Day 11 – Tue 22 Sept

24 09 2009
Picturesque in the middle of nowhere

Picturesque in the middle of nowhere

Fil and Simon had gone to work by the time I woke up so I had Pig (their mad but gorgeous dog) for company while I got some coffee down me and sorted out my bags.  The original plan was to drive to Ivinghoe for a daytime look around before going to Keef’s in the evening.  However, I was by now desperate for internet (the blog was getting woefully behind and I needed to check the DILO group on Flickr because today was the day – it’s a quarterly event on the solstices and equinoxes).  So I decided to pop back to Lincoln for a proper look around and to avail myself of the Prince of Wales pub’s wifi.I parked in the car park that I’d missed the day before and again paid for the parking by phone – it worked straight away this time.  I arrived before midday and the Prince of Wales was not yet open so I wandered off in the direction of the main part of town, grabbing a map along the way.  It was with the map that I found the shops.  As I was going down the hill towards them I noted how steep it was and considered that I would have to come back up it in a while – and I was laden with bags because I don’t leave my laptop or my camera in the car.

The exuberant Pig. This is overexposed but Im amazed I caught her at all - she was a blur.

The exuberant Pig. This is overexposed but I'm amazed I caught her at all - she was a blur.

The centre of Lincoln looked wonderful but I didn’t want to spend too much time exploring so settled for a quick look around Primark for another pair of leggings (I’ve not worn my jeans because it’s been so warm during this trip) and a visit to the loo.  The ladies’ toilets were up three short flights of stairs and were in a huge area of an old building – seemed a bit of a waste of the available space and of course was no good for anyone with mobility difficulties.  There was a ‘baby room’ there but I don’t know how parents would be expected to lug a buggy up the stairs with a child in their arms.

I decided to brave the hill.  Before I started to climb though, I stopped to take a photo or two.  On the corner near me were two women also taking photos and I heard one ask the other if she was a tourist or a local.  The women were both local and when I went over to the same vantage point the woman there asked me the same thing.  Great opening gambit to tell me her life story and how the she was well known to the people of Lincoln and that they all looked down their noses at her because she was a pagan and spoke her mind.  She told me all about her problems and her life and how she’s doing this that and the other.  I did manage to get away eventually but the hill was so steep it wasn’t easy to make a quick getaway.  I think she stands on that corner knowing she’ll encounter tourists who haven’t yet had the pleasure.  The locals, presumably, are wise to it.

Lincoln Cathedral at the top of Steep Hill

Lincoln Cathedral at the top of Steep Hill

I took the hill in two phases and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I headed to the Prince of Wales and ordered food.  The guy who had been there the previous day was again behind the bar.  Great service and there was some great music playing – Ian Dury when I walked in, and similar quality during my time there.  I had a Brie and cranberry sandwich with lovely chunky chips with the skins on.  Really tasty, reasonably priced too.

I was told I could plug my laptop into the mains if I wanted.  Spent the time catching up online, uploading some photos and adding three posts to this blog.  When I paid I was told that my second coffee was on the house. 🙂  Fantastic.  If you live in or near Lincoln, or if you visit – go to the Prince of Wales at Bailgate.  Fantastic!

With my wonderful sense of direction, geography and timing, I hadn’t realised that I’d left it too late to get to Ivinghoe before Keef’s (he’d texted me to explain this, lol) so I went straight to Aylesbury.  On the way the piece of plastic under the front of my car started to scrape and flap about again.  I pulled over and could see that it had become more damaged and this larger piece was now even more difficult to tuck out of the way.  It dislodged and scraped every time I turned right.  Roundabouts were a nightmare and I was going slowly and really annoying the people behind me I’m sure.

I’d pulled off the main road and went towards a place called Crick.  By now it was nearly 5.30 so I knew I wouldn’t find a garage open.  I texted Keef to say I’d be a bit longer getting to him than I’d hoped, and limped along the quieter roads, stopping once more to adjust the plastic.

Finally got to Aylesbury.  Fi was there with Jacob and Rosie but they weren’t able to stay long as it was a school night.  Soon Sharon arrived with the lovely Murphy (a gorgeous chocolate labrador) and the evening began.  Andy called over (sadly I’d arrived too late to meet his gorgeous baby daughter Daisy as she was in bed) and later James.  Keef’s delicious chili fed us all and there was still some to spare.  Lovely evening and Keef’s playlist was spookily right up my street (he’d done his homework!).

Soon everyone had headed off home and Keef and I got into a conversation about music, key changes (inspired by Chris Evans’ radio show that I’d heard in the car), stolen riffs and more.  After burning a CD for my journey, Keef treated me to a couple of medleys sung and played on the guitar.  He’s a talented lad, and as with the other festival friends I’d stayed with on this trip, it was great to spend some quality time rather than just a few moments here and there in a field.

Miles travelled – 150, (total mileage – 1374)

Keef annoying the neighbours with his punk rock acoustic guitar

Keef annoying the neighbours with his punk rock acoustic guitar

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3 responses

24 09 2009
Sara Hopkins

Brie and cranberry sandwich AND free coffee! I’m taking notes on the IMPORTANT things here… 🙂

24 09 2009
elviramental

Priorities Sara!

28 01 2010
oceaneyze

lol, how funny about that crazy corner lady! It’s a shame about your car! Your night with Keef sounds fun! It would be good if you could tell me about key changes and stuff, I don’t completely understand all that at the moment. Also, I’ll certainly be checking out that pub if I ever go to Lincoln!

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