All the Fun of the Fair?
Some people love funfairs. I will admit now that I’m not one of those people. I don’t get excited about travelling funfairs. I was brought up in a small town on the Welsh coast which has a permanent Pleasure Park, as we called it, though it is now very run down. Anyone who has seen the TV show Gavin and Stacey will work out which town I’m talking about. Here is a postcard from my childhood. You can just see the rollercoaster in the top corner. I used to ride on the carousel with the horses.
I’ve been on a few of the other rides – the Ghost Train and the dodgems, but never the rollercoaster. I used to spend more time in the arcades than anywhere else, playing on the slot machines before video games were invented. Rollercoasters scare me. I’ve only been on one in my life – at Blackpool, and then I chose the old wooden rollercoaster, not one of the newer types. I can honestly say I was terrified.
In Stay, Ben and Martin visit Blackpool. Ben loves rollercoasters and is keen to get Martin to ride on the Big One. You can see this ride from some distance—it is huge. Just looking at it scares me.
I won’t spoil the scene in the story, but Martin isn’t quite as keen on the ride as Ben.
I love Blackpool for other things. You can ride on the trams, play in the huge number of arcades, and eat chips out of plastic trays and paper while sitting on a bench overlooking the sea. There are three piers at Blackpool which have variety shows starring well-known celebrities during the summer season, and now they have an open performance area along the promenade that’s hosted Elton John and John Barrowman among others.
These days fewer people go to stay for the week than did in the past. Barry Island had miners’ fortnight when the mines closed up in the Welsh valleys and many travelled for their seaside holidays. Blackpool had the same with wakes weeks when the mines and mills closed. Every Lancashire town had their own weeks to visit the seaside.
I do love the seaside towns even if I don’t like funfairs. Where I live now has some beautiful scenery, but I do miss the sea. I’m told the top of the Big One gives you a great view, but I think I’ll just take peoples’ word for that and not find out for myself.
So do you love funfairs or hate them?
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Blurb for Stay:
Ben Harwood loves his grandmother. When he visits her in the hospital, another old lady, Ivy, expresses a longing for an orange, so Ben, who works in a supermarket, takes her oranges the next day.
Later, after attending his grandmother’s funeral, he discovers that Ivy has died too, and decides to pay his respects. There, he meets Ivy’s grandson, Martin Riley, and the attraction is instant. To his amazement, Ben finds he has become a bit of a hero to the Riley family, who have traveled over from America. For Martin, Ben breaks his three-date rule more than once. Is this simply a holiday romance with great sex, or can he and Martin build something more permanent?
Excerpt from Stay:
“Good morning. Wow, you smell positively edible. So, Blackpool. I hope you like to go on the attractions, because I intend to experience as many rides with you as possible.”
Ben gulped, gripped the wheel then turned to Martin and grinned. “Oh, I love the Pleasure Beach. Wait until you get to ride the Big One. I promise you’ll love it.
Ben chuckled quietly when Martin raised his eyebrows, then Ben winked, put the car into gear, and set off trying to banish the images filling his head.
Forty minutes later, after finding a parking space, they arrived at the entrance to the huge funfair.
“We get one of these wrist bands, then we can go on any ride,” Ben explained. “So what d’you fancy? Shall we start on the Big One?”
Martin looked up at the ride and swallowed. His prominent Adam’s apple moved, and Ben had to resist the urge to kiss his neck.
“You are all right with these rides, aren’t you?” Ben asked.
“Yeah, sure, course I am. I live in Florida, remember? Not far from Orlando. Come on, the queue doesn’t look too bad.”
Ben loved this ride. He took his seat with Martin sitting next to him. They were right at the front, his favorite position. Martin seemed awfully quiet while Ben babbled on about how many times he’d been on the ride.
“There’s a stretch when you come down from the highest section that you feel like you’re right over the road.”
The cars began to move and Ben felt the man next to him tense. They got to the apex and the screaming began. Ben realized it was Martin.
Like the sound of Stay? Buy it here.
About Alexa Milne:
Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.
Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing.
She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.
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I would like to give a big Thank You to Alexa Milne and Pride Publishing for letting us take place in this Blog Tour