Friday 7th April: Ross!!

It still feels a bit funny hitching at midday on Fridays. A few people put their thumbs up or waved, but generally people seemed a bit in their own worlds (which is what I noticed before when hitching earlier in the afternoon).

Anyway, I got a ride within a couple of minutes from a carpenter. Great – as I love talking building/carpentry πŸ˜‚ Ross is just filling up an old fireplace (I think? My mind is a bit of a boggle this side of the week…) for someone in Cowes, and had to pick up some old bricks in Ryde as it’s an older house. I love this kind of story – it sounds so simple, but it’s great to hear that old bricks are still very important for being used in old houses, to keep with the character of the house.

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Carpentry Ross with old bricks in the back πŸ™‚

Ross has never hitched before. I told him I hitch home every day, but I understand the possible risks of hitching, and have in the past rejected lifts on a number of occasions because of getting a funny vibe from whoever stopped. There was one time, hitching with my friend Judi back towards Bath from north Devon, when we had two offers on the outskirts of Taunton both from people that we had weird vibes about. Obviously we kindly rejected their offers, said that we were actually looking for a lift going further or something, and a little later we got a lift from an awesome guy who was going to a 5 rhythms dance in Glastonbury (which was the first time I heard of 5 rhythms, and now I’ve been to plenty of dances and feel that I base my life around 5 rhythms in the long-run…).

Anyway, Ross was happy to hear about my hitching successes on the island (and the fact that I’ve never rejected a lift here and have only met really nice and interesting people I think says a lot about the general vibes of the island!).

And we talked about the wonderful sunshine! I work in a very nice factory every day, with a great vibe and everything and windows open, music on all day, but it’s still indoors, and is ridiculously physically inactive. It’s wonderful to finish early on a Friday and be out in the warmer sunshine, but I see my future as working outside and connecting more and more with nature. Ross spends about half his time outdoors with his work, and I get about 45 minutes a day of possible time outside (during my breaks). I’ve thought about it a fair bit the last few days, I had the thought come to my mind the other day (that had been at the back of my mind for years and years) of living in a yurt/teepee with a stream curving around where I live, and growing food biodynamically/tuning in more and more with the elements. But I have to get this bloody driving license sorted before I make any baby steps out into the open (I promised myself a full driving license before I make any big decisions future-wise).

So you can expect to see a lot more of my hitching home for the months to come!

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Wednesday 5th April: Building bridges over islands

The weather was beautiful again for today’s hitch home. People’s thumbs were out (I got two thumbs up in a row!), and smiley faces too.

A van stopped after about 3 minutes, it smelling slightly like a gardener’s van (that subtle grassy petroly smell). So it came as a surprise that my new friend is a civil engineer, working at the moment on the new wightlink place at fishbourne, as well as in another place that I didn’t catch the name of.

We talked a bit about hitchhiking (he’d lived in Ireland years ago and hitched there a lot, but was under the impression that it wouldn’t work on the Isle of Wight..). And pretty soon we were in Brading. And I feeling the best I’ve felt in days – it’s been a rough ride these last few days, but maybe now I’m on the other side of it.

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En-route to Ventnor tonight

Friday 31st March: Joby

A beautiful afternoon has come!! After much cloudy greyness since I woke for work this morning, the sun tore through the clouds to shine it’s magnificence down on all of us.

So, this made people I guess quite happy. But this was 4pm traffic. It’s not my usual crowd at all (I’d had an acupuncture appointment today after my Friday lunchtime finish). Plenty of families. I’m not sure I got one wave today – but instead had loads of different kinds of funny signals. I didn’t understand what any of them meant.

There’s a range of different signals you’d experience in Britain when hitchhiking (the signals change from country to country). Often people will give the flat back of the have pointing either left or right – meaning they’re turning off sometime and the lift wouldn’t be so useful (theoretically – but in my experience, especially if I’m stuck in a very bad spot, any lift can be a good lift).
Another good one is when people put both arms up, like saying they either can’t do anything or they don’t know what to do. But this can often be confusing – it can sometimes mean that they don’t feel confident to stop in that spot, and so it can make the hitchhiker feel a little self-conscious about if the hitch spot is good/safe enough to stop in.
People sometimes make an action regarding a roundabout. I don’t know if this means they’re turning round, or they’re finishing at the next roundabout, or going a different direction then.

But today, the signs I got were completely different. I had numerous people seemingly sign out complicated directions that they were going in that clearly wouldn’t be right for me. I don’t normally get people so enthusiastically giving obscure signs, so it was very unusual getting a few people doing the same today.

Anyway, happy to smile and continue onwards, I saw a live-in camper, a big one, and had a feeling he’d stop. He had a big smile on his face when he pulled up. But his van is left-hand drive, so it was quite complicated getting in (and it’s really quite big…!).

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Joby and his live-in van πŸ˜‡

Great guy though, nice to talk to. He’s a carpenter, working on a really nice house in Ryde at the moment. His van is his work van now – he and his family rent a house in Ventnor at the moment. They were away in France for a year recently, pays Basque, but work was quite dry and a new baby was coming, so time to return to the Isle….

Joby and I posed a photo in front of the van, and he said he hopes we meet again. I hope so too.

I walked off, and bumped into Tracey (my colleague I race home against every day, who gets the bus and I almost always win) and her little very excited and adorable dog Ella. We talked just a couple of minutes, and wished each other the best of weekends. Apparently the weather’s going to be nice for us.

🎢🎢 Hitchhiking can bring the world together 🎢🎢

Friday 24th February: midday hitching in the sun

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Hitching to Brading in the end-of-winter sunshine

Work finishes early on a Friday, as we start early every day. So I came joyfully out of work to glorious sunshine, rang Lucy to discuss a project, paid a quick trip to the potential project site, then went to the hitch spot.

It was lovely being in the sun, though a bit cool with the breeze. People seemed happy. Lots of surprised faces – these people probably hadn’t ever seen me before, because I don’t normally hitch at this time. They’ll come to know me, I’m sure.

Anyway, with less than a minute on the clock, again, a car pulls over. It’s a BMW – but not a super posh one, despite being new. The guy is pleasant, he’s enjoying retired life though isn’t really retired as he’s looking after two autistic grandchildren, and told me a sad story of abuse from their younger years. He seems really happy bringing them up though, and said they even now call him Dad despite being their grandfather.

He asks where I’m from, and I quickly tell my story of getting to the island from the Alps, and we share in how great the island is for living on.

And he drops me at the usual spot, I’m happy to have met yet another friendly face, and to have come to an end of quite a tiring but brilliant week!