Any islander needing an independent tradesman on a beautiful day comes up against a strange phenomenon – the great sunshine migration.
This happens on those perfect summer days when the bumblebees are buzzing gently amongst the flowers, Hursts have run out of picnic baskets and there is hardly a decent large towel left in Marks and Sparks.
A balmy breeze comforts your brow and the sunshine calls you to pleasure. You leave the leaking tap, the strange lack of power in the upper bedrooms and the faint whiff of something strange from the cellar. No choice really as all mobiles are strangely dead. Must be a network disaster you don’t know about? Mysterious, mysterious.
Amongst the mouldy gym socks, the bra you lost last year and the strange decoration the cat has left in your cupboard, you find last years’ cozzie. You hold it up against your body in horror – the mirror shows the evidence of too many hamburgers bulging around the edges of your formerly drop-dead bikini.
Off to the local shops. A brief visit to the hole in the wall leaves you somewhat depressed. Your bank is not pleased with you. You change direction and end up at at Tesco. Hmmmmm- not bad. The peachy two piece makes you look like a hot dog but there is a simple, elegant ( getting to that age now, sob) blue one piece that emphasises just the better bits.
By the time you have finished getting the weeks groceries (since you were there anyway), filled up the car with petrol and spent two hours wandering around BusyBees ( since you were there anyway), the day is well advanced, your bank dislikes you and your torpor is cooked to just the right tenderness.
Off to the blessed beach after a short stop to pop the cold foodstuffs away in your home freezer, minus an ice cream of two while they are within hands reach. Nothing quite like the local Minghella brand on a hot summers day. Thick, creamy, ice cold and delicious.
You drive to your favourite esplanade spot in Ryde and you can’t find parking – all the spots are taken by vans bearing the names of local tradesmen.
Now you know where Pete the plumber, Ralphy the electrical all-fixit and the pesticide man are and you know why nothing gets done on a day like today
The great island mystery has been solved and for once it is not actually the networks fault. The only Isle of Wight denizens not on the beach, or on their way to it, are either in St Mary’s, bless them, or selling stuff to people headed for the cool, cool briny.
Viva the sun hat, viva!
Don’t phone me. I’m having network trouble….
Photo courtesy of Iconoclash Photography