My father once gave me a long speech about the magic of a visit to the cinema.
"There's nothing like it" he said. "The gathering together for a shared experience, the laughter, the joy"
I asked him when he actually last visited the cinema, as I felt he might be exaggerating his passion
"Ooh, it was Babe the Sheep Pig I think"
I pointed out that the film out in 1995 so he perhaps wasn't cinema's greatest supporter.
I had a similar issue with Butterfly World. It features on our guides to rainy days and places to meet animals - but my last actual visit was in around 1990. Back then, it was called Butterfly and Fountain World and I got in for the children's price.
With the rain bucketing it down, we decided it was a good time to return after a 33 year gap.
We were not the only people to have this idea and the soggy car park was busier than a McDonald's on Saturday lunchtime.
My first error on this trip was not asking for a butterfly spotter sheet at the entrance. Every other child had one of these so I was sent back to get one.
The queue was snaking round the shop by this point so I weighed up whether an additional purchase required a re-queue or whether a queue jump would be acceptable, as I had done my queueing time.
I decided I would rather irritate a shop full of strangers than three members of my family, so I hesitantly hovered at the front of the queue and paid 75p for a spotter sheet.
Two minutes later (with the contents of our bag emptied onto the floor of Butterfly World) we realised we didn't have a pen.
The farce continued as we discussed whether a double re-queue was acceptable and whether we could use anything else as a pen.
This time, Mrs Guru went back inside and re-joined the queue.
Finally, we were ready to explore.
Inside, there are three main areas. The first room is a greenhouse full of butterflies. This was the headline act for me. We spent about 45 minutes ticking off butterflies on the much-discussed spotter sheet whilst also failing to persuade them to land on us.
Next up, we went to an area where you can handle other small creatures called the Discovery Zone
This is a wise move by the owners as it pads out a visit nicely. Unfortunately, our timing was not great, as we had missed the morning talks and the handling wasn't starting again until the afternoon.
Even so, we spent some time looking at the tortoises, snakes, snails, scorpions and frogs.
Finally, there is an Italian area and a Japanese themed area with Koi fish. Again, we had missed the talk thanks to our terrible timing but we still had a go at feeding them. This involved holding baby bottles on the end of sticks to persuade the fish to have a suck. The Koi seemed a little coy so I concluded that they had recently been fed and gave up.
On the way back, we returned through the butterfly greenhouse for another attempt to get the butterflies to land on us. We were much more successful this time and persuaded four butterflies to settle long enough for a photo.
Lunch was calling us by this point, so I suggested we picnicked in the car. The gap between my seat and my handbrake had recently been cleaned so I was keen to refill it with Wheat Crunches, sandwich crusts and raisins.
Getting the younger child to leave took a little bit of persuasion. This is another attraction where you get a free return within a week, which means parents like me can say "don't worry, we will come back another day" when they really mean "we will come back if you go on and on about it".
Three bits of advice for visiting Butterfly World
So, after 33 years I can offer three pieces of advice about your visit to Butterfly World
This is also a good time to mention that Isle of Wight residents get a discount to butterfly world if you can bring some proof.
Anyway, we will return in 33 years time with the grandchildren.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog