We received a handwritten letter recently from a Mrs Trellis of Godshill, who wanted to know about the history of Isle of Wight Guru.
As we reached our one millionth hit this week, it seemed as good a time as any to indulge in some historical naval gazing.
Well, some historians say that Isle of Wight Guru's history can be traced back to the death of Prince Albert in 1861, although other academics argue that this 'fact' is complete flim-flam and piffle.
According to documents unearthed in a 'tea-damaged' cardboard box in the toilets of the Isle of Wight Records Office, a recently bereaved Queen Victoria awoke one morning at Osborne House demanding guidance on things to do on a rainy day, cheap places to eat out and ways to save money on the recently founded ferry.
A young messenger on horseback was sent out in search of information and returned in a dishevelled state nine days later with a comprehensive list of activities for her majesty to do, along with a number of discount vouchers for Blackgang Chine.
The messenger collapsed in a heap and after being resuscitated with smelling salts and a right-royal talking to, the young boy was declared The Guru of the Isle of Wight by her Majesty.
The first Guru's role was to gallop furiously around the Island with a primitive megaphone, shouting out discount codes for local blacksmiths and rumours of who would be headlining the Queen's next harp recital.
Over the years, the title of The Guru has been passed on to a number of successors with the accolade being granted to the winner of a secretive competition which is held at The Longstone to coincide with the Cowes Week Fireworks, when everyone else is pre-occupied looking up and saying "oooh".
In 1991, the title of The Guru was held by Frank Crunk, a school friend of Tim Berners-Lee who helped him launch Isle of Wight Guru online as the third website on the newly founded World Wide Web (the first two being a collection of photos of pouting newsreaders and a guide to the drain covers of West Kent).
The website has grown in popularity ever since and today Isle of Wight Guru employs around 600 people at its headquarters in Carisbrooke High Street. We aren't sure what most of them do though.
It is a little known fact that by the age of 5, the average British parent has spent 900 hours stood around shivering in cold playgrounds. It is little known because I made it up, but it is certainly accurate to say that I consider myself an aficionado after much time spent pushing swings to ever higher heights.
Others who know their Kompany roundabouts from their Wicksteed horses will know that things have moved on a fair bit from my day when a good playground offered two swings, a slide that didn't slide very much and a roundabout.
Swings have became huge dishes the size of circular dining tables, whilst getting to a slide now requires an obstacle course of climbing footholds, tunnels and rope nets.
The Isle of Wight has its fair share of decent playgrounds, many of which we've already discussed in our guide to days out for toddlers. A new addition, which I'll add when I get round to it is the one called Seabreeze near Ventnor's Winter Gardens which is looked after by Ventnor Town Council and the Ventnor Enhancement Fund.
The playground looks down on Ventnor with its nicely shaped cove and high hills. It's right on the edge of the cliff with ominous cracks in the footpath, which presumably has stopped developers from eating up the land. I was so overcome with the whole thing that I had a go on the swings myself whilst admiring the horizon.
There are other contenders for playgrounds with a view - we like the maritime themed one on Gurnard seafront for example. There's also one which belongs to the Dandelion Cafe at Freshwater Bay but you can't quite see the full view. The Appley playgrounds are both on the seafront so you can see ships coming and going but they don't quite offer the same elevated position.
I'm ready to be corrected, but for the time being at least I'm confidently declaring Seabreeze has the Island's best playground view. Don't forget to bring your gloves.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog
Tales of Isle of Wight days out, attractions and ferry discounts from a Wightophile
Where to stay
Some of the links on this site are 'affiliate links' meaning we may receive commission from accommodation providers at no cost to the buyer. We are also an Amazon Associate and earn from qualifying products.
However, we maintain full editorial control and only recommend based on merit rather than whether they offer commission.
© COPYRIGHT 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.