Look at it this way - March 15, 2013

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Where would local papers be without our potholes?

We featured another one this week from the Fylde’s rich portfolio of gorgeous gaping talent.

By way of a change it was in south Fylde – a councillor pictured in the time honoured pose of pointing at a pothole.

If there’s one thing worse than dodging potholes it’s navigating your way past locals posing for picture opportunities besides them. Plays havoc with your tracking.

My pictorial low point came some years ago when I snapped a local copper pointing at a pothole. I caught him with his eyes shut. It never made it into print but some wag posted it onto Facebook with the caption “sleeping policeman – and pothole.”

In Blackpool we are fighting a Bermuda Triangle-like network of potholes into which tyres and suspension systems may sink without trace. That’s part of Project 30’s remit. It’s part of mine to avoid them at all costs. But it’s becoming harder as roadworks drive more of us further afield in our quest to get to work or the shops or out and about.

I’m now familiar with parts of Blackpool I never knew existed – wending my way through back streets off the beaten track in the bid to find the holy grail of local motorists: the ultimate rat run.

Right now the resort is beset by no-go zones. If it’s not pothole fixing it’s patching up the Promenade for the umpteenth time - just past the placard planted by MP Paul Maynard bearing the campaign slogan “Get Blackpool Moving.” Come Monday the central section becomes a no-go zone again, as opposed to a go-slow zone. It will reopen in time for Easter but not in time for me to show my brother’s family our showcase seafront and the triumph of Emperor’s New Clothes road planning which is Shared Space. They’re staying at a seafront hotel too. I’ve told them to ditch the car and take either a tram or a pedalo to reach us at Norbreck – ideally before the new sea defence work starts.

But one advantage of travelling slowly is you see the world at a different pace. I take in the nightly murmurations of starlings roosting at North Pier on the home run. By day I watch thuggish young men dragging their Staffies across the Prom to plop the poop willy nilly there – disapproving motorists too scared to shout “pick it up!”

Which brings me back to pictures of councillors pointing at things. I have a cherished shot of a former councillor pointing at new “poop scoop” dog outlines which appeared on resort pavements years ago.

Just behind, undeterred by the council bigwigs gathered, a local owner permitted his pooch to deposit a steaming heap – and left it where it fell. For the record I was the only one who had a go at him about it.

And who said journalism wasn’t glamorous?