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Blackpool! The legendary seaside resort which, perhaps strangely for a British Person of my age and upbringing, I'd never actually been to. I'd been to nearby SOUTHPORT many many times, because my Auntie and cousins lived there, but we'd always gone to Southport beach rather than make the short journey to its much more famous neighbour.
The reason for the trip was Mr Paul Myland, long-term Peterborough United season ticket holder who celebrated his 40th birthday on Thursday, two days before Posh were due to play Blackpool in The Exciting Championship Division. One thing led to another and soon a whole BUNCH of us were booked to travel up, see the game, and then go out on The Town.
My big day out started with PANIC as I overslept, having to DASH through my ablutions and SCARPER, making the train north with MINUTES to spare. Three hours later I was in Blackpool and in a taxi with The Glummest Driver EVER who basically told me i wouldn't get into the football ground and would be STABBED TO DEATH by the hoardes of Scottish people arriving for "Glasgow Weekend". He was incorrect on both counts.
I got to the "hotel" we were staying at to find Mr Myland in a HIGHLY AGITATED STATE as he'd just been told that he was going to be the TEAM MASCOT for the day! He was VERY excited, as well he might be, as we went upstairs to drop my stuff in his room. I have been in many hotels in my life, but none quite like this - a B&B with NOTHING in it but bedrooms, each of which had as many single beds CRAMMED into it as possible. My room had SIX of us in a room clearly originally designed as a small double. It was almost as if they had a lot of single sex groups who needed somewhere to sleep after a night out! In Blackpool?!?
I went to the pub while Mileage went off to get ready, and was pleased to see another old school pal, Mr M Guest, with whom I had a lengthy discussion about the merits of Blackpool as a city - we agreed that it certainly does have a lot of pound shops, chip shops and "bars". Any other opinions which may or may not have been expressed are available at private audience. POLITENESS.
Off we went then to the football match, where we discovered that Blackpool have three quarters of a big modern stadium, and one side which is just some chairs stood on tarmac with no roof, also known as The Away End. The highlight of the afternoon came early when the MASCOTS were paraded in front of us, Mileage EXCELLING himself by being the only person in a Posh kit to score a goal all day - you can see him briefly on the BBC mini-video thing, he's the ATHLETIC looking one at the far right of the line-up eight seconds in. We were so proud!
Almost two hours of our lives later the "game" was over (2-0 to Blackpool,both goals in the first twelve minutes) and we headed back down to The Front, where Guesty and I decided to hit the PIER. This was an EXCELLENT idea and we had a FANTASTIC time. We went on this ball-throwing/horse-racing very old fashioned game thing where we BOTH one small cuddly toys! We went on THE BIG WHEEL! The WALTZER! The DODGEMS! There were penny falls, air hockey, and about half an hour's worth of ZOMBIE FIGHTING! It was FANTASTIC!
The rest of the day consisted of some more pub and then a brief sojourn back at the "hotel" before heading out once more for LARKS in a local pub and then The Tower Lounge, a club which cost the princely sum of TWO QUID to get into! We all had a jolly old time with the BEER and the DANCING and all that, but by 11.30pm i have to confess i was KNACKERED - there'd been another Leytonstone Standing Outside Shouting Festival in our street the night before so I hadn't slept well, and also - come on! it was nearly MIDNIGHT!
When I got back I thought "I'll have a couple of hours kip then will doubtless wake up when everyone else comes in" but MIRACULOUSLY slept like a BABY. Everyone else must have been VERY quiet, it is the ONLY explanation! I woke up about 7.30am and decided to go and have a walk along the BEACH, which was rather nice at that time of day, and CLEARED MY HEAD very well before it was time to get back, say farewells to PALS, and hit the train home.
I tell you what tho, I can see why they have conferences in Brighton these days instead. By the time I got home I was DONE IN, Blackpool is KNACKERING!
posted 29/9/2009 by MJ Hibbett
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