weekend 4/5/6 March 2011

A three day weekend as I wasn’t in our office on Friday, but instead left the house at 8 to get to a local hotel in order to start interviewing three candidates for deputy head at the school where I’m a governor. I can’t really say much about it, but it was a long and intense day, and I’m sure we made the right decision.

I was nearly late, though – I had a nicely worked out timetable for the early morning, which was slightly thrown by the arrival of the dishwasher at 7.30.I was in the bath, and Pete was still in bed and hadn’t heard the door, but we managed to get it indoors and I made it to the Pearson Park Hotel in time all the same!

On Saturday morning, the kitchen fitted arrived to do the final measuring before he makes the cabinets, so we feel things are moving on well there. Then we called into Merlin on Sculcoates Lane to look at beech and oak worktops, to decide which we might prefer, then we set off for Lincoln.

Lincoln involved sossidge innabun from the German stall on the continental market, good coffee and a cinnamon toasted teacake in Pimento, a hike down Steep Hill (which is), with a visit to The Bag Shop, where a handbag called to me so loudly I had to buy it. It’s an Owen Barry Tucket in grassy green, and just lovely.

Continued into town for a mooch, long walk along the river bank and bank, called into the Oxfam bookshop for a couple of books, had a cup of tea in a pub called the Witch and the Wardrobe (what? no lion?), then an early supper in the Laughing Buddha in Silver Street – all-you-can-eat Chinese, and cracking value at 8 quid each before 6 p.m.

Then we toiled back up Steep Hill (it really is) to head for the Drill Hall, where Mark Steel was gigging. The ticket receipt had no street name or postcode on it, but Google Maps showed us where it was. Except when we got there, the Drill Hall wasn’t. We asked a passer-by, who told us that it was down in town. Just along Silver Street in fact (aargh). My knees are bad at the moment, and thankfully I had a walking stick with me for the first time in months, so we set off once again down Steep Hill (it really is) and back to just pretty much exactly where we’d started out on Silver Street. I was in bits by this stage, and sitting still for what was an excellent gig, but still over 2.5 hours, didn’t help.

We decided to get a cab back to the car (you can guess where it was, can’t you?), but there was none to be had, so back up Steep Hill (did I mention .?) we climbed, into the car and home for about 12.30. I took a couple of ibuprofen and slept like a dead creature.

Today has been slumpage – apart from Pete chopping up more wood for the fire, and me nipping (or popping) up to the shop for some bits, we’ve done bugger all. Watched, and loved, Crazy Heart, caught up with online stuff, going to have an early night and possibly another soak in the bath before bed.

weekend 5/6 sept 2010

Smile please!

Pete has been suffering from A Lurgy, so we weren’t sure whether our planned day out to Lincoln’s Day of (Morris) Dance would come to pass, but he felt OK providing he didn’t have to drive, so off we went.

I love Lincoln – I love all mediaeval cities like Norwich, Chichester, Salisbury, York etc. We’ve only visited once, but it’s going to be somewhere we go regularly, I’m sure. Quite possibly in a fortnight, as there’s a bird of prey display at the Castle, and we found someone who can mend our barometer too!

We gawked in the expensive shops – I fell completely in love with a handbag in a lovely shop where they didn’t seem to mind a bit that I couldn’t afford it, but just brought out different colours for me to try :) We had tea from bone china cups in a little tea room, toiled up and down the hills, decided once again to leave the Castle for another day (see above), and spent quite a bit of time at the Lion and Snake, watching the dancers, particularly the Raving Maes, who I’m thinking about applying to join (although the costumes are probably a bit young for me!)

We had a distinctly indifferent lunch at the pub, and I may well complain to the chain: 35 minutes to produce a couple of sausage baguettes, with a couple of teaspoons of cold caramelised onions from a jar, no cutlery until after the food arrives, *and* a deep sigh when I asked for salt, does not please me particularly. Nor did the advertised “mayo” – no idea what it was, but mayo it most certainly wasn’t. Nice day out, mind, and we bought a couple of splendid stuffed mushrooms, which are destined for tonight’s supper (nice Mr Butcher was quite happy to keep them for us while we wandered round).

supper 5 sept 2010On Sunday, I got up fairly and went for a bike ride – 12.82 miles around the north of the city, to Anlaby Common and thence on to Kirk Ella and West Ella, and home. There are *hills* around there – it’s just on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, and it was hard work, but I did it all, so was dead chuffed (and puffed). Came home and ate bacon and egg and sossidge for breakfast, then constructed a huge vat of goulash, and some molten chocolate puddings, for supper with friends. Very sorry to say that they had to cancel due to ill health, so I hope they’ll be well enough to come and eat with us soon – there was enough goulash to freeze!¬†As it happens, I started coming down with the Lurgy last night, and Pete and I were in bed by 9 p.m., so it may have worked out for the best …

The secret life of the ladies’ loos

light path I took this in the Ladies toilets at the Lincoln Collection, a rather splendid museum. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such nice loos outside of posh hotels!

This post is really to test a) the x-posting from my new WordPress site, and b) the Flickr widget plugged therein.

Edit: and I don’t like the way it styles and lightboxes the image, so I’ve changed it to an old-fashioned link.

we went to Lincoln …


arch at Lincoln Cathedral
Originally uploaded by ramtops

… via Grimsby (we didn’t stop), and Cleethorpes, where we breakfasted on tea, sausage, bacon, egg, fried bread, beans and hash brown for £4 each.

Cleethorpes bore that unmistakeable air of British east coast resorts out of season – I’m very familiar with it, having lived in Great Yarmouth for some years. I rather like these places out of season, and it has a lovely beach, with some rather disconsolate donkeys waiting to pimp their rides.

On the way to Grimsby we spotted a completely barking building, and stopped off to have a look; it was Thornton Abbey, closed until April, but will be well worth a look in the spring, I think. Those monks did themselves proud, there’s no doubt.

We found somewhere in Lincoln to park for £6 for more than four hours – I’m torn between saying "Six quid? That’s practically an armful", and "Six quid – that’s a bargain for city parking". Anyway, we paid it. For my own reference, it was in Westgate, close to both castle and cathedral.

We went and looked at the cathedral, but we didn’t pay and go round it – that’ll be for another day, as will the castle. The cathedral is *huge* – I had no idea – and utterly impressive. The city is very like Norwich (which is unsurprising when you think about it), and had a lovely feel to it. Although when people say Lincolnshire is flat, they’re clearly excluding Lincoln itself; some of those hills are lethal!.

tea and teacakeWe had tea and teacake in nice tea shoppe, walked along the dock area, all round the old part of town, before meeting up with Dave and Linda (WANOLJ) for an early chinese buffet at the Laughing Buddha, to celebrate his birthday.  Pete got a new hat, as his was very motheaten, and I bought a lovely bright red soft woolly scarf, both from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.  And we got some barley flour from a health food shop, and some salmon for the Tribe in the pound shop.

Home by 8.30, and a lovely day out – we shall be going *there* again, that’s for sure.