TAKE FIVE WITH TRISH: Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

Skegness Pier
Skegness Pier
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We pulled into North Car Park just after 9 o’clock and had the choice of hundreds of parking spaces. There was a stiff breeze and the sun was still weak in the sky but the vast empty beach looked glorious.

Hardly a soul had stepped on the sand that morning, but signs of the day to come were visible in the form of cones marking out the areas for the donkey rides. Two volleyball nets were patiently awaiting their setters and spikers.

Dougie and I walked along the promenade as vendors began to open up their stalls. Chairs were set out, signs erected for slushies and doughnuts. The pleasure beach was still closed, so the big wheel was stationary, its candy-striped balloon cages sitting pretty against the blue sky.

We reached the pier just as someone unlocked the gate. Red, white and blue bunting fluttered above us but otherwise it was like a painting, the lines of the timber decking pointing to a central spot in the distance.

As the minutes passed, Skegness slowly woke up. A couple were wrestling with a tent on the beach, as Grandma held onto the bags and the rug. A team of gardeners were strimming hedges and weeding flower beds. We could hear the ching-ching of the amusement arcades and recorded announcements calling people to bingo.

Families joined us on the Grand Parade in search of bacon baps and a mugs of tea. Children were eyeing up shops selling traditional sticks of rock and not-so-traditional fidget spinners.

We sat outside with coffees and toasted teacakes, but were still hungry half-an-hour later. Heading down the High Street, we followed our noses to Kirks, where we bought the tastiest, crispiest hot sausage rolls.

Further down the street we spotted a sign for a foot-long hot dog and later, a no-nonsense coffee guide - the words Americano, Latte and Mocha crossed out and replaced by Black Coffee, Milky Coffee and Choccy Coffee.

We still had an hour to spare before we had to go home and there was a lot on offer. Natureland Seal Sanctuary? Skegness Aquarium? Pedalos on the lake?

We opted for crazy golf at Jolly Roger, choosing nine holes of the Skull Trail. Our attempts on the first hole were woeful, so we quickly abandoned the scorecard and plumped for the easier match play method. Dougie took an early lead with a few lucky shots at Dead Man’s Cave and Long John’s Cutlass but my masterful putting through a cannon brought me back into the game. I stole victory on the last hole: the buried treasure was mine and Dougie walked the plank back to the car park.

We left the town as everyone else was arriving. The car park had filled up, there were queues for the donkeys and daytrippers spilled out from the trains onto the platforms. Skegness was wide awake and raring to go.

You can read Trish’s blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk