Rather than go to the pub with Dunk and Ryan last night, I opted to get an early night and get off to Blackpool first thing.
"Why are you going to Blackpool? It's horrible."
My colleagues, my friends and my housemates all asked the same question. I didn't know what the answer was. I'd never been. Perhaps that was it. What could be nicer than a sunny August day by the sea?
I didn't get a sunny August day by the sea though. I got cold, heavy rain. I made a mistake - I made several, as it happens, but this was a big one - by getting out of the train a stop early for "a quick look at the Pleasure Beach." What looked like light drizzle from inside the train was far from that. Horrible icy rain. I put on my jumper, but it didn't make much difference. Within fifteen minutes I was soaked. Rain had soaked through my cargo shorts, through my underpants, through my jumper, and through my bag. My trainers sloshed with every step I took. I ducked into an arcade and tried to use my phone's GPS to find my way. My phone was wet. My beautiful new phone. Oh fuck. Should I continue to wander blindly around town, and get wet, or try to dry off in the amusements? What a predicament. Water dripped from my elbows. I saw a TK Maxx sign, and decided to head into the shopping centre. I headed for the toilets to try to dry off a bit. Not good. I put my phone in the path of the hand dryer and left it there. When it stopped, I put the phone back underneath. Three times. Four times. The dryer shorted out. I moved onto the next one for more of the same. Still no joy. Shit. I was sort of dry from the wrist down now, having tried to rescue my phone. I tramped to Primark, and bought a new t-shirt and a hoody to wear to keep me warm. I asked for a plastic bag, to transplant my wet gear into. "We only do paper I'm afraid mate," he said, "a bit daft for somewhere as wet as Blackpool, eh?" Very daft, I thought. "Thank you," I said. Back to the toilets to change out of my dripping uppers and into the new gear. My mood still stank, thinking of my phone. My underwear was still wet too. I wanted to go home. Where was the bloody train station?
I stepped out of the shopping centre to glorious sunshine.
It was half twelve. If I'd have gone to the pub with Dunk and Ryan last night, I would be arriving around now. So it goes. I got on the train.