It’s a good job that for the majority of last week I was still on a high from the excellent Victorious Festival, otherwise I would have been in real danger of getting depressed.
Aside from feeling like I’d been run over by a truck for most of last Monday – caused mainly by a lot of dancing and, let’s say, an excess of joie de vivre – Victorious was an outstanding experience and I’ll definitely buy tickets for next year’s event.
But as the final notes faded into the air over Castle Field and weary revellers trudged their way to join the astonishingly long queues at the taxi rank, the city was gearing up for a pretty sombre week.
On Tuesday the final section of navy ship to be built in Portsmouth sailed out of the harbour.
It was a part of the giant Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, on board a barge taking it to Rosyth where the rest of it is being housed and where the final parts will be built.
As the barge made its slow, ponderous way out of Portsmouth Harbour, it went past the back of South Parade Pier.
As I’ve mentioned before, this is crumbling into the sea while a so-far toothless council does nothing to force its owners to fix it.
We also said goodbye to its naval base stablemate, the helicopter carrier Illustrious, decommissioned last Thursday after 32 years of carrying out operations overseas.
Lusty will remain in the UK as a lasting tribute to the three Invincible Class carriers, though where she will end up is anyone’s guess.
Hopefully she will not be left to rust like the pier.
She will eventually be replaced by HMS Queen Elizabeth and the yet-to-be completed HMS Prince of Wales, which will be the largest aircraft carriers Britain has ever built.
That’s all very nice, but the fact of the matter is that two ships can’t be in as many places as three.
And, with the final section due to arrive in Scotland yesterday, navy shipbuilding in Portsmouth has ceased after 800 proud years.
When’s the next Victorious again? I need cheering up.