Wherever we stay Nige and Sally have got a great track record in coming to see us. They've stayed in our vans but not our current one. Nige is over 6 ft tall and we have a double bed and a dinette that converts into a bed. Unless he slept underneath our transverse bed it just wouldn't work. It's another thing to consider when buying a motorhome. Do you forsake friends coming to stay for the ability to be more flexible in everyday life with parking, motoring etc? Anyway, we're fortunate because Nige and Sally come and stay in accommodation close to where we are camped and we take it from there. They booked accommodation at the excellent Summer Room in Norwich. A recently created annexe to a beautiful house near Norwich City College. It has a double bedroom, separate bathroom and a living room. Sort of like a B and B but not really because there's no English breakfast in the morning. The owners provided a continantal breakfast instead. The Norwich Campsite, as I mentioned in the previous post, is a two minute drive from here and we were walking distance from the city centre. Unfortunately Nige and Sally also have a track record of bringing rubbish weather with them and Easter was no exception.
They arrived on Good Friday and I stuffed myself to capacity with Hot Cross Buns. The terrible thing is I now can't remember what else we did on Good Friday! We must have gone out for a meal but I have to move onto Staurday.
Isn't it amazing how you don't do the touristy things on the doorstep? On Saturday afternoon we took the City Boats tour out to Brundall and back. It was a great trip out, we saw a kingfisher and learnt loads from the commentator who had some wonderful Norfolk tales. There were also some stunning properties along the river banks which of course you don't see from the road or railway. In the evening a group of us went out for a curry to a new (since we've been away) indian restaurant, called The Merchants of Spice. What a delish yummy, authentic curry. Although we did wait a long time for our meal it was worth it, and has earned the best curry house award from me.
Sunday morning and we decided to go for a walk around Whitlingham Broad. Yuk. We've done it before and it was lovely. We though springtime would provide a pleasant stroll but there was a plague of some type of bug. They were everywhere. In our hair, ears, up our noses – I was pleased not to be wearing a skirt. (You get my drift?) So we abandoned our walk after about ten minutes and drove up to the prison on the top of Moushold Heath. “Prison?” I hear you cry. Well, there is a cafe with a difference up there - called the Cafe Britania. Managed as a project for inmates to gain experience and resocialise for the outside world. The refurbishment and decoration had all been undertaken by the prisoners and staff members to a really high standard. The views across the heath to Norwich are gratifying. So much to see from the top of that hill.
The cafe is staffed by prisoners and the proceeds go towards educational grants. It reminded me a bit of my nursing days where if we got a prisoner in as a patient I wondered what they had done, but these questions have to be shelved because they are people at the end of the day and all I can wish is that they have learned from what they did wrong and can integrate back into society again. Projects like this cafe must surely go a long way to helping achieve this. Do look it up if you're in Norwich, their roast dinner (and puddings) were delish.
A couple of weeks after our visit to the cafe, I chatted to a demoralised probation officer. She had left the service because cutbacks in her area had meant she was no longer able to help guide prisoners and their families into recocialisation into society. The long term effect must surely be reoffenders. Hey ho, ours is not to wonder why, but the short termism of politics really get me down.
Below is a picture of Nige and Mike on the boat trip. Mates since they were 11, aahhh