I recently organised an Isle of Wight stag do for a number of mainlanders, so of course I felt a weight of responsibility to represent the Island at its best.
Thankfully the weather did its part and we were treated to a fair amount of late summer sunshine alongside some suitably laddish bants, as the kids say nowadays, apparently.
We started things off at the Folly Inn in Whippingham which I've always thought to be a good pub for group gatherings as the food is reasonably good, the view is great and it is big enough that you don't feel they are trying to push you out the door as soon as you put down your fork.
After dressing our groom as a Whoopee Cushion we
headed to Tackt Isle in Bembridge, where I learned a valuable best man lesson - doing anything with a group takes forever, so don't try and cram in too much on a stag do.
I would happily say "right lads, we're five minutes late already, we'd better go" and everyone would sit down in the sunshine like some kind of peaceful protest. I honestly think it would have been quicker to transport a group of toddlers.
We eventually got on the water for some kayak games with Tackt Isle, which obviously involved non stop banterish hilarity such as splashing, falling in, shouting "wahey" or "oi oi!" and giving the groom a comedy tiny paddle.
That was followed by an hour on segways and airwheels (2 wheeled and 1 wheel transporter things) during which time we tried our best to avoid driving into the sea.
The whole kayak and segway combination lasted about three hours and cost £20 each, which I thought was great value.
After helping ourselves to the free tea and strumming the guitar at Tackt Isle - and apologising again for being late - we set for Compton Bay. By Isle of Wight standards it was an epic drive, the equivalent of a mainlander driving from Berwick upon Tweed to Falmouth. To pass the time I handed out the Isle Spy car journey game which is really intended for distracting naughty children but seemed remarkably apt for the stag do.
At Compton Bay the sun was shining and we had the beach to ourselves for playing football in mankinis (thank goodness), eating burnt sausages and general larking.
At night we decided to camp nearby which was literally the equivalent of sleeping in a fridge (it was 8 degrees and I had a pack of bacon near my head).
After scraping off the morning icicles from our noses we ate the bacon and climbed up to The Pepperpot to admire the view. By this time I had realised that moving our group was akin to turning a cruise ship around so I gave up on our Sandown golfing plan.
Thankfully the laddish lads were impressed with the Pepperpot and the cliffs overhanging Blackgang Chine which provide an opportunity for reminiscing about school trips in the 1990s.
I would love to say that the stag do ended with us getting utterly wasted and shaving the stag's eye brows but it actually ended up with lasagne and crumble in the sunshine in my mum's garden. WAHEY! LADS!