|Hello again. Yeah, yeah, I know! It's been a while. For numerous reasons it has become more difficult to 'file copy' since I embarked on this second leg. It's more rural and internet access is rare.
I took the route out of London past the Olympic stadium, and headed through East Anglia, reaching Norfolk in three days, where I spent an evening of extremely civilised - and extremely cold - camping with my pal, ex-colleague and drinking partner Tarek, his family and an extended group of his friends.
Then it was South Creake, to meet with my folks and drinking partners for three nights before going on through the fens to Lincoln, via Kings Lynn, Wisbech and Boston. I love these three towns. The latter two were seemingly exempted from the Homogenisation of English Towns Act (1981) and feel like outposts, and while Kings Lynn does have a large, concrete, pedestrianised shopping area with all the usual stores, it also has plentiful historic buildings dating from its days as an important commercial player and member of the Hanseatic League. In Wisbech a bizarre coincidence occurred: I got a puncture in the same street (North Brink) and in the same circumstances (discovered flat tyre when attempting to leave) and weather (rain) as I had done on my previous visit in April last year. It was only the second flat since Ukraine so it's hardly as if they are happening all the time.
During the two days from KL to Lincoln I also suffered terrible weather (plus ca change?) getting completely drenched on both days. Despite this, the ride from Boston to Lincoln, 35 miles mostly alongside the River Witham, is one of the most pleasant cycle routes in England I have ridden. Along a smooth ex-railway path, one encounters sculptures every few miles as well as noticeboards showing contextual info about the history of the railway and waterway. With an interesting place at either end it would make a great one day ride for a weekend away. Lincoln's Cathedral Quarter is one of my favourite spots in the UK, and as well as a sortie round the perimeter of that magnificent edifice, I found time to visit The Morning Star and The Strugglers Inn.
Next day it was on to Hull (home of William Wilberforce, Mick Ronson, Philip Larkin and municipal table tennis) over the Lincolnshire Wolds and the Humber Bridge, the weather being kinder to me now. I booked a couple of nights in Hull, enabling me to meet up with pals, ex-colleagues and drinking partners Matt D and Matt B in Leeds on Saturday.
I then decided to stay an extra night in Hull as I'd visited a few times before but had never had a good look around the city centre.
A thankfully short-lived crisis then took me out of action for a couple of days, but I'm back now and ready to head on up the coast tomorrow. I wonder if there'll be a riot tonight. The talk in the city's ale pubs, of which I have become an habitué, is of little else. But as any fule kno, it's the talk on Twitter and Facebook that counts, and I have no clue of what that speaks.