The Compostual Existentialist

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Harry Windsor and the Torp of Clee

In case you’ve been in an Argentinian coal mine for the past week or so, at the weekend bumbling ginger nut royal, Prince Harry, married someone he met a few years back and the entire UK  shut down.

Of course, it didn’t really. I’d say a good deal of people couldn’t give a flying fridge about some overprivileged bloke tying the knot and an even greater deal of people couldn’t care less about the football that coincided either. I’d also say that many people, Mrs Gnomepants v2.0 and myself included,  used the opportunity to sneak away and do something awesome instead.

Where did we go for this awesome adventure? Why! Cleethorpes of course!!

Situated just a few miles eastish of Grimsby, a town once famous as the landing area for most of Britain’s fishing fleet, now a monument for industrial decline, Cleethorpes sits on the southern tip of the Humber Estuary opposite Spurn Head. A stretch of glorious sands passing under an old pier is accompanied by a promenade with what remains of formal gardens before turning into a road and heading south towards a now cleared fairground and a large static caravan park. At Cleethorpes it is clear that the British Seaside is alive and well, the scant remains of Victoriana, although not on the same scale as Scarborough, can be seen by the observant from the town planning to the location of and facilities near the railway station.


A stub of a pier juts out over the sand in a feeble attempt to touch the distant sea with the tide being out. The pavillion on the pier, now owned by Papa’s,  claims to be the largest fish and chip restaurant in the country.  The interior is grand and bright, the staff dressed and trained well and the fish and chips? Well they’re just amazing. Possibly not quite up to the same standards as Magpie in Whitby or Mary Jane’s in Cromer, but definately a good competitor. See that’s the problem with fish and chips, it’s only as good as you remember and unless I was actually in some judging situation where I had samples from all three aforementioned places, I can only go on memory!

 

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

 

I suppose the thing I liked most about Cleethorpes is what remains of the formal gardens. Some councils in the UK have long cleared away any genteel public gardens as they are expensive to maintain and, in the conservatives eyes, impossible to make money from. So the best solution to tatty looking gardens in their eyes is often to blob a lump of concrete over them or just let local youths gather to express themselves by performing acts of vandalism and pissing all over the place. Fortunately it seems locals to Cleethorpes still have some civic pride and the gardens appear to be maintained by a mix of council, local charities and volunteers. Even the “millenial” sculptures along the promenade are pretty. A complete contrast to the modernisation of Bridlington and the classic yet rapidly decaying seafront terraced gardens of Scarborough.

 

Amusingly, regular readers will remember the last time I was at this part of the coast, back in 2008, I was coming to the end of a slightly disappointing weeks holiday along the coast at Skegness with Mrs Gnomepants V1.0. So it seemed only fitting that, while in the area, I showed Mrs Gnomepants V2.0 the delights of Saltfleet. That too hadn’t changed much except for it now appears that the car park had been built on and there has been a bit of shrinkage in the number of caravans. Still, it was just as austere so we didn’t stick around for long.

And it beat watching some posh kid get married.

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Do you have a special place? The kind of place you tend to keep to yourself? The place you don’t want ruining by hordes of tourists and other dirty people. How about that little special thing you like that not many have? Maybe it’s a biscuit or a cake or a drink or something. Does having to share it with others pain you?

I have a place like that. Not like a biscuit. A place that’s special to me. It brings out the hypocrite in me. On the one hand I want to share it with everybody that I am close to, on the other hand it pains me when each time I go I see how popular it is becoming with others. How the area has changed because of this influx. When I go there and I see all the new people “trespassing” in my sacred place I feel like someone has put a glass wall in the toilet while I’m trying to poo.

Biscuits are the same. Carrying on family tradition, when, on the rare occasion I have them in the house, there are biscuits there are always “Visitor” biscuits and “MY” biscuits. Visitor biscuits are for scoffing wantonly, “My” biscuits are the luxurious ones that I don’t want to share with anyone. I become horrified when I see people other than myself eating MY biscuits.


Due to circumstances requiring my complete attention I will be taking yet another LJ holiday. Though there may be a few filtered progress reports over the next few days. If you read my LJ and don’t have an LJ account I suggest you sign up for one and add me. There are reasons for this. I shall not be going into here.

See you on the flipside.