Xbox 360

I am now the proud owner of an Xbox 360. And a happy owner too. I wanted to get it to play Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3), which is a wonderful racing game that has evolved over time from a quirky game called Metropolitan Street Racer on the Dreamcast. I loved that then, have played PGR2 on the Xbox, loved that, and this is a great version of it. Keeping me very busy.

I’m also going to try and use it as a media centre, as it claims it can be used for that. Have got all the necessary bits almost in place, so shall try that out tonight hopefully. I’ll try and write a more detailed post about the 360 soon, but so far it really has been a joy to use. If I don’t know you have on, and you want to play against me online, just say so in the comments and I will get in touch.

East Cowes

Well today was an unwinding lazy day. We had a lovely Indian meal last night, a traditional Isle of Wight speciality. Took a lot out of us, so we took it nice and easy.

We had a wander over to East Cowes, which doesn’t have that much to it. However, if you walk through it, you get to a gorgeous walk along the seafront. It was really warm and breezy, and we managed a good couple of miles, just ambling and talking, and I occasionally annoyed mrsfb by stopping to take lots of photographs of random sea things.

We walked back, and had a larger than expected pub lunch, which was followed for some inexplicable reason by a massive nap. Great.

Shanklin

So, last night we went and experienced the delights of Cowes’ pubs. Very chilled in fact, quiet pints in a couple of places, the latter of which had an online jukebox with two million tracks to chose from. Which leads me to make a public apology to anyone in that last pub for anyone there who had to listen to mrsfb’s choices of the Backstreet Boys and Blazin’ Squad.

Today we decided to go off and explore the island a bit further, so we got a bus into Newport, then another into Shanklin. The bus service is frequent and exceptionally fast, as we discovered at the front of the top deck of a double-decker bus, racing over the hills to Shanklin. Best of all was when the driver speed up for a hump back bridge.

Once there, we had quite a decent walk from the town own to the seafront. Nice views around there, but it was already shutting down for winter in the main. We did manage to find a hotel bar that was serving cream teas (and playing early rock n roll hits just that bit too loud for comfort). Then onto the arcade to play a selection of very good machines. I think the river-rafting game was the most fun, as we both sat together to control the paddle. I was also beaten on the mini-bowling alley by mrsfb. No excuses, she played well. And a mountain-biking game, that was a bit of a mistake for us both to play just before we had to walk back up the cliffs into town.

So we’re both a bit tired now, and are back at the house supping tea, and considering what we may eat tonight (fish restaurant is favourite, if it is open).

Arrival in Cowes

So we’ve made it to Cowes. Nice straightforward journey, apart from our ferry nearly crashing into a boat. It was sounding off the horns, and we thought at first it was the very large yellow boat that did appear to be heading right for us which was the problem. In fact it was a small yacht that we couldn’t see, and given the size of the ferry we were on, we wouldn’t have felt it either had we hit it.

The house we are renting for the week is fantastic. We knew it was bigger than we needed, but it was still a decent price. We didn’t realise though that it had four bedrooms and was on three storeys. We are rattling about in it a little, but we do have a fair old bit of space in which to relax, so we will manage.

We’ve ended up just off the main street in Cowes, up quite a steep hill. Not too far up, thankfully. I think we are about 3 minutes from the nearest pub, so it suits us. However, bar a nearby annoyingly loud dog, the place is utterly tranquil. I am sat here on my own whilst mrsfb has a little nap, and I can only hear my pen (no laptop with me), the clock and the wind outside. Today is quite breezy, we’ve had a couple of spectacular little showers, but it has also been quite warm.

Last night we explored Cowes a bit, went to a pub, helped a local figure out his data-transfer issues between a dvd/hard disk recorder and his laptop (busman’s holiday for me), and then took home fish and chips for a quiet night in.

Today we’ve wandered through Cowes, tested a couple of pubs for suitability, had a good long walk out of town along the quayside, then stopped off in the Octopuses Garden for tea. Actually, tell a lie, it was coffee. It is a Beatles-themed cafe, filled with memorabilia, which plays nothing but Beatles records all day. I imagine there is the potential for losing long-term staff to mental illness due to that last feature. For a quick coffee mind, it was great.

In a bit I will cook some nice pork chops, then I think we may wander out for the evening. Ow my hand hurts, I’m so not used to writing these days!