Song, by Toad


Friday Does Like to be Beside the Seaside

 For a city which is ostensibly on the coast, Edinburgh ain’t particularly seasidey.  I suppose if you’re picking nits then it’s a city built around a castle, really, and not on the sea at all.  Leith, Portobello and Musselburgh are on the sea, but Edinburgh isn’t really.  Just tantalisingly close.

Well Brighton is on the bloody sea, right down to the seagulls and candyfloss, and I have a few more hours here with the folks before hopping on a plane to return to my one true love in Edinburgh.  Not doubt Mrs. Toad will be so pleased to see me that she might even bother to look up from her iPad for a moment when I get in.

Still, as can happen when you’re visiting parents, we are going on a little day trip to Aldi today, which should be exciting.  And I am being not one tiny bit flippant either – we really are doing that.  Alright, the exciting part was a little flippant, but I was dead serious about Aldi.

The rest of my afternoon will probably be spent sitting at Gatwick fucking airport (oh how I hate airports) waiting to fly home, so please do feel free to jump in and entertain me.  It’s either that or browsing the selection at the fucking Tie Rack or WH Smith’s.

1. Crappest shop you find in airports.
2. Naffest thing your parents make you do when you visit them.
3, Favourite seaside spot.
4. Worst things about the seaside.
5. Crappest seafront you’ve ever seen.

22 witty ripostes to Friday Does Like to be Beside the Seaside

  1. avatar

    1. The Tie Rack is pretty horrendous, and the Sock Shop used to be a staple as well. Now the part I hate most is the suffocating cloud of perfumed smog in Duty Free.
    2. Aldi. By miles. Fucking Aldi.
    3. Hmm, not sure. Some of the beaches on Cape Cod were amazing, and a small few were totally deserted, which was awesome. In terms of being by the sea but not ‘at the seaside’ some of the spots on the Northumberland coast you go past when you take the East Coast Mainline look stunning.
    4. Seagulls fighting empty boxes of fish and chips. Tatty and shite. Dogshit in the sand.
    5. In some ways I think Manhattan Island in New York. It’s a fucking island and instead of waterfront cafés and promenades you get… a big fuck-off motorway all the fucking way around it. What the fuck, America?

  2. avatar

    1. The “buy a raffle ticket and win an expensive sports car” stall at Edinburgh airport. More chance an episode of X Factor finishing without a talentless, tuneless fuckwit showing up at some point.

    2. Partake in family get togethers to mark my return to the home country. My family are well meaning idiots, but idiots none the less so they can be excruciating affairs, particular the regular “would you not consider moving back here” questions despite the physical presence of my Scottish wife and soon to be nationally confused daughter being clear evidence that my future lies elsewhere.

    3. Scheveningen near The Hague, beautiful beach, especially on a cold day.

    4. The lingering fear that Godzilla will rise from the waters and lay waste to the city.

    5. It’s been spruced up a bit, but Bangor, NI used to be utterly dreadful.

  3. avatar

    1. People selling the local tat. Our overpriced and terrible food.
    2. Revert to myself circa 1995.
    3. St Ives, Cornwall
    4. People trying to sell holidays to people with no taste.
    5. It used to be Blackpool but they’ve made a but of an effort if late so Torremolinos.

  4. avatar

    1. That “Best of Britain” shop, which I bet is exclusive to England (don’t remember seeing it in Edinburgh or Glasgow, anyway), which from the outside looks like a BNP explosion.

    2. At Christmas, we shun the world of possibility offered by Sky’s 900 channels and re-watch videos of all the stuff we watched as kids- Alastair Sim’s Christmas Carol, one about a kid who really wants an air rifle, and one about Dylan Thomas’ childhood in Wales. Naff, but brilliant and much better than 900 channels of unrelenting shite.

    3. Anywhere with lots of rock pools.

    4. Sand, obviously. It gets everywhere.

    5. Weston-super-Mare. Full of fat Brummies sitting on emaciated donkeys.

  5. avatar

    1. I hate the gloss of the duty free shops.

    2. Watch game shows on the telly.

    3. The north shore beaches in Massachusetts and the rugged ones in Maine…in the cold weather. Stunning.

    4. Oversized persons in very small swim suits. Oh the visual horror.

    5. Beaches along the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa/St. Pete. Stunning roadway with tattoo encrusted, toothless people up to no good.

  6. avatar

    1. I spend a fuckload of time in airports but the business class lounges are usually full of fat gobby poncy fucks who think that having a small golden card renders them as Caesar. I avoid in favour of the concourse massage chair.

    2. There’s usually some sort of simmering fight to enjoy, usually in reference to decade old issues.

    3. The beaches of Nova Scotia take some beating but not for anyone who thinks Lancaster is first and foremost tanning shit in a bottle. It’s cold.

    4. Sand is a bit shit, I actually preferred the Italian/Croatian sunning on rocks and shingle. But I can’t get Toad to lie still on a beach for more than a couple of hours anyway so it’s largely academic.

    5. Anywhere that is a designated “resort” beach complete with said “resorts” towering over the accumulated hordes of fat red mooing neophobes who are disgruntled to find that Spain/Thailand/an other actually has its own cuisine and a general expectation that you might actually want to sample it before reverting to egg and chips for the rest of your open prison holiday experience.

  7. avatar

    Manhattan prefers to look inwards which is why they’ve got Central Park. (But Brooklyn, hey we have Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and some lovely parks along the East River!)

    1. Duty Free Stores. Waste of space as you can’t browse them while flying domestically.

    2. Trying to get me to sit down and watch tv with them.

    3, The Outer Banks, off season… except for the sand attempting to kill you by small, razor sharp cuts.

    4. When the wind is blowing sand. When it’s nice outside other people as a good third of them forget that they are still out in public. Litter bugs.

    5. Erie, Pa. (fine, lake front).

  8. avatar

    1. Boots. It’s impossible to even look in the fridges and shelves for the people trying to queue.
    2. My mum makes me get her a good score in Bejewelled Blitz so she can beat her work folk.
    3. There’s a wee, grassy cliff-top spot in Culzean Country Park overlooking Maidens’ beach that is gorgeous in the summer. Also, in Kos, I found a wee black-sand beach with a natural hot spring. That was pretty special too
    4. Neds, dogs, junk, sewage… suppose that’s just what you get for going to Ayr beach!
    5. I’m sure there’s a lot worse, but for the reasons above, Ayr.

  9. avatar

    1. The bar that’s full to bursting with tracksuits having a ‘wee drink’ before their 7am flight.

    2. Nothing really. Parents are pretty laid back and I don’t usually get hustled into any unnecessary family visits

    3. Has to be East Neuk of Fife. That stretch from Elie up to Anstruther is just perfect.

    4. Getting your feet wet then sand sticking to them *shudders*

    5. Morecambe. Jeeeez, what an outdated place that is. Ended up in a seafront ‘wild west’ themed pub which I don’t think had changed in about 20 years. It was complete with a family area separated with a glass perspex wall which had arcade games and a pool table. And yes, there were single parents supping an afternoon cider whilst their children played pac man next door. Anything for an easy life I guess…

  10. avatar

    1. Yeah, I’m with you on sock shop/tie rack type shite.

    2. Sort out the technology. For two people who are so intelligent, my parents really seem to struggle with things like Skype. Texting is no problem (apart from the fact they cannot do predictive texting, so it’s like being texted by a teenager in 2001).

    3. Cornwall is lovely – Tintagel once you get past the tourist tat shops

    4. People in swimsuits that should not be, shall we say…also, when you find broken glass on the beach. PICK IT UP!

    5. Crappest seafront you’ve ever seen-years ago there was a seaside resort in Lincolnshire we would go to for the day called Sutton-on sea. It was up the coast from Skegness, it was lovely and, dare I say it, going there was part of my childhood (*cue vomiting noises*). Then I went back there when I was fifteen. The place had gone to rack and ruin, and it was like the lyrics of Morrissey’s ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday.’ Just a shame.

  11. avatar

    Yep, I’ve been here for three days and been expected to sort out years of accumulated geriatric IT confusion.

    “So Matthew, how does Photoshop work?”

  12. avatar

    1. Gift shops, they sell cliche to the tourists.
    2. Sort old things like clothes and papers
    3, Kantouni beach, Greece.
    4. Kids that bury jellyfish under the sand so people have a surprise when they walk on it.
    5. Somewhere in Brittany, it looked like a land of mud

  13. avatar

    “Kids that bury jellyfish under the sand so people have a surprise when they walk on it.”

    People do that? What bastards. Totally brilliant bastards!

  14. avatar

    “People do that? What bastards. Totally brilliant bastards!”

    They did. don’t know if they still do. Though i never walked on it, it had been the fear of my childhood summers

  15. avatar

    Like dogshit in a sandpit!

  16. avatar

    1. I don’t like shops as such anyway, so I usually head for the bar and sit there in my tracksuit. Although to flip the question on its head I do like to browse the whisky shop at Edinburgh airport.

    2. Both my parents’ houses are miles from a decent pub, so a lot of sitting around excruciatingly bored happens.

    3. Porthcawl, a seaside resort not far from Cardiff in Wales, holds a lot of fond memories, although recently its charming “shabby chic” has lost a lot of the “chic” element. The Pembrokeshire Coast national park is also breathtaking.

    4. The identikit flatpack apartment builldings that are currently being flung up on every square inch of vacant shoreline around this particular island.

    5. In some ways it’s Edinburgh. I wish it was easier to get to the sea in Leith; it seems all blocked off. Newhaven harbour’s okay but out of the way and a bit lacking in life; and Portobello’s a bit, well, sewagey.

  17. avatar

    1. Hudson News is the US version of WH Smiths. You have no idea how good you have it.
    2. Take all the loose change I have around the house to the bank. It’s become a thing.
    3. Maine has really rocky coast that goes properly crazy during anything like a storm
    4. Where I live it’s that it is so ball numbingly cold. I mean really cold. Really really cold.
    5. Ecuador. I went to a town that had half built hotel high rises and grey sand. And nothing else. Well, to be fair they also had dollar pints and cheap cerviche. But the beach was ugly.

  18. avatar

    1. Crappest shop you find in airports.

    Car shops. Who buys a car at an airport?!

    2. Naffest thing your parents make you do when you visit them.

    Nothing really, apart from getting drunk and having a mild tempered argument or two.

    3, Favourite seaside spot.

    Scarista, Harris.

    4. Worst things about the seaside.

    There’s nothing worse than litter on a beach.

    5. Crappest seafront you’ve ever seen.

    Kirkcaldy. Oh my days that was depressing, it was in mid-December though.

  19. avatar

    Dylan, you have a very good point about Edinburgh. ‘So when you say The Shore… where actually is it, then?’

  20. avatar

    And rocky shorelines during angry Winter storms are amazing. Especially if you’re indoors with a nice beer and bowl of clams to enjoy it!

  21. avatar

    1. Probably all of them, but especially the rip-off Duty Free shops.
    2. I think it was said above, but somehow making me feel 15 years old.
    3. Sentimental reasons – Broughty Ferry (sandy and stony versions); for splashing about in, the Portuguese Alentejo beaches, just glorious.
    4.Raw sewage (Broughty Ferry 1970s)
    5. Morecombe. 2008. Desolate and desperate. In August.

  22. avatar

    Just glorious… plus raw sewage? I’m guessing your childhood memories of Broughty Ferry are just a tad conflicted.

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