Wednesday, 13 June 2012
MY Blackpool family marked a couple of birthdays last weekend at Sands, the glamorous cabaret and dining venue, overlooking the Promenade.
From our third-floor sofas we had a panoramic view of an autumnal-looking Irish Sea and the stunning new 'Golden Mile', where Elton John is to perform an outdoor show this Saturday. Brrrrrh, he better wrap up!
Good stuff! We all need occasional glamour in our lives, especially the hard-pressed ladies. (Here I'm thinking particularly of She Who Knows who works so hard at making Edmonds Towers here at Great Marton the cosy, little palace of this often errant king.)
Yes and, what was more, my generous mother-in-law was treating us - many thanks!
But in retrospect, I was reminded of another Sands - one of the 'resort hotels' of Las Vegas, where I had also seen a show with friends.
It was glittery and glamorous but you never felt far from the rapacious profits of the casinos that make the desert oasis town tick.
The people are loud, often desperate and the only young, attractive ladies one sees on their own are, well, fair game.
To me there was a tawdry sadness to the place. It was a profound reminder that glamour is superficial.
The real beauty of life lies back home and closer to heart - in the real world and how we inter-act with it.
The one thing that I have been truly pleased by in all the fuss of the forthcoming Olympics in Britain, is the recently unveiled plan for its opening ceremony.
There will be farmyard animals, fields, a village and cricket green - representing the England I know expatriates carry in their hearts and so many visitors seek: our green and pleasant land.
England's favourite poet, Rudyard Kipling, caught that poignant pride in his verses for The Glory of the Garden.
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With the statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye.
Or, as another favourite William Henry Davies, wrote:
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have not time to stand and stare . . .
No time to turn at Beauty's glance
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
Whether inside or out, there are words of wisdom and beauty to admire all about us this summer.
Let's just remember to keep our feet on the ground.
And watch Beauty dance.