We knew we had a fairly hectic summer of garden openings so we thought a short holiday in early August, joining up with the large Lloyd clan in the Isle of Wight, would be a nice break and relive, for me, many happy childhood holidays. Rosie, being a loyal soul, although not too keen on the prospect of endless games of beach cricket, went along with the plan thinking that Osborne House, the Garlic Farm, Ventnor's Botanical Gardens and exploring the island might provide some relief. So off to Seaview we went. As I remembered, it looked like this:
It still does, sort of. Except that instead of a few yachting types coming to enjoy a week or two’s sailing there’s been a mass invasion of tourists bringing their cars (especially chelsea tractors), motor boats, jet skis and surf boards along with an inevitable lowering of standards of behaviour. And if this sounds like the moanings of an old(er) man, well, I’m afraid it is.
Still, there were compensations: beach cricket was fun, Osborne was interesting, the countryside was lovely, the dogs discovered the sea, we found a wonderful nursery (Eddington House), the Solent was endlessly fascinating, the garlic farm lived up to expectations and the weather was great.
Nonetheless, where once a holiday on the island in August was a pleasure it’s convinced me that it’s best now to go out of season.
For amongst other reasons August is the month when home grown vegetables are at their most prolific and pot plants need a good drink every day. And even if you find someone kind enough to do the watering and pick the veggies there’s no guarantee that they’ll remember to do it. So my answer to it all is stay at home, pretend you’re on holiday, over-indulge on the food and booze, put your feet up, read a good book and let the weeds grow. It’s cheaper, you’re helping to save the planet and you’re not having to mix with the riffraff. Above all, you can keep your memories intact.