A Fine City

images (6) Canadian winters are so very long and way too intense for my liking. It seems as if I feel dislike for the season more and more with every year that I am here. I find myself needing something to look forward to that will help me get through the unavoidable season.

Last winter I sat searching through real estate listings and researching how I was going to be able to get out of renting to become a home owner again. This winter I find myself sitting on the sofa in my recently purchased condo looking at air fare prices. I feel a trip coming on.

It’s usually during our freeze- the -inside- of- your- nose winters that I miss ‘home’, with it’s milder weather and early springs. You’d think I would be used to it all by now after being here for 30 years, but sadly no, it just makes me yearn for England that much more.  So it’s time for a trip. Arm chair travelling is great and all that but I need the real thing. I need to connect myself with family and home once again.

91bff29b27d1a1637e1edaf98fc1d1c3 There are always a few things that I just have to do whenever I go home.  A trip to the beach so I can dip my toes in the ocean again is always top of the list. No England isn’t THAT mild where I will be basking in the sunshine on the soft sand and cooling off in the salty waves. It will be more of a quick run down to the waters edge barefoot, dip my toes in to say hello to the sea again and run back to put my feet back into my warm socks and shoes again! I know it’s crazy but it has to be done. I miss the seaside. Lakes are great (no pun intended here) but they just aren’t the same.

Then there will be the supper of fish and chips from the local ‘chippy up the street’. It doesn’t matter what restaurant, bar or local eatery has ‘English Style Fish and Chips’ on their  menu here in Canada, sorry but they just don’t taste the same, believe me, I still order them in hopes that finally someone has got it right. If this meal doesn’t happen then the next best thing is ‘chips off the market’. Norwich Market that is. According to Wikipedia: Norwich Market (also known as Norwich Provision Market) is an outdoor market consisting of around 200 stalls in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area following the Norman conquest of England,  It has been in operation on the present site for over 900 years. 1024px-Norwich_Market_from_Gentlemans_Walk  You don’t even have to know exactly what aisle the delicious fare is being sold in, you just have to follow your nose! As a child we would then take our hot chips overflowing in their cardboard boxes (complete with little wooden forks) and go and sit in the Memorial Gardens opposite the City Hall where the pigeons would gather and wait for us to throw them a morsel or two. Sorry pigeons they will be all mine this time.

I have come to appreciate the most incredible history and architecture in Norwich since I left. As a young teenager I just didn’t think about it. I often wonder if the crowds who fill the city centre now truly know what an amazing place they are in or if they ever look up from their constant texting on their mobile phones to see the buildings that they are surrounded by. Sadly I think it’s more of a case of being taken for granted and it’s me who is seeing it through the eyes of a visitor.

My camera is always with me but sometimes I just like to enjoy the moments, strolling along or people watching so I have been known to make a second (or third) trip back into the city just to take photos.

8e542ce0ff77ec08e173004f47f26a07  The Forum is always a destination high on my list as it is one of my favourite sites with it’s reflections of old in new. When it  was first built there was so much fuss made about how awful it would look with it’s modern glass appearance so close to such a historical Norman built church of St. Peter Mancroft, but it works. It truly is a magnificent looking piece of architecture. I will sit on the steps outside and people watch and be in awe of the surrounding history of this view.

St_Peter_Mancroft  I might just be hating the view outside my window of yet another snow storm but inside my head I am going home to where my family lives and my heart has been left. Norwich. Truly  a fine city.

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