Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blackpool: The Pleasures of English Seaside Towns Part 2 of 3

The day after Hilbre Island we went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. As you can see from the pictures above, the weather was great, people were on the beach, and everything was good.

And then we went into the Pleasure Beach (which is a bunch of rides and stalls). There were big queues, a massively diverse crowd in terms of ethnicity, and it was fun, if rather expensive - £23 for a wristband. Land of Hope and Glory played on the carousel organ and the questionable strangeness of the attractions was something to behold.

 And then a cold front came in, the temperature dropped ten degrees in seconds, the rain came in off the lake district and things became distinctly crap, especially when all the best rides (which we hadn't gone on yet) were closed because of wind, weather and technical problems.

So we did what all right-minded people do and we went on the pier. On the pier they have slot machines where you can spend your money. My daughter still remembers when she bet 4p on a 20/1 shot in the horse racing game and won 80p. But they didn't have that game on Blackpool's South Pier so we put our 2p pieces into the penny falls. You put your money in and hope that it pushes money over the fall for you to win. Basically it's a slow way to lose money. You think you're winning but all the time you're losing as slowly your money drips away. It's a bit like photography. It's a bit like most of the jobs I have.

But it's a fun way to lose money, almost as much fun as the horse-racing derby rollerball game. This is a game where you roll balls into holes and (depending on what score the hole is) the horse moves on a certain distance. First to the finishing line is the winner. We played on the pleasure beach and my wife won it twice. The joy of the game comes from the commentary and the sheer fun of the performance of the guy commentating. On the pier they didn't have horse racing. They had camel racing and it was getting a lot of attention from visitors of Asian background. On the day we were there no visitors of Asian background went on the horses. But they did go on the camels which was interesting. 

And why not. Going to a theme park is a performance - it's live action role play where you play the part of being a theme park visitor. In fact everything is live action role play, including the writing and reading of this blog, and absolutely everything to do with photography.

So that was that and off we went into the driving rain, slightly disappointed because of the weather but resigned to that fate because when have we ever been to Blackpool and it hasn't been tipping it down with rain.

And that was Blackpool, a place where playing the part is everything, where losing can be winning, where a camel is not a horse and where disappointment is part of the game.

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