Baby Drivers

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Once the Red Rose camp was over, we headed down to Lincolnshire to visit my Mum and Dad for a couple of days. On our first day there, TBH, A and my Mum went into Lincoln to watch the second Mamma Mia film, Mamma Mia Money, Money, Money*. The DBs and I weren’t so keen. I think it was my Dad who suggested that we go karting, partly because the boys had enjoyed it so much when they tried it in the spring, and partly because I missed out on that occasion and the DBs were eager to show me how much faster than me they could drive.

There were quite a few karting tracks to choose from, but once we’d surveyed the options, we all favoured ELK Motorsport near Newark. It was the 1.2km course which enticed us…

I’ve filched this overhead shot from their website. I hope they won’t mind: I only have nice things to say about the experience. It was terrific, especially since the boys weren’t faster than me after all, although it was a close run thing. Places were allocated on the basis of a fastest lap; mine was just under a minute, which, with a bit of simple arithmetic, translates into an average speed of about 45mph. Not bad, I thought, what with all those tight hairpins, but then I noticed that times posted earlier in the day went as low as 47 seconds for a lap. More practice required, obviously.

The weather was very changeable and the squally showers made for exciting racing conditions. It’s surprisingly easy to spin a kart, I found, as you brake into, or accelerate out of, a corner.

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The rest of the photos, taken on my phone, originate from a walk I took after our karting trip. I’d had it all planned out: Dad would drop me off on our way home and I would walk back to their house. In the end, I can’t remember why, I elected not to do that, but to walk after we got back instead. It’s likely that the weather was a factor.

So, I walked from Welton, to Dunholme – the two villages have merged – and hence to the Ashing Lane Nature Reserve. Despite the photos, I actually had glorious sunshine, but I could see this ominous block of very dark cloud which was clearly heading my way and equally clearly dumping a lot of rain not too far from where I was walking.

To my relief, the cloud eventually brought rainbows rather than rain…

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Aside from a few odd drops, I had a lucky escape.

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Lincolnshire is famously flat, and whilst that isn’t the whole story, there are large parts of the maps of the county which aren’t overburdened with contours.

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Which makes for fantastic views when the skies are dramatic…

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This…

Seems apposite, plus it’s a cracking tune.

*Or was it ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’?

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Baby Drivers

Lincoln Castle, Steep Hill, High Bridge and Brayford Pool

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I’m sure that, at least briefly, I was almost up to date for a moment; now I seem to be woefully far behind. Queue a hasty sequence of mainly photo based posts.  So anyway, the last day of our post-Easter trip to Lincoln was spent in Lincoln itself.

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The castle has recently re-opened after a refurbishment.

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It was a lovely sunny day and actually warm, which seems hard to believe now in snowy June. The castle was very busy. Apparently it has been hugely popular since it reopened.

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And why not? The walls are not especially tall, but the views from them are magnificent.

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Lincoln has very few tall buildings, so the Cathedral tends to dominate the view. The only competition comes from this water tower…

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…built in the early part of the twentieth century in response to an outbreak of cholera. And then there is a windmill, which we have yet to visit.

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Maybe next time.

Within the castle walls there is a working court (the far building), and a former, Victorian prison (on the left here).

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More of which has been opened to the public than previously.

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We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the grounds of the castle and then had a stroll down Steep Hill (I think, officially, Castle Hill).

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My Dad, who has thoroughly researched both his own family tree and my Mum’s, tells me that some of my ancestors lived in this house on the left….

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Down in the town, we had some book tokens to spend, well the kids did anyway, and some sight seeing to do.

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This is Stoke’s Coffee shop, which sits on….

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…High Bridge. The shops are relatively recent, only built in 1550, whereas the bridge is around 400 years older.

A flotilla of swans came flooding from Brayford Pool onto the River Witham…

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I think that some of them had been paid to pose for the tourists.

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Brayford Pool.

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After a preposterously huge Chinese buffet, we headed back up the hill to the environs of the Cathedral.

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Lincoln Castle, Steep Hill, High Bridge and Brayford Pool

Donna Nook

 

Whilst visiting my parents in Lincolnshire, we took a trip out to the coast, to a reserve (and bizarrely bombing range) where Grey Seals pup and then mate. This photo (heavily cropped) shows the only pup born so far this year (on the right). Last year around 1200 were born there. In around a month there will be thousands of seals on the beach at Donna Nook, but it’s early in the season – I counted 37 at present. The females come onto the beach to give birth and then to feed the pups until they are ready to take to the water. The males come to mate with the females once they have given birth – they take no part in raising the pup. The really striking thing about the seals was how big they are – and how quickly they could move about the beach. I’m guessing that the seal in the middle here is a male and the one on the left is the pups mother, but I could be wrong.

If you are in the Cleethorpes area in the near future I would recommend a visit, but – the car park is very small, the roads are very minor single track lanes and the reserve is quite a draw – if you can go midweek I suspect your visit will be a lot less stressful.

Donna Nook