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Monday, April 16, 2007

The trouble with day-trippers is that they do tend to clog up the seafront with coaches...

Your Coach Awaits
Well ok, it wasn't an influx of day-trippers, or even a Saga Holidays convention. No, yesterday's big event down at Madeira Drive was a coach display. Seriously...

Coach Displays Ltd
Personally I don't see the point of arranging the kind of display you can see for free at any motorway service station throughout the summer, but possibly that's because I didn't buy a programme. I also missed out on their Gala Dinner & Dance, which is a bit of a blow, although if it was organised by coach drivers it was probably overpriced, went too fast and made you sick.

But for those of us who don't worship at the altar of National Express, there's always the Gemini Beach Bar. Being neither a drinker nor a sunbather, it's not a place I'd usually frequent, but I needed a pick-me-up after a trip to CeX in Western Road. Cex sells (obviously), so I'd bought a copy of Battle Realms for £1, whereupon I was forced to listen to a major sob-story from the bloke behind the counter who told me he'd played the demo when it first came out, loved it like his own son, and had "always wanted" to buy the game, but could never afford the £30 it used to cost (that's a day's wages at CeX). So if he'd known it was sitting on the shelf three feet away for a quid, he'd have bought it himself, fulfilled a lifelong dream, and thereafter lived in eternal happiness.

To be honest I'd never heard of the thing and was only buying it because it was cheap, so faced with such a heart-rending tale, I could easily have let him have it. I'll probably never find the time to play it anyway. But naturally I didn't. If he wanted it that much, it must be good. And it'll teach him to keep a closer eye on stock.

Anyhoo, the pangs of guilt were tugging at my heart strings as I walked back along the seafront, hence I stopped at the Gemini Beach Bar. Not for the drinks, but for The Beach Band who were playing outside. Being a resident house band at a beach bar, they're probably all alcoholics with skin cancer, but I have to say they were remarkably good. A bit like Maroon 5 but with long hair and sun cream. And the perfect pick-me-up when you've just ruined someone's day.