3rd November 2018
Daisy, Percy and me, went to Morecambe for three days for my 60th birthday. We stayed in a Travellodge having forgotten that we‘d said we‘d never do so again. We remembered that promise when all the things that had made us make it happened again. I woke for the last time, invented some new swear words then set out to walk Perce anywhere. It‘s always nice weather on my birthday. I have never even nearly seen so many mobility scooters. Here‘s a picture with a man with a lot of pale ale. I wish I‘d taken a picture of the smart lady who is here behind him, as after catching him up, she made off with a pack, but I didn‘t think to because Percy wasn‘t pissing. I just read that last bit out to Daisy to see if it was obvious I was joking. She thought it wasn‘t.
A sign at the start of the Stone Jetty explained that filming was underway and anyone who thought they might have been filmed and didnt want to end up on telly should inform someone or other – I forget. I thought I‘d take our six legs down to the far end and have a look at the Irish sea. A thirty-ish chap in a high viz jacket and a practised scowl told me we couldn‘t go any further. I said we could. He said we couldn‘t. I tried some coulding. He responded with canting. There we were, a dance, me trying to go forward and him pushing me back with his belly and holding his arms out sideways to prove he wasn‘t touching me. ‘‘You‘re not allowed to touch me,‘‘ I explained. ‘‘I‘m not,‘‘ he said, bellying me while flapping his arms to show he wasn‘t touching me. Percy‘s lead was now tangled around one of his legs and Percy was looking indignant. I wondered if Percy would nip him. Percy can try to fix confusion with tooth-work.
A woman not much older than a girl and wearing bright clothes half-ran over and asked what was happening. The man suddenly shouted, ‘‘Don‘t shout at me,‘‘ in the hope that I‘d suddenly start shouting and he could biff me. I was busy looking smiley and harmless for the young lady. She was a bit cross with him and said she‘d walk me down the jetty. We chatted pleasantly as she worked out what the chances of me being trouble were and once we were past the filming said goodbye, and I walked to the end. There I took this picture and looked at the grey bustling sea and had the usual deep trite moments of reflection. There was also those flowers to think about.
A man of my own age who didn‘t bother to impress me that he could if necessary be efficiently nasty turned up, easily apologised for his colleague – ‘‘door-work makes some of them like that‘‘ – and said that he‘d be happy to walk with me back along the jetty whenever I felt like it. He had a nice drift-woody face. He asked quite formally if I‘d like him to tell me about this particular bit of sea. He was a yachtsman, always on the sea, and his son held the record for – I think – rowing to the Isle of man from Morecambe. Whatever it was it took fifteen hours, I remember. When the conversation returned to dry land I learnt that he had for twenty years been the publican at the Nags Head on Deansgate – I‘ve been in there a few times. We found some other coincidences and parted almost as friends a little way after the filmers and all their kit. As I passed the first fellow I said, ‘Alright‘, as if it hadn‘t really been anything rankle-worthy after all, had it? He aimed at blithe and said, ‘‘Wonderful‘‘, his mouth not quite the right shape for the word.