I often get the feeling that I like something but for the wrong reasons.

On this disparate list is washing up, arguing about football, acting, Walkers cheese and onion crisps, Philip Larkin, jigsaws and Clacton Pier.

I’m continuously impressed and drawn back to Clacton Pier.

Last Sunday, in the midst of a heatwave and with two children by my side, it was at its magisterial best.

From the moment you step under the vivid and gaudy archway that announces the entrance and enter the land of Clacton Pier you are instantly transported into a heady mix of nostalgia, noise, temptation and desperation.

I’m a child and I’m a grown up.

Is that me I can see in 1967? When a photographer put two tiny dressed monkeys on my shoulders and sold us the photos.

Is that my Mum over there? When she came here as a 12-year-old in 1936 with her bottle end specs and Auntie Kath?

Below us the sturdy wooden planks are just worn enough to make the swirling sea we can glimpse between the cracks feel dangerously close. We smell the sea.

The rides, the waltzers, the Big Dipper, the arching chairs that seem to spin you over edge. Round and round and round.

But here I am in the penny arcade. I want that prize. I want that prize in the cabinet. I want it so badly.

At 4,000 ticket points it’s the most expensive item you can win. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Is it a fox dressed like Freddie Mercury?

I think it’s a fox dressed as Freddie Mercury. I’m sure it’s a fox dressed as Freddie Mercury. It’s hideous. It’s so beautiful.

I can’t quite escape the idea I’m in a Martin Parr photograph come to life.

I’ve adapted the final sentence from George Orwell 1984 to try and explain how I feel.

“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Clacton Pier.”