A different pace of life

Some better informed or more observant readers will know that I have links with the Isle of Man – the small and extremely beautiful lump of rock in the middle of the Irish Sea. In fact, that little red and white thing in your address bar just up there [points] is not just the symbol of 6000 miles… website, but also the symbol of the island: the three legs of Man.

While I am Sheffield born and bred, I spent a lot of my childhood on the Isle of Man, I have a lot of family there and even more family history. Thus, it’s always good to keep up with what’s happening on “my island”.
Before I continue, perhaps I should explain that while the IoM is now a technologically-progressive, global financial hub, there remains a far slower pace of life over there. If you’ve ever watched Father Ted – think of it as a slightly larger Craggy Island: same wild beauty, same fierce national pride, same bizarre local traditions and characters. After all, this is the place where in February 1990 (yes, nineteen-NINETY!), locals queued up to stare in wonder at the “moving stairs” at the new Strand Shopping Centre in Douglas: the first public escalator on the island. Thus, the IoM is often mocked as being a bit backward – caught in the past – by many in the UK. Well, vive le difference, I say (when I’m in that sort of mood).

Catching up on the the latest goings-on via the BBC website, I was distressed and distraught to learn that the Isle of Man seems to have lost out to Southern Lebanon in possessing the world’s heaviest potato.

The 3.5kg (7lb 13oz) potato was bought by Greens restaurant owner Nigel Kermode in Douglas after it became the official world record holder more than 10 years ago. But on Monday, it emerged that a farmer in southern Lebanon had grown a potato weighing in at 11.3kg (24.9lbs).

Lebanese farmer Khalil Semhat hopes the monster spud from his farm near Tyre, 85km (50 miles) south of Beirut, will take the crown. But according to the Guinness Book of Records, the current record is till held by the Manx potato.

And Mr Kermode said there was still a local interest in the original, more than a decade after it was found: “It’s not on display at the moment. We’ve had it out periodically because, to be honest, it doesn’t look very nice,” he said. “It’s gone all sort of grey and brown and it doesn’t look very appetising.”

Yes. That’s what passses for news on the Isle of Man. A big, 10-year-old, mouldy root vegetable.

I’m heading back there next year for a few weeks of relaxation and I can’t wait. Because life is different there: the rat-race doesn’t exist, the outside world doesn’t matter and no-one really cares how big your potato is.
I’ll leave the closing remarks to Nigel Kermode – because he sums it up so well:

We’re still a world champion – we’ll call it the second biggest potato in the world.


16 thoughts on “A different pace of life

  1. Sounds like my kind of place, although for a moment there I thoguht you were talking about Port Elizabeth.
    “mocked as a bit backward – caught in the past”, “bizarre local traditions and characters”.

    I am sure you would love PE!

    Ordinarylife´s last blog post was: Please fit, please fit, please fit (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  2. Ordinarylife » I may dare to give it a go at some point. I love quaint little villages.

    JHBPRINCESS » Why? You planning to burglarise me? In winter. But I’m not saying whose winter… 😉

  3. Bummer about missing out on the “world’s heaviest potato” title, but don’t despair, I’m sure the competition is still open for decades to come.

    I did spot the IoM once, but would love to actually take a ferry over for a weekend

    I sincerely hope its SA winter and not UK, a wet muddy island does not sound appealing 😉

  4. Hmm…I swear I remember something from TG about the Isle of Man and speed limits…like there not being any outside the towns. That and the scenery really nudged it up my list 😉

    Goblin´s last blog post was: Dirty little secret Wednesday (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  5. My gymnastics coach lives on IoM. I think your gymnastics team is still a bit more advanced than what we had in Durbs.

    As to the potato. Perhaps consider diverging into turnips or carrots, as a backup?

    Po´s last blog post was: No! Could there be… MORE?? (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  6. Totally off the topic but…..

    6000 miles… has even had a visitor from Guadeloupe (see the flagcounter on RHS.) When you click on the country it tells you details such as Geography, People, etc etc. Apparently Flagcounter.com doesn’t know where it is, how big it is, who lives there … in fact… knows nothing about the place.
    ….so now I don’t feel so blonde!!

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