My cousin Doreen just spent four days with us in Lincoln. She lives with her husband Malcolm in Brighton. Doreen just celebrated her 70th birthday, but we were in Scotland and had to miss her birthday party, so she decided to come to visit us.
We strolled along the streets in the Bailgate, window shopping at the unique little boutique shops, admiring the quaint cafes dotted throughout the historic area, with their friendly servers offering a nice variety of meals, some even for vegetarians!
We went to one of my favorite cafes, One Castle Hill Patisserie, located at the top of Steep Hill in Castle Square.
We sat and relaxed at silver bistro tables and chairs facing the Visitor’s Information Centre – a half timbered Tudor building – with the Lincoln Cathedral to our right and Lincoln Castle to our left – we were surrounded by history.
My friend Valerie met us for lunch at the Sanctuary Café, new to the Bailgate. On the way we passed Janak Chauhan, an artist originally from India who does designs on the pavement using sand that he sifts through his hands. Val had mentioned that it was her birthday and he made a special design for her.
Doreen and I continued on to the Lincoln Cathedral to meet my friend Dorothy as we visited the Wren Library in the cathedral, where Dorothy and I each volunteer as stewards of the library.
The weather was almost perfect for Doreen’s entire visit, although a bit of a sprinkle caught us by surprise without brollies. It was not a problem for the ever-resourceful Doreen.
When Doreen was planning her trip to visit us, she asked us if we would take her to Sheffield to visit the Jewish Cemetery where most of my mum’s and Doreen’s relatives that are no longer with us are buried. It is a Jewish custom to visit the cemetery before the Jewish Holidays and we are just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), so the timing was just right for all of us.
It was very meaningful to share this experience with each other. Steve & I visit this cemetery a few times a year and know where all of our relatives are, so we were able to take Doreen to each and every one of them, in a row by row order, making sure not to miss anyone. We shared a little thought or memory about each of them and then I placed a stone on each gravestone to show that we had visited them (another Jewish custom). It was a moving afternoon that the three of us will remember always.
Of course we also wanted to visit some of our living relatives in Sheffield. Doreen had spoken with Jackie and arranged for us to have a cup of tea at her house, and meet up with her son Warren (our cousin) and his kids for dinner. We sat around and looked through some of her family photo albums. There were a few old photos that we’ve seen before but had no idea who were in the photos. Jackie was able to help us “fill-in-the-blanks.” There are just a few of our relatives remaining that can still tell us this very important information. Our generation wants to be able to pass it down to our children and grandchildren. If we wait too long the faces will remain nameless forever.
I found a few photos of my mum when she was young and Doreen found a few of her grandparents when they were young. You can imagine the conversation that went on and the stories that came from it.
After all of the excitement over the photos and the stories, we worked up an appetite and headed to the restaurant where we enjoyed another conversation filled with stories and shared memories as the laughter continued into the evening. The conversation continued in the car all the way back to Lincoln. We had a lovely day.
Steve and I so enjoyed having Doreen visit us.