I live in an English seaside town. If you’re British, you already know what this looks like, as they all have the same, basic ingredients:
- A beach
- A pier
- A significant number of victorian civic buildings and private dwellings lightly spoilt by disastrous 1960s town planning decisions
- Amusement arcades
- A general air of gentrified decay
- Junk shops selling souvenirs
- and most importantly of all, grease
In ‘my’ town the fast food providers along the seafront start ordering extra cooking oil during the February half term holidays and from then on, the town’s deep fat fryers remain fully stoked until the last tourist leaves in November, when the town takes a breather before the cheap Christmas lunch deals kick in and the Christmas ‘tourists’ start.
The place always has a slightly ‘devil may care’ look to it, but today it looked a picture of jolly, innocent fun as it sat basking in beautiful sunshine.
This last point is something which the townsfolk at large are not really used to. Freezing winds and driving rain, yes. Heat, no. As a consequence they took this as a signal to do what people from these frozen isles should never do – take their winter clothes off. Some children may have been traumatised for life seeing many acres of sun burned skin.
Personally, I love it all. From the tatty souvenir shop on the sea front which has had one box of Present from …. Fudge for sale in its window for over 2 years, to the crazy golf and the beach donkeys. Why be anywhere else?