From Cheshire, we headed east and spent a few nights outside Newark-upon-Trent. One of the reasons for Newark is that it is home to one of the biggest motorhome dealerships in the UK and they have an accessory shop – we wanted to visit to look for useful bits and pieces we didn’t know we needed. Actually, the shop isn’t that great and we didn’t get much inspiration, but did find a good deal on outdoor chairs which are much more comfortable than the ones we have at the moment. Obviously, while at the dealership, we had to check out all the new motorhomes to work out what we would buy if we won the lottery. Well, we weren’t impressed at all. We didn’t like the layout of most of the vans and the build quality of some of them was appalling – I know they are on display, but there were several that had broken trim, missing door handles etc. Most of these motorhomes cost upward of £40k – I would want all my plastic trim in one piece for that price. We did find one van that we really liked but it cost £65k+, so we’ll stick with our 20yr old, solid-as-a-brick van for the time being. Unless, of course, we decide that we won’t buy a house again…..
The weather was hot at the beginning of the week, so the new chairs were put to good use. Unfortunately, the freak weather didn’t last – our temperature plummeted from 29C on Sunday to 12C by Thursday. Brrr. The good news is that the Battle of the Bedcovers has been won with the help of a new mid-weight duvet/doona so no more sleepless nights as we wrestle with various combinations of layers.
We then moved on to Lincoln, staying at a small campsite about 5 miles east. Lincoln Cathedral loomed large on the horizon and we headed into the city to have a closer look. Nearly every item of clothing we owned needed washing and, rather than spend the whole afternoon at the laundrette, we splurged on a service wash – we are really living the high life now! While I was in the laundrette, D got talking to the parking inspector about the restrictions for the road we were stopped on. Apparently, because the road was being resurfaced and there were no lines marked, the inspector couldn’t issue any tickets, so we were welcome to park there for as long as we wanted and there was nothing he could do about it (his words, not ours). So we did – 5 hours free parking on the High Street. Yippee!
Lincoln itself was a mixed bag – fairly standard shopping town at the bottom of the hill, fancy new riverside development and lovely cathedral quarter at the top of the hill. I spent a joyful hour in a phone shop swapping contracts and we did a couple of other chores, before heading up Steep Hill (which is indeed steep) for a pootle around the cathedral. On the way up the hill, we passed Jew’s House, thought to be the oldest continuously occupied residential building in Europe, dating from 1170. In its heyday, it would have been one of the biggest and most luxurious houses in Lincoln, owned by various members of the Jewish community until their expulsion from England in 1290. I’d forgotten that they had been expelled from England – in fact, from just about everywhere they have tried to settle at various times in their history. I suppose that you could argue that the Israeli attitude to Palestine can be explained by the way Jews have been treated in the past, but you could also argue that the oppressed should have more empathy and not become the oppressor. And therein lies the problem – arguing.
While I was in the phone shop, several complete strangers stopped to chat to D. We also saw a few people with no teeth, shouting at themselves and there was evidence of a lot of drinking and drug taking. There was also a fantastic coffee shop with signs like ‘Decaf, soy and skimmed will be available when hell freezes over’ and ‘We do not sell regular, large etc. Each coffee has an individual size. If you are used to buying coffee in chains and are confused, we will be happy to help.’ It was a place of contrasts and, overall, I liked it.
I wasn’t sure at the time, but I think I was a bit overwhelmed by having to take a quick Masters in The Dark Art of Changing Phone Provider, majoring in PAC and Unlocking Your iPhone. I have to complete my thesis tomorrow. Assuming all goes well, I will have a contract which won’t require me to take out a mortgage to use my phone when we cross the Channel next month.
As for the rest of Lincolnshire – that is a different story.
You both took a pootle around the Cathedral?? Is that sacrilege? It can’t be legal. Couldn’t you wait ’til you got home? Hopefully no-one was watching; other than those with no teeth shouting at themselves. Were they shouting “NO, not here, wait ’til you get home”. Beautiful photos, as ever. I just wrote a few lines about Arab/Israel and other conflicts and fundamentalism in general. Then I deleted them because this is a nice family blog and I shouldn’t get on a soapbox. Moving along, I see others have been trying to add photos – I also can’t do it. Congrats on your advanced degree in telephones. Don’t complain. When D and bro were little I had a job that involved long-distance phone calls within Western Australia. There were several locations where we had to say “over” to signal that it was the other person’s turn to speak. Interstate calls were only made with special approval. International just about needed an act of parliament. I’ll put up with a bit of arcane techno-babble from a sixteen year old if it means I can keep in contact the way we all do.