Sleepy old Isle of Wight is now in the 21st century – Rick Jackson

This week I have officially been an ‘overner’ (someone not living on the Isle of Wight) longer than I was a ‘Caulkhead’ (an Isle of Wight native) although being born on the island, a ‘Caulkhead’ I will always be.

By Rick Jackson
Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 2:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:43 pm
Rick Jackson was born on the Isle of Wight but has made Gosport his home Picture: Sarah Standing (180830-344)

Obviously this is as big a deal as Brexit or plastic pollution, but to me, it was a big deal. A moment where I felt just a little homesick.

In January 1996 I left the golden sands of the Isle of Wight behind and moved to Bournemouth for my first radio show and six months later I was on Power FM in Portsmouth, living a stone’s throw from the island again.

For an islander, life on the mainland was very different. The hustle and bustle, the noise, the amount of cars. Even at 7pm it was busy.

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I wasn’t used to this. On the island, everyone was back home and having their tea at 5pm, the town centres would be dead.

The amount of takeaway choice, the short distance between pubs and amount of people out in Guildhall Walk or Albert Road at 11pm was something I simply wasn’t used to.

My old sleepy town of Ryde didn’t have a nightlife and we’d head off to Sandown to go clubbing.

The choice of mainland activities seemed endless. Swimming pools, golf courses, restaurants. Yes, we had them on the island, but they were scattered all over and thanks to the unique way the island roads haven’t progressed much since Victorian times, it would take a week to get there.

I remember being amazed that I could order a pizza at 9pm and it would be delivered within half-an-hour. You just didn’t get that on the island.

It is fair to say, life seemed 10 years behind on the island, but these days, I think the island has finally caught up.

Ryde is a great place to go for a night out, with excellent pubs and restaurants. The island even has it’s own Asda now. 

A part of me is sad that I’ve spent longer living on the mainland than my native island.

Then again, would catching the 4am ferry to get to work every morning be worth returning for? No!

If you don’t like what you hear, switch the wireless off

Can there be anyone more brutally critical than a Radio 2 listener? 

Boy, have you read what they put in the station’s Facebook posts? They hated Chris Evans, hate Zoe Ball, can’t stand Sara Cox, and don’t get them started on new boy Rylan.

Of course, they love Ken Bruce who has been there since the long wave days. They can’t believe how badly £300,000 a year presenter Simon Mayo was treated.

One wonders why they listen? I hear regional station 105.2FM is just as good.

Social media trolls forget these people are humans, just doing their best. I admire presenters who give their opinions on radio, unless it’s Vanessa Feltz!

Beware of me shouting at Freddie from the touchline

Freddie has started football training. I must remember he is only four. I really must remember that if he runs in the wrong direction or moving the goal post, it’s okay, for now. 

I think I’m going to be one of those competitive dads shouting orders on the by-line.

I can’t help it, I want him to do well, I want him to be the next Lionel Messi.

I want him to catch the eye of the coaches from Portsmouth FC who take the training. He has caught their eye so far, only because he keeps wandering off mid-match.

Do I put that bet on him being England captain by the time he’s 25 now or shall I leave it a while?

No pressure, Freddie.