Eeebahgum… a bit hot isn’t it? With constant sunshine and heat, it’s fair to say that Blackpool is a bit on the busy side. I’ve never been a fan of the heat, but it is more tolerable here and of course means keeping busy with plenty of walking and photo opportunities which I certainly can’t complain about. I sure will complain about the dire so called “service” Northern Rail have been giving with endless cancellations, replacement buses and delays though truth be told, this has been going on for at least 2 or 3 years. I travel by train because I HATE buses and these farcical issues have been holding me hostage from travelling to visit my family for a few days. Rail privatisation DOESN’T WORK but hey, we’re shoved up away in the North so zero priority is being given to us by the government to try and resolve this twisted state of affairs. Enough of my ranting…
The Brian Prebble Experience performed again at the Pub Poets on 1st July – 2 pieces, one being “I’m A Mental Case” written by Ronald L. Smith and the other, “Bridezilla” some kind of twisted poke in the eye at the Jeremy Kyle show where I inflicted some more audience participation. A pity about the meagre turnout, one of the side effects of hot weather.
I recently signed up for the Electric Sunshine Project’s scriptwriting course which begins in September and by way of preparation, I’m midway through a creative writing course fronted by author Tania Hershman. I am enjoying it though finding it strange on two levels – first, having to handwrite with pen and paper. I used to write every day via that method to the degree I had a permanent indentation in my middle finger where the pen would sit, but times have changed and 99% of my writing is now typed so kinda shocking how one’s formerly neat meticulous handwriting has suffered due to lack of practice. Secondly, trying to find my feet again writing stories is proving a challenge… another thing I was pretty good at when younger but years of being given bad books to read had me running away from reading fiction, so my writing efforts on the course have been rather random and bizarre to say the least.
Tania has been giving us a variety of short stories to read and study and that’s been curious seeing a range of different writing styles, some I find hard to digest because of what I was taught about writing at school so trying to open my mind to the fact that there are no real rules when it comes to writing is another challenge as I’m so set in my ways… but it’s interesting all the same!
I haven’t been to any gigs or theatre events for a while. I’m not at all impressed by the endless “choice” of tribute shows or jukebox musicals. Theatre has gotten so safe and bland. The Grand Theatre is presenting SIX WEEKS of an Abba tribute show which I find depressing as I cannot stand Abba. Central Pier have their “Kings and Queens of Rock, Pop and Roll” show and at Blackpool Tower, the “Legends” show – ALL tribute shows of people impersonating somebody else.
It’s not good enough – I want to see ORIGINAL talent, doing ORIGINAL material. Gone are the days when Summer shows would actually feature big name talents you actually heard of. The Winter Gardens got themselves in a tizzy announcing cast members for their Christmas shows and the main star? I’ve never heard of her because I don’t watch drossy TV “talent” shows.
Thankfully, there are a handful of performances being given by the Electric Sunshine Project’s THESP’s ensemble in early August, a show entitled “Sandgrown Tails” which I am looking forward to checking out.
July is going to be an active month. This Saturday, 7th July I will be volunteering as part of the LeftCoast Makers team at the Wordpool Festival in Stanley Park then the following Sunday 15th July, likewise at the Spare Parts Festival in Fleetwood. I’ve not witnessed one of those events before so bound to be an experience.
My work on Instagram appears to be steadily growing more popular though did run into a spot of bother over one photo and how it was captioned recently. I simply document whatever I find… sometimes it’s not pretty, but I think it’s honest plus it ties in with my archiving nature as there are tons that never get published all of which is being preserved since I am essentially trying to create an in-depth snapshot of Blackpool in 2018 and of the people that pass through.
Lastly, a short rant. I’m not too happy about Blackpool Council’s latest plan to deal with “nuisances” in the area… sure, the druggies, incessant beggars and con merchants need dealing with but I take exception to the fact that buskers and street entertainers are being lumped in as well and sounds like they’re trying to “regulate” and restrict busking like they do in London and various other cities and towns. I object to that because buskers and street entertainers add colour and charm to the place. Sure, not all of them are good but they have a place. I think it’s grossly unfair for a “panel” to decide who are “good enough” to busk or not. Busking can be a brilliant way to improve one’s talents and skills. We only have to look at “Britain’s Got Talent” or “The X-Factor” to see why judging what is good or bad is not a good idea. Hell, there’s a place for everyone who wishes to entertain. It’s optional entertainment – you have a choice whether to enjoy and donate or just ignore it and walk away. Druggies pestering and harrassing you for “change” for the cliched “cuppa tea” is a different matter entirely and it’s unfair that buskers are being lumped in with them as the druggies just leech, demand and take whereas entertainers are actually GIVING something back. How the plan will pan out, time will tell but they’re my thoughts on it all the same.