To celebrate my new job, me and my fiancee decided last weekend to jump on a bus tour to Blackpool and Knowsley Safari Park. Unfortunately for us the weather looked like it was going to be rain with occasional rain followed by more rain. However despite rain for a good portion of the way there (through the beautiful Lake District), travelling to our overnight hotel and to the Safari Park, both Blackpool and Knowsley was blessed by small patches of sun.

Blackpool was gloriously tacky. We went up the tower, strolled around the aquarium, took a quick visit to the pleasure beach (though I never got to ride the Pepsi Max Big One), saw the circus and got to do what Mrs Bear has wanted to do for ages: Take afternoon tea in the Ballroom in front of the Wurlitzer and watch the dancers waltz and trot around the dance floor. She now wants to take lessons so when we next visit we can take to the floor like Fred and Ginger!

The Safari Park ride was a mixed-bag. Now I know that the animals will have a safe life free from poachers, but they are locked behind fences. My idea is that if they removed all the fencing and allowed the animals to roam and hunt as they do naturally – there are just a handful of lions, and one tiger as compared to hundreds of dear and carabose – then the park would be a lot more interesting. The lions and tigers will only kill what they needed and population numbers could be controlled a lot easier than they are now. Also it would remove that look that caged predatory animals have. Also the kids might learn something about the wild.

Anyway, the kids who were there enjoyed it, as well as the baboons who had a good attempt at dismantling the bus (the two top indicator lights were ripped out). But now both me and Mrs Bear have snotty “man flu”.