some time as there had been an accident outside. It took me 7 hours to drive from the ferry terminal to my son’s house, but luckily my daughter-in-law had dinner all ready and so I didn’t have to cook. When I switched on the 10 o’clock News I found out that our part of the world (East Anglia) was now experiencing an official drought.

Today I got up early and went for a cycle ride before it got too hot. It’s lovely sitting under the air-conditioning while the sun blazes outside. Sam phoned from Australia, and we had a long chat. Tomorrow is Caroline’s 15th birthday and Nanny will be out again to celebrate. Not too keen on Pizza Express, but hopefully I’ll find something I can eat, lol. Monday morning it’s back to typing letters for Dermatology…