What a weekend. It started on Friday evening at Roundhay Park three minutes away with my Norwegian guests Harald and Marcus. Bonfire Night, one day early.
For my foreign friends, "Remember, Remember, the 5th of November, the Day of the Gunpowder Plot". In 1605 Guy Fawkes and his co-conspiritors were caught under the House of Lords the night before Parliament was to meet with King James I, with barrels of gunpowder.
Well, the lad from St. Peter's School in York, who became a Catholic and fought for Spain in the 80 Years War and changed his name to Guido was tortured and confessed. Guido Fawkes, was tried, convicted and hanged. To this days little boys make a 'Guy' from old clothes and stuff it with rags and stand on a corner asking 'penny for the guy' like I once did, to buy fireworks, Health and safety now have huge, safe bonfires and fireworks in parks with lots of police, fire safety personnel. and fences.
It was a massive bonfire and lots of fun for thousands of families on a chilly night with a stage full of dancers and music and a lot of safe fun for all.
Next day we were off to East Lancashire, witches country, and Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers, 135 years old today. Chelsea, who had lost their last two league matches were the distinguished visitors. They have a wonderful team that did just about enough to secure three points. The first half was extended by referee Mike Dean after Peter Cech broke his nose. Along with his headgear he had a huge white patch over his nose and he looked like Batman. Frank Lampard converted a cross from Branislav Ivanovic with his head in the 51st minute. They also have a superb world class defence, but Rovers never gave up. manager Steve Kean is under intense pressure, with demonstrations and even a light aircraft circling above a dozen times with a 'Steve Kean Out' banner.
I was sitting in The Riverside Stand next to a local 'fan', a middle age guy with diamond earings. who was a complete idiot, with stupid comments throughout. Rovers players, including goalie Paul Robinson battled hard and were unlucky not to earn a point. I hope they get some luck for their new Indian chicken farmer owners.
We then finished up in my home town Blackpool and a drive the length of the Promenade North to South on the last day of The Illuminations. www.visitblackpool.com. We went on The Ghost Train near The Pleasure Beach. A great concept with live ghosts, but Marcus was frightened when the first ghost showed up at the entrance, hid behind me and dragged me down. I twisted my arm as I fll on it, cracked my head and it was a near disaster. The fortunate outcome was that we got our money back and a free scary ride from compassionate ghosts. Thanks. www.carneskysghosttrain.com Take a look and be frightened !! very well done.
Marcus recovered and spent an hour on the arcade machines on Central Pier, Blackpool, Europe's greatest family resort has three piers, North, Central and South, with live shows, cafes, arcades and fun, plus the greatest fun fair on the continent, The Pleasure Beach, trams old and new, The mighty Seasiders, Blackpool FC, Blackpool Tower, The Winter Gardens, Stanley Park and seven miles of golden sands. Come and pay a visit.