Sunday, June 05, 2005

Blackpool - A day beside the seaside, beside the sea

I wasn't able to think of anything to do in Wigan on a Sunday, so drove up the M6 with the mission of discovering of whether I prefer my Pools Liver or Black. FYI the city of Dublin takes its name from the IrishDubh Linn ("the Black Pool"). Until this visit to the UK, the furthest north I had ever been was to Dublin (53.20 N), but Blackpool (53.46) is the new winner in the latitude stakes. FWIW, the furthest north I have been in the Americas is Pemberton BC (50.33 N), a short drive north of Whistler BC. The furthest south I have been is south of Cygnet Tasmania (43.2 S) on the Huon Trail out of Hobart. Bondi has been with me for the trips to Pemberton, Blackpool and Cygnet so we've traversed over 96 degrees of latitude together!

Where was I? Oh yes...chips. Well maybe not, but that's the overwhelming Blackpool meme. An astounding lack of variety in cuisines here, fish and chips, pie and chips, kebab and chips, burger and chips, would you like chocolate sprinkles and chips on your gelato mate?, and here's your change and chips sir. Maybe Richard Dawkins could explain the unique symbiotic relationship that the humble spud enjoys with so many other foodstuffs here. Actually I think McDonalds might be the only place in Blackpool where you have the luxury of making chips an option.

Admittedly I enjoyed a decent spudless latte care of Barista in West St. And oh one might wish that the general area was as scrubbed as clean as your average Idaho or Norgold Russet. Dinge rules the Golden Mile, a low-rent Times-Square meets bleak shoreline.

Nonetheless the weather was perfect for the day's outing, so Bondi and I sat on the promenade, one smiling at strangers and the other beavering over the Times' "SU Doku" puzzle book. The half-hour drive back to Wigan was nicely filled by a Radio 4 doco on the "light music" composer and arranger Robert Farnon, who died in April.

I've entered all my major stops into Microsoft AutoRoute to see the area covered thus far in the northwest. The corresponding Google Map (sans routes travelled) of the area is here.

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