First day of my holiday and I spent it doing the most dreaded thing ever, for me that is. I had to go into the City Center.
I live on the outskirts of the City about 4 miles from the City Center. Don’t get me wrong, I love the City of Norwich ‘its a fine City’ so the signs say and I work in the City but I do not venture into this dreaded place very often.
I had to take my daughter Faith shoe shopping for her school shoes. We got onto the 9.44pm bus thinking all workers had gone to work, the old age pensioners would be in the City by now as after 8.30am their free bus passes would be valid. We got onto the bus and when I glanced around I saw a full bus of OAP’s sitting looking miserable. It was a double decker so we went upstairs …. to a load of more miserable OAP’s. I think I was probably about the 5th youngest on the bus at 43.
The bus journey normally takes about 15-20 mins. We were delayed by yet more OAP’s getting on the bus at various stops. We had nearly got to the City Center (Anglia Square) when we saw a lorry. The lorry was not moving anywhere, it was blocking half of our side of the road. No problem with that I hear you say, but if you knew Norwich you would know what the junction of Edward Street and Magdalen Street was like. The lorry had got stuck on the railings outside a pub. The buses had to carefully manoeuvre around the truck taking care not to hit the railings near the doctors.
We eventually got into the City, just popped into work for 30 mins. to just see if everything is hunky dory and to begin mentally preparing myself to enter into the lion’s mouth.
It wasn’t too bad at first, we had a look around a couple of charity shops, went to the bank and went to Tesco’s. I was a bit peckish, looked at my watch and it was 11.45am. I said to Faith ‘come on we will have chips off the market’, cheap and cheerful. We sat overlooking the market and the castle to eat them and it was thoroughly pleasant to say the least.
After we had finished, we went back down to the market and into the lions mouth. It was like a mad house. People everywhere, pushing and shoving. I gripped hold of Faith’s hand and put my head down to push my way to W.H. Smiths. Faith wanted a Moshi Monster pencil case to go with her new Moshi Monster backpack, lunch box and drink container (I think she likes Moshi Monster’s a tad). She held onto my hand really tightly as we made our way out of W.H. Smiths, battling across the road, trying not to push anyone out of the way. Weaving in and out of the OAP’s with their shopping trolleys, making sure we avoided Mum’s with their prams, talking on their phone or texting, one hand trying to control where the pram is headed. Then we came to the shoe shop, Clarks. Oh boy, what a treat we have in store.
We made our way up the stairs. ‘It is about a 10 min wait’ the shop assistant said while she handed Faith a paper mask (I still don’t what it is)!! We got to the top of the stairs where assistant gave me a number, 22 and said ‘its about a 15 min wait’. I thought to myself it didn’t take me 5 mins to walk about 20 stairs!! It didn’t prepare me for the chaos that assaulted my eyes. Every crook and cranny of the shop floor were littered with people and shoe boxes. Old, young and babies. I fought my way through with Faith to the back of the shop. I don’t know if it just me, but why would you go on a family outing to a shoe shop!! Nearly every family in there had at least three generations. Children, parents and grandparents…. at a shoe shop …. to buy school shoes…. I looked up at the number board, it was on number 10… To be fair we only had to wait about 20 mins. We brought her shoes and I said ‘can we go home please’, Faith just nodded her head and said ‘yes please’.