These are not just strawberries, these are M&S strawberries…

Just back from a superb girlie weekend in Norfolk. We abandoned our long-suffering partners so they could do some father daughter bonding – well it was Fathers’ Day on Sunday wasn’t it – and headed off to stay with our old friend, who now lives in an idyllic farmhouse in the darkest depths of Norfolk.

As the weather put a long country walk off the agenda (typical as this time we had remembered to take our boots with us), we decided instead to hit Norwich and indulge in a touch of girlie shopping – the sort where you totally forget that you have husbands and children, and indeed forget that you are the wrong side of forty – and instead hunt out the bargains on the sale rails and spray yourself liberally with lots of expensive perfumes until you smell like the proverbial tart’s boudoir.

It was enormous fun, especially as we had to plan our route from one shop to the next according to the showers and huge black clouds.

As we are all ‘mature’ women, we decided to include  some culture in our day, so we spent an  hour or so in Norwich Cathedral. It was a perfect antidote to shopping. From the moment we entered the Cathedral Close, it was like stepping into a parallel universe where everything was calm and peaceful. If you haven’t been, it’s one of those places that’s well worth a diversion to see. There is an amazing modern extension over ancient ruins, which sits so well together. This weekend it was housing an exhibition on the development of the Bible, including some pages being printed. There was a Tyndale Bible, tiny and well used, but so evocative of a time when to read the Bible in English was forbidden.

Storm clouds over Norwich Cathedral

The stained glass in the Cathedral was remarkable. I’m always drawn to it, partly I think because the use of pattern in the glass often reminds me of the ways that we use wools in needlepoint – sorry, that’s a creative digression – anyway, that was what I liked most. I’ve found this amazing website which has photographs and information about the windows, have a look, some of them are just incredibly beautiful.

We had tea and cake in the Refectory/Restaurant – highly recommended. Apparently you can hire it for functions and I must say, if I lived nearer to Norwich, it would definitely be on my list of ‘possibles’.

We walked back to the Park and Ride bus stop via M&S’s Food Hall – to pick up a couple of things for dinner. What a sight – an entire aisle given over to strawberries and cream (well there were some token raspberries there too). I suppose it is the start of Wimbledon fortnight, you can tell because as we left, the heavens opened – again.

These are not just strawberries, they're M&S strawberries!
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