On Wednesday I reached the advanced age of sixty! It was a birthday to remember, spent with The Artist in the historic Naval town of Portsmouth. This is me, on the ferry to the mainland, at the start of our great adventure:
When we docked, our first port of call was the 170 metre Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays ~ the tallest structure in England, outside London. The brochure promises a panoramic vista from the top, weather permitting. Luckily ~ after weeks of low cloud and heavy rain ~ the sun decided to shine for me, so visibility was perfect!
This snapshot through the glass floor, on the lowest viewing level, gives me goosebumps! It’s absolutely safe to walk on, but just felt ‘wrong’! I could hardly bear to let go of the handrail but I made myself do it ~ I couldn’t go all that way and chicken out, especially as small children were scampering back and forth and lying on their tummies, looking down!
The tower is surrounded by cut-price designer outlets and fashionable restaurants. We noticed that people weren’t being tempted to buy ~ even with the 70 per cent discount that some shops were offering. I did splash out six quid on purple pens, though (three for the price of two.) It amused Martin that of the many things I could have treated myself to, these were all I desired. Well, they’re difficult to get on the Island!
Scary heights and retail browsing over, we set off for Southsea on foot ~ discovering much more than we would have from a bus. Like the house where Portsmouth Football Club was founded and the arch through which Lord Nelson took his last few steps on English soil, before sailing HMS Victory into battle at Trafalgar.
After strolling past a moat, through a funfair and along the crowded Esplanade, we eventually reached the Aquarium:
I loved every minute of my special day, albeit tiring ~ well, after all, I am a senior, now! One final ‘first’ for me ~ the homeward crossing on a Hovercraft ~ then card and present opening, in my courtyard:
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