Look At It - May 2, 2014

The dazzling Illuminasia attraction opened to the public today in Blackpool Winter Gardens' Olympia.'Underwater world.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-4-2014
The dazzling Illuminasia attraction opened to the public today in Blackpool Winter Gardens' Olympia.'Underwater world. PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-4-2014
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Two little tokens transported me to paradise earlier this week.

They appeared in The Gazette, cut out and keep vouchers.

The sort of thing I usually lose rather than use.

I’m still kicking myself for not having saved 25 per cent on the paper’s cover price and bagged 12-month subscription to a glossy mag.

I accidentally binned the relevant code and contact details with the junk mail the postie now delivers.

We’re big on vouchers in Dunwritin’ rest home for retired hacks.

Ever since I packed in full time work I’ve been looking at the back of till receipts for deals and days out.

My life savings were dealt a savage blow by having to buy back my bone china Keep Calm I’m a Journalist cup – a pointed parting gift from colleagues – from the Carers’ charity shop at Cleveleys.

My mother had donated it – instead of a monstrous mug which needed hydraulic hoists to lift it to my lips. But the good news is I got my cup back, with a bit of a chip – on my shoulder having paid the ransom demand, sorry asking price.

Usually, I’m the one who gives the wrong stuff to charity.

I’ve already been spotted hanging out of one charity bank after accidentally putting dry cleaning in there, rather than the bag of togs I was giving to the charity that almost had to rescue me – the air ambulance.

So where were we? Ah yes, those two little tokens from my favourite local paper saved me a whopping £7.95 on the £12.95 admission to Illuminasia at the Olympia, Winter Gardens.

It’s a surreal experience inside and out – what with the brass bands walking past, and the chilli festival hotting up at St John’s, and some reading leftover “shale gas bonanza” leaflets from the fracking conference I’d skulked into earlier in the week.

Illuminasia, the world’s largest indoor lights display, is marvellous, a must-see, well worth the full asking price but you only appreciate that when looking at the terracotta warriors, or Avatar-like blooms and birds, and the tour de force – Blackpool Tower.

It’s a great attraction for all ages, which is why I was saddened to see some pensioners turn away because there’s no concessionary rate for seniors – and they hadn’t spotted voucher deals in the Winter Gardens foyer.

Ten pence short of £26 is steep for two when you’re on a fixed income and your pension now has to cover tram fares if you’re an out of towner.

But here’s a news flash: Illuminasia’s offering a special deal to FY and PR4 residents. Produce proof of address, and they will let you in for a fiver between now and May 31.

Now that’s what I call a light bulb moment.

My Bottom’s stuck in the post

We usually hear about Blackpool going from bad to worse.

This year we’ve gone from Bard to verse thanks to Deputy Mayor David Owen’s inspired suggestion of a Shakespearean festival.

I was in at the launch, and really impressed by how so many groups of all types united in supporting the festival – and each has brought something very different and rather special to the mix.

Sadly, I missed out on the biggest event of all, the Elizabethan fancy dress banquet in the Baronial Hall this week, when guests were encouraged to dress the part.

Having overrun at work I missed the postie calling with my hastily improvised Shakespearean costume – from Midsummer Night’s Dream.

It led to the lamest excuse of all time when the chap co-ordinating the event called to check whether I was attending.

“My Bottom’s got stuck in the post,” I lamented. The panto-like donkey’s head I’d ordered was trapped in Cleveleys sorting office until the morning after the banquet – like the spectre at the feast.

So what to do with my now unwanted donkey’s head?

To eBay or not to eBay – that is the question.