Not laughing when cream tea came back to greet me

You'd think a simple distribution trip to the Isle of Wight on behalf of the Kings Theatre in Southsea would be uneventful

Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 6:01 am
Ashley had a rough crossing

But this is me we’re talking about. Somehow I always manage to have some sort of mishap when I’m out and about.

I was excited to be promoting some of our forthcoming shows to island residents and it also meant I’d be going on the hovercraft for the first time.

Hovertravel is a unique service and we’re privileged to have it here in Portsmouth – it’s the only passenger hovercraft operating in Britain.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The sun was shining and there was just a gentle breeze as I climbed aboard along with a group of excited children from Twyford school, armed with their buckets and spades.

They were also experiencing their first time on a hovercraft.

It was a smooth voyage, taking a mere 10 minutes to cross the Solent.

There are many interesting places to vist on the island, but I decided there was more than enough to keep me busy in Ryde. Strangely, the very first person I struck up a conversation with had been to see a show at the Kings the previous week.

After a few hours I stopped off for a cream tea in a trendy café and found myself chatting to a rather dishy chef.

I must have made an impression, because as I left I found myself being chased down the high street by this amorous Italian, who wanted my phone number!

After a few more chats with the locals and putting up some posters around the town, it was time to depart.

Once I’d bought some interestingly-flavoured Marmite and chilli rock for my colleagues, I got back on the hovercraft.

The water was looking decidedly choppy and we were literally bouncing across the waves. Then a guy in the centre aisle suddenly shouted ‘wow, look at that!’ just as we hit an enormous wave.

I turned – and whacked my head on the window. Feeling rather stupid, I smiled then laughed. Then everyone else laughed as well. I had to admit it was funny.

But I certainly wasn’t laughing when we reached the mainland and my cream tea came back to greet me...


It’s now nine days since the horrific shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and I’m still reeling from this awful tragedy.

My heart aches for those families who have lost loved ones and for those innocent people who were just enjoying a night out with friends when they were killed in the worst mass shooting in American history.

But I believe that guns don’t kill people – people kill people.

The FBI apparently knew the gunman had been on terrorist watch lists and was known for being a violent person filled with hate.

So why the hell was he still free?

At this terrible time, we must unite and combat a vile act of hate with love and compassion for one another.


When I heard the news that Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are apparently in talks to sell baby goat meat, I hoped they were just ‘kidding’.

But apparently not. If they get the go-ahead, it could be on the shelves as early as September.

Apparently the meat has a taste quite similar to lamb. But it won’t be cheap because for the first six weeks of their lives, kid goats have to be fed an expensive milk powder supplement.

As someone who is 99.9% vegetarian apart from my annual roast turkey platter at Christmas, I’m quite appalled by this news.

Animals should be frolicking in meadows with their mates, not ending up on someone’s dinner plate before they have experienced a full life.