Flashing Lights and Trinkets

1 06 2013

Arcade Machine

On our trip last week we visited Brighton Pier.

It was a day full of nostalgia for me.

I fondly remember my family holidays to Portrush as a young child. These holidays always included two absolutely compulsory events:

1/ Dinner at Grahams

2/ A day at Barry’s

Grahams was a family restaurant clearly intended to keep children pacified so their parents could enjoy a meal in peace. Tom and Jerry was played on an endless loop, and when you cleared your plate you were rewarded with an image of a disney character smothered in bean sauce and ketchup and there was even a toy shop downstairs to visit on the way out.

Barrys is a funfair and amusement park. I remember being too frightened at age 6 to go down the helter skelter so my Dad had to come to the top to carry me back down, I loved the totally naff ghost train, almost threw up one time after being on the waltzer and couldnt visit even now without a ride on the merry go round.


Brighton transported me right back to my 6 year old self. None of us expected to spend so much time on the pier but the second we saw the coin machines we were as mezmorised as each and every one of the children enjoying a family day out over half term. FFOMC has always had a weakness for anything with flashing lights and it was only minutes before a crisp 5 pound note was exhanged for a tub of copper coins. I begged him to try to win me a Nemo on the claw machine but he failed in his quest so I set my sights on a keyring monster composed entirely of colourful elastic bands resting on top of a sea of copper.

One coin after another perfectly timed worked its way through the maze of pins until it finally came to rest and edged my prize ever closer to the edge. My heart stopped whenthe monster finally fell – only to have his elastic talons wedged under the weight of the coins – robbing me of victory. Try as I might I could not release him from his flashing perspex prison and walked away disappointed. FFOMC giggled at my failed attempts. My persistence was largely due to an experience on another family holiday to SpainĀ  – it was our last day and although I didnt realise it at the time Mum and Dad had clearly run out of money. My Dad always had a soft sport for our well rehearsed puppy dog eyes and frittered away the last few Spanish pesetas on a pink and blue elastic band monster for each of his girls. Had I won a similiar monster last week I would have posted it to my Mom – although she probably doesnt remember my joy at this simple gift given on a Spanish holiday many moons ago.

The Brighton trip came to a conclusion only after we took many photographs with our faces wedged through spaces provided in comedy caricatures, FFOMC and bromance partner FNOMC (Future Nanny of my children – all will be explained in a future post); took a ride together in the Ghost Hotel and we all ate chips out of a paper cone.

I love that such simple pleasures kept four 30somethings entertained for such a long time and the way in which the fondest memories of childhood are quick to resurface and take us back to the endless summers of youth.




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