The Disappointing Spirit of Adventure
My hometown sits somewhere between the New Forest and Southampton, and it’s a place where the height of local gossip was the new McDonalds franchise (to be fair it has a two lane drive-thru, and who wouldn’t find that exciting?) However, a boring hometown is the perfect reason to travel.
When I came to write this article I had no idea where I was going, so I took the opportunity to fulfil a personal dream and get the first train out of here. Literally, I went to my local train station and got on the next train leaving, which turned out to go to Bournemouth.
Before I could get there, I had to travel straight through the New Forest. It’s famous for ice cream, ponies, and a pretty badass cockatrice legend, but as evidenced from the pictures below, no serpent-dragon-chicken-headed beasts attacked the train – trust me, I looked.
Before long I had arrived in Bournemouth, greeted by the rain and a particularly angry driver who thought it was my fault that she didn’t indicate. Public berating of pedestrians aside, the town looked nice. The centre was packed with pubs and restaurants that suited my expectations of Bournemouth as a university town – there were enough Wetherspoon’s to satiate even the most prolific uni drunks, and the placement of a Sprinkles was perfect (Sprinkles is the best gelato shop I’ve been in and if this writing thing goes caput I’m opening a branch).
So, I made my way down to the beach. Although Bournemouth isn’t Brighton or Blackpool, you still can’t go fifty paces without an arcade, and yes I did lose a fair amount of money trying to win a teddy bear on the crane machine. The beach itself was pristine, and protected even on that stormy day by lifeguards so attractive it seemed clichéd.
Whilst eating a strawberry cornetto in the rain on a pier (I know, I’m so artistic and brooding), I decided to set out and find the thing which every article here needs – a lighter. My assumption was that I’d find a nice novelty piece that had a cartoon sea-gull and Bournemouth written in an abominable font; however, the quest proved difficult.
Along the beachfront are several different stores all dedicated to the fine art of tourist tat. I visited five of these charming establishments, and didn’t find a single zippo. I walked several miles along the shore, and although this was enjoyable in itself I did get soaked in the downpour, which wasn’t helpful as I had made sure my hair was perfect before I left the house.
As the day ended, I trudged back to the train station in a pair of sand filled trainers and wondered if I could get away with not having a lighter. But, it turned out that the train station was the answer. Getting the first train I could and seeing where I might end up was the reason I had my day at all, so I got the first lighter I could find, and held it up to the train station sign – to show that Bournemouth train station lit the way… a real trail blazer, if you ask me.