A Very Short Trip To Norwich

Since moving to Norfolk, I have avoided cities whenever possible. I have only been back to London twice in almost ten years, and have also been reluctant to venture into Norwich, the largest city in the county which is twenty miles to the east of Beetley.

However, Christmas is looming, and Julie asked what I wanted as a gift. I chose a new dressing-gown, (robe, for American readers) and regular followers will know how much time I spend in my gown, and how much I love wearing one. I suggested we buy one online, but they are notorious for sizing issues. One version sold as size Large might only just fit, whereas another in the same size could well wrap around me twice.

There was nothing for it, a trip to Marks and Spencer in Norwich could not be avoided.

On Tuesday afternoon, we drove into Dereham, and parked the car for free in the town car park. Ten minutes later, we were on the fast bus to Norwich, heading into the city on a dull and rainy afternoon. I travel for free on my old codger’s bus pass, but Julie had to pay a return fare that was still only half of what it would have cost to park in one of Norwich’s busy multi-storey car parks.

The trip took around thirty minutes in moderate traffic, and the bus dropped us in the shopping centre almost opposite the huge Marks and Spencer shop. We took the lift to the second floor, and emerged in the menswear department exactly at the point where the dressing gowns are displayed. I tried on three different ones, all in the same size. There was that ‘Goldilocks’ moment, with one being too large, (and having an enormous hood that I didn’t want) another only just going around me, and the third being just right.

That third one was a rather luxurious multi-stripe gown of considerable weight and cosiness. The quality was reflected in the price, as it was thirty-percent more expensive than those I had rejected. As Julie paid for it, I quickly bought a new pair of black jogging trousers for dog-walking, and we were back inside the bus station within fifteen minutes of arriving. The next bus was ten minutes away, and coincided with the city’s schools and college finishing for the day.

So the ride home was on a completely full bus, in much heavier late afternoon traffic. But it still only took forty-five minutes to get back to Dereham, and we were in the car and home in Beetley before four-forty.

Considering that we caught the first bus into Norwich just before three in the afternoon, that almost sets a new shopping trip record.

My kind of trip to the shops.

76 thoughts on “A Very Short Trip To Norwich

  1. As one has to say these times: Thank you for supporting local businesses, Pete! ๐Ÿ™‚ Honestly, here in Germany we will lose a lot of them, after the new lockdown in sight will end. Congrations to your perfect timing. Within shopping i am more like a woman, and need too much time (like all my previous companions said). xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done on your military operation ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’d say we are close to 0% online shopping now, although this has always been the case, long before the pandemic, but for reasons that you mention about clothing we are planning a trip to Decathlon with a list in hand. A winter coat for Gosia, winter boots for Malina (Zosia gets the hand me downs) with socks and winter boots on my list. A quick stop at a place to refill CO2 bottles for the Sodastream and I reckon we can be in and out of Rzeszow in under 2 hours.
    Wednesday afternoon is looking good as night time shopping is mad in Poland with no Sunday trading, but we will see, apparently its getting close to Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is how I do my shopping only for the opposite reason…too hot… I get what I can online…I don’t like shopping centres but love an early morning market and then I can browse its cooler then ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it is too hot here, air-conditioned shops can be pleasant places. But they are too hot inside in the winter, when you are wearing warm clothes and the shops have the heating on. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  4. A bus ride can be a pleasant thing, even if going into the city is not.

    People-watching is always fun. And like all social events, what we bring into the event with our attitude determines our emotional payback, which is multiplied by the random folks we sit near and reduced by unpleasant events.

    The city itself is haunted by the past and by crimes untold to the public.

    Who dares step into that morass?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was too late for lunch, and it was cold, wet,and dark. I cooked a nice meal when we got home though. Pesto chicken with four-cheese tortellini, pine nuts, and garlic flatbread. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In the next town over there is a large shopping mall, but I haven’t been there in maybe 10 years! So, I can well understand your hesitance to go in to the “big city”. You certainly did a record shopping!!

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  6. I also like to be in and out of shops quickly, Pete. My mom is a shopaholic though and I take her every now and then so she can browse around. She doesn’t last more than a few hours now before she is tired and needs to go home to rest.

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    1. I actually don’t mind shopping, and I am usually happy to wander around Norwich centre as it is an attractive ancient place. But not on a dull winter afternoon, 3C max temperature, almost dark, and raining lightly. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love peeking into your day! Glad you found what you needed! I have been getting cosy sweaters lately. Its been a long time since I had bought turtle necks, one with a hood is coming and I have never owned one of those. But I loved the rest of the sweater! Now to get a cashmeire sweater one day. LOL Leggings and a sweater perfect for me! I can also wear a skirt. I guess I am saying there is nothing like comfort! LOL Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a cashmere scarf in the wardrobe, the closest I have ever got to real cashmere. I call it my ‘funeral scarf’, as I only ever wear it with a smart suit and long wool overcoat. So far, I have only worn that coat at funerals, and the scarf is too good for regular dog-walking duties.
      Glad to hear you also like warmth and comfort, Pejj. Perhaps you need a fleece-lined multi colour dressing gown, like the new one I was bought yesterday? ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Los Angeles always seems to be so spread out, with no ‘central’ shopping district. Not that I have ever been there, but it is often on TV and in films. I think I might find it too big and stressful now, John.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right Pete…it’s a never-ending connection of freeways between places spread very far out – there is NO central LA…downtown is somewhat of a wasteland with some bank towers and a sports venue!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have to buy as many clothes as I used to, Maggie, as I tend to dress casually for the countryside and dog-walking. Most of them can be bought online, but my experience with different sizing where dressing gowns are concerned made me want to try it on. It is a lot of hassle to return things by post if the size is wrong.
      Public transport can only be accessed from the nearby town, but it is quite good once you get there.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  8. Well done on getting your Christmas gift with not too much hassle. Nothing like a new cosy bathrobe. My hubby wanted a new motorcycle jacket for Christmas. He had seen one on sale in Alicante, an hour away from our little beach town. So I gave him the money and he rode into Alicante to pick it up. He got his Christmas gift, another ride on his bike which he loves and I got my shopping done and 3 hours to write. Win, win all around.

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    1. Most of our gifts had already been bought online during September, Darlene. But I had to try this one on. We don’t get to have them until the morning of the 25th though! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There will be things under our tree as well but Iยดll let him have his jacket now as he can use it. He did get a good deal. I do much of my gift buying online too, especially for my family in Canada as it is delivered to their home and I donยดt have to deal with the horrors of post office!

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  9. You are lucky to still have a Marks and Spencer. Dressing gowns are a strange matter of taste, we are very much a dressing gown family, but on social media if the topic has come up some people comment โ€˜do not own oneโ€™ or even โ€˜never owned oneโ€™. Whether a morning or evening lounger, how can you live without one?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is the only Marks remotely local. There is a food only slightly nearer, and a branch in Kings Lynn which is even further away.
      I have 3 gowns. One winter weight, one ‘medium’ weight, and a thin summer weight. I wear them every day in the house until I get ready to take Ollie for his walk, around 1pm. I genuinely couldn’t be without one.
      I posted about this back in 2015.

      My new fluffy gown


      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Yes, that works well, but we still have to drive over 16 miles to get to one of them. It’s easy for us to get a bus from Dereham, as there are a couple to choose from, including the fast one we chose. The park and ride buses are not free to OAP bus pass users either, but they do give a discount for holders.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

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