Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Man's an Island

So, we've been in Douglas, in the Isle of Man.
To be honest, I know very little about this place, because I've had no transport to explore the island (and no trains run 'til Easter!) but what follows is what I did learn:
Anything originating from or typifying the Isle of Man is given the prefix 'Manx'.
The emblem of the Isle of Man is this three-legged symbol, on some examples wearing spurs.
Douglas has a pretty seafront, and apparently during the summer when the electric railway runs, is very quaint.
The Isle of Man is a very small island, close to Liverpool on the coast of the UK. It is only 33 miles in length and 13 miles wide, and is famous for the annual TT motorbike race.
I found this bike for sale. I thought about buying it, riding a few laps and then selling it on, but then thought better of it.
There is a Manx language, not commonly spoken but the thing of greetings cards, road names etc.
As you travel in to the Isle of Man, you cross the 'famous' Fairy Bridge. Fail to say hello to the fairies at you peril!
The Isle of Man currency is sterling, but they print their own pound notes, even £1, not seen in the rest of the UK since the 70's!
There's a pretty harbour, too.
The Isle of Man gets a great deal, really. They're officially part of the UK so they get to use the army, yet they govern themselves, so don't have to abide by annoying things like speed-limits on roads.
It's also known as a tax haven. This means that the average business will pay at most 18% tax, where the rest of us have to pay around 40%. Maybe that's why English comedian Norman Wisdom moved here.

This was the dining room at my B'n'B, the Wicklow Hills Guest House. Great place to drink wine and heat up microwave meals after the show.
I love this flower bed on my way to work.

But the real gem of Douglas is the Gaiety Theatre. It truly is the most ornate theatre we've played.
This curtain is amazing.
And these plush seats.
And this roof.
And these boxes.
To get us off of the Isle of Man, and on to Aberdeen in one day, they chartered three, nineteen-seater aeroplanes.
This is mine.
Here are the others.
This is the captain.
This is the only other flight attendant, giving us our safety briefing. Exactly.
This is me trying to stand up in the cabin. Me, claustrophobic?
When the aircraft pulled up in Aberdeen after a turbulent hours' flight, this man put these blocks by the wheels to stop it rolling!


Shammickite said...

I've never been to IOM, but I know that the name Fenella is very well known there... there's a Fenella Beach, Fenella Cliff, one of the ferries is the SS Fenella etc etc.... a name close to my heart (yes, It's MY name)!
Love the pics of the flight to Aberdeen.... how is the show going? Sell out crowds? Line ups for autographs outside the stage door? Would love to come and see the show.

Kerrie said...

Hi just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your blog. I have never been to the Isle of Man but the theatre looks fab I love those old theatres they are amazing and so many are lost now.

Shammickite said...

I'm patiently waiting for the next installment.....