Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

The One Where I Get a Bit Nostalgic


When I decided to expand the theme of this blog (coming soon! keep on reading, folks!) I wondered about fitting  in ramblings about the country of my birth, England, but, of course it’s a part of  Great Britain or…..the British Isles – voilá it fits….happily since my trip to UK this time took in some old haunts en route to WTM.

It had been some years since I’d visited my home town, and this was pretty much a flying visit, with plans constantly being forced to change. After sitting for two hours on the sultry tarmac at South Tenerife airport due to non-functioning air conditioing,  I, actually, didn’t think I could ever feel cold again! Not so!

I left a wave of heat which hadn’t eased up much since it began in late Spring, and I woke my first morning in my friend Maggie’s house to a crisp morning of crystal-clear sky and a light frost on the lawn. I pulled on clothes and grabbed the camera. Maggie and Mike live in the swathe of flat, green countryside between Blackpool and Preston, and I could see  a hazy sun emerging across the fields. Mike came out to see what I was doing, bemused, I think, by my attempts to photograph the slight frosting on the grass – a sight uncommon to me, but not to him!

Suddenly, he pointed upwards and  I heard a mournful cacophony which used to be very familiar. Following his pointing finger I saw the skein of geese in that unmistakable,  shifting V-shape as it strung out across the blue. Years ago I’d lived in an area like this, and the excited gabbling of  migrating geese was something which confirmed the onset of the “dark side” – those winter months I’d rather not remember!

It was from the geese I learned the word sehnsucht – their cries echoed that yearning inside of me to be in warmer, far-flung places as winter engulfed northern England.

A couple of days later and back on GMT, my cold fingers fumbled to capture an Irish Sea sunset from the beach at Cleveleys, north of Blackpool at what seemed a ridiculously early hour. The Promenade here has been remodeled since I was there, years ago, and its stark but graceful lines and colors now reflect those of the coastline. It was a little chill, but utterly in keeping with the place. The tide here goes out so far that you can’t even see the sea, as a small child I used to think that it disappeared over the edge of the world.

Moody skies over the Lake District hills from Cleveleys Promenade

Here there was that slightly desolate feeling I used to get at this time of year. The bleak sea breeze permeated my inadequate clothing (I long ago used up all my cold-weather clothing!), and whilst I admit to pangs of nostalgia, the short walk was enough to confirm my decision to have emigrated…….it would cost me far too much in clothing to live here now, but do you see all those dots on the pictures? They are all folk out taking a bracing stroll – hardy, these Northerners!

What made me more nostalgic was a visit earlier in the day, with my friend, Pat, to Stanley Park in Blackpool, a place I’d been taken to as a child and in turn took my own kids. It was also close to my senior school and the place we would sneak out to on occasion to read on the grassy knolls around the lake. Here I found the Autumn I always seek at this time of year.

The golden leaves, the sunlight through the trees and all that jazz. And, speaking of jazz, we had a very nice lunch in the café by the Rose Garden, which is, apparently, seared on my memory, because I remembered it quite clearly, the Art Deco-ish decor which must have been very popular in the Blackpool of my childhood I think. Even the brass boxes on the loo doors remained, although these days you don’t have to pay – tell me how could I get nostalgic about a box on a toilet door?…..jazz because on weekends they have jazz there, which I have marked down to go see on my next summer visit! Lovely venue right by the rose garden.

Stanley Park Rose Garden, Blackpool with the café to the left.

My few, short days on the Fylde Coast were warmed by wonderful friendships which have weathered the years and all life’s changes; by scrumptious full-on breakfasts and home-cooked dinners; by babies – my goddaughter’s, the next generation, and by happy memories, but much as I am glad to have grown up there (I think it made me tougher, physically and perhaps mentally) I’m more than happy to return to the sunshine and the sub-tropics!

Author: IslandMomma

Aging with passion; travelling with curiosity; exploring islandlife, and trying to keep fit and healthy.

10 thoughts on “The One Where I Get a Bit Nostalgic

  1. Remembrance of chilly pasts 😉 I’d also be more than happy to return to where it’s warm. Nice moody photos!

  2. Thank you. I was at least grateful for the light on those photos. The visibility was amazing – usually you can’t see the Lake District from there. Even so, I am, actually shocked to realize that I want to stay somewhere warmer! It makes me feel “nesh” as we say in the north of England, but I don’t care any more!

  3. One part of your story particularly struck me. “I woke my first morning in my friend Maggie’s house to a crisp morning of crystal-clear sky and a light frost on the lawn…Mike came out to see what I was doing, bemused, I think, by my attempts to photograph the slight frosting on the grass – a sight uncommon to me, but not to him!” It is so expressive of our tendency not to live in the moment. Mike had seen that frost so many times that he ceased to be aware of it. You, not having seen it for a long time, were enthralled by it. You were living in the present moment. It’s something I strive for. I’m not always successful, but at least I usually recognize when I’m off track and can begin to adjust my course. I love the fact – which shines through in your writing – that you are usually so present.

    • Thank you so much for those kinds words, and I field them right back at you. I strive too, yes. In a way, having the blog is a help, because it makes me aware sometimes of things I might have otherwise missed, and then there are times when I go away from a place or a person, and think, “Damn I wish I’d asked this or that.” I think that writing has taught me to be more curious.

  4. sorry to not see you when you got to the Fylde but glad you were able to get around and see a few places, some changed and some almost the same.
    I have a photo somewhere of you and me and Mrs Taylor taken in Stanley Park on a bench, in the Italian Gardens (the rose garden is elsewhere tucked away). I always tell mum there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing. that was your downfall, not that you were being nesh.

    • LOL! Oh I do think I’m nesh these days! I can only take so much unnecessary cold!

      Ah, yes, I remember now the Rose Garden is a little haven, isn’t it…..see, didn’t remember as much as I thought! I don’t think I have that photo, although I do have some taken there years ago.

      My time in the Fylde really was brief, and I was supposed to get back there after London, but things changed. You must msg me your number to ring when I get back!

  5. This makes me wish I had a warmer place to run to now that Autumn is turning to Winter.

  6. I don’t mind the cold for a while, but only for a while! Does it get really cold over there? I’ve always imagined it wasn’t that bad!

  7. I’m glad you had a good trip and shared some beautiful photos from it. As we close in on winter in Virginia, I’ll be envious of your warm weather in Tenerife! Enjoy!

  8. I have a feeling that I’m really going to appreciate it this year! Hope you didn’t suffer at all on account of Sandy?

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