Sunday, September 28, 2014

From Saigon to Cantley

I have to admit the title of this blog post is a bit of a cheat - because I went to see 'Miss Saigon' - I didn't go there. But even so, a trip to London now and then, for purely social purposes, is worth a mention. The production was very good and the singing most enjoyable, but I have to confess that I prefer Madame Butterfly.

However, my post this week starts with Miss Saigon on a Wednesday evening, as it was the opener
for a few days off. After trekking into London (well, getting chauffeur driven in a small mini-bus with some colleagues from work) we enjoyed a quick cider in the Three Greyhounds before seeing the show. We had good seats, and after a lovely evening managed to make it home just after midnight.

Thursday morning I headed with my friend to Norwich and to a few days rest and relaxation. We started off with a short walk round the marshes to the south of the city - and saw very little wildlife, but some really lovely trees. I like willows, and they have 'crack willows' on this little nature reserve tucked away inside the ring road, but just outside the city. I wonder - can you get addicted to this kind of tree?

This butterfly settled on me before heading into the tree
 Friday was shopping day - and we went to a low-cost store in the city to stock up on bits and pieces for our weekend. My friend lives in Norwich, but we were both surprised when in the store we bumped into a friend of mine! He lives in Diss - a few miles away - but what a small world, we were both in that shop in Norwich, as visitors, at the same time.

In the evening we went to the Norwich Folk Club and saw the highly talented Georgia Shackleton. A delightful evening - and I even got to sing a couple of songs too. I was asked back as well, but it won't be my weekly hang out for geographical reasons.

Saturday we headed into the city and went on an open top bus tour. We stopped off at the Roman Catholic cathedral (the second largest in England and large enough to be used as a reference point for pilots in the second world war).  Our first visit, though, was not to this imposing building, but to the Plantation Garden nearby. If you are a visitor to Norwich, I can thoroughly recommend this hidden delight.

Despite its Gothic appearance, the church is only 100 years old

The plantation garden.

The Italianate steps at the end lead to a small rustic summerhouse

After After our visit to the garden, we headed back to the church. There was a wedding on and, whilst two young people pledged their vows before their god, we climbed 247 steps to heaven - well, to the roof. here's some of the pictures I took:

It looks like stone, but it is brick built with a stone facade

In the roofspace

Tremendous views over Norwich

Look up!

Look down

The other cathedral

Lots and lots of steps...

Interior - looks more than its 100 years old

One of the ornate bosses

 Saturday evening we rested, but Sunday it was time for a trip on the Broads. We hired a noddy boat (a small day cruiser) with some friends who also live in Norwich, and headed out across the Yare. We chugged slowly up the river to Rockland where we stopped for a fantastic lunch at the New Inn. Dodging sail boats, scaring up kingfishers, disturbing the herons and intriguing the ducks (we didn't have any bread for them), five of us and a dog (Five go Mad in Norfolk?) had an extremely pleasant autumn day on the water.
We had to dodge the sailboats

Abandoned windpump at Cantley

After lunch we headed further along the river to Cantley, and eventually turned round and came back to the boatyard at Brundall. A thoroughly relaxing and pleasurable day.

And now I'm back at home, and enjoying this little post, and these pictures, and the lovely memories of a wonderful county, and even better friends.

All photographs by Carrie Sheppard (C)

Liked this? Try A weekend in Rome

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