Monday, 20 August 2007


I went to Skegness on Saturday. We'd planned to go before the fire and weren't sure whether to still go or not, but decided to risk it. So, four of us set off for the coast.

I have a strange love for Skegness. I can't say what it is. I also can't go there very often but there's something about the Jolly Fisherman that makes me smile. I'm a sucker for those 2p machines and for watching the coins tumble with a crash as they fall into the tray when you finally win your four pence prize after feeding the machine with over ten times that much.

When we finally found somewhere to park we ambled off towards the front and past the park, which was sadly closed due to the fire. The pond was partially drained, later we saw the swimming pool was empty too, all used to try and extinguish the blaze. People were standing, watching the heavy machinery slowly demolish what little was left and we joined them. Watching large chunks of wall fall into the shrubbery and I felt uncommonly sad.

We walked off, pondered over lunch choices, fed ourselves and then went to indulge ourselves in the bright flashing lights of the one armed bandits. Determined to leave with tat I found tuppence machines with plenty of tat to offer. Just because I like to get up the next day, look at it and wonder what the hell I was thinking. So some time later I was the proud owner of three little cats. All vaguely reminiscent of Top Cat. (Although I'm a Droopy fan myself.) And now I'm wondering what the hell I was thinking.

After more wandering, feeding of tuppences, and the occasional ten pence, the weather started to turn. The grey sky did more than threaten and rain started to fall. As we walked along the partially reopened front we came close to the scene of the fire and all that remained were twisted, blackened girders. Homes and business reduced to dust and rubble. When I looked at the contorted frame of what used to be it just reminded me of the scene after the towers fell. It really was the strangest emotion. By my feet a charred piece of newspaper blew in the wind and it just made me think of all that had been lost.

Whilst no lives were physically lost. Livelihoods were. Businesses razed to the ground, homes & belongings gone. It's almost too much to even imagine how that must be. How do you decide where you go from there. How do you pick yourself up and carry on?
I have nothing but empathy for the people the fire affected and many good wishes for their future.


Domster1974 said...

I never got the 2p machines, but give me 10p or 20p bingo, I am lost for hours.

Human tragedy is weird, there is always need to be stoic and we'll carry on, but when its your life and has been for so long, I can't imagine losing your way of life. I guess some will fall and other will rise to new things.

I guess its harder to let go, when it is something you have lived with for years. I suppose its why when one member of an old couple dies, the other tends to follow shortly after. It would be so hard to deal with that, when you have potentially lived with that person for most of you life, and then nothing.

That would be tough, I am rambling now

Flibbertigibbet said...

The thing with the 2p machines is that there's more fun for your cash. A quid's worth of tuppences lasts longer than a a quid's worth of ten pences!

I remember years ago hearing about a crocodile who lost his mate and died of a broken heart, although we attribute our human traits to these animals - the name for which I forget...