Full Monty in Fabulous #Blackpool pic.twitter.com/3UJsFNB6xV

Blackpool Beach, Morecambe Bay, Snowy mountains, sunrise, lake district, Golden Mile
Distant snow covered hills try to imitate the pure beauty of winter Blackpool

Through rain, sleet, ice and snow we battled through to Blackpool in the dark. The journey was the best part of 300 miles, half of it on the pitch black truck fest strip of the M6 motorway. Ooh what fun it is to slalom along in the spray and blurred windshield mess of mystery tarmac. Most of the time I had no idea where I was. Forget the sat naff. I needed radar. 

In the swirl of icy night we arrived on the closed down Golden Mile. Loveless and mocked, Albericht once again had stolen the Rheingold from the maidens

promenade, illuminations, Blackpool, tramway, hotel, hotel view, Strand Hotel,
Silent plastic sirens cling to lamp posts

. The clamour of glamour had been gagged and bundled into a dark cupboard. The glitz hid pinch-faced with collar up in shuttered doorways. The fun of the fair sulked moaning that life was effing unfair. It wasn’t Bleak House – it was bleak homeless. Yet it was wonderful. Blackpool lay like a beautiful forgotten film star, her allure un-painted, her face bared  back to nature ready for her next come-back. Blackpool – you are the electric daydream of the insomniac poet. You are the Kiss Me Quick Carnival of the Northern Post Industrial Venice. 

Along the Promenade glowed the blue signed entrance of the Strand

Stand Hotel Blackpool, promenade Blackpool,
Top hotel – a real spread and breakfast.

hotel. The wind whipped the car door from my grasp and the air from my lungs.The gale shrieked through the tram wires and the giant plastic lamp post mermaids: Oh silent sirens of the raging deep. We fought the Atlantic blast to the front revolving door and spun into the foyer like circus clowns fired from a cannon. All was calm. A lovely smiley lass issued drinks. We were safe at last. 

We slept well in room 101. The sea roared outside. I dreamed of the

Blackpool hotel room, atlantic rollers, Executive double, Strand Hotel
The wild universe as seen from a warm comfy bed

roaring wheels of hurtling trucks and the flip flop smear of windshield wipers. We awoke warm to gaze upon the merciless Atlantic ocean. Pity all those mariners and creatures of the wild. My thoughts were of this Island England and all that it could offer. Yes – a full Monty fry up breakfast. Oooh you have to come up north to stuff yourself on black pudding to fortify your soul. As Britain remembers the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral, this was the land of tradition he fought to save. We had the lot – the egg, the fried bread, the mushrooms, the beans, the hash browns, the sausage, the bacon, the black pud and washed it down with hot dark tea. Strand Hotel – you scoop the spare tyre award with honours and distinction. As we munched the ocean threw its fury at our Island race. We fought back on the beaches with our insoluble cholesterol and never surrendered. 

Fried Breakfast, English Breakfast, Full Monty, eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, hash brown, mushrooms, tomato, beans, hot tea, toast and marmalade
A Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire breakfast

Blackpool surely offers the greatest choice of hotels in the Northern hemisphere. It is a competitive market and the value is extraordinary. You could stay for a week at the price of a London night. A big big thank you to all the staff at the excellent Strand hotel, Blackpool

Emma Thinx: Darkness is but the stage where light reveals our part.

Emma’s Spare Tyre Restaurant Award Goes To Blackpool

You raise me up

Oh there’s a hint a winta around my follicles. Back in the UK as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness pisses me right off. While I wait for wealth and fame, the northern winter isn’t waiting for me. It’s here and drawing me in. The shawl of evening darkness folds around me. If you’re a true fish-chip-mushy-pea gobbling Brit there’s only one thing to do. Yes – head for Blackpool.  

Gaw Blimey Guv  – Is that the Chattanooga choo choo?

Most of my readers are not in the UK. Very often I am in the warm air, vines and swallows of France. It is just possible that some citizens of the world know little about Blackpool. It is a strange blend of features but if you can imagine Liberace’s fast food joint set in the middle of Buffalo Bill’s carousel you kinda get the idea. Add to that a massive sandy beach, a tower dans le style d’Eiffel and some wonderful trams and you have our British jewel of the Northern Night. On 29th August, top Brit’ comedian Peter Kay threw the switch to turn on the illuminations. Winter be gone! The illuminations are on. 

Let there be light

It’s all completely over the top, brash and ridiculous. I fitted in at once even though no one understood my London/French accent. 

Out of the blue came paradise on a plate

Of course there was only one possible type of dinner. We headed into C’Fresh fish and chips restaurant which is in Lytham Road, just off the Promenade strip. I dined on battered haddock, chips and mushy peas. We drew astonished stares by sharing a bottle of Blossom Hill Merlot but I was a glamorous Romantic novelist out on the town with my hunk.  Pints of beer and mugs of tea seemed more popular. The wine was moderately priced by restaurant standards. The fish was fine white and fresh. The batter and the chips were cooked to order. A charming young lady took our order and politely answered my stupid questions about sales ratios between cod and haddock. So, for excellence in the realm of British traditional cuisine my first UK spare tire tummy award goes to C’Fresh of Blackpool. 

As seen from the Irish Sea

We stayed at the Ramsay hotel on Queen’s Promenade. The prices were modest indeed. The room was comfortable and lavishly stocked with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and bottled drinking water. Soaps, shampoos and gels were plentiful. All of these products were top quality branded stuff – no cash and carry junk. We had breakfast of a good choice of cereals and fruit juice as a starter. The full English breakfast was lavish and well cooked. There was also toast. All the spreads and the butter were top quality products. I do not hesitate to give an Emma’s spare tire tummy award for English seaside excellence to the Ramsay hotel. The proprietor was a lovely chap called Uttar Tamata who was most welcoming. 

Does my fin look big in this?

While there is light let there be flight

And finally, back to Blackpool.Half of the 360 degree vista is the sea. It’s a real bucket and spade beach complete with gulls. All the jingle jangle of cash and the flashing of lights mean nothing to the long term course of Nature. On the sands a child will form a memory of a parent helping to dig a magic castle and will carry it to death as the lights switch off. Such is our season and such is the joy of the resort town. Immortality is not the repetition of mortalities but it will do while there is still power in the switch and a contempt for the darkness. Blackpool, your brash slash of trash panache,your hour defying tower of power, – je t’aime. 

Emma Thinx: Lighten your soul. Bleach your dark roots.