So last week when I said “tomorrow” I’d write about my first Boxing Day, inspired by How To Do Everything And Be Happy? Yeah. I forgot. But now I’ve remembered – hurrah!
You’re not supposed to plan your Boxing Day in advance, so all I knew was that I wanted to go somewhere, so as not to waste the day in front of the computer (like every other day!). I had a vague inkling for Hebden Bridge, but Tuesday morning was glorious so I decided to go to the seaside instead. I got the train and got off at Lytham instead of St Annes, which is where we usually go.
Now, Lytham features in Della Says: OMG! When she and Dan (and Maddy and Sid) go to the seaside, that’s where they go. But it’s not that simple. Because Lytham is Lytham St Annes – that’s what it’s called. But Lytham and St Annes are two separate places. Sort of. And in between there’s Fairhaven. It’s complicated. But we go there a lot and just call it Lytham and so Della does the same. But at the Lancashire Book of the Year awards, a woman came up to me and asked, “Why did you change Lytham St Annes beyond all recognition?” What I should have said was, “If I changed it beyond all recognition, how did you know it was meant to be Lytham St Annes?” but I didn’t think of that for about a week. Instead I just told her the truth, that I’d kind of amalgamated Lytham, Fairhaven and St Annes and collectively called it Lytham. Just like I do in, you know, reality. She said, “There’s no pier!” I said, “Er. There is.” She said, “Where?” I told her. She said, “It’s not a proper pier! It’s just a stub.” It’s not. See:
She said that a couple of the girls who’d read Della didn’t like it because there isn’t really a chip shop where I say there’s a chip shop. Except there is. It’s hard to be an author.
But I didn’t spend my entire Boxing Day taking photos to prove a point, I went into an independent bookshop and bought 999 Tadpoles Find a New Home (it’s ace) and then told the owner about my books (and asked him about the thorny Lytham St Annes issue. He confirmed that most people call it Lytham for short). Then I sat on the seafront, near the windmill…
… and read some of my book (not my book; the book I was reading). Then I bought some fudge and walked to St Annes. It was really far. On the way, I walked around Fairhaven Lake (not intentionally – I’d just gone to get a brew in the cafe, but it was shut) and then along the beach. It was really windy and cold, but pretty. (It doesn’t look much like a beach, I know, but there’s definitely sand.)
Once I’d staggered over the sand dunes and had a bit of a sit down (and put a plaster on my foot where my shoe was rubbing) (and tweeted about how far I’d walked) (and put a bit more suncream on), I headed for a cafe and Morecambe Bay shrimps on toast for lunch. Yum. I was a bit knackered by then, so I tootled up the main road to St Annes station and got the train home.
I was home by 4pm, but felt like I’d had a proper day out. It’s so good to get away from the computer and it was lovely to do just what I wanted. It wasn’t quite as relaxing as I’d hoped – mainly cos I made myself walk when I would’ve been happier sitting in a cafe reading – but I’ll know next time.