One of our favourite days out is to Lytham St Annes. We go every couple of months either to walk around the lake at Fairhaven or go to the pier and the fair at St Annes and it was one of the things I knew we’d miss once the cars went for a burton. It hadn’t occurred to me to try and get there on the train, but thankfully it occurred to David and so one Saturday we announced that we were off to the seaside.
“Are we going in the car?” Harry asked. He’s a bright child. Not so fast on the uptake, it seems.
We all bundled up and headed for the station. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from our house, but it’s on the same route as the school run, so it’s a walk we’ve got extremely used to doing. The train journey was great. Whereas in the past, Joe would sit in the back of the car yelling at us, he was happy on the train looking out of the window and being fed a succession of various foodstuffs. The sun was shining, I was reading a book, everyone was happy. I was starting to think there was something in this carless thing after all.
We got to Lytham and had a bit of a wander before heading towards the prom to get fish and chips for lunch. Sitting outside, we’d just opened our mushy peas when Harry said, “That looks like a big cloud!” And it started to rain. Hoods up, raincover on the pram, we ate our fish and chips huddled together for warmth.
“This is when you need a car,” I said. “What are we supposed to do now?”
We finished our lunch and scurried down to the pier where we played air hockey, had a go on a few (small, mild) rides before doing a bit of bowling. By then, the rain had practically stopped and a rainbow across the beach heralded the return of the sun. We walked along the prom, looking out across the twinkling bay. Even though it was still freezing, Harry bought an ice lolly. On the way back to the station, we stopped for coffee and cake.
“We’ve had a lovely time today!” Harry said.
And we had.
Shall I gloss over the bit where the train was late and we waited in the wind and the rain? And the drunk woman who spent half of the (extended due to the adverse weather) journey talking loudly to Joe as if he was a particularly simple-minded budgie –
“You’re very clever,aren’t you? Yes you are. I know. I know. You are. Yes you are. Very clever. Aren’t you? Yes you are! I know!”
And then the walk home from the station in the damp and the cold and the dark? No. It was all part of the fun.
Yes, we seem to be changing our definition of fun…
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