I get off the coach around 11:00am in Skegness. I decided that morning that i wasn’t going to sit around all day listening to rock and roll, i would go to the bus station and take a trip to the seaside. The coach trip seemed short mainly due to falling sleep for the an hour and half of the journey and only waking up to the sound of a screaming kid desperate for the toilet “We’ll be there in a minute then you go to the toilet” his mum said and the kid shut up and sat down.
After getting off the coach I walk over to a rail so I can get out a bottle of water out before i carry on walking, i’ll save the beers for later. The sun is blazing down and the town is packed with people. Oversized men stand with their wives and children licking ice cream with tongues like lizards and wiping away the melted cream from their hands, it melts on their hands like wax from a candle and only made worse with the blazing sun up above and drinking blue flavoured pop that starts the teeth rotting process as soon as it enters the mouth.
I walk around the town looking at the arcades and shops. Three of the arcades from my childhood have now gone, one burnt down 2007 and is now being built into a restaurant which has been under construction for the past 6 years. Rusty coloured bars and half done walls is all that stands on the construction site where the arcade once stood bringing in punters from all over the country. One of the newly built arcades that was built next to the grounds of the burnt out arcade has now closed. But the ex service men’s club still stands next to the popular fish and chip shop near the clock tower, not even picking up any damage. Old men come out with pipes smelling of brown ale and they walk past the arcades and not even look inside them, they are used to the sound and smells of the place now. The sea air gone to their heads and have started to age around the culture of holiday makers and loud noises.
I spend 30 minutes in one of the arcades still standing trying to me win my girlfriend a minion, one of those strange little fat creatures from the film Despicable Me. I spent £35 on the bastard and I couldn’t pick it up with the claws so I give up and leave and here famous rock and roll music coming from the guitar hero game sitting in the corner as I walk out the door.
I start making my way towards the beach and I walk past one of the arcades that has now been boarded up with ply wood and I see a homeless man sitting at the wall with an old bean tin and a hat and cardboard cut out with the words “change please, even the smallest would help” written on it and leaning up again the wall next to him. I rummage around my pocket and pull out what ever is left of my change and put £3 in his tin “Thanks mate, only person today who’s even bothered to look at me” he said with a sigh and a sad look behind his blood shot eyes. And he was right, his hat and his tin were empty, it looked like nobody had stopped to even give him a 2p that they didn’t bother to spend on the 2p machine. They just walked by him like he was nothing looking for the next arcade or rock shop or chip shop to spend money in. The £3 probably won’t even get him some seafood from one of the stalls on the sea front.
I start walking to the sea front in search of alcho slushy’s I keep hearing about. I walk over the road and past the clock town and spot a small protest going on. UKIP supporters are standing near the crazy hold course chanting and shouting about Immigrants and the EU. “WE HAVE THE MAJORITY SEATS IN THIS DISTRICT SO LETS MAKE IT MORE” shouts a lady with a megaphone and a union flag. A small crowd that’s gathered in front of them give out a small cheer and applause while people walk by with even looking into the direction of the protest. “Idiots” a woman says while walking past me “Absolute twats”.
I make it to the stall selling alcho slushy’s and get myself an apple and JD slushy. Taking the first sip I realised it’s not worth the £6 I paid for it. It doesn’t work, the apple and ice don’t flow well with the JD and the JD is too strong for the sweetness of it. It taste like the morning after a really bad party. I melt it down as I walk back towards the shops, I can hear the music of the arcades rolling down the street.
I down the melted apple and JD slush and I grab some warm prawns and add an assortment of condiments to it. Vinegar, salt, black pepper and prawn cocktail sauce can bring out the best of flavours to a tray of prawns. But I immediately regret the warm prawns, nothing fishy in this heat should be eaten under any circumstance, fish should never be consumed during a heat wave. What season is it? I was the only who looks to have bought something from the fish stall that day. Trays of fish, muscles, cockles, winkles and jellied eels still sat under the sneeze guard. I must be the only poor bastard to have taken the chance to turn my guts into liquid shit.
I make my way to the rock shop, I’ve been told I need to pick my sticks of rock for everyone and like a jubilee I have to keep the tradition alive. I walk past the boarded up arcade and I notice the homeless man has gone but his hat remains on the floor and people walk by it without the care in their minds of who’s it might be.
I walk into the rock shop and I start to walk around. The smell of sweets and the sight of dick lollies brings old memories back.
I buy the rock and I leave and I head towards the pub. The heat has set in and I need a drink. I walk around the clock tower and find a pub.
I get a pint of Guinness and I sit outside and listen to the music coming from inside the pub and I look around at the young faces as Cryin’ by Roy Orbison is playing on the jukebox and none of them seem to get what’s going on, they don’t understand what they are hearing from the speakers. “What’s this shit, oh my god it’s bad” I hear a young bloke sitting behind say. Nobody even knows him anymore, it’s rare that anyone at my age would even know who that man is, his music is starting to be forgotten, lost in a time while new music and new sounds take over the air waves of the radio.
I leave the pub and stat heading towards the coach and I look over at the UKIP protest and the crowd of people that have gathered around it and the spot where the homeless man once sat. The arcades that once stood proudly and accepting small change from the willing public and I think to myself as that it’s just not the same anymore.