Now I ask you, what better weekend to head to an island off the southern coast of England than a weekend predicted to be filled with gale-force winds and slashing rain?
Being Britain, you can never count on the weather or, for that matter, the weather report. However, this time the Met Office didn’t lie. It was everything they’d predicted and more. Good thing I was headed to the Isle of Wight to teach a writing course, not rooftop yoga! Despite the ominous warnings, the crowded ferry ride from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde wasn’t nearly as exciting as I’d hoped. In fact, it was highly uneventful. We didn’t sink.
I’m pleased to say that this year the island was really geared up for my arrival. They’d even brewed up a batch of some special stuff in honour of Literotica, my erotic writing workshop at the Old Grange. Hell, I was lucky to get the last bottle – apparently they were flying off the shelf at the local shop (which isn’t just for local people!).
Yeah, I know: everyone thinks I schlep down to the Isle of Wight every autumn just to teach my Literotica workshop. The truth is, I actually go there because I adore the local pub in Shanklin’s old village. Oh sure, I do find some time to teach, but I live for Saturday night when I’m done for the day and can go chill out with a pint of real ale and listen to some live acoustic music.
This year I was disappointed to learn that my usual pint of Village Idiot would not be happening; apparently the brewery had gone bust. So I opted for a very agreeable Caledonian ale, which had somehow made its way from Scotland all the way down to the Isle of Wight. Those Scots are robust folk, I’ll grant you that. Must be all that haggis.
It seemed the pub was expecting me. Heck, I should’ve brought along copies of my new book “In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales” and had a book signing! My usual table situated right next to the musicians was empty and virtually had my name on it, so I settled in for the evening, getting up close and personal to the lead singer/guitarist, whose repertoire this year was far better than in previous years. He also looked far better too. Not quite sure why that was, but hey, who am I to complain? The sight of his nicely bulging… umm… tricep as he strummed his gee-tar was a right treat after the rather mediocre pub meal I hadn’t particularly enjoyed. Unfortunately Vampira, his apparent girlfriend, was hovering around like the proverbial vampire bat, putting a damper on everyone’s evening!
Despite the musicians finishing up an hour earlier than scheduled, we were in it for the duration, and yet more Caledonian ale kept appearing in front of me courtesy of one of the workshop participants, a lively Irish lass who clearly didn’t want me to leave. And the sudden downpour outside wasn’t exactly encouraging me either. However, with the music over and Teddy waiting impatiently in our giant bed back in our room, I was getting edgy. So too, were the pub staff, as tables were suddenly being polished right in front of our noses, chairs set upside-down on table tops, and lights switched off.
Like can we take a hint or what?
And so passes yet another Literotica erotic writing workshop on the Isle of Wight. I wonder: will my regular table be waiting for me next year at the village pub? Will the same musicians be there entertaining the punters? Will I get guff off the bear for returning to our room so late?
Guess I’ll have to wait till autumn 2010 to find out.