Sunday, 31 May 2015

To there and back again

The day spent mostly dodging showers, a coffee meeting with the convoy, this onboard Seyella we have had flapjack then chocolate chip buns and I have to say Group Captain (Geoff on Seyella) makes the lightest most delicate butter creamed butterfly cakes I have ever tasted (worthy of Mary Berry herself), we visited the pie shop again and a cycle ride out in the countryside to there and back again, Lincolnshire is fairly big and fairly empty, then it rained again.

It is far more wooded than either of us expected yes and flat which has benefits if you are on too wheels.

Pancetta and mushroom risotto for supper.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Long hard day

We have to get to Boston for the crossing ultimately, but we don't have that far to go, so no great shakes on time as there is plenty of time.
That in mind we moved today, Yarwood and Clarence went off early as "Pathfinders", the lock only takes two of course and I think all the boats wanted to use the services on the lock landing so no point in us going too quickly. 

A little later Seyella rounded the corner and we set off .

This FAB cruiser dating from the 1960's was moored with us overnight, slightly older couple had had it for ten years and are considering selling, so keep your eyes open if this appeals to you too.

David and Margaret in the lock together

Margaret loves Geoff so she picked him up afterwards....

I walked around the corner and yes this is them all mooring up.
Yes, we all went about 500 metres today to Bardney Village moorings.

Yes really 500 metres, I walked it as I am not great at climbing down ladders.  Group Captain leaps about all over the place.

One of those big skies I mentioned

Almost forgot, we went off on bikes to see the Abbey at Bardney and found this church in the next village, St John the Divine at Southrey  SEE HERE  

This is a modern window in the tiny church in Southrey village.

The church is owned by the village and not the Church so to speak.  These are service lost form this village, they are in their uniforms from the 1st WW 2nd WW and conflicts in modern times. Their faces are copied from their own service records, You will see that two did not have photos on their records so their names only are recorded.  One soldier Private AE Longmate aged 22,  died 22nd October 1918, so very close to the armistice.It was the most touching and heart wrenching memorials I have seen. 

I have tried and tried to turn this picture!! It is not on its side in my photo file but I wanted to include it anyway, The
church is tiny and much much over by the village.

Speedy cyclists Lesley and David at the Bardney Abbey ruins.

Butternut squash and courgette risotto for supper with shaved parmesan and a very good New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

I've never seen anything like it in my life..... as the song says

So here we are at Bardney Lock, in fact only three boats here currently as Clarence arrived later in the evening having brought guests down with them from Lincoln, who then departed on bikes back to Lincoln, and Seyella were entertaining their guests somewhere else.

Yarwood on the L and Clarence on the R

This was the view of them last night.  

This morning we joined Lesley for a walk with the Boys, her two labs Fletcher & Floyd.  But passing the lock.....

I was flabbergasted to see this.

Lesley having a go to free the trapped bit behind the gate.

We spent about 20 minutes pushing and pulling, filling the lock then emptying it to no avail.  I called CaRT and we left them to it.

We walked down the lovely "Water Railway Line" which is now a biking route right along this section of the Witham river that was formally a railway line, lost in the Beeching Rail cuts of the early 1960's.
We went to the church which has an exhibition in one corner all about the important Abbey which is here.  There is a great butchers which sells pies, which we brought and took home for lunch.  Really really good.

Many wartime airfields in Lincolnshire.

And lastly this animal pen still maintained for stray animals that you had to pay a fine to have released.

Lamb Goan Xacuti curry for supper.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Last morning in town

It seems that Sundays are not good days for visiting cathedrals, evidently its their busy day so we went on a Guided Tour on Monday morning.  
I was very pleased to see it was Vic again who had done a brilliant job on our Town Walk previously.  
There was a Roof Tour with over 100 steps and a Tower tour with who knows how many steps..... it was freezing today up on this hill with the cathedral perched on the top, so there was no way I wanted to go up any higher.

Having hot chocolate waiting for the tour to begin, stunning view eh?

Marvellous Vic tour guide 

During the Reformation the Puritans and co removed the brass handles and maybe other decorations from her tomb, its very plain now, however it is next to the alter and opposite the tomb of the founding bishop of Lincoln Cathedral.  
Not bad for a commoner.

When the cathedral was built, started in 1087 I think, originally a fortified building for William the Conquerers army as it took a further five years to quell the Saxons after 1066 and all that.  
They painted the cathedral white, not the dirty stone colour it is now, the faces statues and flowers that adorn the building throughout would have all been brightly coloured with blue red yellow etc, the effect would have been to dazzle the uneducated peasants and Lords alike, a taste of Heaven on earth.  In a few tiny places you can still make out traces of the coloured paints form centuries ago.  Vic really didn't like Oliver Cromwell at all.

Is so large its hard to photograph

In the photo above, is the tower in the centre of this photo.

When the cathedral was finished on the top of the centre tower was a wooden tower as tall again as the stone tower, in its day it was the tallest building in the world.  The top of this tower would have appeared to have pierced Heaven itself, thus adding to the spectacle of the thousands of Pilgrims who made the pilgrimage to Lincoln to curry favour with the Lord.
It can be seen today from miles around this flat fenland and its not even white.

In a side chapel, there are the Duncan Grant frescoes

I presume a yesteryear Selfie of Duncan Grant

And here is his daughter Angelica, on the far left the study of which we saw yesterday in the Usher museum.

We were later than we had hoped to be and as WaL was blocking the "Yarwoods"  so we hotfooted it back to the boat via the famous pie shop on Steep Hill that we had passed by all weekend, and I can report that the pies are indeed as good as they sound.

Jumped aboard, thick winter clothing put on, this for me included a warm hat plus gloves and away we go.
The traffic lights at the end of Brayford Pool showed green so in we went, slowly..... I now understand this light has nothing to do with traffic, but river levels, so I was then surprised to see a yoghurt pot (Cruiser) in the bloody way!  

Brayford Pool, the exit is in the top L corner

Entering the narrow channel

The Yars following on just behind

The cruiser was as surprised to see us as vice versa.  The "Glory Hole"

Me in hat gloves and windproof jacket operating the fiendish Stamp End Lock

Some annoying man who likes scaring women, told David some days ago that we wouldn't get through this lock, he said something like the books says 68ft max, if this was the case then we at 70ft and the longest of the Wash Convoy would have had to have retraced our steps and long way.

After some research into it and available info DOES vary it was decided that we would have a bash, on our own, in a diagonal fashion.  My first ever guillotine lock and I did end up with an aching finger and you have to hold the button in for ages and ages.
The cill was the concern, instead of it being 2ft or 3ft poking out from the gates, this one pokes out 8ft or 9ft. David had to reverse over it several feet to get around the lock doors but no problem and away we speed eastwards

Yarwood the other side of the lock as WaL descended the lock

Me helpfully pointing out the cill.  It remained covered as there is lots of water about at the moment.

Out of Lincoln and this is what you get.  Loads of nothing but Big Skies
Can be seen from miles from the east

Almost at Bardney and you get to play Dodgem's with the grass

Cold but moored up at Bardney on a nice floating pontoon mooring.  David made chorizo and courgette pasta.

A long day, long blog, well done getting to the end Reader

Ooooooh 'Painted Ladies'

We had a lazy morning following yesterday, lots of nothing went on but the Usher Gallery here in Lincoln opened at 1pm today, so I managed to be dressed by about 11am.   David had read that they have work by Lowry  and Turner.

They had an exhibition on Women and how they have been portrayed through the last centuries. Here are my favs;

This is the oldest, most respectful portrait of the artists mother in 1613.

1890 by Lincoln born artist Warrener who went off to Paris and became close friends with Henri Toulouse-Lautrec whereupon his style changed towards that of the French Impressionists

1890 again Warrener painting Can-can dancers of Monmartre

No not 21st century but 1934 Australian painter Horace Brodzky

Duncan Grant's study of his daughter Angelica Garnett for his work in the Cathedral 1957

Henry Moore 1973 "Image of stark rolling hills and figures half emerging from darkness" dedicated to WH Auden after his death

Phew got that?  I bet Group Captain does not put up naked women on his blog...

David marginally disappointed that the Turners' and Lowry's are not on display today.
By the time we had got half way around the Museum of Lincoln, it was 4pm and they were closing, I had only just started Saxons and Vikings, so we will have to come back again one day.

Supper was local sausages from Boston, brought locally, delicious.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


So then off to visit Lincoln for the first time ever and certainly not the last.  We all left the boats to follow our noses up this steep hill, so steep it's called Steep Hill, to the Information Centre in town where we booked onto a Walking Tour.  There we met Vic who was a bit of a star.  He had only lived here since the 1960's and confessed he was just settling in.  He had a way of imparting knowledge that really bought you in.

So whoever knew that Lincoln was one of the biggest and most important trading cities in the country?   Well that was going back a a bit.  The Romans or maybe their slaves built The Fossdyke Canal, which brought ships and thus trade, The Anglo Saxons followed on and The Vikings just sailed up the rivers causing a bit of havoc on the way, then in later centuries the same rivers gave huge trade to the city from certainly all over Europe but much further afield too. Many languages being spoken around the ships anchored here in Bray Pool.  
Before we visited here I am not completely sure I could have been able to point to Lincoln on the map.

Vic pointed out to us Roman remains, and as we were only the five of us he took us in here, to a beauty parlour on the high street, well this was a first for Joe David and Geoff thats for sure.

See the stone table? Well its the base of a Roman Column 

So where Vic is pointing his umbrella is the column in the Beauty Parlour basement!!!

It is such an amazing thought that we still have these treasures almost available for all to see here in the city centre.
Look again at the illustration above and here below is a remaining a section of the wall of the complex.  Roman walls just sat there!!!!!

More treasure, look at these;

See the upstairs window how its changed over the centuries?

These are Medieval buildings built in stone, highly unusual.  Thriving Lincoln had businesses and merchants aplenty, however if one reads their bible, Old Testament, you will of course know that to trade here you had to be a Guild member, to be a Guild member you had to be a Christian, IF you were a Christian then it was against Gods holy law to lend money, now the Jews however were fine on that, they became society's moneylenders, as Vic pointed out, it was a gap in the market, so these houses were built in stone as the more usual timber framed houses weren't considered safe enough to be the early banks. 
Not very PC but called The Jew House, later David Lesley and I had a FAB lunch in the restaurant that it now is.

More usual medieval house, "Wobbly house", the last occupant had his bed in that top R corner propped up to make it level said Vic who knew him.

Wobbly House in the fore ground, Stone House in middle ground and Cathedral behind.

Now making this a little bit surreal was all these motor bikes, Vic informed us that it was the first Harley Davidson Gathering/Convention/Motorfest to be held in the UK for 22 years, so amongst all this ancient history and culture were this horrendously noisy bloody things full of people who simply looked like they needed a good wash,    (Ooooo sorry that was my mother talking)  however they caused little trouble aside aggravating me and they spent their good gold in the shops here.....

Roman City Gate, see the two arches one in and one out?   Impressive huh?

Use your imagination, here are the two thousand year old remains of the gatehouse.  Very impressive.

A hotch potch of medieval rooftops plus a few modern ones.
Altogether an enthralling day in Lincoln learning much, a good lunch, then the castle when Group Captain rejoined us after lunch after walking the dog to visit the castle.

Here are a few magical pictures from the afternoon.

Shame about the amplifier..... but there was jousting.

Morecombe & Wise struck again 

Action shot of jousting!

Group Captain photo bombing my cathedral shot

GREAT Selfie shot, Lesley scowling and she called me a unicorn.

For much better pictures go to HERE  or HERE  

Dinner was lunch at The Jew House, sword fish followed lamb and something.