We took the train along the coast to St Leonards on Sea today for a long-overdue visit to my old friend Erica.
We did the usual mooching about, stopping to be introduced to friends of hers in the street, drinking coffee etc. Then, as we headed towards the sea, she stopped, waved though a window and rang at the doorbell of an unassuming building. We were let inside on condition that the kids were "kept under control" and wow! The place was FULL of fairground illuminations.
The owner wanted us to see the workshop where they rewired the lights, but I was more interested in the engraved glass "Gramophone Room" doors on the way in.
I wish I had not obeyed the signs saying not to take any photos – these are all from the site of their – lovely, but less jaw-dropping – shop on Norman Road, http://www.sideshowinteriors.co.uk
I now covet metre-high illuminated letters shouting "HELLO" over my front door. And a very big electricity bill to match.
More info on the quirky shops and cafés of the area can be found at http://verystleonards-on-sea.co.uk