Portsmouth: Why I love living here | Rick Jackson

I still feel a bit sad about no longer being a caulkhead as I have now been an ‘ovener’ for the majority of my life.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 12:41 pm
WELCOMING: The bright lights of Portsmouth. Picture: Louis Stacey

Many people ask what life was like growing up in the Isle of Wight.

I say it was wonderful: summer days on the beaches, winter walks over the downs as well as the tranquility of that season. And then there was always the buzz of the summer holidays.

I’m also asked the question, would I like to move back?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The answer is no.

Catching the 4am ferry every morning is not my idea of a reasonable commute.

There was nothing worse than getting to the hovercraft or catamaran and being told it was cancelled because of rough weather.

Er, actually, there is – getting on the last sailing before it’s cancelled and being told ‘it’s touch and go’!

I do get to see the Isle of Wight every morning on my drive to and from work.

It’s a lovely feeling, but I also remember that feeling of looking longingly across the Solent at the bright lights of Portsmouth when I was growing up.

You see, life can be rather dull on the island, especially at this time of year. By 5.30pm it’s dead. Everyone is at home having their tea.

I remember how I loved the hustle and bustle of Portsmouth when we would come over for the day and how, when getting off the ferry back on the island, it seemed so quiet and desolate.

There is simply nowhere like Albert Road, Guildhall Walk or Gunwharf Quays on the island.

Also, you can’t Just Eat or Deliveroo on the island and how could I live somewhere where there is no Primark or Burger King?!

No, I love living on the mainland and love visiting the island.

But just as I like getting off the ferry, I always enjoy the trip home watching the bright lights of the city get closer and brighter.

I’m proud and fortunate to have grown up in the Isle of Wight (which made me a caulkhead), but I’m loving life now ‘ovener’ the mainland.

Nowadays this rather bigger island is my home.

Coming to ITV2: Have Your Cake And Eat It with Meghan

I’m not surprised at the bother the royal family finds itself in. What I am surprised about is the short time it’s taken for Meghan to throw her toys out.

I knew she wouldn’t be able to leave her old life behind to become a front line royal, shaking hands and opening hospital wings. But she and Harry are only human and we wouldn’t want them to spend the rest of their lives unhappy would we?

To be financially independent I’ve heard Meghan wants them to do a hybrid ‘best of US and British’ TV show, a mixture of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Great British Bake Off. ITV2 are interested in the show called Have Your Cake And Eat It.

It’s out with the old and in with the even older this year

My poor wife only has one day off from work and the kids and that is a Monday. If it were me, I’d spend the day in my pants watching Sky Sports News until the school run, but not her.

She’s upstairs beavering away, re-jigging the kids’ bedrooms. She’s decluttering, putting loads of old toys on ‘Facebay’ which is great as we are drowning under Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol figurines. The doorbell is constantly ringing as people pick up yet more items.

But just as the last item goes, someone else turns up with a small vanity table and chair for Holly’s room, more Hot Wheels stuff for Freddie’s and more DVDs. In our house, it’s out with the old and in with the old!