In the lead up to and over New Year’s Eve 2013/14 I enjoyed a wee break of four days, three nights on the Isle of Man (IOM) with my housemate and best friend. For those who do not know, IOM is part of Great Britain but not part of the United Kingdom. It has its very own Manx parliament, considered to be the oldest political moot in Europe.
[Image description: an IOM map taken in Laxey; Castletown marked thereon]
For many a year my godparents - who were also a maternal aunt and her husband, my uncle - resided on the island. I had several holidays staying with them. I cannot honestly say they were happy times, as my godparents were childless and not the most endearing of folk (though in her last years I grew close to my aunt before she was killed by complications from breast cancer). Nonetheless, I have happy memories of exploring alone or with my brother, Silverburn Glen, often bejewelled with primulas in the sodden earth, or of bidding the færies well when travelling over Fairy Bridge, and other such relatively inconsequential tales.
Less happy occasions were wet days which always seemed to entail my brother and I being dropped off at Castle Rushen and left to explore the mediæval edifice on our own, whilst our aunt & uncle went shopping, a.k.a. going to the pub (bar) for a bevy (alcoholic beverage) or two or three! In my mind, Castletown, the former capital of the Isle of Man (IOM) and enclave around the aforesaid fortress, is forever associated with wet, damp and cold. Well, no longer.
[Image description: our lovely friends]
This time I thoroughly enjoyed my sojourn on the IOM: visited with old friends, Steve & Michelle; renewed local acquaintanceships, with Trinia, John & family; and, where and whence I made new chums to boot; as well as bumping into an acquaintance from my hometown, also on her own hols (holidays, vacation).
On New Year’s Eve Eve we feasted at Curry Club Restaurant & I Love Kebab (Takeaway) and on New Year’s Eve itself we dined at The Garrison. Reviews of both these restaurants and our accommodation, The George, will follow in due course. Additionally, I shall be posting a photographic review of contemporary Castletown itself.