Tuesday 27 November 2012

Melt your cold cold heart

My young man has recently been on a college trip to Iceland - visiting volcanoes, glaciers, swimming in thermal pools and generally have a fabulous time, all in the name of education.  I have to say that Iceland had never been on my "must visit" list, but his photos and stories have made me and the old fella keen to go.  Whilst he was there, he saw this and thought of me.  If you double click it, you can see all the trapped bubbles.  

I thought it was a very seasonal heart to share with you my lovelies.

Friday 23 November 2012

Christmas Lights

On Sunday, we decided to pop into Sheffield to do a spot of present buying with atmosphere - as it was the day that the Christmas lights were getting switched on, and they always do it wit a bit of razzmatazz!

 We got off the tram outside of the Cathedral, and had a little wander around as it was such a gorgeous morning.
 The atmosphere was lovely - very noisy with fun fairs and children barely containing their excitement.  I find times like this weird now my kids are no longer small, I miss it.

 The city has had to work hard at getting folk back in to its centre since it built an out of town shopping mall, and then decimated the shops in the centre, but when it puts on events like this, people pour in.

 We couldn't stay for the switch on, but we ventured back later in the week.  I always have to wander around the festive windows in good old Cole Brothers (John Lewis to the rest of the world).

 The tree is spectacular in height, but I'm not keen on the lights.
 And we have cleverly recycled some of Blackpool illuminations!
 There is a fabulous Pirate Tableaux in the Peace Gardens.
 And good old Santa himself.
I don't allow myself to get too giddy until 1st December, but it's certainly on its way!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

The last bit of Lincoln

In answer to questions, yes I think we did spot the imp - is this it?

 After our tour of the Cathedral, we ventured down "Steep Hill" - and yes, it is aptly named.
 I love the old corner shop at the bottom - it looks very "wartime" to me.
 The bottom bit of Lincoln is the new bit and has a very different feel to the top of the hill.  It is more modern and has more "chain" shops and restaurants, but it also has a couple of lovely little markets too.  We walked along the waterside at the newly restored Brayford Pool .  The sun was out by this stage and it got fairly warm.
 Where the canal goes under the main shopping street, it reminds me of some of the towns we visited in Normandy France.

 Once back at the top of the town, we headed back to our car.
 I love Lincoln.  It's near enough to us to pop for the day, but we really enjoyed the night out too - something we plan on doing more of now that we find ourselves back to being "a couple" more and more.

 And off we drove - back home into the sunset.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Lincoln Cathedral

So after a leisurely start, and breakfast in the Old Palace.....

We wandered through a little hole in the wall (which made me feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland!) to have a look around Lincoln Cathedral.
It is undergoing a lot of walk at the moment.  I am in awe of stonemasons and crafts people who can recreate these ancient artifacts.
Like all Cathedrals, Lincoln is jaw dropping in its splendour.  The young choir boys where practising Christmas Carols which made my lip quiver on more than one occasion whilst walking around.

One of our favourite parts was the chapel that was dedicated to the Army, Navy and Airforce.
It was quite striking and very moving.

These are the newest of the stained windows and I love them.  They are telling the story of the building of the Cathedral.
I absolutely love Cloisters in any Cathedral.  I can recommend the coffee and warm mince pies in the cloister cafe.

I think the old part of Lincoln at the top of the hill is the best bit.  We did venture down the hill later on, so I'll show you those photos later.

Saturday 17 November 2012

When is a hotel not a hotel?

When it is the Bishops Palace.  As the end of the week was nearing, I decided that hubby could do with a change of scenery.  He has been lolling about on the bed, or the sofa for 3 weeks now, and he still doesn't have much strength to do much else, but I thought a different bed might perk him up a bit! And so I found what looked to be an ideal place for a Friday night away - in nearby Lincoln.  
I finished work and we hot footed it down the A1 and A57 and in just less than an hour we arrived at our destination.  I was a little alarmed when the receptionist said that we were not in the main building, but had a room in the" new" bit.  I envisaged some modern block around the corner, but.....

 .. turns out that they had converted a church in the grounds to bedrooms about 2 months ago.  Wow!!
 As we walked to our room, I couldn't help notice our next door neighbour.  Lincoln Cathedral.  Very impressive.
 Our room was sumptuous and just right for a load of lolling about!  The little round window opened to reveal...
 .... a fabulous view over the city.
 We ventured out around the corner to eat.

We ate in the White Hart.  And whilst our food was very tasty and exceptionally high quality, we both thought that the portions were a bit small.

 If you watched the episode of Downton Abbey where Bates was released from prison, you might recognise the next 2 photos, as this is where they filmed it.  They used the castle in Lincoln as the prison.
 And here is the view of the market square from the castle - you can just see the Cathedral disappearing into the mist.
 We didn't stay out after our meal, we went straight back to our room - which was in the old church of St Michael on the Mount.  We did have to walk through the old graveyard to get to it - and it was getting very eerie!
 I thought I would show you what it looked like the next morning. It is a pretty awesome place to stay and I would highly recommend it.
 The hotel is lovely - it is a bit tricky to find as it doesn't even have a sign on it.  It has wonderful gardens and views right over the city as it sits at the top of "Steep Hill" (bit of a clue there!!).
I'll show you more of Lincoln later.