Busman's Holiday

Busman's Holiday

Hello everyone, it’s me turning up like a bad penny after a lovely weeks busman’s holiday of relaxing and doing as little as possible, bliss! I’ve just got rid of a couple of hundred emails so hopefully I’m up to date at last. The weather was brilliant until the end of the week when it decided to turn cool and windy, but at least we had half a week of beautiful weather.

I think the shock of stopping working was too much for all of us as we have kept doing and saying the most stupid things, although I suppose there’s nothing unusual there for us! For instance, Jane said she was going to put kitchen roll on her dinner as she was reaching into the cupboard for the tomato sauce. Wow I wonder what that would have tasted like. She started our week off by presenting her dad with a card and present for Father’s Day – a week early 🙂

Busman’s Holiday

We went to Blackpool on one of the hot days which I suppose is what you really would call a busman’s holiday, and it was like we were tourists coming for the day out.

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Busman's Holiday to Blackpool with Chrissie Blogger

Only trouble was you couldn’t help but notice the druggies and beggars and people sitting on the pavement with their worldly goods around them. In a doorway next to TK Maxx a man was curled up in his sleeping bag in a recess with his legs sticking out on the pavement. We saw two young men stoned out of their brain (no doubt on Spice) sitting like statues on a bench, along with the beggars.

As I was waiting for my lot to come out of a shop, one man, in his fifties I would say, was sitting there looking lost. I don’t know if his problem was drink or what it was, but he looked full of misery and scruffy. He was obviously homeless but as I commented to Jane he was once someone’s baby, child, brother or dad and I wondered what had made him come to look so miserable. I couldn’t get him out of my head as he looked so lost.

The sad thing was, as I sat on a bench outside the back of M&S, I looked around me at all the scruffy looking shops and remembered what it used to be like, not a town that looks neglected in places. What visitors think I don’t know, although I do wonder when they’ve built all these ‘posh’ hotels who will fill them because some of the centre of Blackpool is hardly welcoming, if you know what I mean.

Improvements are Happening

Anyway, looking on the bright side, there is a lot of work going on in the town centre to improve it, and hopefully everyone will pull their socks up and do something before it’s too late. And when I say everyone I mean the Council, the businesses and local people actually going there to shop and spend money. It might not be perfect but it’s the only town centre that we’ve got and if everyone goes off to Preston and the Trafford Centre to spend their money it’s not helping to make the situation any better.

And to be fair, it’s not a problem that’s isolated to Blackpool town centre because so, so many others in the UK are going the same way. While we were wandering about we saw quite a lot of signs of improvement work being done, including:

Church Street in Blackpool - busman's holiday for Chrissie
Greggs on Church Street having building work done to the upstairs stories and roof
Still on Church Street the tatty former Bodycare shop is being converted into a posh coffee shop
The former Ann Summers shop opposite BHS has been made into a very nice looking sandwich bar
There are signs of work being done inside BHS – we saw pots of paint and signs of building life through the window
There was work being done on the empty units next door to Poundland
The Winter Gardens is being cleaned and restored and what’s been done so far looks lovely
Primark looks amazing now that it’s had a refit – seriously we couldn’t get over what a difference it is
Primark have even made a seating area – I was just too tired to smile!
There’s obviously work going on apace at the Sands building as it’s converted into a new complex including a hotel and the new Museum
  • The old Heart Foundation furniture shop has been made into a nail bar
  • Most of the vacant units opposite WHSmith have had the windows covered in vinyl graphics

I’m sure there are lots of other things I’ve missed, apart from all the big building work to build the new conference centre, the tram extension, etc etc.

We received a press release yesterday from Blackpool Council, explaining that a new way of working together to tackle policing and anti-social behaviour issues has been agreed by them and Lancashire Police. It will ‘see the frontline services of both organisations work even closely together to deal with issues including environmental crime, housing enforcement, street drinking and begging’. You can read the full article here.

Spring Cleaning

Anyway, digression over. Jane has had her tidying up and cleaning head on this last week and has been sorting her drawers and wardrobes out. She’s, ahem, put a bit of weight on lately, so it’s spurred her on to clear out the things that don’t fit. kevin did ask if her ‘thinner twin was moving out’ there are so many bags for the charity shop!

I keep saying I’ll do mine but never seem to have the time and when I do I’m too tired, oh the joys of becoming an ‘oldie’! It seems cleaning fever had also hit Kevin with a wallop because when Jane and I went downstairs to run our baths, we walked into the kitchen to find Kevin stood on the steps looking in the wall cupboard, surrounded by jars, pots, squeezy bottles you name it the worktop was full of them.

When I got over the shock of seeing the kitchen upside down after leaving it neat and tidy after tea, I just had to laugh at him. We have a wide cupboard with three shelves over the worktop, where we keep all the bottles, jars, jams, sauces etc and everything else that you use, and to be honest it had got a bit crowded in there. Being a five foot dwarf I can’t reach the top shelf without steps and can only reach the front of the second shelf so obviously things get pushed up there that we don’t use very often, like you do.

Back to the year dot

He was having a field day, with his glasses perched on his nose he was reading all the sell by dates. This was in between Jane and I saying ‘ooh look at that date’. I won’t tell you what some of them were or you might send for environmental health, well maybe not them, but anyway lots of jars and pots had to be emptied and it all got rid of.

Of course always one to take advantage of any situation, I told him that if I’d known, he could have cleaned the shelves and put fresh kitchen roll on them. I like to line the shelves, it’s just a quirk of mine and it protects the shelves when somebody can’t be bothered to wipe a sticky jar, no names mentioned! Before I could say Jack Robinson he took out the ones that had been put back and cleaned the shelves. How about that for being a good lad.

Later on that evening he was busy again, this time in the bathroom, tipping all sorts down the toilet making it look as though somebody had thrown their socks up and needed immediate medical attention. When I saw Jane’s toilet I nearly dialled 999 when I looked down it as there in the bottom sat a great lump of red something. Is one of them bleeding to death I wondered, oh no, with my heart pounding. Then I realised that silly me it was yet another one of Kevin’s emptying jars jobs and it was in fact badly out of date chilli sauce.

Kevin even washed all the bottles and left them ready to go in the green box, how good is that. Although I must say that this was the first time I have ever known him to clean the kitchen cupboard out and maybe it will be the last, especially when I told him he could carry on and do the rest, somehow I don’t think he was amused at that. Ah well, it looks like I’ll have to roll my sleeves up and get cracking as I realise it must have been too much of a shock to his system!

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