Beaches are just sand, rocks and salt-water. But the popularity of liverpoolONE’s Beach in Chavasse park is enough to show us that there’s something about them that makes people herd themselves together and strip down like hard-boiled eggs. The Great British sea-side (ignoring post-olympic-patriotism for a moment) is pretty crap on the whole. The rides are sub-gypsy standard, the promenades are covered in dog poo and the sand is full of human poo. The best thing for lunch is a smelly crayfish sandwich chucked together by a sweaty biker-chick named Andy on two-day-old bread with too much margarine, and for dinner cod and chips. Actually there isn’t anything wrong with cod and chips. I like cod. It’s like battered papier-mâché.
So what is it about these windy, cold, litter-ridden, caravan-infested holiday destinations that draw people? Is it so that they can stare longingly out to sea and wish they were somewhere else? Is it because their lives are that event-less and safe that they need the ridiculously cheap thrill of 2 pence gambling machines? Why Britons? Why?
I’ve just got back from the Norfolk coast, where the current craze seems to be seeing how much of your belly you can dangle over the side of the pier whilst trying to catch crabs in a poxy little net while forty other people also try to dangle their bellies over the side and catch crabs in a poxy little net. It’s a good laugh. Not the crab fishing, but generally seeing a father-and-son crab-fishing team simultaneously prolapse because a big crab just fell from their net inches away from their fat grasping mitts.
But, for some reason, just the thought of multi-colored beach-huts lined up along concrete WWII defences makes me all teary-eyed and nostalgic, and I wasn’t even around in the 50’s in the heyday of the British seaside holiday.
The beauty of the Great British seaside is in the tackiness, the cheapness, the sun burnt dinner ladies. Why go to some fancy all-inclusive resort for £2,000 + hotels and booking fees, when we’ve got sand right here on our doorstep? Sure, all the babes are all over 60. Sure, the only time you’ll see the Sun is when the wind blows that pathetic-drivel of a newspaper into your face. But it’s our grey sand, they’re our broken down waltzers. And, let’s face it, you’re British, you’ll find things to moan about on any holiday, so why not spend a couple of hundred quid and have a proper moan. The sea is cold, but if you close your eyes, you can pretend the lapping sounds of the tide are Hawaii, Maya Bay, or somewhere else genuinely nice.
As you’ll already know, there are some pretty sweet beaches in the Merseyside area, and if you fancy a beach-break in the middle of a shopping trip, the beach in LiverpoolONE is open until the 2nd of September, so hurry up.