Storms make me feel glad to be an overner these days

Storm Imogen hit Southsea on Monday morning
Storm Imogen hit Southsea on Monday morning
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Gusts of 96mph were recorded off The Needles and waves up to 63 feet high were noted off Land’s End.

Stories of our roughest crossings were soon regaled as ‘overners’ (as we call you mainlanders) listened with interest, then fear as they were soon glad they lived this side of the Solent

Two ferries heading for southern Ireland from France had to find shelter off the Cornish coast and the hovercraft spent all day sat on the pad at Ryde.

At work at the radio station, stories of storm damage flooded in.

My favourite was the way a fireman explained how a trampoline had jumped over two garden fences and had somehow gently placed itself on a conservatory roof in Gosport, causing no damage whatsoever!

Three people in our office come over each day from the Isle of Wight. Two made it across on the Wightlink catamaran, another stayed at home.

Stories of our roughest crossings were soon regaled as ‘overners’ (as we call you mainlanders) listened with interest, then fear as they were soon glad they lived this side of the Solent.

I remember the summer of 1990, leaving Southsea on the hovercraft as a gale had blown up.

We headed straight for the Gosport coastline for calmer waters. Then, as we passed Gilkicker, things got rough.

The hovercraft seemed to bounce and bump its way across, as the air cushion was depleted by large, crested waves.

Whereas a boat will cut through waves to a certain extent, the hovercraft rides over them.

Heading straight into waves is good news for a catamaran, not so for the hover.

Wind speed also slows them down and I remember that so-called summer’s day, sitting on that craft for 40 minutes as we were slowly buffeted by big waves.

Why do we all try to outdo each other with stories of near-disaster?

One member of staff at work thought he was going to die on the Dover to Ostend jetfoil back in the 1990s and another told of mountainous waves in the Bay of Biscay on the old Pride of Bilbao.

I’m so glad to be an ‘overner’ now, as those ‘caulkheads’ got home at 8pm!


Modern technology is great, but if you struggle to understand how it works, it’s a huge waste of time!

I simply can’t spend hours working out what’s wrong or what needs attention.

Back-ups for this, delete files for that, software updates, it all drives me insane.

We’ve just bought a mass storage device for our photos. You can also access them via the internet and an ‘app’ on your phone.

Can I work out how to use it properly?

The instructions are all online, but it takes ages to access them and then to find the exact thing you’re looking for.

I simply don’t have the spare hours in my life to learn how to use these time-saving devices!


Is the Super Bowl the most over-hyped sporting occasion of all time?


Last weekend’s final proved how futile it is to watch if you’re a fan of sport, but great if you happen to love pop music and TV commercials.

A normal game lasts for 60 minutes and is split into four quarters.

The TV companies have to fit in 60 ad breaks and the half-time entertainment was over 30 minutes long.

That meant the whole show took almost four hours to finish!

And as American football is always starting and stopping, with time-outs and more ad breaks, I reckon there was only 11 minutes of actual football action.

Eleven minutes! As we say here, ‘only in America’.