Living in Gloucestershire there is very little in the way of beaches nearby. We have some beautiful rivers and canals but there is a distinct lack of sea. The closest beach for us would be either Weston-super-Mare in Somerset or Barry, across the border in Wales. Although the latter would always be my first choice, this father's day we ventured to Weston. It was the Weston Air Show and the weather was predicted to be hot, hot, hot.
Weston-super-Mare is every bit the British seaside. It is gloriously tacky. Like most seaside towns in Britain, in it's heyday it was the place to enjoy all the glamour of the seaside, but over the years it has struggled, not helped by a fire in 2008 which devastated the Grand Pier. There has been somewhat of a revival in Weston over the last few years (Banksy's bemeausment park, Dismaland was hosted here last year) and it's got it's own kind of vibe going on again.
Weston is often referred to as Weston-super-Mud. Due to it being situated on the Bristol Channel it has a large tidal range, with the sea being about a mile out at low tide, exposing quite dangerous mudflats. Being able to reach the sea to have a paddle (before giving up and turning back) is quite the novelty when you go to Weston.
Who doesn't love a 2p machine? It was Sebastian's first go on one and for a child who rarely spends more than 10 seconds doing an activity, this kept him entertained for quite some time. The pier is full of colour, lights and noise - joyously vulgar. I tried to win a teddy from the grab machine, but failed miserably. Sebastian enjoyed a ride on a car, the first time we have actually put money in a ride for him - I feel that's a bit of his innocence gone now. I hope he still doesn't realise that if you feed the ones outside the supermarket with coins that they too will move...
The main reason for us going to Weston was because it was their annual air show. My father is an aviation enthusiast and Sebastian seems to be heading that way too. I grew up going to a lot of airshows and airports (although the irony is, I've never flown!!) and have seen the Red Arrows many times, though not for some years. They never cease to amaze me. Sebastian was absolutely enthralled, dutifully applauding after each manoeuvre a beaming smile fixed firmly on his face. There were lots of other wonderful displays and the day's finale was a display from a Typhoon fighter jet. Needless to say, that was very impressive (and loud!) I think we need to take Sebastian to some more air shows, he really enjoyed this (and so did I!)