Back in December when the short cold days were full on I booked this little 'get away' imagining that the weather would be much warmer and definite signs of Spring would be evident and indeed they are. The thought of a little Spring loveliness was just what I needed to look forward too and to gently encourage me through those grey Wintry days and icy cold nights.
So Monday morning we arose and began packing our 'going away' stuff. With five of us travelling in my little estate car there isn't a huge amount of room for belongings. As always I embraced the usual battle with one Little Lady who always places claim on the 'biggest' bag and insists on taking her double duvet when everyone else follows my instructions to only pack a sleeping bag! Hmmmm!!!
The usual morning squabbles drive me to the brink of insanity and I fear the torture of living in a seriously confined space - What was I thinking of????
What I really ought to have a arranged was a trip away just for me. A room somewhere, anywhere....or even a caravan in a field......
Trying to put those thoughts behind me and make the most of the change in scenery we set off.
Surprisingly Preston isn't that far. I always think of the North as being miles and miles away, but no, it's not that much further than the closest area of the south coast.
In my family, the draw of the north is just not there. Folk think it's cold. I personally think there are some very beautiful places 'Up North' and the weather isn't that bad, I've spent many memorable holidays visiting some lovely areas and actually prefer it to many of the areas I've visited in the South.
So two nights in a wooden tent/shed. It was really rather fun. The shed was situated on well equipped and orderly campsite. Many beautiful caravans and no crazy tenters at this early point in the year, (well apart from us in our little wooden dwelling). We had to go outside and walk a minute or two to use the facilities but the weather was kind to us and that wasn't really too much of a problem. Our little wooden tent was perfectly adequately kitted out with seating, which converted into a very large bed, plus a kettle, fridge, microjobby and all the crockery and kitcheny things that one would need. It was perfect as a base for a couple of nights!
The first night we thought we'd eat out as there hadn't been much room for packing essentials for a meal. The site receptionist recommended a couple of local places that were decent and a fiver a head. Five pounds for an 'eat as much as you like' meal! Bargain! It actually was as well. The food was a little salty but we didn't grumble at the price. Where can you eat out for a fiver these days in the south??
Our little adventure took us to Blackpool on the first day. We drove the sixteen or so miles to get there, drove along the coast and past the tower and then turned around and drove right on back again. Say no more!!
We did then stumble across an amazing little Aladdin's cave of a place; Bygone Times. What a fabulous little hideaway. Five layers of neat little curiosity shops all packed with treasures from the bygone eras and housed within a into an old mill. I was indeed in my element! I purchased nothing but thoroughly enjoyed browsing and reminiscing over the items on display. The kids were kept entertained too with the tales of ghostly hauntings of the place!
Dinner on night two was a home grown concoction. I hate the use of microwaves and purposely don't own one anymore. Sometimes though I do go against what I believe in and on this occasion we had a number of meals in their bags that we microwaved and served up. It's amazing what you can conjure up when you have too. Pilau rice, vegetables with noodles, fresh raw pepper slices, sweetcorn, chickpeas, quorn pieces with oyster sauce....mmmm, made for a scummy offering!
The second day took us along the coast on our trip home, to Liverpool. My surname Fazackerley (spelt Fazakerley) comes from Lancashire near Liverpool.
Now Liverpool is an area I did always imagine was slightly deprived and run down. How wrong. It really did seem a decent place and not at all how I imagined.
Our brief visit was not to muse at the City but rather to visit the Antony Gormley sculptures that align the mile stretch of beach. Gormley has created 100 sculptures created out of steel of himself in various statures and buried them in the sand looking out to sea. The exhibition entitled 'Another place' was really spectacular and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. We hadn't told the children about the exhibition and it was rather lovely when we pulled up and the Little Lady commented that there was 'someone out there'. It was a very blustery morning on the coast of Liverpool Wednesday but we embarked on a little stroll along the coastal path to view the sculptures, some were submerged up to their heads, others only had the waves breaking over their feet. The children dodged the waves to walk up and touch one.....
So back home, refreshed? Hmmm not sure, but good to have done something a little different. It crossed my mind in the car on the way home that life is all about little adventures, it's important to occasionally have break from routine and do something just a tad different, whatever that may be.....