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We picked the right day.

Yesterday was my second trip to Lincoln with Ven - we went on my birthday last year. Ven wanted to visit the city archives to look up information on a the death of someone buried at Sheffield's General Cemetery, where she's a volunteer. the plan was to visit the archives first, which are a few minutes walk from the railway station, then take a bus up the hill to the cathedtral and wander down again, looking at the sights and the shop.

First hitch was that I narrowly missed the train we intended to catch. As Ven had booked a session on the microfiche for a set time, she didn't want to lose that so had taken the train. I tried to call her a couple of times, to no avail. I decided to take the next train, due in an hour, and sat down to read the Metro. After finishing the paper, I thought I'd try texting, and realized I'd been dialling the first contact number for Ven in my phone, which is her house number. No wonder she hadn't answered. I tried again with her mobile, and success. I got the later train, and we eventually met in the central library, after a flurry of calls involving directions, change of location and more directions.

Happily, once at the library, Ven found lots of useful information for the piece she wanted to write. The bad news was that making copies was far more expensive than in Sheffield library, and I had to loan her the £5 which was all I had on me. Work done, we caught a bus up the hill and ate outside the cathedral. We pottered down through Lincoln, which is a very pretty town with some good shops. We were out of cash - down to our last pennies - and it seems that all the banks were at the bottom of the hill, so we skipped some charity shops and an old-fashioned sweet shop and some other tempting places. We did some satisfying window-shopping though.

Once down the hill, and now increasingly tired, we got cash and visited a local baker's for some sustenance. We sat by the waterfront  and watched a large flotilla of swans gliding about. The swans got a lot closer when a couple of people showed up with carrier bags of bread rolls - presumably those left at the end of the day, and starting feeding them to the swans and a couple of ducks that braved being mobbed in order to steal some bread.

Home again on another ancient, rattling two-carriage train that trundled gently through some pretty countryside.On arriving at Worksop, as announced by the driver and noticeboards on the platform, we were startled to hear a recorded anouncement informin us that this was in fact Liverpool Lime Street, and the train was terminating here: thank you for travelling with Mersey Rail. A couple of minutes later we were gently on our way again.
    I suggested to Ven that for all the speed we were making, they might just as well use a steam train, and get in some added tourist train. We came to a complete halt not far outside Woodhouse, where the driver let himself out of the train and vanished for three or four minutes before returning. The suspicion is that he was going for a pee beside the track.

On arriving back in Sheffield around 8, I took a 94 home, intending to get off at the university and buy Chinese food at the Happy House. Instead of turning from Glossop Road into Upper Hanover Way, the bus went straight on. When we saw a 51 coming the other way, I remembered that Brook Hill Roundabout University Square is closed in the evenings this week for repairs/upgrading. I asked the driver what the diverted route was, and found it was through Broomhill, along Crookesmoor Road and up Barber Road into Walkley. My plan then was to carry on up to Walkely, get Chinese there (passing the takeaway on Commonside which is closed Tuesdays) then get a bus back the same way, getting off the stop on Crookesmoor road which is conveniently close to my house. As we were about to turn into Barber Road, I asked if the return buses came back the same way. The answer, twice, was mumble mumble. It was clear that they didn't use Crookesmoor Road, which made the plan so appealing, but I had no idea where they did go. So, not wanting to be carried too far from home, as I had no idea if I could get a bus going back, and I was tired and aching, I got off on Commonside.
     From there, still wanting Chinese, I slogged along School road to the New Hing Wah, and met ceehoss  just outside. She was on her way back from a long walk and looked fit, trim, and glowing with health, none of which applied to me. We chatted, then I went and got prawn foo yung with boiled rice, and finally staggered home.

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