Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.
Rain rain go away come back another day. It was throwing it down here all day yesterday (Sunday) and I’m happy to say that we had an 'at home' day especially as we were out ages on Saturday afternoon.
We decided to go and support the Dream Team singers and the Rotary Club who were collecting for Trinity Hospice. Jane had spoken to Joanne who brought her food and gazebo to warm people up, but what a shame, the hot chestnuts that we were looking forward to were off the menu as the ones she had been sent were a faulty batch and my dear daughter was really looking forward to that.
We got there as the choir had just started singing and oh they did sound nice. One woman in particular who was a soprano I would guess, was really smashing and my could she hit the high notes and the groups descant was brilliant.
We were given sheets with the words of carol’s on so off we went singing our heads off, well Kevin and I did as Jane was busy going round taking pictures and videos as usual, nothing new there then. It was a case of first you see her and then you don’t. Here's the live video that she did if you want to watch it - just click on the photo to watch the video on Facebook.
Then we spotted our friends Brenda and Keith and they joined in with our singing, so there we were all with our Christmas hats on singing away and what a good atmosphere it was too. Santa was there although I was a bit puzzled why his beard wasn’t in place but of course we had our photo taken with him. Jane wouldn’t miss an opportunity like that to get me in the frame would she!
The Rotary were handing round toffees and chocolates so there I was with this long piece of toffee filling my mouth trying to sing carols but luckily Jane had gone by then or guess who would have been snapped looking a prat with a big lump of toffee while trying to sing with it!
After half an hour or so, my back was just about ready for packing in so I beat a hasty retreat to the nearest seat, joined by Kevin and Brenda and Keith who had decided they wanted something to nibble.
Now never having heard of parched peas until I came to live here, I did a blog about them quite a long time ago. Brenda and Keith didin't know what they were either, so Kevin and Brenda decided to have some parched peas from Joannes stall. I tried one, not being very brave as they looked a bit like dark brown bullets and found they were of a vinegary taste. Kevin ate all his but Brenda accepted defeat as they weren’t her taste at all. I know they're a local legend - but we weren't convinced!
Keith came off best with the home made Christmas pudding and brandy sauce which he said was lovely, so the other two obviously backed the wrong horse. I would imagine that you either like parched peas or you don’t so we found out what the two of them thought!
Eventually as the singing ended, we left our friends to go their way while we went shopping which took us a lot longer than we thought it would, so it was well turned five when we realised what time it was and we were ready for tea by then so off home we went.
I’m going to have a bit of a moan now about some comments that were made on Facebook about Cleveleys and Christmas. First of all, I must say that the festive feeling in Cleveleys when the choir was singing and people joining in was lovely and completely altered the feeling of the place, indeed when they went it went very quiet and grey again which reinforced the feeling that the town needs a good shot in the arm of community spirit.
I was sad to hear that some shops were quite what shall I say, not feeling the festive spirit, with a poor attitude to what was going on, which is sad when people were trying to bring some much needed Christmas feeling to the town.
Then on Saturday evening there was, of course, the usual complaining on Facebook from people who thought that the festivities weren't sufficient and that 'Cleveleys could try harder'. Despite the fact that people had been stood out in the freezing weather and rain, trying to ring cheer to an otherwise Christmas-less town centre.
Over a period of time (and not just this weekend) my poor daughter has also been the victim of spite on Facebook from some people who seem to think that her doing things and running the Cleveleys Coastal Community team is all for the good of herself and her Visit websites.
As her mum I was astonished and furious at the remarks some people were making as though she had a right to sweep every inch of Cleveleys and make everyone’s shop fronts look nice. So it went on last week with a lot more negative, blaming comments which Jane said she was ignoring so I said right, if you won’t comment, I will. At that point she wrote something! While I'm on the subject, just for the avoidance of doubt, Jane and the Coastal Community Team haven't had anything to do with the Christmas tree, lights or shop window competition this year.
So, first of all these shopkeepers ought to try getting outside their shops and taking their weeds up and trying to make their shops look nice themselves, instead of moaning that someone had a bit more done in the centre of the town than in front of their shop. And to the ones who were complaining at the weekend that Cleveleys should have full blown Christmas markets - feel free to set up a group and organise one! As was pointed out, it takes a lot of hard work, fundraising and organising to put a big event on like that, and if people would like to take the task on then be our guest.
Secondly, my daughter has struggled on this year with several illnesses mostly caused by overwork and exhaustion but has carried on trying to do the best for the town she has come to love, not for our business which some people seem to think, most unkindly.
She gives her time and knowledge helping everyone, and does her best for this place, while the attitude of a lot of shop keepers leave a lot to be desired to put it mildly, not all of them but the majority. The spirit of Christmas is well and truly dead in the town centre here and instead of working together to make the town somewhere to come because of the great community spirit, not many retailers seem to care what happens.
It’s such a shame as it is a great place to live, and instead of carping and writing nasty things about her and anyone else who does anything, why don’t they do something about it and join in. A lot of people have been lovely when they have seen the rubbish that some people have written and I thank them. I and her friends and family know how hard she works voluntarily because of her love of the town.
She couldn't do it on her own and all this criticism is also hurtful to all of the fantastic volunteers who are involved in trying to make a difference. The ones who complain will never know what a great sense of fun, friendship and achievement there is to be had in being involved in something like this.
She doesn’t want it to go the way of many towns, down the pan and nearly closed. It doesn't just matter what's happening today, it's also about making a difference that will affect what happens in years to come.
I will finish now or I will really get mad and that would never do, so sorry to the lovely people for going on and ba humbug to the rest.