Friday, 8 May 2015

Exhausted after a busy day in Lincoln (and staying up all night)

We are now pitched up at another excellent Caravan Club CL, this one
Mother and child by
Glynn Williams
in Temple Garden
being Skybarn Farm which is about 4 miles south of Lincoln. All five pitches are hardstanding with electricity and the water/wastewater is just a 30m pull from our pitch. We have superstrength wifi included in the price and also the use of an Information shed stocked with dozens of guides and leaflets. There are even a few books! Skybarn is a working farm and the CL field is in a fenced-off corner of another bright yellow rape field with a turbine windmill to watch through rainy windows!

The weather was kind this morning so we made use of the Castle Shuttle which is Lincoln's Park and Ride service. Ideal for us as we are south of the city, the car park is just a grass field by a garden centre, but the buses are brand new, exactly on time and operated by cheerful drivers. We were surprised to have effectively a private bus in each direction! Our return driver explained that the service is only a month old and hasn't been well publicised yet. At just £6 for all our bus journeys and the car parking, it was perfect for us.

Our first city sight was this ancient gateway. Originally much higher than
its present level, we could peer over the side to ground that was a low as a moat would be. The bus dropped us off near the castle so the famed Steep Hill for us went downwards. Independent boutiques, decorative shops and cafes line both sides until the hill flattens out to the river when high street names and charity shops take over. We explored the permanent covered market and walked along the riverbank as far as the marina. Our first refuelling stop was at Thomas 2 where I had possibly the best chai latte ever. The service was very slow, but the cakes, when they finally arrived, were delicious and most welcome. Having stayed up until 6am engrossed in the election coverage, I was already flagging and we had hardly started!

Empowerment by Stephen Broadbent
sculpture over the river.
The narrow boat is a tea room. 

Picture The Poet is a National Portrait Gallery exhibition at the Usher
Skull wall detail from the Usher Gallery exterior 
Gallery. I had seen it advertised online and wanted to go. Surrounded by Temple Lawns, I liked the Glynn Williams sculpture pictured above as well a superhero-style one signed M Sandle. Once inside I had the opportunity to admire two Grayson Perry vases - Sunset From A Motorway Flyover and Fantasy Village - especially relevant in the light of yesterday's voting. (ffs Britain! 5 more years?) The Poets were upstairs and we got lucky in that a training course using the room had broken for lunch so we could get in. I knew I would recognise Simon Armitage, having recently heard Walking Home, and I discovered I had also read Ben Okri, Helen Dunmore and Michael Morpurgo. We thought it was interesting how many poets were posed in front of lots of books! On exiting, we looked up to see Tide by Stuart Haygarth. This brilliant piece is a spherical chandelier made entirely of suspended colourless plastic artefacts, all of which were litter, gleaned from around the UK coastline.

Our second visit of the day was to the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. Back
1857 printing press at the Museum
of Lincolnshire Life 
at the top of Steep Hill (yes, accurately named!). Also free to enter, I admit I was expecting something small and a bit naff. It's not! We must have spent an hour and a half enjoying the exhibits and could have stayed longer except the Museum closes at four. Displays have been set up as rooms in houses a century ago, and there are various commercial enterprises and shops too. I particularly liked the printer's shop with its 1857 American-designed British-made printing press. Other shops included a pharmacist, post office, tailor, blacksmith and grocer. My favourite room display was the parlour. The Museum also houses vintage cars, carriages and bicycles, steam rollers and tractors, as well as a genuine tank! The buildings used to be the HQ of the Yeomanry so their military history is covered too. There are drawers and drawers of medals on ribbons.

Parlour room at the Museum of
Lincolnshire Life 
Back on the streets again and now staggered from too much sightseeing, we were pleased to discover One Castle Hill, a patisserie with an elegant vintage decor tearoom. Two good coffees, a lovely carrot cake and a pastry twist later, we were refreshed and ready for home! Tomorrow we return to see the castle and an original copy (oxymoron?) of the Magna Carta. Lincoln is certainly awash with history!

I'll leave you with these two sides of the Bridge. I thought these questions perfect for our current odyssey!

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