I’ve been away for the Easter weekend. Let me take you there.
Imagine, the sunlight cascading lightly across your skin as you gaze out across the beach. It’s not busy, but there are plenty of people, and children shrieking as they play in the chilly sea. Glancing over your shoulder you can see back as far as the peaceful caravan park, and then beyond to the quaint village. As evening draws in, you wander to one of the array of beach-side restaurants for a quick supper and a glass of wine. On the walk home you admire the twinkling of the stars.
Now, drop that image entirely from your head, because I went on holiday to Skegness.
For anyone unfamiliar, Skegness is a coastal town next to the North Sea on the Lincolnshire coast in England. It could be everything mentioned in my description above and nothing more, but it has a claim to fame. Skegness was the site of the first Butlins Holiday resort.
Butlins are purveyors of the seaside holiday experience, which as Brits we are exceptionally proud of. Despite our seeming obsession with going to other countries, ruining them a bit, then coming back and complaining, we have an enduring attachment to the idea of the quaint seaside holiday which arose in the mid-1800s.
One might think the attraction of camping is to get away from it all, and experience nature without the hustle and bustle of other people. Not so at the British seaside holiday park. The name of the game is to get a fancy tin, put it as close as possible to as many other fancy tins as you can find, and then hide inside it for a week so you can complain about the nearby tins and their inhabitants while you struggle to stay warm.
None of this is to say that I didn’t have a nice time. Yes, I do think a youth (“youf”) may have threatened me as I arrived. Yes, I think a gang of girls shouted at me to “get back to Chelsea”. But none of that matters when you’re spending time with friends, even if it is in a rainy tin.
So I suppose today’s take-home message is get some friends, and if you don’t have them then I really wouldn’t recommend Skegness.