"Nice to see the place come alive isn't it?" comments a local passing me on the coastal walk from Shanklin to Sandown on Saturday, and I agree. Enthusiastically.
I've never seen the Isle of Wight other than in wintry hibernation until now. Sun bleaching distant cliffs, white blossom, topaz sea trimmed with milky spume, dazzling blue sky streaked with vapour trails - it's a picture postcard from another continent and era. The long beach is vibrant with families avidly trenching and castling, picnicking and paddling, basking and wading... this is proper seaside.
I'm here for a writing session at The Grange, where we've been scribing in sunshine on the patio above the lovely gardens all morning.
A delightful group with a range of interests and masses of talent, they created poems and stories from fragments, lists, and even pebbles... In the evening all ten of us went to the Thai restaurant in Shanklin Old Town to glow contentedly from sunshine and stimulating shared readings.