The most exciting tree you could ever see.

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Here’s a couple of shots of the cats before we left on our road trip. Rose in the kitchen.

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Here’s my BFF Ruby, wearing her resting bitch face. Scott (with a link to his current blog) assures me that she’s feeling all sweetness and light inside….

I’m just glad they’re locked in another room at night. I would’ve had a heart attack if I’d woken in the middle of the night to see that that expression hovering over me.

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Our first stop, after a quick car boot sale in a little town, was Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace and home of Isaac Newton.  Arguably the most intelligent man who ever lived, he certainly came up with the goods as far as physics and Maths are concerned.

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Here’s the bed he was born in on Christmas Day in 1642. He was born prematurely and had a very weak neck, so they put a kind of brace around it to give him time to get stronger. Lucky baby.

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Here’s another view of the room. There are only 7 people allowed in it at any one time; the floor is made of reeds woven together and over the centuries it’s collapsed slightly. There’s a definite tilt in the angles of the floor.

I was able to walk around through the doors without ducking, but only just. The parlour roof was higher, but Scott only just cleared the beams.

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Newton’s dad died before he was born and when he was 3 his Mum married again and left him here with his grandmother to raise. She let him graffiti the walls because very year or so they’d be replastered. A couple of them remain. Sorry about the reflection but it was the best photo I could get.

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Here’s the guide in Isaac Newton’s bed demonstrating the origins of the saying, “Goodnight, sleep tight.” It’s all to do with the ropes the mattress was lying on.IMG_2593

You’d tighten them every so often to get a better night’s sleep.

Good night. Sleep tight.

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These next 3 photos are really interesting. Newton was a very religious man and these sheets of paper are his writing about all the sins he’s committed up to the age of 19. The first couple of pages are mainly related to him doing or not doing things on “your day” (ie Sunday) but as you go along they get more interesting.

 

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“Calling Dorothy a jade.” Oh my.

IMG_2596“Setting my heart on many learning pleasures more than thee.” Thank goodness he did!

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Here’s his death mask.

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I had to take a photo of the maid’s bedroom. On this trip I’ve stayed in two, at the Scottish castle and at Scott’s place. So far my accommodation has been better than this.

Ooo! I’m sitting up in bed in Lincoln writing this. It’s just gone 7AM and I can hear the cathedral bells striking the hour. We’re a block away from them. It sounds lovely.

Anyway, back to Newton and the most exciting thing here. The tree.

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Oh my wordy yes. This is the ACTUAL tree that Newton was looking at in 1666 when the apple fell and started him wondering about why everything falls straight downwards. Why don’t things stay as they are or float and drift instead of plummeting straight to the ground? And so the what-is-gravity-and-how-does-it-work was born.

Now, it’s one thing to have a building last that long, but this is a living thing. They’ve done many tests on it and proved conclusively that yes, this is the same tree. OMG.

It has heaps of apples on it, which the guide says don’t taste very good, unfortunately, and there are many clones of it all over the world. I can imagine that every university wants to have Isaac Newton’s tree. How fantastic is that?? I’ve got a pruning of it on a keyring. It’ll go with Jane Austen’s acorn from her oak tree.

I just love this country.

Oh! And by the way, I’m not really this fat. I’m wearing 6 layers of clothes. As I said on Facebook, the English ‘summer’ is a changeable and interesting beast.

Anyway, after a hearty Sunday roast at a pub, where I tried Yorkshire pudding for the first time (meh) we drove on to Lincoln.

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It has a cathedral. I’m beginning to think that every man and his dog in the UK has a cathedral. But it also has a castle. Coolio.

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We attacked the cathedral from the back and saw these leany-uppy things holding it up. They look really lovely. It was still raining.

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Look at what I saw as soon as we entered the cathedral! A bit of an Aussie connection.

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We went in just as Evensong was starting, so we stayed for some of the service. It would’ve been extraordinary except for the stupid woman who was sitting next to me. The choir was singing and their voices were soaring up into the vaulted ceilings and sounding pure and heavenly, while this woman was constantly fidgeting while wearing a leopard print raincoat that made scratchy noises every time she moved. Then the noises intensified as the priest/dean/vicar was doing the reading. I looked around and she had a bright pink mobile out and she was texting someone, then nudging her husband and having a whispered giggle with him.

We all stood up while the choir sang the next hymn. She stayed put while she finished her text convo, then noisily stood up just when the choir was singing a quietly dramatic bit. Now I’m not religious, but I could’ve wrung her neck at the lack of respect. My murderous thoughts weren’t really conducive to appreciating the vicar’s sermon so we left and went out to explore.

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I forgot to show you the old town gate that we had to go through to get to the cathedral. I still get a kick about going through these.

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This one’s for you, Dad. I walked past it on the way home and glanced in. It was bright yellow and black upholstery.

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Such a pretty town. See the red shop? This is the Annushka Russian Doll Shop, which is something that Scott collects. It was on his ‘must-visit’ list for Lincoln. Fortunately it was open late on the Sunday afternoon so we raced in out of the rain and stayed a while.

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I’ve never liked these things before, purely because I’ve never seen a good one up close, only the mass-produced ones that kids have. I bought a set very similar to this one, except mine has a not so anime face and slightly different colouring. It was exquisitely done. They’re all hand-made, right from the lathing of the wood down to the painting. I think mine only has 5 dolls, though they had a set of 20 in the shop, with the smallest doll (still painted) being as smaller than a ladybird. Incredible stuff.

There was an American woman in the shop before us, buying up big. Her exchange rate was great, so she was whooping it up. I’m getting 47p to the dollar… 😦

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Scott may have bought some things here too…

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Guess when this house was built?

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1170 – 1190??? And it’s still being used…

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This is the first theatre Lincoln had. It’s so much younger… about 200 years or so. Hardly worth looking at, really.

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Here’s a shot Scott took. I love it. It’s at the bottom of Steep Hill, and look at the lines, with the cathedral rising in the distance. It’s not hard to believe that for nearly 300 years this cathedral was the tallest building in Europe. As we were walking down I saw a grey squirrel dash across the road and into the garden.

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And finally, here’s another childhood dream ticked off. I always wanted to sleep in an attic room… and now I have. 🙂

 

 

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3 Responses to The most exciting tree you could ever see.

  1. You should have said. We could have put you upstairs.

  2. Lucinda Sans says:

    Ruby’s grumpy face made me laugh. She looks so put out.

    Brilliant how the developed buttresses so they could build cathedrals so high and open inside.

    Love the shot of you in front of the wonky building too.

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