Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's good to relax

after a month of revision. We went to the seaside on sunday, which is something I haven't actually done (in the UK at least) for quite a while. I love coastal towns because they are almost all uniformly tacky. British readers will probably know what I'm talking about, but for those who aren't... hmm.

Well to start with you have the arcades. Games arcades on the whole are very tacky places, all flashing lights and loud noises, but you get the added treat of an electronic bingo announcer coming over everything, saying strings of numbers meaninglessly. There is of course the penny machines! These are fantastic money eaters, where one puts in a pound worth of 2 pennies and get nothing back! Every now and then the precariously balanced piles of pennies will shift and it will make you very excited, convincing you that soon big prizes are to be had- perhaps even the small toy car will be given (according to the machine I used, apparently one can trade in three cars for a motorbike. A toy motorbike.) Once you tire of this, you can go on the aging arcade machines, on which generally the guns will not quite align with the screen, and, in one case, the screen so old the graphics look awful.

Tiring of this, one can emerge into the light and enjoy the fine cuisine available at the seaside. Fish and chips. Somewhat is made of this being the UK's national dish, a depressig thought, and while if you go a mile in land you will find all different kinds of food, here you are trapped in the land that time forgot, where fish and chips are your only option, or, for the vegetarian.... chips. In defence of one place, they did have a vegebuger, but frankly I did not hold my hopes too high, deciding instead to bank on eating sweets. Of which there is plenty, my favourite being rock, even if it did collapse in my hands to fall to the floor, causing me to become very petulant. Alice promised to buy some more, thus avoiding a large wailing tantrum (and honestly, wouldn't it be fun to actually just let go and DO that one day?)

As well as the arcade, there is always the pier, where along with the arcade machines from back on shore, there is also a host of fairground rides, some of which look like they will collapse under your weight, and there are the dodgems, which, thanks to various new regulations, apparently you are forbidden from bumping into other people (which makes me wonder what the hell the point of the things are....) We actually avoided this to use a machine called "pirate blaster. Basically, there are a bunch of plastic pirates, you put some money in and squirt them with water. I was very enthusiastic with this until a few seconds in, having forgotten that they squirt water back. Still, I continued valiantly, getting soaked in the process, with the others ducking for cover like..... well like more sensible people to be honest.

Finally there is the beach, which in this case had some donkey rides going across it. This is not always the case, and I rather think it is a bad idea. Oh, sure, you get the kids being greatly entertained, but you also get donkey shit on the beach, which, frankly, I can do without. Never mind, there was a fair amount uninhabited by donkeys, although by the time we went to the beach the sea had retreated about a mile out, foiling my plans to go swim (to be honest, swimming in British water is rarely a good idea, due to extreme lack of heat, but it's a tradition that I absolutely freeze myself). Still, we made a large wall- then kicked it down- while Alice made a sand boat. And got angry at me when I accidentally broke a bit of it......

On a minor note, the way there was entertaining in of itself, Ben providing transport, although being rather poor at taking directions, at several points leading us into absolutely the wrong direction (on the way back, faced with the choice between the M4 south, north, and the M5, and knowing he had to go down the M4, but not knowing which one to choose, took the M5), while listening to his inane mix cd (including team America, "do you really like it, is it is it wicked?" and the Excel girls).

In conclusion, going to the seaside is fun, getting sand abolutely everywhere is less fun.

3 Comments:

At 6:50 pm, Blogger Phil Plasma said...

I once spent a week vacation with some internet friends in a hotel in Paignton near Torbay in Devon. A lot of what you mention in your post reminds me of that vacation.

 
At 4:19 am, Blogger The Venomous Bee said...

See ... in Saskatoon, everyone goes to "the lake" or to "the farm" to get away. If we want tackiness, the "Exhibition" comes through once a year (very little to do with actual exhibiting -- there is a part of the fair ground where people bring animals to show, and another part where artists and craftspersons bring their stuff and some get awarded prizes) and you can go and eat crap and have people throw up on you after they get off the tilt-a-whirl.

At least you have historical context. It's nice to hear that the Blackpool/Brighton thing isn't a myth. I would have been heartbroken if it were.

 
At 11:16 pm, Anonymous hilarious catastrophes said...

ooo...tilt-a-wirl! Now that sounds painful... I'm not a fan of fairground rides and the like, mainly because they induce illness... It was a great day out at the beach... And Kieran...you did kind of whine...only i averted any long term damage that might have been aflicted on myself and your good friends by acting with haste... Hehe! You have to appreciate the tackiness of british seaside resorts... they are full of people so must be doing something right... seriously tho... I'm not sure some of the merchandise was strictly seaside themed... the breast mug being one item of such quality... I am still a little shocked... not to mention the wind-up toys... I am however very pleased i bought my Hat and Bucket and Spade... They are childhood memories re-lived... as for trashing my Sand speed boat, My insurance company will be in touch... (tsk!) With fondness to you all dear folk... :o)

 

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