Archive for June, 2020

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day ninety nine

June 30, 2020

Seven passengers on bus into Lincoln.

Idiot drives through High Street.

Why no enforcement?

Hopped on walk and bus.

Third visit Misto coffee shop not open.

— to be continued —

Coffee by the Arch 20 minutes queue for bad takeaway coffee

June 27, 2020

Stokes at The Lawn closed at three, Misto not open never appears to be open, twenty minute queue at Coffee at the Arch for bad coffee.

 

It actually seemed like half an hour, but maybe no more than twenty minutes.

Are people in a queue because they see a queue?

I hate queues, I will usually walk away and go elsewhere or go without than stand in a queue, especially stand in a queue for bad coffee.

But beggars cannot be choosers, neither Stokes or Misto open, thus no choice but to stand in the queue.

I knew it would be bad coffee, I had a coffee when they changed hands early this spring, but glutton for punishment and you never know, maybe they have improved, got their act together, sourced quality beans, employed baristas.

Sadly not, the beans badged with their own name, but still poor quality beans.

And was the coffee bad? Unfortunately yes.

I walked through Newport Arch back into Bailgate, sat on a wall and took a sip. It burnt my tongue. It was scalding hot.

A cappuccino should not be scalding hot. I was at least asked did I want chocolate? I should not be asked. That is not to suggest it should have chocolate dumped on top. A cappuccino does not have chocolate. Why do cafes masquerading as coffee shops not understand, a cappuccino is not served scalding hot, the milk is burnt, chocolate is not dumped on top. Although the row of syrups is at least a warning sign the coffee we serve is not good.

There was a hint, the coffee may have been bitter, if made by a barista would have been an improvement. But better still, source quality beans and employ baristas.

I walked to a little square and poured on a garden.

And no, Coffee by the Arch has not improved since I had a coffee early spring.

Why do people open a coffee shop or buy a coffee shop if they know nothing about coffee?

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day ninety six

June 27, 2020

The last few days very hot.

Today heavy rain showers, very warm.

Three passengers on the bus.

Too many people in town, worse so far.

Queuing outside Primark, no social distancing.

Why is Primark allowed to obstruct the High Street whereas Stokes on High Bridge and Coffee Aroma around the corner are not allowed to place tables in the street?

Half way up Steep Hill it starts to rain.

Appalling behaviour members of Bailgate Guild bad-mouthing owner of Bailgate Deli for having the audacity to highlight on BBC Look North, dysfunctional Lincoln City Council, encourage visitors to the city but fail to open public toilets and refuse to open until 6 July. Maybe they think visitors will not notice the lack of toilets, for example Canadian visitors who vowed to never visit Lincoln again or the five different people who asked a pub could they use the toilets, or the people complaining, or the previous weekend a pregnant young lady pleading with a tea shop to use their toilets.

Maybe they are the same members of Bailgate Guild who oppose the pedestrianisation of Bailgate long overdue, which would enable indie coffee shops and tea shops and restaurants to spread their tables in the street.

Misto new coffee shop not open. Second visit this week to find not open. People will visit once, twice, maybe three times, then not bother again. I later spoke with a lady living nearby. She said rarely open, maybe a couple of times a week. How not to run a businesses.

Pizza from Prince of Wales. Good, but not suitable for eating in the street. Too messy. Neither their burger, good but even less suitable for eating in the street.

Tried Stokes at the Lawn. Closed at three.

Cannot walk back through the Lincoln Castle due to the crass stupidity of their one way system. Could drive a coach and horses through the gates.

Little choice, queue at Coffee by the Arch. And sadly their coffee no better than when I tried early spring.

On the way up Steep Hill I noticed Imperial Teas had a new bean-to-bar chocolate. I inquired on the way down. I learnt two new chocolates

Good deed of the day, arrange for green beans to be shipped from a family farm in Cameroon to Imperial Tea.

Three passengers on the return bus.

Small Island

June 25, 2020

Powerful and moving National Theatre dramatisation of Small Island.

Jamaica, Lincolnshire, London, during WWII and post-WWII, the Windrush generation.

Volunteered to serve in the RAF for the British, bothers in arms, post WWII, looking for a better life in England, post-WWII reconstruction, racists attacks on the workplace, on the streets.

A huge mistake National Theatre show for only a week. Three hours, expires 1900 BST (1800 GMT).

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day ninety one

June 22, 2020

— t follow —-

sunset Summer Solstice

June 22, 2020

— pictures to follow —

Summer Solstice Lincoln farmers market

June 20, 2020

Summer Solstice lockdown day eighty nine.

five passengers sn the bus. Double decker bus with heating on.

Today I tried a paer mask. Marginally better tha a cloth mask, difficukt brathing.

At lon last dysfunctional Citry Ciuncil has hand sanitsie by entance f bus sttation.

Sincil Street busym to busym worst it has so far been, too amnay oopekm abiut. No idea e High Street ans I avdied, taking back way ti Steep Hill. Nore staks by tge riv er.

Famr market oalsthetic. At tsi tomeof years should b emany stalls, as pealks time for fruit and vegatbkes. Hakf the satkks not turned up, half had alrday acked uo, half were packin uo. Two o’clock in hr afternoon. Market is sgechedkeud untilk three thitry.

Varuius excusesd given

  • no one about
  • very buy staklks sold out by morning
  • Black Laives Matters March

No one abiut. It was busy last Saturdaym and that was befre the shops opened. Redhill Farm shop had a queue.

Black Laeves Matter March was nt shewcduled to leave Lincoln niversity untl five o’clock thus aealiest likely to get to Catsle Hill would b efive thityy.

THis pathetic market must get its avt together if they wais to be supported. Why wast tine otherwise visiting ther marjket.

wonder through Bailagte, nearly run down a couok ewof times. Why is it not pedestrained.

THe makets lost was th frut and vegatvoles shos’s gain. xcellent radisheds, Boston ptataes, Kent cherries Yorkshire pas, not sure where tge mushriim or tomatos came from.

Looked in the Prince of Walkes pub where doing takeway food. Gut I talked ti said they wished to see Bailgate peedstrainese, tabels in the street.

Wandered along Bailgate ti Newport Arch and through ti Newpoart.

A new ciffee shop I ad not sen before. Had a chat with the owner as closing.

Coukd not bel,ive the ques at Coffee at the Arch fr coffee as ctrao coffee. I had been told before a quee.

… to b e continued ….

Stokes on High Bridge re-opens takeaway only

June 17, 2020

Day eighty five of lockdown, first day Stokes on High Bridge open.

Being their first day after closed for several weeks I expected a very long queue. No queue.

Hand sanitiser outside the store for customers to use.

Serving coffee and toasties. Only one lady serving, brewing coffee, making toasties.

I thought have a coffee, maybe a cheese and ham toasty. Not possible, card only.

Stokes need to think again card only. Everywhere else preference for contactless card, but accepting cash. They are going to lose many of their elderly customers. Maybe that explains no queue.

A large empty sterile space in front of Stokes on High Bridge, more than sufficient space for Stokes to spread their tables in the street. This is being blocked by intransigence of local councils.

The local councils have had weeks during lockdown to have in place plans for indie coffee shops, tea shops and restaurants to park their tables in the street, to enable them to open whilst maintaining two metres social distancing. Win win for everyone. It could have happened in May. Revitalises the High Street, helps local businesses back on their feet, improves the city centre ambience.

Without tables in the street many local businesses will die. They are too small to meet socials distancing rules. Takeaway coffee is not a viable option. OK for a kiosk, but not for a coffee shop or restaurant with higher overheads. They  are surviving currently with staff on furlough, rent deferred. But what then when these schemes end?

Stokes at the Lawn currently not open.

Coffee Aroma will open on the first of July, takeaway only. They asked to put tables in the street. An emphatic no from County Hall, not even the courtesy of an explanation.

Madame Waffle not open any time soon.

Bookstop Cafe open, had tables outside, ordered by City Council to remove.

 

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day eighty five

June 16, 2020

A very murky misty start to the day, high humidity, once the sun came out, hot.

Three passengers on the bus. Masks are now mandatory, have been since Monday, £100 fine. What has changed, nothing. Very unpleasant wearing a cloth mask. It should be as in Scotland advisory.

No hand sanitiser at entrance to bus station. Nor free masks being handed out.

Popped over to the train station, asked were the trains now running normally? No, more frequent trains, but not back to normal. Wearing of mask mandatory and cannot even enter the station without. Free masks are available. To travel on a train for an hour or more, forced to wear a mask, is going to be very very unpleasant.

Monday was the first day shops could open, today the second day, many people about, too many.

The tat now open in Lincoln Central Market. It was better when they were all closed.

Long chat with the zero waste stall due to open in Lincoln Central Market, the sooner the better.

Decided to have a coffee at Stokes on High Bridge, maybe something to eat, expected a queue. No queue. Only one person serving and making toasties and serving coffee. Only accept contactless cards, no cash.

A large empty space in front of Stokes on High Bridge, more than sufficient space for Stokes to spread their tables in the streets. This is being blocked by intransigence of local councils.

Stokes at the Lawn not open for the foreseeable future.

Chocolate and ice cream from Hotel Chocolat. Ice cream disgusting. No idea what it was supposed to be, I expected a choice. The choice, salted caramel or pistachio, goo poured out of a bottle. This causes the ice cream to melt, runs down the ice cream, down ones hands and drips onto ones clothes. Quality ice cream it is not.

Many businesses had hand sanitiser at entrance and in store.

Coffee Aroma opens takeaway only on 1 July 2020. Several days yet fir coffee, real coffee.

200 Degrees opened a few weeks ago.

Looked in Waterstone’s. Empty.

Three passenger on return bus.

When I left lovely and sunny. An hour later, skies turned black, massive thunderstorm very heavy rain for an hour.

 

 

Reclaim the Streets Lincoln

June 13, 2020

Saturday 13 June 2020 day eighty two of coronavirus lockdown in Lincoln. How many weeks has the city had to pedestrianise the city centre leading up to and including Bailgate, to enable independent coffee shops and restaurants to put their tables in the streets?

It is a tragedy the number of coffee shops and tea rooms either closed or eking out a meagre living on takeaways.

Sincil Street two coffee shops, Central Coffee House and 200 Degrees.

Central Coffee House closed, overlooks sterile open space. No indication of when or if it will open.

200 Degrees opened a few weeks ago for takeaway, overlooks a sterile open space.

Stokes on High Bridge, High Street, will open in a few days time for takeaway only.

Coffee Aroma closed. Will open sometime in the near future for takeaway only. They wished to open with tables in the street. They asked and received an emphatic no from County Hall.

Unfortunately we will not agree to you increasing the number of tables and chairs you use or the size of the area that you have at the current time (your enclosure needs to still be only outside the frontage of your premises).

Not even the courtesy of an explanation.

Angel Coffee House, closed, no indication if or when may open.

Madame Waffle closed. Not open in the foreseeable future. Will announce when open.

Margaret’s Tea Room. Open for tea and coffee takeaway. Overlooks a square where would love to place tables.

The Cheese Society currently closed, adjacent to the same square overlooked by Margaret’s Tea Room, where they too could place tables and chairs.

Many tea shops on Steep Hill, but not open, no indication if or when will open.

I talked to the owner of one tea shop. She thinks she may be able to open with restrictions on numbers but no idea when.

The one exception, Bookstop Cafe, located in a Norman croft below a Norman building which houses Imperials Teas, purveyors of fine tea, coffee and chocolate. They opened a few weeks ago for takeaway tea and coffee, tables outside. The tables removed by edict of  a Town Hall jobsworth acting like the Stasi on a tip off.

In Bailgate only Sanctuary in the Bail open for takeaway tea and coffee. Would love to see Bailgate pedestrianised and tables in the street.

There are several restaurants in Bailgate. Only Elite on the Bail open, serving takeaway fish n chips out the back. Elite on the Bail overlooks a square where tables could be placed.

We must reclaim the streets.

We hear the sound of birdsong, the streets are traffic free, the cities are pollution free. There can be no return to normal as normal was not normal.

We have been jolted into another now. We must maintain our city centres car and pollution free.

In Athens in the evening the streets turn into restaurants. Athens is expanding its network of pedestrianised streets.

Northern Ireland is looking at expanding the number of tables in the streets.

Sheffield has plans to expand pedestrianised streets.

Paragon Chambers in Hull, coffee shop encouraged to place tables outside.

North Laine in Brighton the restaurants, coffee shops and other shops are in the street. There are plans to expand the pedestrianised streets.

Soho has plans to pedestrianise the area, turn into one large open air coffee shop and restaurant. Currently awaiting approval from Westminster Council.

Unless indie coffee shops and restaurants are allowed to spread their tables into pedestrianised streets few will survive covid-19 pandemic.

Many coffee shops have no future. Too small to manage social distancing. A kiosk can survive on takeaway only, a coffee shop with higher overheads cannot.

We had sunniest May on record, Mediterranean climate. The tragedy indie coffee shops and restaurants were not able to spread their tables into the street.

Win win for everyone. Kick starts the local economy, maintains social distancing, helps local businesses back on their feet, improves city centre ambience.

It is not only coffee shops at risk it is the entire supply chain. There are the coffee roasteries that supply the coffee shops, the growers who supply the coffee beans.

We all have to act. If not, we lose our coffee shops.

Talk to local councils and councillors, change the mindset that allows traffic into city centres, pedestrianise the city centre, allow indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread their tables into the street, no chains no pubs No Smoking.

Government has to extend furlough for local businesses if they are unable to open. Reducing social distancing from two metres to one metre does not help as it greatly increases the risk for staff and customers.

Lincoln should follow the example of Soho, Soho Summer Street Festival, introduce with immediate effect temporary measures for the summer, Sincil Street, High Street, Cornhill, The Strait, Steep Hill, Castle Hill and Bailgate, pedestrianised, tables in the street, indie coffee shops and restaurants, no chains no pubs No Smoking. Then carry out consultation with the aim to make permanent.

Update: Excellent news from Soho. The area to be pedestrianised, roads closed to traffic, indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread their tables into the streets. And not only Soho, Covent Garden and other areas too. The excellent news from Soho only serves to Illustrate how backward Lincoln and lacking in vision. County Hall and City Hall have had weeks to implement a similar scheme in Lincoln, enable indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread their tables into the street, to help them get back into businesses. It revitalises the local economy, improves the ambience of the city centre.