The Isle of Wight is seen as an idyllic place to bring up children.
Whether you loved or hated your childhood on the Island, you were definitely #blessed with some unique experiences/tribulations.
Here’s a few, in no particular order:
1. The first time you were allowed to go shopping to Southampton with your mates Was A Massive Deal.
Finally, you’d be able to fit in with the cool kids in a Hollister branded hoody.
It’s also likely you spent all your pocket money in Primark for no good reason, and that the paper bag split before you got back to the RedJet.
2. Having friends on “the other side of the Island” was a massive inconvenience for your parents…
They probably got a bit angsty when you asked to go to a friend’s house a mere 15 minutes away.
Of course, you were left to tackle Southern Vectis as soon as you were old enough.
3. Going to Robin Hill or Blackgang Chine and returning within the week so your parents could get their money’s worth on the 7 Day Return ticket.
Not that you thought this was a problem.
4. Now, when people ask you what your first concert was, you debate whether to commit social suicide and tell the truth by answering with N-Dubz at “Ryde Arena” OR Girls Aloud at Osborne House.
Lighten up, swallow your pride, accept that you’re probably never going to go to a gig as good again.
A collab at a future festival, please? Something Kind of Naa Naa Nii.
5. At primary school, only the proper cools kids with cool families went to Festival or Bestival, resulting in extreme jealousy.
Hell, it wasn’t because people were watching Coldplay or Amy Winehouse, but because you missed the Sugababes. Or the infamous Jay Z and Kanye West collab, if you were ahead of the times.
6. Spending a large majority of your free time being forced to learn how to swim
– y’know just in case you ever felt the urge to swim across the Solent when you were planning to run away.
7. Because you could now swim, your parents felt safe letting you spend 99% of your young summers at the beach – you’d only stray from the beach if it was raining.
8. The rivalry between schools was fierce. Even at primary school.
Athletic days and football matches would bring out the competition in even the least sporty of us.
(From personal experience, girls football matches were violent.)
But it only got worse moving up to secondary school. You only need to ask ABK and Trinity students before the Christ the King merger – a bitter Protestant and Catholic feud that will never be forgotten.
9. You likely spent your whole year in intensive training for Schools’ Walk the Wight
– you felt like Paula Radcliffe when you passed the finish line at the Needles (there’s a probability you wet yourself as well), after walking a gruelling 4 miles fuelled by a tonne of sweets.
10. Branstone’s Animal Farm was lit. Though nobody cared about the baby goats, all anybody wanted was to run around in the massive play barn, which in hindsight was really dangerous.
11. Jungle Jims and Extreme Play were the best things since sliced bread.
A dark cloud hung over us the day Extreme Play closed, while the children of the Island mourned their tragic loss.
12. Whenever you moaned about the living on the Island to your parents, you were met with the quip “You’ll appreciate it when you’re older!”
Yeah, I might appreciate where I live now, but I’m not admitting that to you – mum.