I must have been in Blackpool at some point in my life but honestly I can't remember. It looks beautiful here doesn't it? The sunshine helped, and the faded glamour of the north pier was lovely to photograph. If you're looking for class and sophistication Blackpool is probably not for you. If you're 6 or 3 though you'll probably think you're in Heaven. Tack is in great abundance, everything flashes in gaudy colours, it's jam packed full of Scottish people this time of year and you can't find a vegetable for love nor money.
Brodie is not a sunshine fan. Grier is an icecream fan. I'm a Baxter fan. And Greig, bless his heart, always looks at the camera and smiles even when everyone else epically fails.
The kids thought Greig had lost his mind when he brought them deep fried donuts, strawberry jam pancakes and slushies for tea. They ate quickly to ensure his senses didn't return before their little bellies were full. To be fair, the dinner offerings at the pier were slim and the delight on their faces was priceless.
Back at the ranch (farmhouse) a girl and her elephant took her shiny new kite out for a spin.
There was a full scale domestic over who got to sleep in this bed as it had fancy golden knobs on it. Grier won the argument but not the war I feel.
The Pleasure Beach was much busier, noisier and more sensorily overwhelming than we had anticipated. Country bumpkins that we are. Grier was just sort of dizzingly happy to be there, Brodie was a bit miffed that there were some rides he couldn't get on and Baxter had me for company the lucky little duck.
D D D D D Dora!
My raincoat, his sunhat.
I have to say absolutely every member of staff we encountered at the Pleasure Beach and the Sandcastle Water Park were lovely. So friendly and helpful, hospitality is a big deal for them, despite Blackpool's dare I say less salubrious image?
Stanley Park provided Grier with this lovely bandstand so she could write, produce and direct her own show for us.
The actual words coming out of her mouth at this point - 'Grier's Fairytale Theatre is proud to present the Princess and the Rescue'. No word of a lie. Off the top of her head. Greig and I stood there agog until......
Greig (and Baxter) were cast as the Bad Witch.
Don't worry, the Princess totes survived and took the biggest of bows in front of her rapturous audience.
Heald Farm, the beauty.
It was quite windy on top of that hill. Despite our countryside location this is the furthest we ventured into the wild. About 200 paces from the door of the farmhouse. Perhaps we're townies after all?
Sadly it was all too soon time to pack up and come home. We're already planning our next adventures though. It's fair to say they might include a beach and some icecream.