Think of the seaside: I bet a mental image is already forming.
Now think about that for a second.
When I was younger, I use to love the seaside. Mum and Dad took me maybe once or twice a year (usually to see Blackpool's illuminations) and I had a blast on the beach, and rides.
I grew up, and came to hate the seaside. I think it started around adolescence, when I'd visit places like Blackpool, or St Helens, or Southport... and despair.
Nowadays, my thoughts haven't changed much. Why then, do I hate the places so much? And if I do... why the hell did I agree to return to the seaside today?!
1) The Noise
Firstly, I'm not over struck on loud, artificial noises; stuff like booming music. For some reason, you can't escape noise at the seaside. If it isn't the arcades, it's theme parks, or traffic, or generally people just talking/screaming (yes, screaming!) loudly in groups. It's suppose to be the sound of people having fun, or them being tempted in to have fun. Instead, it just gives you a headache.
(I hate how their theme parks play energetic pop music... that is already (at least) 5 years old. Seriously, buy a new Now! CD or something!! What you're playing isn't nostalgic or retro, as it's too 'recent' for that. It's just naff songs we've over played of late, that needs a good 10-20 years vacation before we will ourselves to play it again.)
2) The Look
Seaside towns are caught in the last century. No, that's too modern! They're very 19th century aren't they? That's not a compliment. I find history interesting and beautiful, I do - whether that's castles, or urban developments. Sadly, seaside towns don't do it for me. For one, they all look the same. There's nothing unique at all about any one of them. To compound the problem, they are based on a very outdated Victorian 'look'. Seriously... why don't they just dump that bygone age, and modernise already like the rest of the country already has?!
It doesn't help that seaside towns look neglected. Probably not by the population there, it has to be said. No doubt they are proud of their towns. I referring to councils and the UK government, both of whom refuse to invest properly in the places. It creates a very cheap aesthetic. Walking around one such town today it's painfully obvious, that there's gates/bridges/buildings/etc in desperate need of a little TLC... and nobody is giving it!
3) The Corn
Tagging on the Victorian 'look' - I hate all those typical seaside clichés. Like people in long, stripped swimming costumes - NOBODY dresses like that anymore! Why do we entertain the image?! It's outdated, and very corny. It's embarrassing.
4) The Weather
This is Britain, not the equator. Our weather is very, very rarely good enough to allow you to sunbath on our beaches. Mostly, you'll visit the seaside and it will be windy and maybe rainy. We're not the Victorians anymore. Want decent weather? Pay for a plane ticket abroad.
That's animal abuse!!
6) Old People
Now, I've no issue with the elderly per se. It's just... well, they form en masse at seasides, and it begins to take it's toll. Whether it's their disapproving looks, or their snail pace - they see you as much of a nuisance to their visit as you see them. The old and the not-old are not destined to ever share the seaside in harmony.
7) Nothing Happens
Seriously. I don't necessarily love cities... but there's a truth, that that's where the big events take place. London has the stock market, and other cities have their cultures and such. Seasides just seem to be a place young people run away from - in search of adventures in cities or other towns.
The seaside is peculiar, in that everything feels like it's been put on hold for the enjoyment of others. You know when it's a loved one's birthday, and you put your self-interests to the side, in your mission to ensure they have as good a day as possible? The seaside is like that. The locals want you to have fun, because then you spend money and they earn. But in the process, they put you first and themselves second*. They lack the selfishness and motivations everybody has - and not in a good way, as I think it stops their towns evolving, either physically or politically.
(*And those that put themselves first become the bored theme park attendants or shop workers you see)
8) Bad Memories
There's a part of me that just can't overcome the negativity I associate with seaside towns. Maybe I'll never be able to. It's a peculiar thing. It's probably the only element of my childhood activities that I don't look back on and smile about. Even those rose tinted glasses aren't enough to rescue my memories and opinions about the seaside! It always just seems... well, everything I've already covered in number 1-7.
But I did try and enjoy today. For what it's worth, I did have a blast with my family. But none of that had anything to do with being by the sea - rather, we just revelled in one another's company.
Here's some more snaps taken on my seaside adventure: