Blackpool 2016

So there was movie night some time ago (on this particular night) and the movie title was “Miss Perequin and the yada yada yada”, as the VUE cinema attendant chorused to all of us in line for a ticket to watch the movie with the long name. The name was truly long and I just have a bias towards movies with long names –usually spelt out ‘boring’. As sceptical as I was about the movie, it was too late to back out. The night had already been proclaimed “movie night” and leaving before even starting was rather unreasonable. My resolve – ‘how horrible could a movie get? highest, sleep off like the last one’. To my utmost surprise, or maybe because I expected the worst and wasn’t feeling sleepy, the movie with the long name turned out quite interesting though spooky. One thing that got me glued was the location of the movie. It was shot in Blackpool! Regardless of the plot of the movie, I was having a mental link with every scene to the one-day Blackpool vacay sometime in 2016. Although my memories of Blackpool were far from spooky, it made me grin from ear to ear linking the scenes with the fun memories.

Blackpool 2016…

So, here is me having flashback moments to the mini summer adventure that some eight of us from Leeds had to Blackpool in June. We had decided Blackpool for this full day trip because the season, Word-of-Mouth, Media, everything pointed to Blackpool as one of the top fun places to visit while in the UK. I remember being on a volunteer trip somewhere close to Leeds and the guy on the radio mentioned Blackpool being the second most visited UK summer spot by young adults. It was clear that we needed a day-long vacation in Blackpool to race our hearts and keep our anxieties heightened with the rides, and to calm our anxieties afterwards with the beach. That summed up a perfect mix for a day’s vacay- trill and chill, stress and rest, fear and cheer, ‘adrenaline and codeine’. So Blackpool it was. And with how determined we were for a break from life and its issues, planning was done in a space of hours. Some planning went excellently well like transportation, tickets, while others didn’t go as well like accommodation.

The date was set for 10th June, starting with a rat race to catch the train. While some were trying to grab some train food for the journey, some of us were trying to stall the train. Yeah, ‘stall the train’. Felt like a movie.

Yay! We were live on our way to Blackpool. Excited we were. And as Nigerians, we drummed on the tables and chanted the ‘wherever you go – gogogongo’ anthem. I was the noise controller though, buh man we were hyper. We had a short stop then got on the second train to Blackpool, it was then we realised we had some hiccups with our accommodation. One of us, Bami, took the diplomatic reins to ensure that we could check-in past midnight. Through these conversations, we realised we had to get a second accommodation as we misjudged the room allocations. A quick second accommodation was arranged there and then. We were too resilient to be stranded. As we got off some minutes to midnight, the night had gotten chilly. So we split in two groups and got two cabs for both accommodations. While the rain drizzled before our very adventurous but sleepy eyes, the drama from the day played back… but got interrupted real fast as we got a call from the second group that their last-minute accommodation got cancelled. While the first group had gotten to their accommodation, the second was roaming the street of Blackpool looking for available rooms for the night. Alas, the hassle of finding accommodation was over and we all got the sleep we badly needed for the long day ahead.

Ayeeeeeee! It’s morning! Everybody wake up! – time to get into your shorts and tees, or playsuits, or whatever comfy wears you brought with you. It’s summer! Joy sure comes in the morning…

So the plan: group 1- meet in group 2’s accommodation since it is closer to the Pleasure Beach. Good thing was, there was no need for extra means of transportation as everywhere was close to everywhere. More like a Pleasure Beach Street. So with our packed bags, we strolled to the other accommodation that was kind enough to keep our bags while we enjoyed the day. Hype- check, vanity- check, essentials especially phones – check. We were ready.

But not so fast, it began to drizzle… with the way the UK is wired, you just need to check your weather app before planning a trip. Some of us did check, but our planning had already gone too far to “back out now” (then). We just had this dogged need for a break- the ‘come rain, come shine’ type of need. So there we sat by the glass separating us from the rain and the fun, as we watched some gay parade. Drag queens, horses, carriages, outrageous costumes all drenched in the drizzle. Our motivation and hype was slowly getting drenched with the drizzle. As we waited for the drizzle to stop, we knew we couldn’t keep waiting for it to stop as time didn’t care about the weather, it kept passing. So we waited for a fairer drizzle. We had just this one day. We couldn’t afford to waste it.

Our hearts’ prayer was answered not long- a fairer drizzle. That was our rainbow- our ray of hope. So the plan – leave the accommodation and get to some universally-accepted fast food place or someplace where regulars like fries were being sold. This plan made us realise how famished we were. Man our spirit, soul and body sighted McDonalds from a distance. McNuggets and McFlurries became our motivation as we made hurried steps through the drizzle. Some of us were not fans of McDonalds but at that point, it was either an original (or franchised original) or some wanna-bes with names like ‘Blackpool Fried Chicken (BFC), ‘Chicken wings King’, or Mc…(Something in mandarin).

Good thing about getting to McDonalds was, we could not only recharge our bodies but our phones as well. Finally the drizzle stopped, but the madness started. All the ginger that the drizzle was curtailing let loose so much that we didn’t need music for twerk queens like Liz and Dorcas to show themselves as we journeyed to the pleasure beach. We noticed there were hotels that almost shared walls with the pleasure beach, some of us were probably thinking we could have booked it instead, but where would we have gotten this level of pleasure- of trying to get to our destination while it drizzled and with food as our motivation.

We were in. we got our bands, took a group picture with the bands and then we were ready for the trills and turns of the rides. We decided to start easy and watch the day climax with every ride, so we started with the ‘gallopy’ horse ride. Easy one I must say, just make sure one hand was on the reins firmly and you are good to go. It was easy making videos on this ride because zero trauma. We were starting with the easy ones so we went for the plane ride next which made people like Bami and Liz scream, I believe those were happy screams ‘cause the ride wasn’t so crazy. Then, we decided to go for some adrenaline-defying ride next. This particular ride basically prepares one for the process whereby the soul leaves the body and I am not even exaggerating. You know when one dreams about falling from some height but one can’t scream because the brain is on freeze because of so much air or gravitational force – that was the feeling. Your inner being just leaves your body on this ride. I promised myself never to go on that ride ever again. That was climax too soon.

With the soul-snatching ride we just experienced, every other ride felt like ordinary. At this point, we felt like we could conquer the world. We were wrong. Other rides had their own ways of snatching something from you like your intestines and other organs in your system. Some made you cry so hard, others made you scream and pray, some made you squeeze the person next to you like you were about to drain them of all the water in their bodies. The only thing near spooky was the ghost ride that had me screaming “blood of Jesus”. In the midst of the crazies, there was the cool car ride that we all could go on. That was one car ride you could be reckless on without getting a ticket. At this point, some of us were done like Bami and Liz, some of us not totally done like myself, Ug and Dorcas, we could still go on some more rides, some others just had their adventurous mode turned on like Bassey, Aisha, just one of us was on some adventure frenzy – Prince Charles, he was the only one that went on some frigging deadly ride. I couldn’t have gone on that ride for anything less than 100,000 pounds. P.s he came back smiling.

Grabbing rolls of cotton candy, pies, cones of ice cream and other park meals, we strolled around and took pictures, each person to whatever caught their fancy. The adventurous and adventure frenzy group went on more rides like the park’s longest ride. Some found solace in children’s rides like the park’s slowest ride- the train ride. The danger of this ride was you could sleep off on it and sleep wasn’t what anyone needed just yet. In the midst of all the individual and subgroup movements, we always found each other and moved together.

It was getting late. The drizzle was back. But there was one ride we had to go on. Our quasi tour guide – Aisha already did a good job convincing us on how awesome the ride was. She had been in Blackpool before, so we trusted her judgement. It was the perfect ride to end the trilling day. Say hello to the ‘get wet’ ride. The queue was quite long considering the time of the day. People were buying flimsy raincoats for two pounds to avoid getting too wet. I didn’t see the point though ‘cause it was already drizzly and I was in my beach outfit, so I was ready to be fully drenched. Oh shoot my braids. I had to cover my hair somehow.

Aisha was right. It was the perfect ride to end the day. It felt like we were in a ‘water-bender’ sequel with a little bit of Moana. One minute we were on a boat passing through ice in a dark cave and felt like we were about to freeze, the next minute fire is flashed by our sides and felt like some Jacuzzi. We came out really trilled, famished and done for the day. As we strolled through the street looking for food, we decided on a calmer and more refined atmosphere. Our tour guide (Aisha) was sure there was some Chinese buffet restaurant around the corner and before long, we found it and had a 3-course meal multiple times. ‘Twas a proper buffet for just ten pounds.

Our energy was back. Time to experience the chill part of the one-day vacay – the Beach! Sinking our feet in sand full of pebbles was enough therapy for the day’s craziness. We took pictures, wrote names on sand. Mine was – “Happy birthday Ore”. It was my brother’s birthday.

It was time to head home. We strolled again to the accommodation that had our bags, changed into comfy travel outfits and headed for the train station.

Through the train rides we were tired, and disgusted by a group of drunk cross-dressers making noise – felt like karma. They tried making conversations, bad breath and all, while all that was on our minds was sleep and more sleep…

I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t have slept. I might have drifted will watching the movie with the long name (Miss Perequin and the yada yada yada) and obviously forgotten the story line, but i will always remember that it was shot in Blackpool.


  1. Avatar
    Jumoke Babalola

    Nice write up, fantastic choice and combinagion of words… Quite explicit! U will be a wonderful journalist

    1. Avatar

      Thanks dear. I appreciate your comment

  2. Avatar
    Toby Charles

    I just had to smile. Memories still fresh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.