Neither mirth nor woe: Macca
It was an August Saturday, the sun already belting down, that we packed the trailer with the camping gear, hooked it up to the back of the car and headed off for a two week holiday under canvas.
As usual, the old man had kept our destination a closely-guarded secret, except for the fact that to make up for the previous year's disappointing wash-out Somerset's rain-soaked Mendip Hills, we were going 'overseas'.
We headed south through Berkshire and Hampshire, and before long we were queuing for the ferry. The Isle of Wight ferry. Oh, ha bloody ha.
Making the most of the short crossing, I wondered round the deck and took in the views of the Solent and the looming bulk of the island as we steamed toward our destination. Standing just to my right was a vaguely familiar figure doing exactly the same.
Well screw me sideways with a scaffolding pole, if it wasn't former Beatle Paul McCartney, getting away from it all for a couple of weeks in a motor home on the Isle of Wight with poor, dead Linda, who at that time was neither poor nor dead.
He seemed quite open about the whole adventure, and said it was a relief to be able to get out and do things on his own without record company gophers doing everything up to and including wiping his bottom for him.
"Look," he said, producing a scrap of paper out of his pocket, "I even paid my own way – with me own MONEY!"
And so he had.
In his hand he held his most prized possession at that moment, a symbol of his independence from the mad, mad world of mega-stardom: A ticket for the ferry crossing to the Isle of Wight.
His Ticket to Ryde.
And that, my friends, is how you do a pun.