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Black to basics

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Just got back from mine and the kids’ annual pilgrimage to Blackpool. Mostly to enjoy the thrills of the rickety rides at the Pleasure Beach and in part to remind ourselves that whatever life throws at us, or how low we may sometimes feel – it could be worse – we could live in Blackpool.

24 hours is about as much as we can take of good old Blackers. I might be on meds at the moment but I’m not completely fucking mental!  How anyone can actually afford to go for a week, even if they wanted to, is beyond me. It surely must be cheaper to go to Spain.
The Bman has to go there for work occasionally. He hates it with a passion and cannot understand why we go. To be fair, the punters at the Pleasure Beach aren’t usually as unfortunate as the ones you might encounter around the bars and clubs and tatt shops.  On this visit I don’t think we actually saw one drunken person, which surely must be a first!  I did see a rather large lady in some kind of knee length MuMu shouting at her kids for running through the fountains (as I was running through the fountains myself). Other than that we escaped unscathed without my girls being groomed into a sex trafficking ring (I’m too old for that kind of caper these days), so, all good.
I thought I’d broken my neck on the Grand National at one point (best wooden rollercoaster ever – just don’t look too closely at the loose nuts and bolts on the way round.) I also think that even for my relatively mediocre sized boobs, a sports bra might be the way forward next time! I even went in the maze and didn’t freak out (I am a bit scared of mazes).  I rode the UK’s only actual haunted ghost train but the scariest apparition I saw was this, when I took a selfie.

No sign of ‘Clopper’ the ghost of the ghost train

It was a fun 24 hours and will hopefully keep me in a good mood for returning to work on Monday. Only an hour a week for the first week of my phased return because as I said before, I am not completely fucking mental. I need to build up gently to a full return. We shall see how that pans out.  I do need to go back though. There’s only so many hours of Paranormal Witness that a girl can watch. I need to start interacting with the living (even if a lot of them annoy the very bones of me).  I was also starting to seriously consider an alternative career.  By career, I mean I wondered what the wage was for driving that little train round Bradford Broadway Shopping Centre. I though perhaps if I was driving it I might not actually get run over by the fucker every time I go into town!  (My own fault in fairness for not watching where I am going).

So wish me luck for next week and in the meantime, do enjoy some pictorial memories of our Blackers jolly.

My beautiful girls

It’s a parrot poncho. Don’t judge me

Going crackers in Blackers

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Was served in Primark by a midget and a stood in line for the cash machine behind a man in full drag earlier this week.  Yup.  Welcome to Blackpool MoFos!

Wasn’t feeling up for it to be honest despite having booked it months ago, but once we got there I rallied a bit.  Ended up with 3rd degree wind burn & a tomato face by the end of the day.  God knows what I’d have looked like if I hadn’t had some sunscreen in my tinted moisturizer!

Thought high winds might’ve put the kybosh on it, but youngest childerbeast finally got to ride The Big One.  Wasn’t tall enough the first time we went a couple of years ago.  Last year she was, but she bottled out.  This year she went on without me and went on Infusion and Revolution.  Before I know it they’ll be off on adventurous days out like this without their auld Mum.



Convinced I saw the actor/comedian John Thompson in the line for the Ghost Train but it could just have been his doppleganger.  After all, I’ve been mistaken for Maxine Peake before now.


He wasn’t dressed like this…



It’s not me


There’s something very therapeutic about committing yourself to the mercy of a teenage ride operator running a rollercoaster, which was built in the 1930s out of matchwood and duct tape.  Just don’t look too closely at the structure as you fly round and for the love of god keep your hands inside the damn cart!
The Grand National is my favourite by a mile, followed closely by the Wild Mouse.  Pretty sure the Final Destination franchise missed a trick there by not using that ride for their coaster catastrophe scene.  Go on it and I defy you not to shriek.  A tiny bit of wee came out when I was on it.  It’s quite tricky to squeeze in those pelvic floor muscles when your arse is actually airborne from your seat and you’re trying to hold onto your daughter!

Tena times. Good times.



It’s not wee, honest.

Half term. Full throttle.

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So the start of this half term week mostly consisted of shrieks of joy, whoops of delight and my mouth being wide open. Either at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, or at the dentist having a check-up.  Consequently I now have tonsillitis but wasn’t going to let that stop me doing it all again this weekend at Alton Towers.   Have been waiting for both childerbeast to be tall enough for all the rides so I can get my moneys worth.  I booked an overnight stay at Splash Landings Hotel back in February & this was going to pretty much be our Griswold family holiday this year, as Bman’s holidays haven’t coincided with any of our school holidays this year.  We were having fun whatever the cost, tonsillitis or no tonsillitis.


It’s been over 15 years since I went last and about 30 years since Bman went.  The Corkscrew was the main ride when he was there last so we were doing the Big Six Challenge for sure. 

Piece of cake.  I can shit the Big Six for breakfast (but you can keep the Ripsaw.  I can’t deal with the hanging upside down).

Nemesis = ridden it loads of times

Oblivion = not holding on when you drop for full ‘rad’ freefall effect

Air = weird sensation when the floor gives way and you tip up…but lots of  fun. Try & get front seats.

Rita = opportunity for quality ‘ride face’ when you set off at 100mph. Arms in the air but try not to lose a hand!

Thirteen = wish I hadn’t know about the ‘surprise’ at the end

The Smiler = if the insanely bonkers queuing system & continuous la la la, da da dah music doesn’t send you round the twist before you get on, then the 14 loops and sheer vertical track climb certainly will.  This ride may well trigger early 90s acid flashbacks. Enjoy!

Managed to get my youngest on 5 of the 6 by our second day in the park.  Only missing The Smiler because the queue on day 2 was too long and we CBA.  Not bad going at all for a girl who was only persuaded to ride the Big Dipper on Blackpool Pleasure Beach at the start of the week after a lot of badgering.  She’s gone from wimpy kid to Bodhi from Point Break in the space of 6 days.

Proud times.

Be dauntless lil dude

Be dauntless lil dude




Marmalized by The Smiler

Marmalized by The Smiler


Even this duckling is keen to join the line for The Smiler

Even this duckling is keen to join the line for The Smiler

Almost same look I had on my face when I 1st rode the Nemesis

Almost same look I had on my face when I 1st rode the Nemesis


new 2015 family photo

new 2015 family photo


Do not try logging on to this app whilst walking up steps or you may die

Don’t try logging on to this app whilst walking up steps or you may die


Fortunately there are no photos of me tripping over my own jeans going up the steps to the Nemesis. Smacked my knees, landed on my phone (as it bounced out of its supposedly protective case), cracking the screen in the process!

FFS woman!  As my old mate Moodo said.  “Try master walking up steps before attempting the Big Six babe.”


Gave Bman & the other people in the line behind me a good laugh anyway.

Also no pictures of me & Bman laid out on the bed like bloated whales after taking full advantage of the all you can eat buffet at Flambos Exotic Feast.  Belly buster times.  Like I said, we do like to get our moneys worth. 

Back to work tomorrow. Without my bezzy, who’s abandoned me to go work in a seaside school that has surf lessons for Year 6s and overlooks the beautiful west cliff of Whitby… well you would if you could wouldn’t you?
Who’s going to help me keep my big head & even bigger gob below the radar now?

Watch this space.


Freaks come out at night (or at 10am in fact!) AKA a day out in Blackpool

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My No. 1 child did her SATs last week, including 2 level 6 maths papers.  Fingers crossed for decent results in July!


As a treat for working so hard, I arranged for 2 of her mates to come with us to Blackpool for the day on Saturday and didn’t we pick a cracking weekend for it?

I knew it was going to be a corker when we passed the fire station on the way to catch the train and saw 2 young, attractive, fireman sunbathing topless on the wall.


If that wasn’t good luck enough, there was also a dwarf waiting to catch the same train as us. 

Good omens indeed. 

Then just to prove the rule of the power of three – at Hebden Bridge a dozen young fit, sporty men on a stag-do boarded our carriage. 

Happy days.

I couldn’t have asked for a more well-behaved, profanity-free, intellectual bunch of young men to sit around us.  (Although I’m not sure that the one sat next to me would have been discussing his recent groin injury quite so openly , had he known that only one of my MP3 earphones was working.) 


The middle-aged Hen party that had got on, all pink and bunny-eared at Halifax; fuelled up on Lambrini; soon spied the opportunity to blow the dust off their nether regions and began the age-old mating ritual of laughing louder, cackling like witches and sending the bravest/most fertile/stupidest/drunkest/the one who drew the short (probably penis-shaped) straw, down the carriage to try and inveigle their way in with the stags.
The stags, being proud young men of clear intellect, good taste and being a good 25 years younger than the hens, remained polite yet uninterested.  The hens, sensing defeat, stumbled off the train at Preston, feather boas and underarm swoops akimbo, to seek older/drunker/more desperate prey.

I had forewarned my young charges that there would be worse sights to see once we got to Blackers.  I was not wrong (but more on THAT later).

The sun was blazing when we arrived.  Within 2 minutes we had decided to play a game of High-5ing one another whenever we saw a freak, weirdo, casualty or general oddbod. 

I won’t lie… I feared skin grafts to our palms may be required by the time we got home later that evening!

Holy Moley!   

“Hello is that the lunatic asylum?  I think some of your inmates have escaped.”

My favourite was probably ‘sunburnt, inappropriately dressed, heavily pregnant teenager’. Or possibly (and here’s 7 words that should never be heard in the same sentence)  ‘overweight, wig wearing, bra-less, wet T-shirt  Nanna’ on the log flume.  That one drew a collective “WOAH!!!” from the queue as we waited our turn on the RugRats River Rapids ride.  Syrups to the left, Lills south.

My eyes are still burning. 


I have to give massive credit to all the girls for being a total delight all day.  So polite & considerate.  Taking turns to be the one who had to sit on their own on a ride if there wasn’t room altogether.  Or being so kind to Thing2, who suffered silently all day with blistered feet, to the point that I ended up piggy-backing her for an hour because she was struggling to walk.  Even I managed to not voice aloud the words, “Should have worn different shoes… like I suggested… but you didn’t listen to.”  (I definitely said them in my head though.)


The day was everything I wanted it to be for them:- Fun, relaxing and a treat.  They ate nothing of any nutritional value all day.  Just because a Tango Ice Blast claims to be raspberry, does not, my friend, count as one of your 5 a day.  The same applies to strawberry candy floss or the artificial lemon juice you had on your pancakes.  I’m also pretty sure that anything this shade of blue is doing nothing for your vitamin intake.

I can feel a rush coming on

I can feel a rush coming on

I ended up being a glorified coat stand for most of the day, festooned with handbags and hoodies.  Stood around like a tin of paint while they went on rides and pretended like they were out on their own for the day.  That’s OK.  The grin on my girl’s face when she came off the Big One was worth the cost of the whole thing.

Too late to change your mind now.

Too late to change your mind now.

(It was at this point that I wished I had never ever seen Final Destination 3.)

Of course they made it back down unscathed and lived to ride many more hair-raising rides, though not as many as we’d have liked.  The day just ran away with us, as it is wont to do when you are having fun.

Best ride in a slipper ever!

Best ride in a slipper ever!

Bikini Bottom times

Bikini Bottom times

They're on there somewhere

They’re on there somewhere

Fearless three

Fearless three


No. 1 child obviously gets her fearlessness from her dad.  I didn’t go on a big wheel until I was 16 because I was too scared.  No. 2 child (despite being the gobbiest of the pair) must take after her mum, as she wouldn’t go on nearly as much as the others.  While they were riding the Avalanche, her and I were on the teacups.

Soggy bottoms (soggy everything!) after Spongebob's Splash Back

Soggy bottoms (soggy everything!) after Spongebob’s Splash Back

Not loving the idea of the Flying Machines.  Possibly not helped by my saying "You could totally fall out of these couldn't you?"

Not loving the idea of the Flying Machines. Possibly not helped by my saying “You could totally fall out of these couldn’t you?”

(BTW. How big does my hooter look in this pic?!)

Soon it was time for the park to close. Though I think they were missing a trick shutting at 6pm on a glorious sunny Saturday when nobody was anywhere near ready to go home.  Promises were made to revisit later in the year and off we went to catch the train home.  Emergency sugar rations were purchased in the form of fresh donuts, followed by a pancake tea in lieu of anything remotely savoury because they couldn’t all decide what they wanted or settle on anything they all liked!  I stuck with a cappuccino to fortify me for the inevitably testing train journey home, which lived up to every distasteful apprehensive expectation.
It was now almost 8pm and the casualties were out in full force down the North Pier end of town.  The High 5s were coming hard and fast as the inebriated; the scantily attired; the costumed and the desperate, shambled like the walking dead from cheap bar to nastier bar to “seriously? we’re going in here for real???”

Shenanigans indeed

Shenanigans indeed

We eventually boarded our train home with the cast of ‘Shameless’, ‘Benefit Street’ and ‘Skint’, rejoicing in the fact that despite not having had time to visit ‘Ripleys Believe it or Not’ museum of oddities, we could simply sit back on the train and let the freaks and horrors come to us.
No. 2 child said;
“But Mum there was a 2-headed cow in that museum I would have liked to have seen.” to which my response was; “Aw honey I’m pretty sure that there’s one on this train somewhere and she’s probably on her hen do.”

It stunk of faeces and sick and I came to understand why Bman calls the last train from Blackers on a weekend  ‘The Vomit Comet’ and why no conductor in their right mind would consider venturing down the train to check tickets.

We’ve all been a drunken shambles in our time, let’s not try to deny it, but how people think they can actually negotiate public transport in such a state or carry on the way they do while children are on the train is just disgusting.  I hasten to add that I’m not talking about young people here.  These were people in their late 40s and beyond.  The older they looked, the more badly behaved they seemed to become.


Educational times for my little troop.  If that journey doesn’t put them off alcohol over-indulgence then I really don’t know what will!

Fortunately I don’t think they were too traumatised by it and it may yet serve as a lesson learned.  All in all a fabulous day out and I’m so pleased they all enjoyed it and that it was a glorious sunny day to boot.