When the sun shines the UK really takes some beating | Rick Jackson

The need for a holiday has never been greater and the need for some warm weather never so welcomed.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 6:16 pm
LANDMARK: The Spinnaker Tower is a constant reminder of Portsmouth when you're on the Isle of Wight Picture: Shaun Roster Photography/shaunroster.com

It really does feel like everything has been on hold – the weather and our lives as we waited for restrictions to be lifted and the sun to finally shine.

The weekend before last just summed up 2021 for me as gales rattled across the south and rain fell heavily.

We already had a holiday ‘in the bag’ from last year after our first ever camping holiday. We enjoyed it so much we booked half-term week there and then.

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I am currently sitting in our tent drinking a glass of malbec in a forest somewhere between Ryde and Brading on the Isle of Wight, listening to my kids arguing about absolute nonsense. No change there then!

It really does feel like we’ve gone farther away because of that ferry trip and now going to all the superb attractions.

The only thing to remind us of home is the occasional glimpse of the Spinnaker Tower when driving over the downs.

So far the kids have met a panda, fought with dragons, climbed in the Amazon forest and been spellbound at hot air balloons as they inflate in front of their very eyes; and this is just day two!

And still to come are dinosaurs, golden sandy beaches, amusement piers, inflatable pillows, go-karts and wallabies!

We could be anywhere in the UK.

Our tent has become our little sanctuary and base for exploring, the only difference is that I know all the short-cuts and back roads from my childhood.

I do get annoyed with Sarah though as her head is down studying her phone as another beautiful landscape opens up before us.

If only we could ban mobile phones for a week.

The heat here is just right. Any hotter and you simply wouldn’t want to go anywhere. When the sun shines, the UK takes some beating.

Guaranteed sun is nice, but a good British summer for me is perfection.

As the sun sets, the heat goes and out comes the heater and we switch on the electric blanket.



Rolling in a whiteboard, scribbling figures. Using a calculator to forecast the future of coronavirus outbreaks and that Matt Hancock should have been fired up to 20 times.

Dominic Cummings’ performance at that Commons’ hearing was the best drama I’ve seen in ages, one shocking soundbite after another. Boris bashing, Hancock hanging and revelation after revelation. It was seven hours of car-crash politics.

Yet we still seem to know what we’re getting with Boris. Is ‘Bungling Boris’ anything but? Only history will decide, but if we beat Covid, the economy recovers and Brexit isn’t a disaster, Boris could sell Barnard Castle to the Germans for all we care.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


The domestic football season is over. It was weird. No fans. The season proved football is nothing without fans.

Liverpool lost 7-2 to Aston Villa. Southampton lost 9-0 - again! I’m already excited about next season. What players will Pompey bring in? How will the Cowleys get on? After Chelsea winning the Champions League, will they be title contenders next season? Will Harry Kane sign for Manchester City and who will be Tottenham’s new boss?

No doubt we will also be asking how long Ole Gunnar Solskjær can hold on to the Manchester United job. On top of all this, will England reach the final of the Euros? Football still has the power to hook me in.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.