Blackpool North Pier

Standard

Built in the 1860s, North Pier is the oldest and longest of Blackpool’s three piers, South, Central, and North.

All three Blackpool piers are fantastic relics of times gone by.

Today is the Fireworks Championships Finale when everyone will have their camera at the ready to take “ooh and aah” pics as the fireworks are discharged. The guys are busy setting up on North Pier.  It looks complicated and involved.

 

Damp squib snapshots before the big event

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fireworks at the ready

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fireworks in waiting

 

North Pier

 

This one conjures up a song from 1967

So evocative of seaside life then and now

The Hollies

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carousel

 

Riding along on a carousel
Trying to catch up to you
Riding along on a carousel
Will I catch up to you

Horses chasing ’cause they’re racing
So near yet so far
On a carousel, on a carousel

Nearer, nearer by changing horses
Still so far away
People fighting for their places
Just get in the way

Soon you’ll leave and then I’ll lose you
Still we’re going round
On a carousel, on a carousel

Round and round and round and round and round
And round and round and round with you
Up, down, up, down, up, down too

As she leaves she drops the presents
That she won before
Pulling ducks out of the water
Got the highest score
Now’s my chance and I must take it
A case of do-or-die

On a carousel, on a carousel

Round and round and round and round and round
And round and round and round with you
Up, down, up, down, up, down too

Riding along on a carousel
Trying to catch up to you
Riding along on a carousel
Will I catch up to you

Now we take our ride together
No more chasing her
On a carousel, on a carousel
On a carousel, on a carousel

Under my umbrella!

Standard

A mizzlin’, drizzlin’ , walk into Blackpool

Can’t not humalong to Rhianna

“You can stand under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh)
Under my umbrella
(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)”

The Tower’s there, somewhere, shrouded in a sea fret
A bubbling sea looks annoyed

 

Herring gulls – waiting for chips?

 

Brightening up a bit on return journey

Look behind you

Standard

A classic bad shot!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Great background!

 

This one’s a bit better

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

European Eagle Owl

Lancashire Hawks and Owls were on display in Blackpool town centre.  Magnificent birds, well-loved and cared for by their experts handlers whose educational, rescue and conservation work is hugely necessary and important, but a quandary for me.

Birds need to be free.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tawnys in tandem

 

 

Shapes of things

Standard

Taking random snaps of random shapes has brought to life a 1966 hit, Shapes of things,  by the Yardbirds.   Can’t stop humming it.

Shapes of things before my eyes … …

Circles and oblong – brick on beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Holey brick

 

Square blocks of concrete form the new sea defence at Anchorsholme.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New sea defence

 

Shapes and shadows at the Go-kart track.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tyres

Triangular yacht with Southport behind

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yacht on River Ribble

 

Round, colourful tomatoes – last of the crop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tomatoes

 

 

Shapes of things
With its anti war, pro-environment lyrics, it’s as relevant today as it was in 1966.

Now the trees are almost green
But will they still be seen
When time and tide have been
Boy into your passing hands
Please don’t destroy these lands
Don’t make them desert sands

 

 

 

 

Fascination for fishers

Standard
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Waiting

Men and women who fish tend to be lumped together as “fishermen”. “Fisherperson” doesn’t really work. “Fishers”, as in people who fish, is better, although it has unfortunate connotations with phishers – maggots that steal passwords, credit card details and other personal data they have no right to.

Fishers and phishers both use bait to catch their prey.

Taking up position at the seawall, undeterred by whatever weather is thrown at them, fishers wait patiently.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fishing

Fishers sit and stand for hours gazing at the end of their line and beyond to the horizon. Rapt in thoughts it seems impolite to break their trance by asking a silly question, “What are you thinking?”.

Fancy fishing tackle fascinates. What does it all do? It certainly doesn’t appear to guarantee a catch!

I like to peer in their buckets to see what they’ve got for tea. Most of the time it looks like they to go home with nothing more than they came with.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gone fishing

Absent – Winter Gardens Hotel

Standard

Spellbinding and exceptionally clever, Absent, is a theatrical production with a difference.

Maggie Morgan caused a stir back in 1957 when she won £1000 on the premium bonds.  She booked herself into the best room of the Winter Gardens Hotel, the Pavilion Suite.  It’s been her home for the past 50 years.  New owners, Northern Leisure Holdings, are in the early stages of developing the hotel as a budget hotel and there’s no room for Maggie.

Absent is about Maggie Morgan.

The onlooker is on the move throughout the production, starting in one of the newly refurbished guest rooms.  Lights dim and you’re watching Maggie through a one-way mirror.  Or is it two-way?  The voyeurism is disturbing.

Lights fade, cue to move into a seemingly endless hotel corridor reminiscent of a scene from Kubrick’s The Shining.  An ethereal soundtrack is unsettling.

Throughout the audience walkabout, old newsreel movies play on a loop revealing episodes of Maggie’s life past, present and future.  Artefacts recur in various locations.  Miniature images and intricate models lead you into the next scene.

Upturned tables and chairs, stained tablecloths, discarded wine bottles, goblets, and cigarette packets litter the ballroom.  That must have been one over-indulgent dinner party!  A sensurround audio-visual experience of old newsreel depicts Maggie the socialite greeting partygoers at the start of the evening before its decadent demise.

Back to reality you emerge in the magnificent corridors of present day Winter Gardens.  Drama lovers have been privileged to be a part of the life of Maggie Morgan and see areas of the Winter Gardens not normally open to the public.

What’s real?  What’s fiction?  There’s no hard and fast answer.  It’s whatever you want it to be.  This is  thought-provoking, captivating theatre at its very best.

Absent is a banquet of sound, vision and emotion twisting and turning around every corner.  A rollercoaster ride to challenge Blackpool’s Big One.