The tailor of Louth

We are away on a break in our favourite county, Lincolnshire. We take off early one Friday morning with Master Mason and Ms Atherton in tow. Having mastered the car’s integral sat nav, we manage to navigate ourselves to the village of Stixwould by lunchtime.  Dumping our bags off, we raid the local town for food and drink and do a splendid round of the charity shops, of which there are many. We also take Ms Atherton to a couple of the local antique shops. When I say antique shop, you may be thinking of something spacious and ordered with beautiful objects artfully displayed. In the town of Horncastle, there are many antique shops but they are all crammed with stuff including vintage clothing. One of the things we can find aplenty is fur. Oodles and oodles of fur of all hues and types, hanging lifelessly. The are amazingly cheap to buy. £28 would buy you a full-length fur coat although I couldn’t tell you the animal it came from. They also have astrakhan coats which, I have to amit, I like until I realise the pelts come from baby lambs, sometimes lamb foetus. Not very nice. But there are all kinds of other exciting vintage clothing, shoes, bags and hats to peruse and try on.

During the course of the weekend, we visit the beach, DSC01794eat fish and chips, manage to cook on an Aga and immerse ourselves in antique shops. There is one particular shop in Horncastle which challenges even the most cluttered-minded of us. The shop itself is a jumble of antiques but on the first floor, there is a room dedicated to fabrics and it is just that – a huge fabric room with rails, shelves and heaps of fabric everywhere. It is a challenge to get into as it means stepping on fabric which seems just wrong. Outside in the yard, there are tables full of porcelain and china objects, just open to the elements. I have warned Master Mason that the shop will perhaps provoke a panic attack due to the disorganisation and, on entering the main part, he says initially he is a little disappointed and that it does not live up to his expectations. He is a little more convinced when he sees the fabric room but when he goes out into the yard at the back, he is truly impressed. He has to go and fetch Ms Atherton from her exploration of the fabric room to ensure she sees the full glory of the yard.


At some point late on Saturday afternoon we find ourselves in Louth and want to show them the tailor’s shop. We push the door open and find ourselves in a cramped shop with bolts of fabric on every side and suits hanging around the shop. The tailor is pleased to see us and seems particularly taken with Ms Atherton. The tailor is 76 and three-quarters and has few teeth but is full of life and glad to still be alive. He has no time for any airs and graces but, as a Yorkshireman, prides himself on plain speaking. He cracks jokes at Master Mason’s expense (“Do you like a good joke? When you get home, look in the mirror”), no doubt to worm his way into Ms Atherton’s affections. They discuss fabric, mills and her knowledge clearly impresses him as he gives her his number so they can discuss mills and fabric at some later stage. She says she will pass it on to her employer which may be a bit of a disappointment to the tailor.

During the week, Mr Mason finally manages to enjoy a Fat Rascal at the cafe which produces the local specialty. The name inspires some jollity when it is posted on Facebook.DSC01777

We see the game butcher in Louth and ask if he is going to make any 3-bird roasts for Christmas. He says he has thought about it but they have not made them before although his colleague is currently making one and they are planning to try it later on. We agree we will call and, if the experiment is successful, they will make us one. One the agreed date, I wake to find I have no voice at all so Mr Mason has to make the call. The butchers have enjoyed their dinner and will make us one so we agree to collect it on Friday before we head back to London.

The week is fabulous and we thoroughly enjoy it. Lincolnshire is a beautiful county but please don’t tell anyone. We want to keep it a secret.


The Lowestoft Bendys

A few weeks ago we went to Lowestoft for a weekend. It was really cold and the weather was a bit wild but our room overlooked the beautiful sandy beach and crashing sea so it didn’t really matter what the weather did. The staff at the hotel were lovely and gave us the sea view room simply because there was one available and they could.

We wandered about the town and went into shops at the same time simply because we could as we didn’t have Dog with us. Normally, one has to wait outside with Dog while the other goes rootling through charity shops or whatever. The rootling one then comes out to find a small crowd gathered around Dog cooing over him and trying to love him which he doesn’t always like. He is also an expert at putting his nose up women’s skirts and goosing them which MB says he taught him all himself. He’s not telling the truth, of course. Or at least, I don’t think so. If MB had the determination to teach such skills to Dog, he might also have taught him to do useful things and to be impeccably behaved, which he isn’t. Anyway, back to Lowestoft.

One of the fish and chip restaurants on the seafront looked appealing on the Saturday night. We thought we would eat early, just after 5pm. We went into the restaurant which wasn’t empty but the staff looked quizzically at us. ‘Can we have a table?’ I asked. ‘Sorry, we’ve stopped serving and we’re shut’. ‘It says on the door that you don’t shut until 6.30’. ‘That’s not right, we shut at 5’. Okaaaaay. Outside, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of their sign.Image

Fish and chip weddings. That’s the way to go!

I also found a sign which I thought was highly amusing. It concerns the Bendy family. Now, the Bendy family summons up all sorts of images in my mind – long dangly legs and arms made of foam and poseable in a variety of interesting ways. MB didn’t think it was amusing at all.


It still made me snigger.