We were charmed even before we got there. Charmed by the ferry, chugging across the water from Portsmouth, taking us to the Isle of Wight. Charmed by the little bridges and narrow lanes we had to drive down to get to the place we were staying for three nights. Charmed by the handwritten instructions and the potholed road that led us to The Shack – our home for a long weekend where we had decided to put down our phones, turn off the telly and let nature be our entertainment for a few days. We were truly leaving London behind.
It was glorious, but you should know that The Shack is not a glamour puss’ paradise. There’s no mains electricity (everything runs off solar cells) and the loo is of the composting variety. You can charge your phone and laptop if you need to, but hair straighteners are out. The kitchen sink can’t handle anything other than simple dishwater and the only heating is from the woodburning stove. It’s rustic. We loved it.
On our first day there, we simply sat on the verandah, watched the sea, tried out the hammock, went blackberry picking. We cooked up some pasta in the tiny kitchen, read our books and talked. Our phones were put down, and we only checked them every so often (we’re not saints). We turned on the hurricane lamps when it got dark and snuggled up in the comfy double bed when we were tired.
The second day, we ventured across the island to play mini golf in Shanklin. The September sun was warm and cheery and we ate lunch in a little cafe and people watched. We listened to the radio in the evening, and ran down to the beach to see how far out the tide really went. We forgot to check our phones and even then it was only for football scores (better!).
For our third and final day, we headed over to The Needles, did some hiking along the coastal path. Picked sloes. Slept like logs once again in the cosy bed. We didn’t want to leave The Shack. We’d entertained ourselves well in our mini detox, had truly managed to ‘get away from it all’. Heading back to civilisation hurt. Everyone needs a weekend in a shack, every once in a while.