Simon Campbell

A personal perspective of life, the universe and everything…


Posted at 2226 hours on 09/10/08 | Posted in Life

The BIG move to the Isle of Man

We have always wanted to live by the sea. With the impending boat purchase plus the formation of our new diving exploration company, the Isle of Man was the ideal spot. Close to the North West and surrounded by the lovely clear water of the Irish Sea…

Nobody wants us to go...

Prior to us investigating a move, I had only been to the Island once before. That was to Douglas on Tim Wright’s very heavy stag weekend a number of years ago. With moving in mind, we visited the Island in May to look at the potential. On that trip, we were very impressed with the Manx Government and their willingness to assist businesses move to the Island but were worried by the some of the social aspects (see some pictures from the visit).

Undeterred, we continued to research the Island, becoming increasingly impressed in what we saw, especially with the efficiency and willingness to help of the people in general. One of the problems however, was the lack of property available for rent. As soon as it came onto the market it was snapped up. We decided that the best way to sort this was to wang over for a few days, visit some properties and make a choice then and there.

We did just that and following a violent crossing on the Liverpool/Douglas ferry Angela, James and myself visited three properties. There was only one that was really suitable located on the South East of the Island in Derbyhaven. A good place to be being partially sheltered from the prevailing SW winds. So with only four weeks to get it together we started to organise.

Angela and I are are expert movers having done it seven times in our 26 years of marriage. The problem was, I had booked on a Sentinel rebreather course and my RYA Coastal Skipper course / exam in the aforesaid preparation month. I was in the pooh big style as Angela ran herself ragged getting it all together. To make matters worse we found out James was off with 45 Commando to Afghanistan the same day as we planned to move! My mother tells me Angela is a ‘Queen of Women’ and much as I dislike agreeing with my mother, she is bloody right; Angela is amazing…

One thing that we considered was our friends, family and business commitments but soon realised that we would have no shortage of visitors and travel to and from the Island is very easy and efficient, if not a little pricey!

With respect to family, Jim (my eldest) is a Royal Marines Commando off to Afghanistan and Joe (my youngest) just passed his driving test and was already living away from home ‘studying’ at Leeds College of Art and Design. Old friends Val and Dave Buckle have a room made up for him just in case!

The thing that really shocked us was the cost of the move. It wasn’t the amount of stuff we were taking, but the extortionate ferry costs levied by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company – I really hate monopolies! Anyway the day was set, notice was given on our previous home and we were ready to rock and roll.

I arrived back triumphant from my Coastal Skipper exam to a house full of boxes. I have to admit, I didn’t realise the enormous task ahead of us in the two days remaining before we moved! When the removal team arrived from the excellent Pollards at 0900 on the Wednesday morning, were were still packing. Angela was very mad with me but at 1600 the van was fully loaded and they set off to Heysham ferry port.

Our family had a great time at the Estate House and when we closed the door for the last time, we both burst into tears swiftly retiring to our local, the Tempest Arms, for a steadying pint of Timothy Taylors Landlord. The ferry didn’t leave until 0230 (yes that’s in the morning) on the Thursday. As we had plenty of time we stopped for dinner at the Shajan Indian Restaurant conveniently located on the A59, before making our way on to Heysham.

The crossing was very smooth and we did meet our intrepid removal men, ‘Skip’ (antipodean) and Paul, on the way to their ‘cabin’. I managed to catch some sleep in the bizarre dog owners accommodation of the ferry (of course we had the mighty Bevis with us); Angela wasn’t so lucky and as we disembarked at 0530 she was totally knackered.

Sunrise in Derbyhaven We arrived at our new home at dawn and were spellbound by the great sunrise. The lads were expecting some assistance from a local removal firm and when he arrived things really started to move. The new house has three stories and a lot of stuff was bound for the top floor. They did a sterling job finishing around 1600. We were totally shattered and after finding most of the bed clothes and pillows retired…

Pollards removal van unloads in Derbyhaven So I am writing this surrounded by boxes of ‘stuff’ having started the inevitable unpacking and ‘where the hell did I put that’ and ‘why the hell didn’t I throw that away in the UK’ phase.

What’s next? Well I will be giving an update on our unfolding Isle of Man experience so watch this space. Oh, you can also take a look at the photos of the move…


  1. The Gasman on 13/10/08 at 0838 hours

    Not only the dive club - the mighty Ribble Valley SAC- feel a deep loss with your moving but i know one or two of us have had soggy faces too. You and Ang seem to have a marked effect on all who meet you and a bloke couldnt ask for better mates…
    I cant wait to get the chance to bum a free holiday though :-)

  2. Fi on 13/10/08 at 0928 hours

    Already missing you both.. just getting over the shock and then I read your blog.. so more tears!!! :)  You are both fantastic mates and I know the next chapter in your life is going to be amazing.  Oh and yeh unfortunately I’m like a bad penny and keep turning up soooo be aware… I will be back :)  See you both soon. xxxxxxxxx

  3. Ems on 13/10/08 at 1222 hours

    Poor Ang - you are a crap husband - good job you passed your courses or else you would have been in trouble!!
    Good luck in the new house - when’s the housewarming?

    See you both soon xxxxx

    PS There are a couple of agiliy shows on the IoM - any chance of a bunk for the night with 2 hairys?

  4. Colly on 13/10/08 at 1839 hours

    Woo-hoo! All sounds very tiring though. I feel for Bevis at this time.

    I found your house on Google satellite maps last night. I see you have your own airport in your back garden, and your own golf course. And your own sea, etc… Very nice indeed.

    I assume that with three floors there is ample space to accommodate the entire Erskine Design gang with ease? Expect my Datsun to be parked outside in the not too distant future.

  5. Simonski on 13/10/08 at 1902 hours

    Some replies…

    Yes its an open house and everyone is welcome, especially the Erskine Design chaps who need a bit of sea air.

    There is a sharp left hand turn before you enter our road. Colly, make sure your brakes are fixed or you will get a little damp!

    We are looking forward to seeing you all!

  6. Tim & Joanne on 14/10/08 at 1148 hours

    We are saving up to buy the tickets to get over, maybe father christmas will pay the steam packet co for our crossing, as early as we can next year; you are both welcome here in rufford anytime, you already know that; can’t promise the same sunrise though, it looks beautiful looking out to sea in the early morning glow on the IOM. 
    whats the local brew over there? I can’t remember what we drank on the stag, all those years ago, but i do remember the curry that i ended up falling asleep into at the table, I still have a morbid fear and loathing of chicken biryani. glad to hear you are settling in,
    see you soon,
    Tim & Joanne

  7. Simon Campbell on 15/10/08 at 1826 hours

    Great stuff… Bushy’s and O’Kells are the local brews and very good they are too… I remember the curry incident; very funny…

  8. skip on 15/10/08 at 1939 hours

    hey hope all is good over there ,im sure it is hey danny has shown me the photos you have added .thank you i do hope you were happy we went back to douglas we had to beg them to let us back on the ferry as they had cancelled the following days crossing due to gale force winds .they told us to go have a beer and wait and see ,but they did let us on and it was a very rough trip over ,but i had friday off and went snowboardin so i was stoked hey hope all goes well with your adventurous exploits hey take care hope beasty has settled in .

  9. Sarah Hall on 17/10/08 at 1058 hours

    You upped and did it! Brilliant - as usual an inspiration to all. You are the total and absolute opposite of BORING - thank God.

    Now about the crossing - feeling suitably inspired to do things differently I’ve bought 27 pairs of armbands and I thought I might do a spot of whale watching on the way across - I looked on a map - its only an inch and a half ( no, not THAT, the IOM) so no problems then….

    Tomorrow the boys and I are off on out Caribbean cruise - Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman, Cozumel on that ship with ice rink, climb wall, surf machine etc etc. Josh has bought a Hugo Boss suit to take me to dinner, bless.

    Having finally met my twinkling irishman John O’Donnell, 5 weeks ago and we both saw something in each other (sawdust for brains in my case) all is blissful at long, long last. Also had shock call from my natural mother this week (I have never sought contact with her) who informs me my father is Irish ex police inspector aged 87 and wants to meet me. Apparently I have step bro and sis! Bloody amazing, but am treading very carefully. It’s a lot to take in.

    Can I ask you - when you get a mo - to check out Simon’s myspace - - he made a cd in a recording studio of all his own stuff playing every instrument. It seems to have been v well received. Let me know what you think.

    James in the Afghan? I was talking to my ex boyfriends young son - in the Irish Guards completed tours of Iran and Afghan and loved it! Sure James will, though it’s always a worry.

    Johnno lives in super duper penthouse thing overlooking river near back of Oracle in Leeds so thats where we spend our weekends pretending to be cool city types as opposed to the local yokels that we really are. If James got stuck there is a spare room and its all very swish with huge terrace - I feel a party brewing - it’s that kind of place. You could stay if you tear yourselves away from IOM to visit.

    Shit, I’m supposed to be packing - something you clearly know a bit about! Good luck out there - watch out for 3-legged folk and cats with no tails.

    Love lots, Sarah xxxxx

  10. Graham & Gill Brushett on 24/10/08 at 1724 hours

    I am assuming that Bevis wanted to move his hedge funds to the shelter of the Manx financial system to get away from the credit crunch and the return of Mandy from the EU!  Was it George Osbourne that was offered a boat that you might be interested in?  Russian oligarchs are big in boats.

    So you are now a long way from the charms of the Tempest Arms - it’s very inconsiderate of you to leave before a farewell meal there.  Angela’s use of the word ‘flitted’ could be seriously misconstrued - was it a moonlight flit? 

    Incidentally, for people who neither fly or have sea legs, how are we supposed to make a surprise visit?  Or do we wait for you to cruise down the Manchester Ship canal in your new ship and hop on at Salford Quays?  Sounds like a good idea to me.  Gill sends her commiserations to Angela - in other words she sends her love and best wishes - and huge resolve for this new chapter in your extraordinary journey through life.  As for Simon - do they have Timothy Taylors or Old Peculiar on the island? And what’s the diving like?  Murky and cold?

    No doubt you are both fully enjoying yourself and no doubt we’ll catch up with again sometime in the next ten years.
    Love to you both & the boys
    Gill & Graham

  11. Simon Campbell on 28/10/08 at 1644 hours

    Ahhh. Some lovely comments here; thank you. I promise we will not be strangers!

  12. Spiked One on 29/10/08 at 0943 hours

    Well, dont know where to start, so We will miss ya all and dont forget to stay in touch.
    I was lucky enough to meet you and friends like you guys are worth keeping.
    ATB Campbells from all at Reefers & Wreckers.

  13. Stuart Bebb on 01/11/08 at 2038 hours

    well what can I say from family down south errrrr Bicester is still classed as the Midlands!!! next time I do refueling with the RAF i’ll give you a wave coz we do like to fly over the I.O.M pulling in the fast jets as the RAF do. Simon that cartoon is very good mate .
    cheers Stuart

  14. Simonski on 03/11/08 at 1042 hours

    Its a sad state of affairs but I am afraid that Bicester is the South mate and you are a Southerner; no doubt.

  15. isle of man mansions on 02/02/10 at 0952 hours

    Are you moving for the taxes?

  16. Simonski on 03/02/10 at 2339 hours

    We have moved for a number of reasons, tax was down on the list somewhat!!


  17. judith on 12/04/10 at 1529 hours

    Such a good design the island is lovely and has lots of benefits. I love some of the little hideaways and beaches.

  18. Simonski on 12/04/10 at 1920 hours

    You are so right Judith, it’s a great design…

  19. kate on 29/11/10 at 0322 hours

    Whatever you do dont put your money in any bank there .
    Dont believe anything that Mr Bell says and dont trust the manx people they will turn on you .

  20. Simonski on 29/11/10 at 1024 hours

    Clearly you have had a bad experience Kate but I always expect people to let me down, politicians and banks not to be trusted

    But, up to now, everything is cool…

Leave your comment


Recent entries

View by category

View by date

RSS Feeds

View available feeds

RSS feeds allow you to see when websites have added new content. You can get the latest headlines and video in one place, as soon as its published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from. More about RSS

Simon Campbell

‘The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.’
James A. Michener (1907-1997)

Read more about Simon »

Copyright © Simon Campbell 2010

Everything on this site is protected using a creative commons license.

Site designed & hosted by Erskine Design

Back to top