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Monday, 15 August 2016

I go to the seaside...

You know the best thing about being an author?

No, it's not the biscuits - although, I must admit they are a contributing factor.  Neither is it the free and ready access to Lovely Tone (well, I get to mention him frequently, anyway), or the fact that I can sit around the house in my jammies covered in egg stains, staring out of the window and say I am 'working'.  No.   The best thing is being able to go to places and call it work.

Yesterday I went to Scarborough.  There's nothing truly remarkable about this, Scarborough is a nearby town and I'm often found there. usually in the winter, accompanied by howling gales and dogs and showers of spray that threaten to knock me off my feet.  When you live near the sea, especially a seaside town which tends to be overpopulated in summer, you don't go that often in the Season.  But I had Visitors (my brother and his wife), who fancied a trip to Scarborough, so I took them.  It's all right, I brought them back as well...

Anyway.  Having toured the sea front, with its arcades and smells, I took them into the Old Town.  It's not generally recognised by many people that Scarborough has an Old Town, but before it was a purveyor of fried food and bingo, Scarborough was a working harbour, with ship owners and an old castle, and once you get up into the steep streets of little houses and views over the whole bay, it becomes a lot nicer experience.

At least, it's a nicer experience until my big face looms up over it.

Of course, they had to paddle, but they are from Down South, so that was all right.
And I took them to visit Anne Bronte's grave, and we walked along the headland that divides the two bays and looked out to sea.  All in all it was an example of 'how to look under the surface of the expected' - which is a writerly lesson if I ever heard one.  Superficially, Scarborough is a tacky, slightly down at heel seaside town with far too much face paint and the smell of fried food.  But when you get a bit off the beaten track you can find yourself looking at the place from a whole new perspective.  With a fresh doughnut in each hand, admittedly, and often wearing a 'Kiss Me Quick' hat, but at least you are getting some culture...

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