we went to Lincoln …

arch at Lincoln Cathedral
Originally uploaded by ramtops

… via Grimsby (we didn’t stop), and Cleethorpes, where we breakfasted on tea, sausage, bacon, egg, fried bread, beans and hash brown for £4 each.

Cleethorpes bore that unmistakeable air of British east coast resorts out of season – I’m very familiar with it, having lived in Great Yarmouth for some years. I rather like these places out of season, and it has a lovely beach, with some rather disconsolate donkeys waiting to pimp their rides.

On the way to Grimsby we spotted a completely barking building, and stopped off to have a look; it was Thornton Abbey, closed until April, but will be well worth a look in the spring, I think. Those monks did themselves proud, there’s no doubt.

We found somewhere in Lincoln to park for £6 for more than four hours – I’m torn between saying "Six quid? That’s practically an armful", and "Six quid – that’s a bargain for city parking". Anyway, we paid it. For my own reference, it was in Westgate, close to both castle and cathedral.

We went and looked at the cathedral, but we didn’t pay and go round it – that’ll be for another day, as will the castle. The cathedral is *huge* – I had no idea – and utterly impressive. The city is very like Norwich (which is unsurprising when you think about it), and had a lovely feel to it. Although when people say Lincolnshire is flat, they’re clearly excluding Lincoln itself; some of those hills are lethal!.

tea and teacakeWe had tea and teacake in nice tea shoppe, walked along the dock area, all round the old part of town, before meeting up with Dave and Linda (WANOLJ) for an early chinese buffet at the Laughing Buddha, to celebrate his birthday.  Pete got a new hat, as his was very motheaten, and I bought a lovely bright red soft woolly scarf, both from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.  And we got some barley flour from a health food shop, and some salmon for the Tribe in the pound shop.

Home by 8.30, and a lovely day out – we shall be going *there* again, that’s for sure.

British Gas …

We paid the gas in Long Ashton by direct debit, and when I checked, the account was £140 in credit after the final reading.

“Oh good”, I thought – that’ll stand me in good stead for the next hideous bill after all that cold weather, especially as another £120 will have gone into their maw.

But when I looked again today, the credit was still sitting on the Long Ashton address, and there are no additional credits from a direct debit on this address at 90 ramtops road, and WTF no 94 ramtops road is doing on the account, $deity only knows.

I phoned them up, and a very nice man told me that they refunded the £140 back to the bank at the beginning of December, so I’ll have to check that (and if so, why does the bloody thing show a credit? – surely it should show a zero balance), and that they don’t automatically transfer standing orders from one address to another, even when the transfer went through the house moving team. So instead of being £250 or so in credit with the gas, I’m starting from zero again 🙁 I’ve set up the direct debit again, but how STUPID is that practice?


 Predictable in places, scenes lifted wholesale from loads of other films, especially LotR, dreadful background music and horrid, horrid closing song, ridiculous plot twists.

And extraordinary and wonderful and a work of utter genius.

Now we live half an hour’s walk from a cinema, we shall be going to the flicks more often – this is the first time we’ve been in *years*, and my word, it was worth the effort.

weekend 16/17 jan 2010

Visit from Daniel the Polish Builder on Saturday morning, to collect the extension reel and light he left when he was doing the loft ladder.  <lj user="perlmonger"> will quite miss these!  Pete rewired the extension, as it was distinctly non-safe.  Instructed Daniel, upon his request, on the basics of home winemaking.

Pete then decided to wire in the second under-cupboard light in the kitchen, meaning that I couldn’t do any of what I’d planned to do, so I spodded for a bit, before constructing bacon sammidges for lunch.

We then went to run some errands – first to Newlands Ave to the only (and not very good) health food shop we’ve found in Hull that isn’t Holland and Barrett, as we needed muesli.  Thus far we have failed to locate a scoop shop here, which is very annoying.  We popped into a gifty shop called Zebra for a look, and Pete was hailed by the woman who owns it, and who recognised him after about 13 years!, so a long chat ensued.  A wander up Newlands to the greengrocer, and some plums on special offer at 2 bags for £1, so I bought four bags to make some wine, then had to go over to the home brew shop in east Hull to get some grape concentrate.  And another fermenting bucket and some chemicals …  And then to Pets At Home, for cat litter, and a small scratching post for Ron, in the vain hope that he’ll now leave the wicker baskets alone, and some cat grass – see upcoming post on the cats’ blog for more on that.

Home then, where we chopped loads of veg to make a) soup, b) moussaka and c) a vat of chilli.  The moussaka was constructed and consumed for Saturday’s supper, and was delicious; we had lamb mince for a change (we usually use lentils for moussaka), and 1 lb of lamb made enough for two moussakas, so a tub has gone in the freezer.  We listened to the three CDs from the Phil Beer box set that arrived last week, then had a reply of the most recent Show of Hands album, then stuck the Neuros on random as usual – a TV free evening!

Sunday showed promise of decent weather at last, so we set off for Withernsea.  I found a free tide app for the iPhone, which is dead handy, and we had a tramp along the beach, and then a long walk along the promenade, before repairing to a local cafe for steak and ale pie ‘n’ chips (for me) and a big yorkshire pud with sossidge and onion gravy (for Pete).  Home then to make the last batch of chilli, a long and complex process, but well worth the trouble.  Supper was muffins with cloudberry jam, followed by the last of the christmas cake, while I caught up with some rubbish TV.

A very nice weekend, all told.

A visit to the Guildhall

We ventured forth last night to see Shami Chakrabati (director of Liberty) give the Wilberforce Lecture at the Guildhall.  Like most councils, the good burghers of Kingston-upon-Hull do not stint themselves; the walk through the Guildhall to the banqueting suite, where the lecture was given, was set about with statues, carved panels, paintings, etc, and involved marble floors and staircases and the like. The banqueting suite chairs, both armchairs and dining varieties, are all embossed with the City’s logo.  I remarked to @perlmonger that we should enquire as to whether this was on the candidates’ manifestoes – "logo’d chairs for councillors!".

When she arrived on the platform, she was accompanied by a chap who looked remarkably like the Home Secretary.  This turned out to be because he *was* the Home Secretary – Alan Johnson is a local MP, and had been rounded up to give Shami the Wilberforce Medal, in recognition of Liberty’s 75th anniversary.  Her speech was excellent, but the question and answer session that follows was far more interesting – now there’s somebody I’d like to have at the dinner table.  Mr Johnson looked quite discomfited from time to time, as well he might.

An excellent evening.

We walked down and back – a round trip of about 3.5 miles, I’d reckon – and despite our best efforts, we had failed to eat before we left at 6, so we stopped at a Chinese buffet place, which did all you can eat for £9.80.  Perfectly good Chinky fud, with the advantage that it is all cooked ready, so you can be in and out swiftly.  We shall use it again.

Today, I am getting my hair cut (hurrah!, except that i hate training new hairdressers), and have clients coming to visit this afternoon.  And then it’s the weekend.  Plans depend on the weather, but will hopefully involve some more East Riding Exploring on Sundya.


Muscle memory is an odd thing. The bannister rail in our former house was on the left as you went up the stairs; in this house it’s on the right. I’ve lived here nearly seven weeks, and I still am not used to it.

Similarly, we had to replace the microwave before xmas, and the start button is on the left, and the cancel on the right. Not only is this the other way round to our former one, but it seems just *wrong* in an user interface sort of way to me.

Missing in action from the move:

  • The blue handled coarse microplane grater. We hunted high and low for this, cursing bitterly, as these are not cheap. I knew we must have brought it because the utensil drawer in which it resided had its tray removed bag and baggage, and placed in a box. It was about four weeks before we realised that the blue handled grater had broken, and had been replaced by one with a metal handle. Badger.
  • Spare keyboards – located yesterday on the study shelves, which is of course exactly where they should be.
  • Stainless steel thermos flask.  We have the tin cups that normally travel with it, but this remains unlocated.
  • The shovel. We kept the small garden tools, and sold/gave away the bigger ones, but we decided that we would keep the shovel for inclement weather use, and possible bed digging.  I’m almost certain it actually came up in the very first wave, and was put into self storage, but we cannot find it now.
  • The spare battery charger for the camera(s) is nowhere to be found

Disappointed to find that the Asian grocers are not very good when it comes to fruit/veg.  They don’t price anything, and the quality is not all that good.  However, I think Walton Street market (Wednesday and Sunday) will do us fine in future, at least when (if?) the weather improves and the stallholders turn up.  It’s about 15 minutes walk, and I have my trusty trolly.

My Nikon D70 is playing up something chronic, and almost certain needs a new CF read/write assembly.  I’ve been quoted £92 for this, plus carriage, by a repair man, but he doesn’t promise he can do it, and it might have to go back to Nikon, at no doubt aaargh pricing.  So far, I’m keeping it going with the application of contact cleaner, but its days are numbered, I fear.  Bodies are still spendy on eBay too 🙁

a trip to the coast

We’ve been promising ourselves a trip to Hornsea and Bridlington since we got here, The weather forecast was decidedly ungood, so we loaded the car with blankets, cat litter (in case of getting stuck in snow/ice) and a flask of tea.

While we were scraping the ice off the windscreen, we broke the wiper blade, so the first stop was at a motor factor to buy a new one. £11 from Halfords, £4.50 from this chap – hurray for independent retailers! Then I forgot my camera, so we popped back to pick it up.

We went first to Hornsea, but it was very cold, and we didn’t stay long. Then we drove up to Flamborough lighthouse and had a roam along the cliff. There look to be some lovely walks there when the weather is less inclement. The weather was very snowy on the way, and we did wonder whether to come home, but we persisted, and thankfully there was no more,

Next up was Bridlington, which was looking gorgeous – a sunny day and pristine snow., My DSLR was playing up, so had to use the iPhone – pictures up tomorrow. Walk along the front, walk around the harbour, fish ‘n’ chips for lunch.

We could see huge snow clouds over Flamborough Head, and thought they might catch us up – oh, for a working camera with a decent lens! Drove home in a gorgeous sunset as pictured. Lovely day out.

Supper was scrambled egg on toast, and am about to have some of the remaining christmas pud – oink. Back to sensible eating tomorrow.

festering break [ctd]

Spurn Head
Originally uploaded by ramtops

On Sunday, we had a planned visitation from gmul, and a totally unexpected one from purple_peril – they arrived seperately, but in the full knowledge of each others’ destination, so that was OK, but it gave me a bit of a turn! We fed them cold goose and red cabbage and new potatoes, and they fed us with ridiculously rich chocolates, which I bitterly regretted the next day! We sallied forth to breakfast at Brimbles at the top of the road, then waved them on their various ways.

After they’d left, we ventured forth to the city, where we obtained a huge folding jigsaw case from Argos, and a fiendishly difficult (it transpires) 1000 piece jigsaw from W H Smith, which has many, many cats. One of the joys of having a permanent dining table again is being able to have a jigsaw on the go, but we needed a case because cats and jigsaws really don’t go …

Yesterday morning we set out for Spurn Point, somewhere I’ve wanted to go ever since we got here; sadly, permutations of busyness, a wounded foot, and the weather conspired against us until now. The morning was grey, but no matter – we kitted ourselves out with several layers of clothes, and proper hiking boots, and off we went. What a wonderful place – we battled down the beach on the North Sea side for an hour or so, then walked back along the road. The wind was ferocious, but it was exhilarating nonetheless, and I look forward to revisiting it in more clement weather. I got a bit feeble towards the end, and sent Pete off to get the car – I hadn’t done much walking for ages, and the combination of poorly foot and a skeleton unhappy with the winter did for me, but I turned out to be not far from the car, so I’m pleased with how I managed.

We came home and ate chickpeas, spinach and rice – have had far too much rich fud over the past week, and it’ll all start again tomorrow as we have guests for New Year. Watched the first part of Triffids, which seems to be Survivors all over again, with special effects from the Dr Who team.

Off to Beverley today for a look round, and then to Waitrose in Willerby.

Boxing Day

view from Hull Bridge
Originally uploaded by ramtops

We stayed up remarkably late (for us) on Xmas Day, as we started watching Bleak House on DVD, and then couldn’t stop until we’d finished all three DVDs.

So we wanted a lazy day, but decided to go and see some more of the East Riding first. I made some soda bread with six seed wholemeal and some cream that was turning, ready to bake when we got home, then we set off for a drive.

The snow was almost gone at home, but it was icy out in the flatlands. Pete took me to Hull Bridge first, and then we saw a sign for Tophill Low nature reserve and decided to follow it; the road got ever icier but we persevered, and it will be a lovely place to visit when we are better shod and wrapped. We skirted round Beverley, and Driffield, then headed home to bake the bread – I don’t normally bother to leave soda bread to rise, but this one was spectacular, so I think I shall do that in future.

We ate it with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, followed by some plum pud – we never eat that on 25th, as we’re always too full! The rest of the day was slumping in front of the television – Doctor Who, Victoria Wood, and some other stuff. Cold cuts for tea.

Today we are expecting gmul in the early evening, which will be most excellent. I am about to have a mug of tea and a slice of crimble cake, and shall be watching Wallander this afternoon, although a careless throwaway post on LJ has thoroughly spoilered it …