On those rare occasions when the sun comes out, the wildlife of Blighty flocks to the coast like migrating wildebeest. Not one to buck the national trend, Liam poked his toe out of the front door and decided a day trip was on the cards. He had Cromer in mind, a seaside resort on the north Norfolk coast. The town was in carnival mood and Liam fancied his chances in the knobbly knees contest. To my ear, Cromer sounds like it should be north of the border not north of Norwich. Half an hour across the flatlands, we reached our destination. An hour later, we managed to find somewhere to park. Cromer is a dainty and neat little place serving up the time-honoured seaside fare of battered fish, non-dairy ice cream, snotty sea food and cream teas on doilies. The town was packed to the rafters with day trippers getting in the way of these gay trippers. A bracing wind blew in from the bleak North Sea and crazy bathers braved the chilly waters. We were a long way from the fierce Meltemi Wind or the warm waters of the Aegean. The elusive festival was nowhere to be seen. Slightly dejected, I took Liam and his prize-less knees to the pub for a drink. I ordered a glass of white at the bar. The burly barman dressed in a riot of freshly-inked tattoos (just like the skies, tattoos are big in Norfolk) was having none of it. “We don’t sell wine by the glass,” he said in his farmer’s twang. The scary regulars stared on as they supped pints of the usual (whatever that was). That was that. Time gentlemen, please. As we headed back to the car, I caught a glimpse of a large fading poster flapping in the wind. Jimmy Cricket was the star turn at the end of the pier show. I thought he’d long since dropped off his perch. Perhaps it goes to prove that old jokers never die, they just go to Cromer. That’ll be me, then.
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