Monday lunchtime. Picked up my skateboard, rushed along the seafront down to the main pier in the bike path with the wind driving me the other way, intention running downhill through my head to get reacquainted with the pinball machine I'd met yesterday. Cheap, tacky arcade, tucked under the promenade like a tramp just killed someone hiding from the police in a ditch. Bubble Bobble was in there, a few other classics, a few measly pence to whack a joystick around for a few minutes of escapism. And they had pinball. Four tables.
Resisted the sea-swept smell of the pancakes and the doughnuts waving luridly from the threatening entrance to Palace Pier (does anyone else read that as "pie-er", someone who pies?), picked up the deck and tramped down the slope to meet the crunch of the beachy stones. Swing round.
Met by dull grey shutters slammed over the low-slung entrance to the arcade like fortress walls. Like the place only ever opened once every ten years when the planetary alignment felt right, and the rest of the time was downtime. Shit, a new lease of life for lunchtimes, hidden away round the corner neighbouring the sound of the waves, closed off.