I felt all nostalgic today when I heard that British Tourism Week had kicked off with Party on the Pier.
Apparently, piers in seaside towns are having a huge revival – thanks to more UK holidaymakers taking more domestic breaks; the phenomenon otherwise known as the staycation – and this week is celebrating the UK’s piers and their heritage, in conjunction with the National Piers Society.
But it’s not the heritage, or the staycation, or the celebrations that make me feel nostalgic. Its my candy-floss memories as a child, hopping, skipping and jumping along Blackpool prom to get to one of the town’s three piers.
Being Blackpool, the breeze was always bracing, and strong enough to tear my ribbon out of its bow. The waves would bounce salt on my lips, and the rain would slice sideways across my cheek. But I only have happy memories of feeling fun and free – apart from having to be terribly careful not to step on the cracks, for fear I would fall into the angry swirl of green below.
I think I became brave along Blackpool pier, tiptoeing through my fear and learning that the planks really would hold me, and that the white tongue of the waves wouldn’t lick me, lash me, or swallow me.
However, even now, as a grown-up, I still check out those cracks in the pier. Just in case.