We are staying at the Keats Green Hotel. It is a lovely, olde worlde type place, presently populated by the oldies (ourselves excepted, of course). It looks like it’s always been a hotel but, apparently, it was actually built as a private residence in the 1800s by a member of Victoria and Albert’s court. It was called Blenheim. It didn’t become a hotel until somewhere between 1920 and 1933.
The loveliest thing about Keats Green Hotel is the lounge areas. There’s two of them and they face the sea. After a huge cooked breakfast, we sat and watched the rain fall outside. And it fell a lot!
Unlike the shower in our room. I realise I haven’t had cause to complain about showers for quite some time but I really can’t let this place get away. Everything else is fine. It is only let down by the shower.
Firstly I couldn’t actually get any hot water. As usual with hotel plumbing, there are no instructions. You just have to guess and, of course, there’s always a number of combinations and options to go through before the water starts warming up and the pressure is just right. Well, it didn’t warm up and the water may as well have been going upwards for all the pressure there was. A horrendous shower. I might just stay smelly for the rest of the weekend.
To our surprise, the rain actually stopped long enough for us to gather ourselves together and go for a walk along the beach front. It really was lovely and not crowded at all.
We managed to walk off the cooked breakfast and, subsequently, build up an appetite for fish and chips at the Steamer Inn, where we ended up on our return along the beach front.
Tom thinks he’s Darth Vader (or Anakin Skywalker, depending on how old he thinks he is, I suppose). He gave Mirinda a massive fright last night at their flat when he peeked out from around the door wearing his cape and mask. Mirinda’s fright then made Sophie and I jump in sympathy. He looks very convincing if somewhat tiny and not really threatening.
Because he thinks he’s Darth Vader, he carries his sword everywhere with him (as well as the costume) pretending it’s actually a light sabre. So, it was no surprise when Sophie and Tom joined us at the Steamer Inn with Tom dressed appropriately. In fact, he surprised a granny on the footpath before they turned into the pub.
After a frenetic while, Sophie managed to drag Tom off me and they went to the soft play place so he could work off some of his energy. I actually do not believe that this is possible. We retired to the hotel for a bit of a granny nap before meeting them for afternoon tea at Sophie’s favourite tea shop.
It feels very odd writing that. Sophie was a great detester of all things tea shoppish when we first met her. Actually, she was pretty much allergic to trees and any landscape without a building in it. She feared leaving zone 1 in London and, in fact, never did.
To be fair, she did go to Winchester with us once and we did drag her to Farnham eventually but the new Sophie is completely different to that strange one. She loves Shanklin and even has a small garden with trees. She wanders the cliff edge and admires other people’s gardens. It is very, very weird.
After tea and cake, we wandered up the High Street, avoiding the numerous attempts on our lives by the motorists who have no idea how wide their cars are, and made our way to Sophie’s flat. Here we remained for the rest of the day, enjoying Sophie’s hospitality and Tom’s demands for light sabre fights.
I sat and watched Tom play on his Xbox. I wasn’t allowed to touch the controller. He sat and played while I was expected to watch. I didn’t have a problem with this because his reflexes are lightning fast and he knows the Lego games backwards. I did manage to sneak a little go when he had to go to the loo but he heard the music start and yelled for me to stop.
Anyway, we all had a lovely night and stayed for ages before walking back to the Keats Green Hotel.