Windy day in Lincoln

The Joiners Arms

The Joiners Arms

Andy Neal playing on Castle Hill

Andy Neal playing on Castle Hill

Today very strong wind blowing. In the sun pleasant, in the shade very cold. Walk down the wrong street and barely able to stand.

I had wished to drop off at Revival a copy of 5 Nocturnes, as they had an unplayable copy, but forgot, not open on a Monday.

Last week I picked up a real gem, Poetry by Lord Alfred Tennyson in Lincolnshire dialect. This was from Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. I had suggested they uploaded to bandcamp, it would then be available to students, scholars and academics worldwide. I popped in today, they agreed an excellent idea and thanked me.

An exhibition entitled The Most Picturesque Figure, an exhibition of the clothes and belongings of Alfred Lord Tennyson in the Central Library. The title from a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Passing by Central Library, I popped in. No exhibition, no one knew anything about it. They suggested try The Collection where they had a fashion exhibition.

The Collection knew nothing about it either. They did a search, asked around a few questions. They drew a blank. But one of them said he too had heard there was an exhibition, but not sure where.

I had meant to enquire Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology but forgot.

All very odd as mentioned in the Lincolnshire Echo last week (Thursday 31 January 2013).

Where to lunch? Stokes at the Collection or the County Restaurant? I decided to walk to the County Restaurant, if nothing else, see what was on during the week, and if I did not like, walk back to The Collection.

On my way, walking past a narrow street going straight up the hill, a row of Victorian terrace houses, and part way up, The Joiners Arms, a lovely old Victorian pub. I did not look inside, maybe I should. We are losing pubs at the rate of 18 a week (the rate of attrition has actually slowed). I wonder of Lincoln has adopted a pub protection policy, as required by national planning guideline, and has a list of of buildings of historic interest, again as required by national policy? I must make enquiries.

Excellent pea and mint soup at the County Restaurant, but I did not like the look of what was on at the County Restaurant for main course, nor what was on the rest of the week. It was therefore walk back to The Collection.

On my way to County Restaurant, I had passed Olibers coffee shop, one of many indie coffee shops in Lincoln. It was busy. First time I have ever seen it busy. It is usually empty. I never made it to The Collection, I was tempted by gammon steak at Olibers.

It was delicious. I commented that they were busy and maybe that was because they now had boards outside listing what was being served. The lady agreed, she said it was her suggestion and seemed to be working. She said she is often sat all day and no one comes in. I asked where was the attractive blonde. Only helping out and now back at university.

I decided to carry on walking up The Strait and Steep Hill, only very slowly, as full after my lunch.

Talking to a very pleasant couple from Nottingham, I donned my tourist guide cap and explained some of what there was to see en route.

They told me that Costa was now trying to bully their way into Bakewell. When is Costa going to learn?

I popped into Imperial Teas of Lincoln. A wide section of teas, but an extremely rude woman. She ranted and raved, you cannot take photos. Her loss, I walked out.

I went across the road to Pimento Tea Rooms. Very unusual, you walk through a fashion shop into the tea rooms, even stranger, a choice of two different fashion shops to walk through. An excellent selection of teas (ironically from Imperial Tea Shop), and in contrast very friendly.

An attractive female on a nearby table, I though was a waitress writing out menus. No, 40 invites to a kids party. Rather her than me. She said she was a regular, she liked to come in and relax and read a book. I suggested to her and the plesant girl serving, BookCrossing. Both though an excellent idea. She was shocked to learn Readers Rest, further down the hill, was closing down. We both agreed a crying shame, as an excellent indie bookshop.

To my surprise, 3-30pm already. I was not going to make the market back down in town. Female I was talking to said try The Shed in Bailgate. Never hear of it, but apparently walk through a shop and in their backyard, a large shed.

This is like Sincil Street. Many alleys between the shops, but also many people walk through the narrow shops and out through the back. No one seems to mind.

In Castle Hill, an excellent guitarist playing. Andy Neal. We had a chat. I suggested he uploaded the album he had for sale onto bandcamp. He was aware of bandcamp, and already had music there, but had not yet uploaded this album. He said he liked to sell on the street first. Quite reasonably price, £4, worth a chance. I only had £2 in coins, which he accepted and gave me a CD.

Too many street artists try to sell CDs for £10. Get real. Charge a fiver and people will take a chance, charge £10 and people will say forget it.

He said he had to get back to playing, as he had a living to earn. He played not only around Lincoln but around the country. Now a different style, Spanish guitar.

I checked out bandcamp, but all I could find was one pretty awful track, Endless, which did not do him justice.

I looked in the butcher. Surprised you don’t know about The Shed Keith ain’t you got eyes? He confirmed where it was.

There used to be opposite the butcher, one of the best in the county, an excellent greengrocer. Sadly gone a number of years ago.

With some change in my pocket from a visit to the butcher and The Shed, I told the guitarist it was his lucky day, and gave him two one pound coins. He was chuffed.

Waling back down the hill, gone 4pm, nearly everything was closed. It seems most of these little independent shops are open from ten until four, and even then it seems open on a whim.

Looking in one of the charity shops, I was talking to a literature student who could not find a book he was looking for. I said try Paulo Coelho and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

I popped in Stokes on High Bridge and said hi to Jemma.

Appalling service in M&S, only one cash till open in the food hall, and they wonder why they are a failing retailer.

Sincil Street apart from folks scurrying home, all but deserted. Most of the shops seem to shut at four, those that do not shut at five.

To the bus station, I ran as I thought a bus was about to leave as it was 5 o’clock and people were getting on the bus, but no, leaving in ten minutes.

Long slow grind out of Lincoln. Rush hour as everyone leaving work.

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