Category Archives: Lincolnshire

Some Photos

Here, courtesy of Julia, are the seal photos that should have been in the last post. She downloaded them onto a flash drive, then added her Pied Wagtail photo. Of course, as soon as I returned from running No2 Son to work I tested the camera again and it worked. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

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Seal at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

 

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Seals at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

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Pied Wagtail at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

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Seals at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

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Seal at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire

 

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Redshank at Donna Nook, Lincs

 

 

Promising Much, Delivering Little…

I had so much planned, but it is not to be.

A year ago I delivered a pale shadow of what I promised, when I forgot to take my card and could only take 30 photos.

This year, pockets bulging with cards and batteries, I took several hundred photographs. There are some really good ones there, but unfortunately you’ll have to take my word for it because my camera won’t communicate with the computer and the card reader on the computer is, to say the least, erratic.

For now you will have to look at the ones from last year.

We had a good day out, despite threatened storms, rain, fog, an idiot in a high-vis jacket and a hacking cough.

We also had fish and chips.

As days go, it was pretty good, and it isn’t over yet.

 

Reeling in the Years

I’ve just been looking at the early months of 2017 on the blog. I seem to have had a much more interesting life in those days, though I did have more spare time, which probably helped. Annoyingly, I also seem to have been a better writer and proof reader.

That gave me the idea for the title, and sent me off to You Tube for an hour or two of nostalgia interspersed with cooking, picking Julia up and checking eBay.

That’s the trouble with the internet – always so much distraction.

I have put the leftover curry in the fridge (for my lunch tomorrow), made the tomato and vegetable sauce for the pasta bake and am currently roasting chicken and vegetables. I keep meaning to take photos but I always forget.

We were planning on seeing the seals at Donna Nook this week, but the weather forecast for Wednesday is looking bad – high winds and rain. We may leave it another week. I actually wrote a second post about the seals last year.

Loking at last November I’m struck by how little we are now doing, and, at the same time, how much remains the same.

I also need to know how to search my own site, instead of searching entire months for infornation. Does anyone know?

 

 

 

Chips at the Dolphin

I’ve been going to the Dolphin fish and chip restaurant for around 30 years. When I sold chickens to farmers in Lincolnshire I would make a detour two or three times a year to walk round Sutton and then have lunch at the Dolphin.

We have been most years, either with the kids or just as a couple. It was always OK rather than outstanding, but has always been a pleasant place to eat. Over the years various owners have made improvements, though this has been accompanied by the occasional lapse, and in the last few years, they seem to have been selling off household goods to raise cash. It did start to look a bit like a jumble sale, but when we visited on Wednesday it was a lot tidier.

It has also grown an assortment of notices prohibiting various sorts of behaviour. I can’t give examples as I didn’t really read them. I prefer my food without too many petty rules.

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

The Haddock Special was £9.95, not £8.95 as stated in various reviews, and tea is not included in that. The chip portion was sufficient, though not generous, and the peas were also served in a smaller pot than we remember. That wasn’t the worst thing though, they were a bit tasteless too. All in all, not the best “special” we’ve had.

You can’t order at the table now either. It’s not a big thing, but it is a sign of the erosion of standards of service.

Finally, on that subject, when someone asked for tapwater they were told it was 50p a glass. Now, the law states that only places selling alcohol have to provide tapwater free of charge, and they are, it seems, allowed to charge for service and use of the glass. As the Dolphin doesn’t serve alcohol they don’t need to offer free tapwater, but on the other hand, it’s another nail in the coffin of customer service.

However, if you have a dog with you, you are welcome to bring the germ-ridden fleabag into the eating area, where I have no doubt it will be provided with free water, and if that’s not enough you can even buy frozen lactose-free yoghurt for your dog.

Frozen yoghurt for dogs - what next?

Frozen yoghurt for dogs – what next?

The staff were quick, efficient and reasonably cheerful, though they were arguably too efficient in clearing tables. I finished before Julia, as I come from a family of predatory snackers and speed is the best defence against food theft. The way they whipped my plate from the table was undeniably efficient, but felt like they were trying to get rid of me as soon as possible.

So that’s the report – declining portion size and a couple of queries over peas and service. It’s clean and efficient, and the food is generally good, but not so good we can’t find somewhere else equally as good. We will probably do that next time.

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Wall tiles – Sutton on Sea

Sutton on Sea – a Pierless Place by the Sea

We went to Sutton on Sea on Wednesday. It doesn’t have a pier, and never has had one, but it’s an excellent place to relax and eat ice cream and fish and chips. Well, that’s what I did, and it worked for me.

We walked along the seafront, had an ice cream, rejected the selection of sunhats on display and looked at the beach chalets.

The sun hats were either pink, pink with decorations or definitely made for women. As if pink ones aren’t for women. I’m trying to be a New Man but there are lines I will not cross. Pink baseball caps with a Playboy logo is well over that line.

The chalets are looking tired, and not a patch on the ones at Southwold. On the other hand, you can buy one for £12,995, though as there’s talk of ground rest it may not be freehold. The estate agents don’t seem to be doing much of a job of selling it. The green grass on the photos compared to the arid wasteland on my photos shows the passage of time. If you can’t sell a beach chalet in summer it must pose a question about your sales skills.

At least one patch of beach looked busy, but that was partly due to everyone being herded in between two flags. To be honest, I think we’re going over the top these days. In the old days we were just told not to swim when the red flags up and drowning was considered a matter of personal choice. Now we have lifeguards and all manner of bureaucracy. No wonder this country is going to the dogs with all this namby-pamby safety stuff.

The town is quite old-fashioned, free parking is available and there are plenty of non-chain shops, including sweets, baked goods and hardware.

This is a picture of the Lifeguard again, this time frightening pedestrians on a cycle.

Life Guard at Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire

Life Guard at Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire

Please excuse the 1970’s style postcard colour in the photos, I set it on “Pop Art” to brighten things up a bit and forgot to take it off. It was quite a bright day but my standard setting was making it look grey.

This is where the scooter gang meets

This is where the scooter gang meets

There are a lot of retired people in Sutton, and consequently, a lot of scooters cluttering the place up. If speed kills, some of the residents of Sutton are going to live a long, long time.

And finally, a look at the war memorial. It’s 100 years since the foundation of the RAF and Lincolnshire, having been heavily involved in military aviation from before the founding of the RAF, is making a big effort to commemorate it. For some reason the contributions of the Royal Flying Corps, and Royal Naval Air Service mean nothing, but the founding of an amalgamated air service on 1st April 1918 (who thought of that date?) and a uniform reputedly designed by a chorus girl using leftover material from a cancelled Russian order.

 

Next – a fish and chip review.

Reflections, Shopping and Scent

We went to the doctor his morning as Julia has now been caught up in the excitement of the endless round of blood tests and unwanted health advice. She had two appointments so I waited in the car park and did some paperwork.

After that we had breakfast and headed off for Springfields. I first went there when I was a small child, feeling like I was being punished by being made to walk round ornamental gardens full of tulips. On a really bad day we had to stand and watch an entire tulip festival. It was like a visit to the garden but the tulips drove past, so you didn’t even get the excitement of walking.

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The Fragrance Shop, Springfields

There are clearly big savings to be had if you like scent. However, as I am explaining to Julia, reflected in the window, it still looks expensive to me. Aftershave, as you may gather from looking at my reflection, does not play a big part in my life.

The gardens were looking good in the sun, though the autumn colour has been disappointing this year. I’m sure we will be back in Spring and will take more pictures, which will give a better idea of the gardens and sculptures.

Things don’t change much, even after the passage of fifty years. There’s a large shopping complex and garden centre built on half the gardens now, but as I walk round the shops with Julia I still get the feeling of being punished. Only the presence of a bookshop lightens my load.

And cake. Even the worst pre-Christmas shopping trip can be brightened by the presence of a good slab of clementine drizzle cake.

 

Donna Nook – Seals (2)

As I hinted in the last post, there’s a bit of a disaster looming, though, to be fair, it sort of worked out alright.

We arrived at the car park after a trek across Lindsey (one of the ancient divisions of Lincolnshire) and found it was full. Worse than that, there were a couple of people lurking round waiting for spaces so it was a slow job getting round and finding the overspill car park. This one costs £2 but they have portable toilets, and after journey of one and a half hours this was quite a welcome feature.

From the car park it only took a couple of minutes to walk over the sea defences and down to the beach. That was when disaster struck. I raised the camera to take a picture of the Donna Nook sign and…

…do you remember that I said in the last post that part of my plan for the morning had been to take my camera card out of the card reader and fit it in the camera?

Have you ever had that “Memory Full” message? I have. It’s a dreadful thing to see when you’re miles from home and you’re planning on a big photo session.

I suppose it’s already obvious that I managed to get round this, but for a moment I have to admit I was somewhat downcast. The solution was really quite simple – clear the camera’s limited memory (around 30 pictures) and use it to store a limited number of pictures.

Here are the results.

 

There will be more seals in a few weeks, as this is just the start of the season. The best season on record resulted in over a thousand pups, so I deduce there could be ten times as many seals by the end of the month. That’s a lot of seals.

There was also a warning notice, as Donna Nook is still an active RAF bombing range. I have heard them bombing sometimes when travelling in the area, though they don’t bomb when the seals are ashore.

There was plenty to see other than seals – including Pied Wagtails,Skylarks, Starlings, Shelducks, Redshanks, Crows and Great Black-backed Gulls. There was plenty of sea buckthorn too.