Normally our yearly sporting Norwich trip coincides with the first week in December and I make a big dent in the Christmas shopping, this year, however, I’ve already planned most of my shopping online, and the rest I’m not sure what I need to get yet so I’d already decided it was to be a camera weekend rather than a shopping weekend … and probably just as well.
We arrived on Friday – Black Friday – in the middle of Norwich and since we were booked into the Premier Inn in the middle of town, slightly more expensive than the others around, but for me it’s well worth it to be able to come and go in the centre of town and retreat to my own little space as and when needed. Anyway, since we were booked into this particular Premier Inn, we would need to park in the Duke street carpark, not at all a quick and easy feat on the first Friday after the last payday before Christmas but once we’d battled our way into the queue, we then waited our turn for someone to leave the full carpark and free up a space for more shoppers to park.
The birds in the picture above kept us entertained while we waited.
I’m not a fan of crowds at the best of times, I’m usually pretty good at the shopping crush though, my evasive maneuvers and elbows are pretty well tuned, but my protective bubble is delicately thin at the moment and letting far too much of the world around me seep inside so I’d taken my knitting to retreat to the hotel with my feet up, my coffee, and whatever I could find on tv if needed.
Once parked, we headed for the out-of-town eatery area near to the football ground to check out the menus for later, nothing quite floated our boats so since Norwich was playing at home last weekend too, this would be the last trip of the visit in this direction for me. Back to the carpark, collecting the cases from the boot, then checking in and a quick forty or so winks before venturing back out saw off the last of the busy Friday shoppers. We ate out at an American Diner in one of the Norwich Lanes, I’ll find the name for you at some time, we visit each year and each time we go we’re always more than happy to go back again next time.
Suitably fed and watered, I just needed some decent shut-eye and I was all set for Saturday, or so I thought.
Saturday arrived, Hubby headed off early to his sports comp and after a couple more coffees I headed for the shops, my main aim was to find some new orange and green decorations to match the new decoration colours of the room. In and out of a few large shops in the high street was my first tact, I found a little of what I needed, some blue and white for the kitchen, but nothing in the way of orange. One thing I wasn’t too pleased about though were notices and signs in the shop windows announcing that Black Friday was to last all weekend. Not feeling a very happy chappie I headed into one of the large shopping centres. Bad move, the shopping centre was full, everywhere you looked, all you could see was people. Normally in this situation on I would just hold onto Hubby and let myself be pulled along until we got back out again, but there was no Hubby ! Ok, don’t panic, find another way out. I picked a lady who seemed to be in a rush, mobile phone held against her ear, shopping bags causing the crowds either side of her to move out of her way, I quickly jumped in her wake, this could have gone seriously wrong, I could have ended up rushing deeper into the crowds, or even in the little girls room, which experience has told me is usually on the top floor of a centre. But she was rushing in the direction I’d just come from so it was a pretty safe bet and after following the back of her coat for a few minutes I emerged back into daylight.
I remembered a Costa I’d hidden in before, one with a few quiet corners and made my way there. It was full. I found a Greggs with a tiny queue and bought a steak-bake for lunch, then made my way back to the Costa and bought a take-away coffee.
Now here’s where my previous planning for the camera came in very welcome. I made my way to where I knew there was a park in the centre of town and since most of the population of Norwich had appeared to be in the shopping centre, that left pretty much no-one to sit in the park.
Just one other Lady was sitting in the relative quiet and enjoying the relatively fresh, but peaceful air in the park, after exchanging a few pleasantries I seated myself away from her and ate my very welcome lunch while I recharged my battery.
Needless to say I didn’t return to the shops, but I took some great pictures in the park, and then headed off to the Cathedral grounds at the other end of town.
More from before : Winter weekends in “Norwich“