my life

Exploring an abandoned theme park!

Pleasure Island at Cleethorpes has been closed since 2016, a fact that depresses me slightly since I loved it as a kid. So while in the area last week me and Dave stopped and took some pictures of its ruins.

Don’t worry, we didn’t actually go in! It’s covered in barbed wire, more bafflingly there’s a trench built all the way around it, and there’s a security dog too.

There he is!

So we just got as close to the fence as possible and stuck the camera through increasingly tricky gaps.

Here’s the fairytale-like entrance to the park, not such a fairytale anymore.

Broken things everywhere.

Some castles left to rot behind barbed wire.

Who even smashed these windows?

The remains of one of the rides I remember best from Pleasure Island, the water side. It used to stand a bit taller.

A few misc buildings round the back, and a warning message.

RIP, Pleasure Island. Here it is in happier times.

a vague personal post

We spent last week doing that adult rite of passage, visiting relatives who are in care homes thanks to physical ailments (hopefully curable) and mental ailments (not at all curable, sigh.) It involved going back to a place I very much associate with childhood (my grandmother’s house in Cleethorpes) which kind of simultaneously made it better and worse.

Getting into the care home to visit requires a covid test every day, so you can imagine how delightful it was to see this lot protesting in a Cleethorpes park.

Anti-vaxxers aside, it wasn’t a bad trip or anything! We got to wander around some of my childhood haunts and take pictures! But it was strange. So very strange.

BECAUSE I’M ONE OF THE IDIOTS WHO LIVES IN IT! part 6

Haven’t done one of these in a while! Food growing is going surprisingly well.

We harvested some more potatoes, and though they have green and brown splodges on them they’re still edible! I mashed them up and ate them, as you do.

There’s also a pretty good blackberry crop this year!

And I also have an apple tree now! I suspect it will be many years before it bears fruit but still. My parents used to have apple trees and it was so fun picking them every year.

Its leaves turn brown every now and again but I’m told that’s normal.

The Millennium Dome redux

I posted these photos of the infamous Millennium Dome back in June, but since then I’ve found more photographs of the place! Turns out my family visited it twice… I kinda suspect it was because the first visit turned out to be disappointing and my parents thought the second time would be better.

I….can’t remember if it was or not.

Here’s me being part of the “net generation.”

This pic here, where I look incredibly sulky and pissed off, gives a good idea of the scale of the Dome. (Absolutely no reblogging this photo please.)

Now I’m curious as to what that wall of screens was.

Turns out it was the Self-Portrait Zone:

And I actually remember those sculptures! My 12-year-old self found them VERY unsettling (especially The Couch Potato, which was a guy melting into his sofa) but sadly I guess we didn’t take any pics of them.

This globe and spaceship marked the entrance to Home Planet, a sort of educational dark ride.

Y’know what? The Dome sold Dome-branded merchandise! And while going through old boxes I found what I myself purchased from the gift shop!

That’s it! Just a notebook with a holographic sticker on it! I wonder how much it cost to produce.

This brochure I found is quite interesting. It says “For one year only” so… Was that always the plan, to only have it open for one year? Or had things deteriorated so quickly by October they’d already decided to close it? Either way, how incredibly wasteful.

I DO remember the Blackadder film! I think it was the first Blackadder I ever saw.

CUl8tr, Dome! Though before I sign off – I ran across this photo from the same era in my boxes and boxes of photos. It’s a little LEGO dome at Legoland in 2001!

…The real thing would’ve closed by then.

Vintage Disneyworld: 1994 UK promotional video!

Slowly I’m going through all my family’s old VHS tapes and here’s a good one! A 1994 promo video from the UK airline Unijet, showing off all that Disneyworld and Florida had to offer to Brits.

Features footage of some now-defunct attractions including Pleasure Island, River Country, Spectromagic, and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure (my favourite when I was a kid.) Oh, and a robot Bill Clinton.

Fun fact: For YEARS I assumed this goddamn video was the cause of my annoying-but-far-from-debilitating submechanophobia. I definitely remember that as a child I saw a clip of the Universial Studios Jaws ride and it terrified me no end. I always thought it was on this video… But why would a Disney promo video be promoting the competition? (Even in the Florida montage at the end I don’t think there’s any Universal Studios stuff!) So hmmm, maybe I’ll stumble upon that damn shark in a different video one day.

Double jabbed

This time around things went much more smoothly. We were driven there by a very nice and helpful taxi driver, which is always good, and at the hospital there was barely any waiting at all.

I feel a bit nauseous and tired but that’s only to be expected. VERY glad I’m fully vaccinated, now go and get yours if you haven’t already!

Photographs, memories, lost things

The title of this blog isn’t just for show, y’know. I archive everything. It’s… not a million miles away from hoarding, in all honesty, I just try to be careful about it. Anyone who has literal OCD will know the deal there… anyway. Today I finished scanning in every! single! picture! I know exists of my childhood, and I’ve realised that as a teenager I experienced quite a few events that turned out quite formative and nothing was ever photographed of them. My parents were big into analog cameras, but when they went obsolete and digital cameras replaced them it was a totally different story.

I remember for example that in 2005 I went to see Green Day with a friend (who’s still one of my closest friends in fact!) at the Milton Keynes Bowl. I think that was the first time I’d been to a concert without adult supervision. I did go see The Monkees when I was a very young child, that’s one of the things which triggered my lifelong Monkees fandom. But this Green Day concert, everyone in school was talking about it and I wanted to go so badly! So I managed to grab some tickets off of Ebay and hell yeah, I got to go. I can still remember it, it was a fantastic experience. To this day Billie Joe Armstrong is the most electrifying person I’ve seen on stage. And yet… I have so little evidence, for lack of a better word, that I was even there! No photos, no ticket stubs, nothing. I do have this entry in my journal:

Which is a valuable thing to have! But I do wish I had photos. We live in such a photo-heavy society now, I guess, and it’s so weird to have whole years where there just… weren’t many. That same year, in the same town, I went to a convention with the same friend and all photos of that are lost too. I know they existed once, because I actually wrote an entry about it way back then!

But as you can see, all broken links now, and I have absolutely no memory of it whatsoever except that Chris Barrie was nice. My very unreliable memory is, I think, probably the main reason I desperately wish I had more photographs of my life in 2005. It was, according to the diary referred to up there, a pretty difficult and depressing year in many ways. I once saw someone call photographs “memory receipts” and man, I’d really have liked some good receipts of all that.

Kids who have no doubt seen the faces adults make upon seeing teenagers whip out a smartphone, please take as many selfies as humanly possible and upload them to all your social medias. You’ll be grateful you did, I promise.