We forgot to pull what was left of the Christmas crackers on Boxing day, so we all had a spare cracker each on Monday as I was cooking practically a full Christmas dinner.

You don’t have to be mad to live here – just crackers!

We had chicken, apple sauce, pigs in blankets, stuffing, veg and all the rest (much to Kevin’s delight) so there we were sitting around the table pulling our crackers and oohing and aahing over the prizes inside. We sat there with our paper hats on, although mine did start falling down my face and over my eyes as it was somewhat a bit on the large side, to put it mildly, especially for little me!

Poor Muffin (the dog) heard one crack of a cracker and ran to the other side of the room, while Koko just sat there hoping a chicken leg would make its way onto the floor. Do you know, the strange thing was, it felt like Christmas too as we carried on with the rest of our crackers, although I didn’t make Christmas pudding.

We still have four crackers left so I just hope they don’t want me to do another Christmas dinner too quickly as it took me all morning to prepare and cook it! Let’s hope we remember the crackers before the middle of July when it’s red hot, as it would seem a bit out of place don’t you think. As they say, you don’t have to be mad to live here (just crackers!)

Cleveleys Market

Just a little more comment on the market situation in Cleveleys. Fingers crossed the council will pass it on Thursday to be a permanent feature of the town. Unsurprisingly, it was more popular on the Plaza and not at the Derby Road car park site, where they moved it to in the last few weeks.

Cleveleys market
Cleveleys market

Apparently the council propose to run it from early March to the end of September when the weather is a bit more, shall I say, clement! The traders did seem happier with the market rather than without one, as it did seem to be popular and drew shoppers in to the town.

Great Eccleston seemed to be having a dickey fit over us having a market, why I’m not sure, as I wouldn’t be trailing all that way to go to a market. Anyway, unsurprisingly, it’s not affected them, I would imagine from the reason I’ve just said.

A draw for the main street

Apparently, people come from out of town on the trams and usually walk sort of halfway down the main street towards the sea and then go back. And they did they have a private eye on the job, watching people who got off the trams.

It seems that those people were walking the full length of the High Street to go to the market when it was on the plaza, which gave the whole of the high street more footfall. Hopefully more and more stalls will come when the stallholders see that it is a permanent feature, if only for six months out of the year, which will make for a great atmosphere. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the buskers going again too – happy days!

When it was hot last year it was very busy as people strolled round the stalls in the sun. What an atmosphere when the sea is just over the wall and you want to amble about enjoying the place. Anything that can keep our town vibrant and thriving instead of going down the pan is fine by me, so hopefully the council will pass it!

Cyber Attacks

Then, being topical, did you know that Blackpool Council have had 21,164,974 cyber attacks in a year. Wow, and we think we get problems in our business, that is a lot of attacks.

The worrying thing is that hackers are getting more and more sophisticated as time goes on, with more and more ways of hacking into your computers. The threat of cyber attack is growing and growing, as we know to our cost. In our business we have had attacks from all over the world with Russians being the main culprit. Gosh I hope we don’t get murdered in our beds for saying that, hopefully there are no Russian criminals around here, fingers crossed, joking of course. I think!

What’s his name?

Luckily, Kevin, who was an ‘International Incident Manager’ (that’s a Trouble Shooter) for HSBC before we lived here knows his stuff when it comes to computers. He doesn’t know his name half the time, but is good at his job, thankfully. We do have systems in place to stop these horrible people from hacking us, but occasionally when one is a bit more trouble and a bit more clever, he can get rid of them. For now that is, although what they will come up with next is anybody’s guess. It just makes you wonder why they would want to have a go at us as we aren’t exactly Satchi and Satchi! (Jane: no, but Visit Fylde Coast gets an enormous amount of traffic which is what they look for).

The council are being attacked by world wide hackers, as well as malicious emails that try to steal or infect data from their network . The worrying thing, as well is the attacks on ordinary people like you and me, is the ones who try to hack into our accounts and clear us out.

Be especially careful

I don’t know what drives these people who do it, just to show they can hack into large firms, they must have big egos don’t you think. All that we can all do is to be especially careful. Always think twice if someone tries to get information out of you electronically, even if it does seem genuine. If you suspect things aren’t quite right, check and double check. Don’t click on links in emails, go to the internet and log on through the website address to see if their question is genuine.

Always have different passwords for different accounts, and make strong passwords too that include letters, numbers and characters like &*(. Or bingo, if someone does hack you and the passwords are all the same they can clear out everything that you have in one fell swoop. It doesn’t hurt to be vigilant and know these rotters will have a go at you if they can!

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