Who says Manchester's got everything but a beach? Not only have we got Squirrel Beach an hour away, but a little bit further up the north west coastline you can find Lytham St Anne's, a traditional English seaside town.
I spent my childhood playing in rockpools, collecting seaglass and making dams on various gorgeous wild, unspoiled beaches in the north east, where you have to check the tide tables before heading to the cliffs because if you go there at the wrong time of day you could find no beach at all. The beaches in the north west are the complete opposite - miles and miles and miles of beach and a good 30 minute walk across the sand to get from the side to the sea itself.
However, what Lytham lacks in exciting tides, it more than makes up for in giant eclairs.
Cabinets crammed full of cakes. Not pictured - marshmallow sandwiches (yes, this is an actual thing).
And a traditional pier.
We treated ourselves to our traditional supermarket picnic, including prawn cocktail. The kids ate tiny sausages dipped into ketchup, hula hoops, and chocolate buttons. Nutritious.
Inside the pier, you can find an arcade filled with slot machines, teacup rides, and shops selling utterly glorious non-ironic tat.
I love the classic signage. And that you can get a cup of tea for 90p.
I also love the rides (both girls wailed to get off as soon as it started moving, and I wasn't going to let £1.50 go to waste. The bumblebee's the best one, too).
Well, you have to take a occasional break from plastering, sanding, scraping and more sanding, and what better way to relax mid-bedroom renovation than by riding a large plastic bee while attempting not to whack your head on the overhanging plastic flower?
I just ordered 15 near-identical white paint Dulux samples and have started looking for pretty things online (giant pendant lamps! Moroccan wedding blankets! Barcelona loveseats!) so the end is definitely nigh. We're even starting to think about which major project we tackle next - maybe the utility room? But we've also promised Eva that we'll build her a tree house this summer, and after spending the whole of last summer's scorcher inside scraping lead paint off the stairs, I'm certainly not spending this summer in the cellar. Tree house it is...