ASDA and bought sunscreen (SPF 50+) for me, no good hats though, but when we got into town I bought myself a snazzy-looking straw hat at the Marks & Spencers—not exactly my size, but when you are a hat size 64, you take what you get. Honeybuns suggested I needed a linen suit as well, but I wasn't up to that much clothes shopping at the moment. Instead we went down to the Brayford Pool to catch the Brayford Belle, a tour boat up the Fossdyke Canal, an (reputedly) originally Roman-dug canal connecting River Witham with River Trent. It was a quite pleasant trip at a very sedate pace (max speed 3 mph in the canal), with occasional comments from a (presumably) recorded tour guide, with the usual humorous quips on the sites we passed—in particular he seemed to be quite unimpressed with the students at the University of Lincoln, who were repeatedly ragged.
When we returned to town, we had a pleasant lunch at the Riverside Cafe and then ascended the hill to have a look at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, though all too short as they closed fairly early. I still had time to be impressed by all the tractors and farming engines on display. More visits will be necessary.
From there we proceded to the cathedral, where we sat and waited for Sunday Mass to finish and then walked about. We were handed a leaflet on how to make a pilgrimage inside the cathedral, with suitable prayers to say at various points. I thought to myself that if a pilgrimage was a journey of spiritual discovery, they couldn't bloody well know beforehand what prayers would be appropriate for my spirit at that point. There was plenty of reflection to be made at the shrines for the armed forces anyway.
Along one wall of there was a temporary exhibition of wooden sculptures on the Life of Christ, which generally failed to impress me. The artist did not seem to like “representatives of the state”, though. There was restoration work under way at various points in the church, here too with some annoyance expressed at meddlesome Victorian restorers, who'd messed up some items. Then again, I suspect the eroded stone sculptures were not merely due to Victorian sulphur emissions.
I like churches, especially when they are mostly empty, they are good places to sit and relax, or cool down on hot days, and mostly there's always something interesting to watch. So we remained until the church closed, and then walked down the hill to where we found an Italian restaurant by the river and had some very nice salads.
After dinner we continued down the river along what seemed to be the old industrial area of Lincoln. Now there seemed to be some work at turning the old factories into housing. We tried to figure out how the local economy worked. In the city centre there were a number of closed-down shops. Out in North Hykeham there was any number of new housing developments that clearly still had not sold out all houses, but which must have been good-quality farmland just a few years ago. The house prices did not seem very high, especially considering the generally high housing prices in Britain. I wonder if the financial crisis hit recently, just when all these projects had started and the shops had been hit worst and first.