Posts Tagged ‘lockdown’

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day eight

January 13, 2021

Lockdown, third lockdown, started Tuesday of last week.

Tuesday third lockdown day eight, the first time I have been into Lincoln since lockdown began, my first outing since tier 4 New Year’s Eve.

I see at least double the number of cars parked at Ferry Lane Washingborough than I would usually see. People driving to go for walk alongside the River Witham not acceptable, if not a breach of lockdown, it should be.

Little traffic, few people about, very much like the beginning of the first lockdown early last year.

Although bus station deserted, many buses parked up, causing problems for buses trying to enter.

Easy to see why coronavirus spreading so rapidly even though few people about.

At the butcher, a limit of three people. With new highly infectious mutation, limit should be reduced to two people. I wait outside. A woman with mask dropped below her mouth. I raise with butcher. Not for us to enforce. I disagree. Ask to wear mask or leave shop. Speaking straight into your face with no mask.

Baker, limit of three people. I suggest they reduce to two. We are compliant with government regulations. Are these people brain-dead?

Only two stalls open in Central Market, zero waste and fruit and vegetables. I am tempted to buy a box of dates, a bargain at one pound, I look again four pounds, I decide not.

I look in Wilkinsons few people in the shop. But why is it open?

Coffee at Coffee Aroma. No queue. A steady trickle of customers, maybe one every ten minutes.

The only coffee shop I will visit, where they take coronavirus biosecurity seriously, nowhere else does, and their coffee is good. A model of coronavirus biosecurity, other coffee shops should follow their excellent example.

  • form orderly socially distanced queue outside
  • only one customer
  • contactless payment
  • takeaway cups
  • no reusable cups

To go out for a coffee is a breach of lockdown, is a breach of the rules. To take a coffee whilst out for legitimate reasons food shopping or exercise is not.

For me food shopping and exercise.

I am told M&S Food Hall not the coronavirus death trap it has been of late. I chance it. Not crowded and staff tell me it has not been crowded all week. Never spent so much in M&S.

So-called plant-based junk heavily promoted. No, lentil shepherd’s pie is not shepherd’s pie, nor does shepherd’s pie have a long list of ingredients. Shepherd’s pie is a simple dish of lamb, root vegetables  and potatoes. Come end of January, hype of Veganuary over, thee same products will be heavily discounted and sold off

The Sound of Silence

December 31, 2020

To end the year.

This could have been any city during lockdown.

It could have been Athens during lockdown when not a soul around.

Athens coronavirus lockdown day five

November 11, 2020

Few people around, very little open, cold with a cold north east wind.

Walk a little way into the pine woodland on the lower slopes of Hill of the Muses. Too windy to climb to the top.

One of my favourite walks in Athens, follow the footpath that runs along the side of the Koine Valley, then back the other side. Once an ancient route from Athens to the sea.

Athens can be teeming with people, always peace and quiet along the Kolne Valley, not a soul to be seen. Not today, more people than I am seeing in usually busy parts of Athens. I can only assume, in lockdown, taking a walk for exercise.

Usually I encounter wild tortoises, sadly not today.

A cappuccino from The Underdog.

I am always the only one in The Underdog, but a steady stream of customers, someone will arrive as I am taking my coffee.

No one around.

From Monastiraki head to Athens Central Market.

Pass by Dope,  closed.

Dope is a strange one,  they roast and serve Robusta.

Dope is covered over space between two buildings, hence the graffiti on the bare walls.

But if passing by Dope, may as well head to Mokka, always excellent coffee, though neither are currently open during  lockdown.

Nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and yoghurt coated nuts from stalls outside Athens Central Market.

Spoilt for choice, not only between the different stalls, but also between different grades or different origins.

Quality is vastly superior to anything found in England.

Head to Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies before they close.

Nikos on his own, Tanya on furlough. Long hours 7-30 in the morning until 5-30 then an hour to clean machines.

Head to feyrouz Lebanese street food that I stumbled upon previous day.

Idea had been to order for later to be delivered.

Not possible, have to use an app for Wolt.

I try later give up, too much hassle, to much personal data requested, same model as Deliveroo, exploitation, serfs working for an app.

As I walk back through empty streets Ermou and Plaka deserted.

I cannot see the few remaining businesses open remaining open beyond the end of the week, no one around.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and sixty-two

September 1, 2020

For six months a diversion, instead of ten minutes into Lincoln thirty minutes, whilst a roundabout under construction.

Today, an hour late into town, no bus stop, temporary bus stop vanished. What did this mean, back to normal or yobs stolen the bus stop?

Thee was no information on the bus last week, nothing from drivers to say normal service resumed.

A lady pulled up, to say no bus, now back to previous route, road opened.

To previous bus stop, both sides of the road notice at bus stop to say bus stop not in use. No timetable.

Would it not have made sense to have left temporary bus stop in place for at least a week, notice to say normal service resumed? Or, whoever removed temporary bus stop, notices on other bus stops?

A bus passed by leaving Lincoln, therefore can expect bus into Lincoln to pass by anytime soon.

At Lincoln Central Bus Station, no timetables, not a single timetable. New timetable came into play Sunday. Information office not open. Information office never open.

Buy two glasses for coffee from Lakeland. Not a shop I would recommend. Promotion for loyalty card (to enable tracking). Does it give discount? You will get vouchers in the post. Fat lot of use. Contrast with Hotel Chocolat, apply for VIP card in store, kicks in immediately.

Faffle at the till. Lady has a card that does not work. Tries contactless. Card not contactless. Tries again, tries again with keying in pin. No success. Why does she not use cash? Tries again. Works. Has a basket full of goods, then someone else has basket full of goods on same card.

I am about to walk out, when staff member opens a second till. I am given vouchers. Not valid until October, have to spend over thirty or fifty pounds. This is Lakeland taking the piss.

In High Street too many people.

Walk and Ride. First time I have caught and busy.

Bailgate, as expected, restaurants empty, back to as was in July, Eat Out to Help Out finished.

Haddock and chips at Elite on the Bail. Not busy. Staff tell me Eat Out to Help Out was not good, customers rude, insufficient staff, then quiet the rest of the week.

Many of the chains are offering for September or part thereof half price meals. They are still displaying Eat Out to Help Out. This is misleading. If half price, were they previously ripping off customers, or if running at a loss, to put indie restaurants out of business?

A pleasantly warm afternoon. Walk around to Stokes at The Lawn, but too late, to catch the sun on the terrace.

Mike too busy to try a coffee. I have a cappuccino.

As I am leaving, he wishes to try Ethiopia Arsosala WS, an Ethiopian coffee I had picked up from Cartwheel Coffee. I would have suggested V60, Mike says no, an espresso. He is impressed the bag lists brew ratio for espresso and filter, which gives a good starting point. Something more coffee roasteries should list.

We try espresso, or at least Mike tries espresso, for me he adds hot water a sort of Americano, though I would have preferred to try espresso. We are both impressed. Very fruity.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and fifty-eight

August 28, 2020

Heavy rain forecast, walk out of bus station to heavy rain, luckily did not last long and I managed not to get wet.

Looked in Lakeland, overpriced kitchenware store. Usually devoid of customers. Today at least half a dozen.

Not for quality coffee making equipment, no V60, Chemex, Aeropress, swan-neck kettle, digital scales.

But and a big but, two glasses and a grinder.

The hand grinder CrushGrind Columbia coffee grinder I had not seen or heard of before. I extracted from the box and it appeared to be a quality product. A rare find for Lakeland.

Botanist another crap corporate chain has colonised the recently created square.

Meanwhile indie coffee shops and restaurants have been requesting for years tables in the streets.

Ludicrous in Santander. I wanted £50 notes. I waited and waited. I asked member of staff please ask cashiers to save me wasting my time. He refused. I waited and waited. He then relented. A single £50 note.I said forget it and walked out.

Looked in Oxfam bookshop. Selling off old coffee and chocolate long past its best. Why would anyone buy stale low quality coffee from Oxfam when can buy freshly roasted coffee from Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle and hopefully soon from Forage and Fill (one of the few stalls worth visiting in Lincoln Central Market)?

The outdoor seafood stall I saw last weekend no sign of. Apparently been and gone. Last Saturday packed up early afternoon.

Hopped on Walk and Ride to avoid walking up Steep Hill.

Friday, restaurants in Bailgate empty.

Elite on the Bail not busy. Haddock and chips. Loud music, apart from irritating, a clear breach of coronavirus  regulations, but no enforcement, no one cares.

All the crass Eat Out to Help Out has done is to transfer businesses from end of the week to the beginning of the week, and overloaded restaurants and coffee shops to the point where they cannot cope.

To help indie coffee shops and restaurants, close streets pedestrianise traffic free tables in the streets, as has happened in Nottingham. But should have happened early summer. Now the weather not good too late.

The Lion and Snake binge drinking pub building an outside bar. Why? If to attract more drunken yobs would be clear breach of covid-19 regulations.

Temperature plummeted. Heavy rain.

Hopped on Walk and Ride back down into town.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Tempted to pop into Lakeland to pick up grinder but closed at five.

Cold, heavy rain.

Bus defective windscreen wipers not doing a great job wiping windscreen. Why has the bus not been taken out of service?

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and forty

August 10, 2020

After an abortive trip to Heighington for pub lunch, one pub closed the other so grim a lucky escape, it was head into Lincoln.

Stuck my head in Pepperdine’s to ask when were they closed? Four o’clock.

No one sat at the tables opposite 200 Degrees. Maybe lack of shade.

New fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market lacked half of what I wanted. But to be fair only opened last week and has yet to establish regular customers therefore stock control difficult.  And since to council bully boys evicted last month the one established fruit and veg stall locals have stopped going to the market, if can call it a market.

 

Was tempted whilst waiting for the Walk and Ride bus to save walking up Steep Hill to eat at the Caribbean restaurant near the bus stop. Very basic, no one around, and very loud music. Covid regulation bar loud music. But dysfunctional local council that could mot organise a piss up in a brewery fails to enforce.

As no pub lunch lunch at Heighington, I decided on a pizza at Gino’s in Bailgate. I had to ask for the special menu.  I decided instead on pollo alla crema. It was not good, the service was very poor.  I made the mistake of ordering a coffee. It was undrinkable and left untouched.

An ice cream from the ice cream parlour, if for no other reason than to take way the vile taste of the coffee.

It was then walk down Steep Hill.

A coffee at Coffee Aroma. A mistake, I should have had a cold beer. Why does no one do cold brew coffee?

 

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and thirty four

August 4, 2020

Cool morning. Afternoon warmed up as the sun came out.

New fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market. Quality, a novelty for Lincoln Central Market. Not to be confused with the outdoor stall that has relocated within the market.

Eat Out to Help Out an appalling waste of public money. It should be use to pay those who have yet to receive a penny then fund Basic Income and Green New Deal. And should we be encouraging Eat Out when covid-19 cases are rising?

We help indie coffee shops and restaurants close streets traffic free pedestrianise tables in the street.

Sickening Jeremy Hunt bragging he saved £50 on a hundred pound meal.

What of those dependent on food banks?

And did Eat Out to Help Out help Elite on the Bail? Maybe. I noticed more diners, it is never busy, but there were visitors in Bailgate and those dining were visitors. So maybe not.

Cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

 

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and thirty one

August 1, 2020

A dozen passengers on bus into Lincoln luckily a double-decker and all went u on top deck.

Pleased to see 200 Degrees has finally arranged tables in the sterile space opposite. It has improved the ambience of Sincil Street.

Now we need to see streets closed, pedestrianised, traffic free, tables in the streets across the city.

Replacement fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market spot the customer.

Today the worst it has been in the city centre since Super Spreader Saturday. Too many people about.

No surprise covid-19 cases are now on the rise across the country.

Much as I like to walk up Steep Hill, today too lazy and to save time I hopped on the walk and ride bus and alighted at Lincoln Cathedral.

Instead of heading into Castle Hill where I see a craft market and into Bailgate, as a pleasant sunny day, I take a wander around the Cathedral.

The only interesting stall on the craft market, one with handmade soap. I suggested talk to the zero wastes tall on Lincoln Central Market.

One stall claimed artisan honey or maybe that was the name of the stall.

Artisan is a much abused term, but this is the worst example by far. Er, bees make honey. Artisan is applied to everything, artisan coffee, artisan bread, artisan cheese. It is an utterly meaningless term.

Lunch at Elite on the Bail.

I wished to buy craft beer in BeerHeadz. Crowded, noisy, loud music. I did not bother.

The Old Mouse House Cheese Shop, someone’s idea of a sick joke, award winning plastic wrapped fake Cheddar adulterated with zillions of additives

Walking back down Steep Hill I look in Bunty’s tea room. Never found open before. Cramped inside.

Back down in the High Street binge drinking bars packed, noisy.

The Worse by far Walkabout. Crowded, no social distancing, bellowing on midrophone.

Cappuccino Madame Waffle. Guest coffee from DT Coffee Roastery. Roasted last September, almost a year old, and yet still excellent.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and twenty eight

July 29, 2020

A warm day.

Sincil Street trashed by dysfunctional local council in cahoots with local Coop, local family businesses destroyed. For what? Corporate chains can find anywhere and everywhere.

Laura Ashley clone Sea Salt empty. Lakeland purveyors of overpriced kitchenware empty.

I looked in Lakeland. Two ‘customers’ counting myself. I say ‘customers’ as we were not buying. I was looking for stove pot coffee maker. They did not have. Indeed complete lack of coffee equipment. No V60, no Chemex, no Aeropress, no swan-neck kettle, no digital scales.

Worthless jobsworths strike again. 200 Degrees had their tables spaced apart in the street, safe for every one, though should have been in the sterile space opposite the coffee shop not obstructing the thoroughfare. Now corralled into cramped tiny space beside the store frontage.

A couple of weeks ago council bully boys kicked a well run fruit and veg stall out of Lincoln Central Market. Always busy, generated at least 80% of market footfall. Remaining traders have seen business collapse.

Outside fruit and veg stall has relocated into the market. Deserted. One bored looking stallholder.

Haddock and chips at Elite on the Bail in Bailgate.

Walked back down Steep Hill.

Excellent cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Unlike Lakeland, Madame Waffle has not only coffee making paraphenalia but also coffee beans on sale.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and fifteen

July 16, 2020

Maybe half a dozen passengers on bus into Lincoln. Double-decker when a single decker would suffice. Passengers fail to social distance. Driver fails to open door or turn off engine when sitting at bus stops.

There appears to be fewer people in town.

Lincoln Central Market is dead. Traders say business has died since dysfunctional local council kicked out the fruit and vegetables stall.

Excellent fish n chips at Elite on the Bail.

One way through Lincoln Castle a pain as cannot walk back through. Could drive a coach and horses through the gates. More than an inconvenience, impacts on local businesses either side of Lincoln Castle.

Cappuccino at Stokes at The Lawn.

Experimental, evening on the terrace at Stokes at The Lawn. Until nine in the evening. If weather is fine then far better option than sitting in a pub. But for coffee cocktails need high end single origin coffee and if serving beer top end craft beer.

Talking to indie restaurants they all want tables in the streets but have heard nothing from dysfunctional local council. Maybe Lincoln Big and Visit Lincoln need to step in. If no tables in the street, many of these businesses will die.

Legislation currently passing through Parliament will enable this. A few days ago was on Third Reading. Once passed, submit an application. Council has to respond within 15 days, if not, obtain by default.

A range of jam and marmalade in Redhill Farm shop. Unlike dysfunctional Lincoln City Council they support local businesses.

Two jars of marmalade. Next will try a coffee, but first will need an espresso machine, scales, grinder and of course coffee.

Excellent ice cream from ice cream shop in Bailgate. Often a long queue. I had a couple of weeks ago a pistachio ice cream which I did not like. Lady said she does not have, therefore no idea what I had. Explains why it did not taste like pistachio.

Over a dozen passengers on bus out of Lincoln. I made the mistake of catching the bus when everyone leaves work. No traffic.


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