Zoë and I returned from Norfolk this afternoon. It was a wonderful few days, which I totally enjoyed. When kids grow up and leave home reunions can be rare and that makes them even more precious. And to top the lot with dream topping my ex Mick, their dad, was there too. The last time I saw Mick was in Amsterdam nearly two years go on the occasion of Hannah’s 21st birthday. But that was all quite frantic. This was much more relaxing.
When Katkin moved from Manchester she got Bert to help her with the move so he’s been to Norfolk before but it was my first visit. I liked it very much. It’s obviously a lot flatter than Norn Iron but is unspoilt. There are miles and miles without houses then when they come they are sympathetically built either of flint or red brick and fit in with the landscape. For anyone who’s not familiar with Norn Iron it looks like a giant got a great big bag of assorted houses (heavy on the tasteless ones) and scattered them over the landscape. Bert said it’s because we had no natural building materials apart from fieldstones so we built houses from ‘any ould shite we could get’.
So to get back to Norfolk it’s got pleasant countryside, sweet villages and friendly people. And it’s freezing. Next time I come during the summer.
The best bit was being with my girls and meeting Katy’s lovely other family and seeing Mick and Linda. The second best bit was finding a copy of Tristram Shandy* in Burnham Market and thrashing everyone at Millionaire.
*I’ve been looking for this for ages now. Since it was serialised on Radio 4 recently it’s been selling out of second hand bookshops everywhere.