Tired of waiting for a bus that didn’t come, I walked into Lincoln city centre the other morning. It was a nice 40 minute stroll that brought back lots of memories.
That is the closest part of the River Witham to my childhood home; where I’d go to get frog spawn and watch it grow into tadpoles and then tiny frogs. Quite a magical process, really; something that makes me look forward to possibly having children so I can go through it again.
Just across the road from that bit of river is this path. Walking down this path as an adult feels totally different from when I was a child. That area of grass between the path and the road felt massive. That massive childhood version of the grassy area still pops up in many a dream.
And I’d walk down that path with my mum and sister to get here, our local library. Quite a grim looking place, really.
This corner shop is directly opposite the library. Nothing special about it, really, but it has – for as long as I’ve been alive – always been a corner shop. Not sure who runs it now, but I only remember this place cos my mum always used to tell us that her old boyfriend used to run the shop. Funny how in the olden days an ex-boyfriend might be one of very few pre-marriage relationships, which is probably why she was always a little giddy about it.
A relatively fancy-looking front to this Walkers factory. If I’d have taken a better picture, though, and you could see behind it, you’d see it’s just a big old metal shed with a vaguely nice front building. When I was growing up, this was a Smith’s Crisps factory. I can’t begin to describe the thrill that the idea of being along in that factory gave me when I was a child. Alone with mountains of Chipsticks and Salt ‘n’ Shakes, gorging myself, hands covered in what would be salty, potato crumb-y gloves. And when we went on our summer holidays to South Wales, Somerset, Devon, or Cornwall, I’d feel a pang of pride that the crisps I was eating in our tent might have been made in Lincoln.
The seven-year-old Craig wanted to live in this house because those coloured glass bricks were the coolest thing ever ever ever in the whole wide world.
Something I’ve noticed in the last few days is that a lot of the public toilets in the city are now closed. Anyone who’s been in a British public toilet, though, might well understand why this is no big loss.
Why are there park benches here? Why would anyone want to have a nice sit down in front of a roundabout?
After seven years in Berlin, and seven years of extolling the virtues of the British dog owner who, as I rosily remembered, would always scoop the poop; the past few days have made me re-evaluate that a little. Lincoln’s full of the stuff.
This is the part of town that locals call Little Venice.
(Not really. That was a jo-ho-hoke.)
And, despite having some fondness for my hometown; this is probably the best bit of Lincoln for me: the way out.