Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Happy Memories.

Poet in residence (on my side bar), Gwilym, reminded me in his comment, about a lovely cafe in Morecambe.   That jogged my memory on another lovely cafe and I have been sitting here at the computer day dreaming about a lovely day about thirty years ago - so I thought I would share it with you.

We had dear friends who lived at Chorley in Lancashire and we spent weekends with one another over the years.   One weekend when we arrived F had a list of all the possible places to go for the day on the Saturday.   One of these places was Blackpool and in passing I said I had not been  there since I was a small child and I wondered if it had changed.   So to Blackpool we went.

If you are a U S reader you will probably never have heard of Blackpool but it is an "in-your-face" seaside resort on the West Coast, noted for its Tower,  its brashness and its illuminations.   It was illuminations time.

The place was crowded and we struggled to find a Parking Place, but eventually we found one and we had the most wonderful day.
First of all we went into a really old-fashioned cafe where the waitresses were all middle-aged, rather stout ladies and all dressed in black dresses and white frilly aprons and caps.   Every table had a starched white cloth on it and all they served was fish and chips; but what fantastic fish and chips - freshly caught, crisply battered and served with plates of white bread and butter and a pot of good, strong tea.

Then we walked along the beach, picking up sea shells, looking at the children building sand-castles, waiting for the light to fade so that the illuminations would come on - and then we returned the other way in a horse-drawn carriage so that we could look at the illuminations.   What a splendid day that was.

It is a poignant memory now because F has been dead for many years and his wife, C, has lost her memory and will remember none of it.   Incidentally F's favourite word was 'splendid' and I used it here without thinking - I never use the word without thinking of him either.

This is how people live on isn't it?  My husband at the time has been dead for  twenty two years too, so I am the only one carrying a memory of that super day out.   And when I die, so will the memory but for now I have to say that every time I think of it I get a feeling of great pleasure.   So thank you Gwilym for jogging my memory.

On a completely different topic - the farmer is busy mending fences.   For the time being the weather is quite clement and the floods at the end of last year, coupled with several severe gales over the Winter, have played havoc with some of the wooden fences - so it is time to mend them before any of the animals go out.

PS   I have updated by profile picture so you have one taken only about two years ago when I am looking more my age!  


Heather said...

Seaside fish and chips taste quite different from inland ones - it must be the freshness of the fish and the fact that sea air always seems to give one an appetite! Thankyou for sharing your happy memories with us.
The best fish and chips we ever had were eaten out of the paper at 6pm on a public bench in Looe, Cornwall. All the cafes were closed and my husband,children and I were all ravenous. We took up the whole bench like a row of birds on a branch.

Gwil W said...

That's true. Fish n Chips are definitely better eaten out of paper on a sea facing bench on a bracing day after a good walk! Mysteriously many people prefer to eat them in their cars with the windows wound up.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

What lovely memories - it was was as if we were right there with you. We have fish and chips here too - some really good - some just plain horrible. The best I've had is on a little island nearby, reached by a small ferry that carries 12 cars - and the restaurant is right on the beach, with a lovely view of our mountains.

Pondside said...

This post touched me, Weaver. My mother is losing her memory and I will soon be left holding them alone - the wonderful and the not-so-wonderful.
Your profile photo is very good!

Mary said...

Nice story Pat - i was in Blackpool for a few hours a couple of years back in Spring when on the way to the Lake District. Heavy rain and dreary - but interesting seeing the Tower and hearing lovely stories from my friend who was a professional dancer and performed in shows there many, many years ago.

Fish and chips on white tablecloths sounds interesting - don't splash the vinegar!!!

Like your new pic!

Mary x

Reader Wil said...

Memories are so important and yet sometimes so sad that we cannot share them anymore, because our friends have often gone and died.
I am glad you had such a wonderful time.

Cloudia said...

Memories are our treasures. Thanks for being so generous with yours.

Friendly ALOHA
from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Elizabeth said...

A splendid outing indeed.
So beautifully clearly recalled. Yummy sounding fish and chips and comfortable sounding waitresses.
As ever, I encourage you to gather all your essays into a BOOK!
I have never been to Blackpool, but as a child used to be taken to "The Lights" at Southend where a grotto and elf-fillled public garden was festooned with little lights - much to my delight.
It's going to be 70'F here today. Soon we will be complaining it is too hot!

Anonymous said...

As an Australian fed on a steady diet of British films and sit-coms, it was delightful to travel to England and actually see the places talked about and featured.
"Oooo look," I gasped to husband "a sign to Blackpool". It was an unexpected must-see and holds great memories, and yes we had fish and chips.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Now we share a little of the memory and it lives on in shadow form. A horse drawn carriage! Illuminations! (Cold?)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting and sharing in my memories.