Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lincolnshire Farmers...

....should not be allowed out unsupervised. **Frown** With apologies on the offchance that anyone reading this is or knows a Lincolnshire farmer, but, well really!

We had our happy afternoon out today planned, so off we went to Wragby Maze. It's about an hour's drive from here but hey, Emily's never been to a real hedge maze (as opposed to a labyrinth) and was really excited to go. It sounded good, what with the giant outdoor board games too.

Got there. It's a tiny little shed, basically, at the entrance, but undeterred we went in all smiles and announced that we'd come to play in the maze. "Ave you?" asked the farmer. "Yes." "Ohh, now, well, I don't know about that. It's ever so wet. It's the rain, you see." It wasn't raining at this point, although it had been earlier. Now regular readers may have noted that we actually quite like the rain and certainly aren't deterred from being out and about in it. We were perfectly happy to pay our entrance fee and go and get wet. But nope. He was having none of it. He wouldn't want Emily to get her shoes (trainers!!!!) wet, apparently. And he wouldn't want one of us slipping. "I been out in the fields this morning and look at my boots!" he offered, gesturing towards a pair of wellies with a slight smidge of mud on the bottom. Er, no, that's OK, we understand it's wet and could be slippy. Doesn't matter. We don't mind. We'd like to come in and play in the maze. It does, after all, say "open" on the sign, and the website doesn't mention anything about it being a health hazard second only to nuclear waste if it's been raining a bit. We'd really like to come in.


At this point, we were ready to start backing away, sloooowwwly, but Jon was brave enough to ask about the giant games instead. "Ah well, now it's much to wet to put any of those out," he answered flatly. Hellooo?? You're supposed to be running this place as a "tourist attraction" (heaven help us, and I think to be frank it says something about Lincolnshire when the best they can rustle up is a shed with a maze at the back of it and a couple of farm parks - but I digress). We're willing to PAY you to go in your flippin' maze and we're not bothered about getting wet in the non-existent rain (it was blue skies at this point). We've come quite a long way. "Well, it's the rain, you see."


Finally admitting defeat, we feigned smiles and stepped outside to pretend to look around the "garden centre". Which consisted of approximately fifteen conifer trees for sales, half of which were cordoned off. As we left, another carload of five people arrived to see the maze. One poor woman was in high heeled shoes. I almost wish we'd stayed to hear the conversation that must surely have resulted.

Now, fair enough, it's his land and his maze and he doesn't have to take people's money if he doesn't feel like it. But why not sign that it's closed, then? More to the point, why not mention on the website that it won't be open after rain? Why not provide online disclaimer forms for people to fill in if they really, really, really want to see the maze and are willing to submit to the massive risk of getting a muddy ankle? After travelling an hour to get there, the word "unimpressed" doesn't really cut it as to how we felt.


Nearby was Rand Farm, but that didn't appeal and we didn't fancy fighting out way through Lincoln town centre either, so in the end we travelled all the way back again to Hemswell instead. Considering that's about 8 miles from our front door, if that, a 2 hour trip to get there was unamusing in the extreme. Emily though, bless her, took it all in her stride. At Hemswell we had a good old mooch round the crafts and antiques. Jon was greeted like a long lost friend by the women on the till in the main craft centre, who remember him from when he used to go there nearly every week on book hunts - and they let him have a big selection of painbrushes at half price too, so he was a happy bunny. Emily got a big slice of Black Forest Gateau in the tea shop and also bought herself three Gladiator annuals (!!!) and a complete set of seven little figurines of Henry VIII and his wives. When she took them to the desk to pay, the guy asked her if she knew who they were, clearly expecting her to mumble something about just liking the pretty costumes or something. Think he was a little taken aback when she knew exactly who they were including which wife was which based purely on the headdresses and distinctive jewellery they were wearing ;-)) So she was a happy bunny too. And me? I spotted some beautiful antique gemstone rings - one of which I've been promised for my birthday. Which makes a Happy Bunny Hatrick, not a bad result for such a wasted journey!


Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

What a lovely day you all had, in the end. Grumpy old gizza ah, who needs him?!!! EFT

Hazel said...

You are master of sarcasm ;o)

Elder Faery said...

The man in the hut. Why was he still in his hut if he didn't want to have customers. The mind boggles;)

Jules said...

Grr @ the man, surely common sense screams that there should be a closed sign?!