Monday, 25 June 2012

Day 4 walking

Day 4 walking

Having had yet another great nights sleep I rose to be greeted by the family downstairs. They were pleased to see me, the children busy playing. After the curry of last evening, I really couldn't face any breakfast. They were off to a fate or some kind of fun day on the outskirts of the small town, and I had plans to catch the train to get to Lincoln in time to buy my tent. The day was looking like a warm one and maybe the rains would hold off. I had a look on the internet to find out what times the trains ran. Typical, although Lincoln was only about a 20 minute train ride on week days, the route suggested would be via Grantham and Retford, taking nearer to 3 hours. A journey of some 80  miles. It would be quicker to walk I joked, so got ready to leave. Walk? you won't catch me walking....Oh yeah, you will.....

Sean took me to the station and I caught the train to Lincoln, via several other places. The family came out  to wish me well and see me on my way. They had been so very accommodating and charitable, real good friends.

Once on the train to Grantham, I thought about what the next stages would bring. When I alighted in Grantham I spoke to a platform controller and he told me I could also go via Newark, so I decided to catch the Leeds train as I had gotten off the one that went on to Retford. In Newark I had to walk from the mainline station to the Castle station where the train wasn't due for over 2 hours. I made use of the time having a drink at Waitrose cafe, and catching up with some poetry. I was rather concerned that I wasn't actually going to arrive now in Lincoln before the shops all closed, it was Sunday after all. Eventually I made it to the sports direct shop before they closed, and purchased my new 2 man instant pop-up tent. Well actually the good people of Heckington actually bought it...

New accommodation in hand I set out to see where my intuitions would lead me. I laughed at the thought, that I was not going to need it today. Ha ha ha... as if....

I decided to use the late afternoon to take a coffee at Neros and write up day 3's events, whilst internet was available. They had to kick me out at 6.00pm but I was ready for the hill climb up to the Cathedral. Lincoln is a very old and majestic city, full of mystery and character, and views from the cathedral heights were amazing. It can be a tough old hill to make, with a back pack and tent in tow, but gradually I defeated even this nemesis.

As I approached the end of the climb a guy was playing his guitar in the courtyard area in front of the Cathedral and Castle entrances. people were enjoying the performance and the sun was still courting us in the late afternoon. I instinctively chose a seat alongside a young lady with a pram, (Not because she had a pram/buggy, but because she was smiling) who immediately struck up a conversation with me. Now this is becoming quite commonplace, so I understood that forces were drawing us to meet. When she asked what I was doing and where I was going, I responded with that I was looking for somewhere to rest the night and perhaps try out my new home. Yes you've guessed it, I wasn't going to need it tonight....!!!!

Kate, simply said, "You can come and stop with us if you like, Dan won't mind."

She motioned towards her Husband who was with his daughter in the plaza. Dan came over and showed no signs of surprise that his wife had been so charitable on his behalf. I met Amy (3) and the new arrival Bobbie (Roberta) and we chatted merrily for ages. Soon they explained that they needed to get the Kids to bed, and so we set off to their home, close to the Cathedral.
There had been a party earlier so they apologised for the mess, but I happily volunteered to help clean up. Whilst they settled the children I began washing up and cleaning the floor somewhat, and soon they were free so we could really get talking.
Dan and Kate made me feel instantly welcome and treated me to every hospitality one could imagine. I explained that one of my present challenges is to understand and receive hospitality and charity without feeling awkward. I am normally very self sufficient, but in recent years have tried to avail myself of help from others, to try to feel more comfortable with it. They made it all so very easy to relax, in their company and home. I suspected they were Christians to the core, this aura they emitted was in some ways like the parable of the good Samaritan. Nothing was too much trouble. Kate set about cooking for me a most wonderful meal of chicken and pasta in a tasty sauce. Oh, my taste buds were on high alert and my stomach rewarded as I tucked in to the feast. They were rather impressed that I had cleared and washed up.
Dan and Kate are indeed people who live by certain rules of faith and Christian compassion. And more, they  are doers of fine works in totally human endeavours. They had seen my need and filled it with whatever was available to them, within their power to assist. This young couple, Dan a doctor at the end of his first year on the wards at Lincoln county Hospital, Kate a Petro/Geologist are active members of the church of Jesus Christ and of the latter day saints. (Mormons to you and I)
For some people this would be where the conversation ends. I on the other hand love people, especially those that are so wonderfully active at being kind, and reveled at the opportunity before me to get to know more of what I yet don't know. We chatted about religion generally, about their faith and later about the questions from my Imagine project, to do with Britain and harmony of unity. It is always hard to tell what people really feel about stuff, despite what they say vocally, but I felt that I got to the bottom of their feelings about my questions.
Kate said that she feels what has made Britain earn the title Great from history, is because of the wealth of material available to us here in and on our soil, our island. The actual minerals and components that have made us a strong attraction to the outside world. I have to say this was a surprise to me, as I had never really considered this angle, but her point was well made. Dan felt that what is, making Britain great at the present moment, is the continued diversity of our attempts to accept and push forward our historical prowess. And like me they also agreed that much more needs to be done here, if we are to retain rightfully the the title of 'Great' ahead of Britain. They said that if more of the simple things were focused upon, the good will, the sharing, the giving and if the adherence to values were followed, (not specifically traditional values, which can be often outdated by progress) that Britain would still be the proud bearer and advocate of world leadership. Leading by example rather than chasing our partners tails in a frenzy, like pitiable puppies.
When I finally asked them what they were now going to do to make this happen, to be the changes they wish to see, I could see that they were eager to seek ways in which to try new things. Dan explained that he had recently challenged his comfort zone massively, removing a spider for someone who was even more afraid than he. Kate said that she wanted to share her artistic talents further, and not hide them. These may be small and even insignificant hurdles or achievements for some people, but they can and have made a huge difference to someone. Truly it is the small things that can change the world for the better. A smile, a hug, a kind word or a hand with some heavy task. Compassion with someone elses life and situation, that can shine a beacon to the dark night, of fear to change.

I hope I said well, what I learned from this caring and happy young family. I shall be ever indebted to their kindness and good will. Accommodation, clean clothes, a comfy bed, a meal, breakfast, maps, company, conversation and responses to my enquiry, smiles and hugs and so much more, the list could go on all day.
They said a prayer for me as I left wishing me onward good fortune, and Dan walked with me a half mile to his work, and left me feeling so very loved and cared for.

God bless you Gosling Family.


  1. Hi Peaceful Warrior, we went for an ice cream after dinner tonight, and as we walked into cathederal square, you'll never guess what music man was playing? Imagine by John Lennon!
    Happy walking!
    here's a little song from music man to help you on your way

  2. Aww folks that is such a touching story. One that happens all so often these days.
    Thank The Music Man from me too.

    Staying with you has been such a gift.

    Please stay in touch, and give a big hug to all your family from Peaceful Warrior.