Tuesday 11th April: HITCHING 4 LENT!!!

New sign for the festivities!!

On Sunday I was foraging the Freegan underworld of Ryde when I came across TWO Christmas hats! One a typical Santa hat, and the other a proper awesome jingly Elf hat. This was brilliant because only a few days ago Lucy and I were discussing dressing up for the occasion of hitchhiking this week.

Yesterday I unveiled the costume, Lucy very happy with her jingly Elf hat, we got some cardboard from the shop for a new sign, and discussed possibilities for our new festive sign. Lucy gave a great suggestion, but a bit too long: ‘Living is for life not just for Christmas’. And she gave other great but really long suggestions that I can’t remember right now. My mind was just about ticking over, I could feel some neural connections happening from time to time, when suddenly I got it: ‘Hitching for Lent!!!!’. We both loved it. So that became our sign, but ‘4’ instead of ‘for’ to be a bit more cool.

So Lucy had just finished drawing up the sign and shading it in, we just about to unveil it to the world of Ryde roundabout land, when a car coming out of tescos beeped and waved at us. It was Charlene and Charlene’s mum, and their two adorable little doggies, who if you recall I got a lift from on Tuesday March the 7th (see here). It was lovely to see them again, and the really fluffy one was with us in the back and licking me all over. So that was great.

Today we thought to do it properly. We have to actually be with our sign this time (pictured above is me with it today). The weather lovely, and people’s responses were great. Lots of big smiles and enthusiastic waves. The costume and sign were really making a difference.

But I realised just when I was getting my phone out for Lucy to do the photo that I’d received a voicemail message from my mum. She was going to ring the doctors today and try get my an appointment, because I have a dodgy back, frequent headaches, toe problems, and a possible internal issue too. She said in the voicemail that I was booked to see a doctor at 5.50pm!!! It was 5.35pm when I got this. The doctors is in Brading, only 5 minutes drive, but it needed for hitchhiking gods to come out and deliver the spoils.

At I think 5.41pm, after 6 minutes or so of singing funny songs about me needing to see a doctor for various different reasons, these two young guys stopped. Brilliant!!!! Thankyou hitching gods!!!

The guys were very nice, they both knew Neutrik well from having worked there themselves before, lasting a couple of weeks (which I congratulated and said that’s pretty impressive really, normally people last much less…). One now works for the council, the other still works through PerTemps (the agency through which I work) but as a refuse worker (which is work I’d actually rather like to do sometime, having only ever done it at a festival once and had a great time with it).

A friendly face 🙂

They were going to Sandown, which was where I guess they took Lucy to. I got to my doctor’s appointment with an amazing two minutes to spare (and only had to wait five minutes!), have been referred for a scan of some kind, so I guess it was good I got to it…

Tomorrow will be another new costume 😂


Sunday 20th March: Frack Free Lift!

We were at the brilliant Wake The Wight awareness walk today at Alverstone. I had an absolutely awesome time, meeting loads of great people (and even after the event finished, meeting fantastic people unassociated with the event, who will help the cause just as much as everyone who was there).

Lucy needed the loo, and we’d just missed the bus, so decided we needed to hitch home from Sandown (which really isn’t far).

Cue the second car, slowing to a stop, the guy greeting us and being amazed I’m carrying a didgeridoo.

They’re great. An oldish couple, who’d just been enjoying a relaxing day out. They were very interested in our fracking awareness walk, and they both knew well what’s going on. We didn’t really need to explain anything about it.

It was unfortunate it was such a short ride – they also had great dogs in the boot, very friendly, and it was like we hadn’t really got the chance to properly meet any of them before we were safe and dry in Brading, and soon home.

Proof that people are awake and switched on on the island (if ever proof is needed!). They’re just mostly not acting on it as of yet. But that’s one of the things that this blog is about – and Lucy rightly pointed it out at the end of the lift.

When I first met Lucy she told me she doesn’t hitch on the island because, for some reason (and even though she’s hitched widely across, well, the world…..) she didn’t think it worked well on the island, and had very mixed reactions from people when she did try it. This was like she was offering me a challenge, and I was very happy to take her up on it. It became my challenge to prove that the Isle of Wight is an absolutely brilliant place to hitchhike, that it works wonderfully well, and that the people that pick me up when hitchhiking here are overall bloody awesome people. And I think that, in the 6 weeks that I’ve been hitching on the island so far, I have had nothing but clear proof that people are switched on and very receptive to hitchhiking.

And so, long may it continue!