This morning started with a similar amount of laziness. Chris and I grabbed showers before we headed out for the day. I drove us to Blackpool. We parked the car near the dunes outside of St Annes. Our Sidekick loved hanging out there as he was able to practice stunts into the sand and it didn’t hurt. I climbed up the dune after Chris and Our Sidekick. At the top of the dune, the wind was really strong to the extent that as I got to the top of the dune the sand was hitting me in the face! I ended up wearing my waterproof jacket to try and keep the sand off me.
We headed over the dunes onto the beach itself, I took up residence towards the back of the beach. Our Sidekick carried on doing stunts behind me while Chris got out his kite and had a play with it, the wind was that strong that the kite took off at quite some speed. While I was sat on the beach I did some Sudoku puzzles and watched the wake boarders in the shallows.
As we walked back over dunes, the boys kept challenging me to walk down the steep bit of the dune rather than taking the easier bit. Well I did manage it then to prove the point I walked up the steep bit to then turn round and come back down again. I think my biggest concern was that I wasn’t going to be able to catch my footing and go head first or something like that. When I was sat at the top trying to assess which route to go down and whether to sit down and then walk my feet down or just go for it, Our Sidekick and Chris kept digging the sand out from underneath my feet and my bottom so that I had to move down whether I liked it or not.
We headed into Blackpool itself, Chris drove along the Promenade and then we found somewhere to park (Tip: if you’re happy to walk a little bit (like 5-10 mins back to the sea front) Banks Street car park is £2 for 12 hours. I think this goes up to £4/£6 for 24 hours and you can park up to 96 hours should you need it). We had a potter round the shops and along the sea front. The boys had fish and chips for lunch, I stole one of Chris’s chips so I didn’t feel left out, while I waited for my pasta pot thing to do its stuff. I’m glad it’s syn free but with all the walking we have been doing I really needed something bigger for lunch and maybe the pasta pot for tea instead. We spent the rest of the afternoon pottering round. We each had £1 to have a go on the arcade machines. Our Sidekick and I played air hockey (he won 6-2) then I played on one of the dance mat machines, the one I wanted to play on that had songs I knew was out of order so I played on a different one, I wasn’t that good – I think I’m just out of practice!
For dinner we went to Bella Italia (Chris had been really organised and organised various different vouchers and deals for us to use during the week. He’s the Voucher King!!) I chose Tagliatelle Pomodoro, I figured given that it was basically pasta with tomato sauce although it might not be syn free it might at least be low syn. I “spent” my syns on a doughnut (don’t panic it was a small square one about the size of a debit card and about 3cm thick. I figured given the walking and unused syns through the day it would be okay).
After dinner we crossed over the road to The Winter Gardens to see why there had been lots of people in sparkly outfits wearing numbers on their backs like audition numbers. It turned out it was the World Dance Masters competition and people were wearing numbers so that they could be identified by the judges. We weren’t allowed in to watch properly (you had to pay quite a lot for a ticket and things like that!). I briefly watched a couple of people walking through their routine in the foyer, then we turned to leave. As we walked back through the foyer I said to Chris it looked a bit like something out of a Busby Berkeley film, I think he agreed with me even though he didn’t necessarily know who I was talking about (he used to direct the big dance numbers in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films).
We then headed up to the Tower Ballroom as each evening through the summer they have a Family Fun Night. Now that I had food in my tummy and energy to do stuff I kept being really silly, I tried swinging Chris round then kept walking into him to try and put him off and things like that. We entered the Blackpool Tower main entrance and spoke to a young lady about where to go and things like that. We’d gone in the wrong side for the Ballroom so walked through the arcade and some other bits to get to the main staircase and elevator. I took the elevator up as we weren’t sure how far it was from the ground floor to the ballroom level. We hung out in the corridor to start with as we had been told we wouldn’t be allowed into the ballroom itself until it opened at 7. After a little explore it turned out that it was already open. We wandered in and found somewhere to sit. I was impressed at how big it was but did remark to Chris that having seen it on Strictly Come Dancing quite a few times it always seemed bigger on the television.
During the kid’s dance competition up the front they were doing the Cha Cha Slide, originally I’d tried to get Our Sidekick to come dance with me but in the end Chris did – I’m guessing that means I could say that I’ve danced at The Tower Ballroom also could say that I’ve danced on the same dance floor as Anton Du Beck, Brendan Cole and Erin Boag amongst others! Also had to teach Chris how to do the cha cha step in the Cha Cha Slide and the how to do the Highland Jig bit of The Music Man. (He needs more practice lol).
We stayed to watch the kid’s magician, the UV performance and then the first couple of tricks from the Illusionist who was performing later in the evening. The first magician chap was okay but really not my cup of tea. The UV Puppet show was good and kind of entertaining but the technique wasn’t amazing. At a puppet workshop I’ve been to in the past, we were told how when your puppet talks or sings it should keep its head still and the jaw does all the work (try talking by keeping your lower jaw still and moving your upper jaw to do all the work – it’s really hard right?!)
The illusionist again was okay if that’s your kind of thing, he did one trick where he had a giant present and at first it was light then he did a little dance and presented to the audience then he went back to try it again and it was heavy, he then opened it and there was his assistant. The next trick involved making his assistant disappear. He presented the box that he was going to put her in and how the mechanism worked and that sort of thing. Then he put her in and set to work. I thought I had some idea of how it was done because of the way he presented it the second time but I’m still not side. Maybe I’m just a skeptic of something but I really don’t like magic/illusion shows. I spent most of the evening writing notes for this blog post. I might make a list of notes but I don’t tend to write my post out in full while still having the adventure because I’m likely to miss something otherwise.
While we had been waiting to go in I had noticed an amazing tiled area outside of the Blackpool Tower. It has lots of writing across it and I wanted to go and explore it some more. The biggest quote that dominates it (and can be seen from the windows outside the ballroom) is “Nice to see you, to see you, Nice!” On our way back to the car, we (well I while forcing the boys) stopped to have a closer look. Some I recognised instantly and others took a little more concentrating. Some made me laugh out loud (really loud! Oops!).
My favourite was the lyrics to Bring Me Sunshine by Eric and Ernie. Hence the picture, I think only fans will get what I’m trying to do a video in daylight might work better! (Might have to do that when we go to the Tower or Pleasure Beach later in the week).
In the car on the way back I thought about how come I love the “older” comedy like The Goons, Month Python, Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies, but don’t necessarily like newer comedy. Now I’m not saying that’s all comedy after all I’ve been to see Dave Gorman and The Hairy Bikers live (in fact both were at Cambridge Corn Exchange) but comedy isn’t the same any more and I can’t really put my finger on it. I wondered if it was the comedy now is ruder or contains more swearing or something like that but then I’m sure there were comedians back then that were pushing boundaries and things like that. Now I know that Monty Python is a little rude in places and so probably doesn’t fit the equation, I’m guessing they were pushing the boundaries a bit (just look at the news stories around the release of The Life of Brian!).