Saturday, it must be football. Well, it was, and on a day when fortune favoured AFC Bournemouth (0-8 while playing Birmingham) we were off to the Isle of Wight!
Friends of ours follow Downton Robins and they had a Cup match against Cowes FC.
Plans were made to share a lift, for evening meal and drinks at our home afterwards. Just to complicate things, a viewing of the house scheduled for that day meant I had to make sure everything was ship-shape too.
So, having got stuck into The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt the night before and not hitting my bed until 2.30am I was the worse for wear sleepwise when I got up at 7.30 to prepare the casserole to go into the slow cooker, cook the potatoes ready to mash and reheat later, together with green veg too.
Having been told by my OH we needed to leave at 9.30am to catch the ferry from Southampton, I was ready to go with all jobs completed with ten minutes to spare! Bonus.
Camera gear packed, off we set to the Red Funnel ferry port. We met our friends and parked their car, there were four big cruise ships in port as we left and they looked beautiful. Queen Victoria, Independence of the Seas, Azura and Emerald Princess.
Once off the ferry, we headed for the ground, so we knew where we were going once we had found somewhere for lunch. Having been told they were playing Cowes and it was just a short walk from the ferry, we found East Cowes football ground, and went to find a pub for lunch. Driving through Whippingham, we noticed the impressive church of St Mildred and wished we had time to pop in.
We saw a brown sign for The Folly Inn, so we headed down the road and thought we were headed in the wrong direction as we passed a park homes site. We carried on towards the river and behold, the pub. Directly in front of us. Wandering in, we noticed its size and realised it is obviously a very busy place! Luckily we found a table for 5 and began to peruse the menus as we supped our drinks.
Meals chosen and ordered, we watched the view in front of us, as river life unfolded. Swans took off and landed, boats went in and out. People came to the pub by water taxi. Lovely. Meals arrived, the Ploughmans was amazing! Soup and sandwich was good too. Thoroughly recommend this pub. We thought it was busy, but the bar staff told us it was quiet!
Meal consumed, more drinks, and it was time to depart to the ground. As we pulled in we noticed the players out on the pitch. Didn’t recognise them. Quick chat to the local fans – whoops! Wrong ground!!! Who knew Cowes had TWO football teams?
So back in the car, quick trip over the river on the Floating Bridge and we arrived at the ground to much laughter from those who knew and some not so gentle banter as the teams were led out by the referee and his linesmen.
Sadly Downton Robins were beaten, the referee made some decisions that nobody in the ground understood and so a downbeat team caught the ferry back. Friends came back for the slow cooked casserole which worked well, and a joyous evening was had by all. I checked my photographs on the Sunday (not too hungover!) and was delighted with some, disappointed with others, what do you think?