In my last blog I wrote of a campervan breakfast of singed crumpets and coffee at a scenic campsite on Scarborough’s periphery. The bakery fare smeared with my ‘go to’ toast topping of Marmite; a vegemite wonder which, along with a strong coffee, often jumpstart GJ Strachan’s dormant morning tastebuds.
While eating the petit dejeuner it struck me how the ‘love it or loathe it’ label accompanying Marmite was not unlike Scarborough’s reputation amongst my peers. Although I’d admit mulling over connections between vegemite products and Yorkshire seaside towns is a tad left field; even for my off the wall notions.
As with the UK’s premier toast topping rhyming with harmite, public opinion seems divided on the merits of venturing to my favourite Yorkshire town rhyming with macabre (well, almost).
For example, my Ossett beau Sarah adores odysseys east to Scarborough. She loves nothing more than tarries to its clean North Sea beach, nostalgic episodes evoked by trips to amusement arcades, a spiritual dabble on Zoltan’s fortune telling machine and troughing a tub of locally caught shellfish.
Ironically, though, during her last visit to Scarborough, Sarah chose to ignore Zoltan’s advice of avoiding a shellfish lunch. As a result, suffering a gastro incident which robbed the West Yorkshire lass of quality time in her beloved arcades.
In the ying to Sarah’s yang, not all acquaintances share the same enthusiasm about Scarborough’s appeal. One friend bizarrely deeming the place so tacky he’d never countenance visiting there in his trademark ‘Kiss Me Quick’ trilby and Union Jack shorts.
Personally, I love Scarbs; as people who name it Scarbs call it. As one of my grandmas resided in the borough, as a child it was our family ‘go to’ vocational destination. Either there or nearby Reighton Gap, where the same forebear owned a long since demolished holiday cottage.
Consequentially, fond nostalgic flashbacks are evoked every time I saunter Scarborough’s seafront, or witness signs for Peasholme Park, or our other frequently visited childhood haunt the Mere.
Driven by the same sentimentality for our fledgling day vacations, my brother Ian shares similar affection for the area. This week joining his elder sibling for a trip down memory lane as we strolled the avenues and alleyways of holidays past.
Adult advocacies passed down to Ian, our sister Helen and me as kids was the east coast sea air would help us sleep soundly. This week Ian learned by added several wine chasers to slumber inducing sea air, he was able to sleep until midday.
As part of wandering old stomping grounds, the two Strachan boys entered a beach front amusement arcade. Here our £2 worth of two pence pieces saw little, if any, success on the coin tipping machine. In fact, all I achieved during the venture was accumulating the coin grime from a thousand previous fingerprints.
At one stage, Ian played on a virtual reality game (involving the wearing of a VR mask) in which he fought off thieves and muggers by gunpoint. Our kid was highly impressed with the reality of the amusement; particularly as he finished the game bereft of his wallet after I slyly stole it from his pocket when he’d the VR mask on.
After leaving the amusement arcade, my sibling tried his hand on the Zoltan fortune telling game outside. As he didn’t receive news what his future held from the sage in the machine, just the address of a good tailor, it was an experience which irked IC Strachan… Although I was relieved he might soon get possession of some decent threads.
During our stroll along the coast, I had course to visit a public toilet; entrance into the restroom costing the princely sum of 40 pence. Admittedly, not a huge sum; however, being constipated and subsequently not technically using the pot, on departure I felt somewhat robbed.
Perhaps wisely, Ian talked me out of instructing a solicitor to claim back my entrance fee via a small claims court. From an absurdly comical angle, the case of Strachan Vs Scarborough Borough Council would certainly have raised press interest.
However, as proving my side of the story in court would have raised more questions than answers, I finally concurred with our kid that it was better to take the hit on 40p lost.
After dropping Ian off at the train station, I’m back in my Wakefield apartment for a few days; planning to return to the Scarborough campsite (which is my home for most of July) for the middle of next week.
This campervan life is great fun… Although, if you feel a loo visit in Scarborough is necessary, make sure you definitely need it before shelling out 40 pence… You have been warned!!