If towns could speak but one word, what would they say? Leamington Spa spoke Regency. Nailsea has not spoken to me yet but I'm sure it will, given time. It certainly has ancienter history than Royal Leamington. Neolithic, stone, bronze, Roman and medieval in fact. It's just been a bit bulldozed and rebuilt.
Weston-super-Mare spoke yesterday, the second I arrived. And its word was 'chips'. Chips on the street. Chip shops a plenty. And therefore, of course, chips on the breeze. Its word has not changed for many years.
Weston has special memories for me. As a child our annual, family holiday was a week in the Birchfield Hotel, Weston (it's still there). I can recall Marine Lake trapped behind a now-dangerous breakwater. The Winter Gardens where we had milk shakes and doughnuts. The two piers. One is now abandoned and dangerous, the other, which I used to love, is horrid for the reasons I used to love, mainly one-armed bandits. Being sent to bed for kicking Paul Leyser's drink into his supper.
As a couple of Brummies Liz and I love the sea, even if it is the Bristol Channel. What we hadn't appreciated before about this area is how flat it is apart from the bumps which make up a couple of islands Steepholm and Flatholm (they call it as they see it round here) and then the towns of Weston, Clevedon and Nailsea. Please watch your emissions old friends or we may all become islands again.
Anyway we wandered around yesterday, hating and loving the place in equal measures as we ate our Subway rolls on the pier listening to piped Mantovani and observing the khaki and green slackness of the passers by. Hated the pigeons. Noted the absence of gulls (too confined a space to land?) and pleased to see starlings, another sight and sound from Birmingham's past.
Next time we will buy chips. We hear them calling.