I've always assumed Mr Eugenides' weekend love nest to be the one in Brighton, but maybe he came here, to the only hotel in Blackpool to be built on the sea side of the tram tracks. It predates those tracks by almost a hundred years, being an eighteenth-century venture by one Mr Bailey - so the blue plaque tells us - who I presume was hoping to catch the sea-bathing tide of the late 1700s. It's not at all what I would have associated with the Golden Mile.
Otherwise, Blackpool - a place we'd never visited before - lived more or less up to expectations, but with a baffling preponderance of young people in classic punk mohicans. It turns out they were having some sort of convention, but we felt at first that we'd stumbled like Professor Challenger onto a remote plateau where extinct creatures stalked the land in iridescent glory. One of these specimens was staying at the same guest house as us, but I forgot to ask him to pose for a photo. (As he was checking in he said "Fuck" casually to the landlord, whom he clearly knew well, then apologized prettily when he saw that I was in earshot. A new experience for me.)
Elsewhere, we were enticed by the restaurants:
The blithe indifference to American English:
And the apparent proposition that New Zealand is to Australia as Madagascar is to Africa:
There were also innumerable chocolate willies and edible breasts, none of which was to our taste. But I was more off-put by the darts sexism:
It occurs to me that Blackpool and Dublin are the same place, etymologically. How misleading names can be! Blackpool is also nothing like Brighton, which had been my nearest point of comparison. Mr Eugenides would probably have preferred the latter, and it's but a short hop from Victoria, after all; but had he made the trip northwest I like to imagine he wouldn't have been disappointed.