Monday, 14 May 2012

a bit of culture...!

Every year Norwich has a couple of weeks in May when art, music and theatre take over the city. I'm not sure how long it has been happening for but it has certainly grown in recent years and there are loads of varied events, some free, at different venues across the city. Its a great opportunity to see and experience new things and the city buzzes with activity.

This weekend saw the opening of the festival and, as luck would have it, after all those horrible grey days the weather was glorious - blue skies, sunshine and even a bit of warmth out of the wind!

It also coincided with the annual visit of the all male Shakespeare company Propeller - last year we saw one of the two performances they put on (Comedy of Errors) which we  loved so this year Ben and I decided to go to both shows. We started our weekend Friday evening with The Winters Tale, with the second half of the Bard's 'double bill', Henry V, on Saturday night. Neither production disappointed - this company perform Shakespeare much as I imagine it was intended to be performed, with all its clever language and bawdy humour, with lively direction that makes these stories as relevant and current today as ever. We loved it and I'm already looking forward to next years tour!

Saturday was so beautiful we headed into town after breakfast at the pub over the road to see what was happening festival-wise.

I joined a friend and a growing crowd by St Andrews Hall for the 'Voice Project' - a kind of auditory choral artwork. Some hardy folk had started the day with the choir in the cathedral welcoming in the dawn at 5.11am (!!!), we joined them at 2pm for a colourful, tour round the old streets...

from the front of St Andrews Hall round to the Art School...

and on down Elm Hill where the crowds watching/listening filled the narrow cobbled streets...

The singing came from the streets, the arches between the ancient buildings and even from the windows...

before a finale in the riverside gardens...

It was unusual, and slightly strange and really rather lovely - enhanced enormously by the warmth of the sun.

We stopped for a cup of tea at the Britons Arms (I've mentioned this place before) where we spent a very pleasant hour or so in the tiny enclosed garden...

I love these fancy, deep purple tulips...

Our childish streak came out when Ben spotted this...

There were actually rather more modern facilities but it did rather look as though this small tin bucket was it for the gents!!!

It was a lovely relaxed day and so good to spend unhurried time with my biggest boy :-).

My weekend continued today as, for the first time in a while, I managed to have my Monday off so met a friend for afternoon tea at the Assembly House. This was such a treat! Plates of sandwiches (with the crusts cut off, no less!), scones with jam and cream and pretty little cakes, with as much tea as we wanted...

We decided we could probably manage to be 'ladies who take tea'...

The other thing I've noticed this weekend is that yarn-bombing has hit Norwich! Not sure if this is just for the festival or if its going to stay but I'm loving their work!

The only 'fly in the ointment' this weekend was the havoc being wrecked in the garden...

These were my carefully nurtured seedlings - courgettes, beans, nasturtiums & salad leaves... Were being the operative word! One of the culprits is still sitting on the pot cheekily! They haven't just had a nibble at the leaves, they have scythed the tops of many of the plants altogether! Generally speaking, I'm one for letting the garden creatures have their share of plants but this is sabotage beyond forgiving! I  haven't yet quite decided how to tackle the little blighters but I am officially declaring war... Any bright ideas???

Til next time then,



  1. Ooh I'm loving that yarnbombing... haven't seen any in London. Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough?
    Your day out looks lovely, really sunshiney and colourful. Glad you enjoyed it and the afternoon tea looks yummy!
    I am the last person to ask about gardening. I have death fingers. x

  2. Hello lovely, that sun looked lovely and warm to be out and about enjoying what was on offer. Your son looks like he has a great sense of humour :) Oh my goodness I love the color of the tulips. When I come over to the UK I would love to meet up and have an afternoon tea like that, mmmm scrummy.
    Snail killer???? Harsh I know, but sometimes you have to be.....
    xx Sandi

  3. What a lovely weekend! I love the yarn bombing :) Norwich looks beautiful - my boyfriend is actually doing a show there on the 18th as part of the festival (they are called The Paper Cinema) I would love to go but sadly have to work! I've only just found your blog but I plan to stick around and read a bit more, nice to meet you!


  4. Have a great week. Greetings from Romania

  5. ooh that looked a lot of fun. The Yard bombing was a giggle too what a dresses up Lion !

  6. The art festival looks like a wonderful place to spend a lovely spring day!
    I am sorry about your plants.
    I am currently trying to save my favorite gardenia from spider mites, and not very successfully. :-(
    I hope the rest of your week is great!

  7. Ooohhh, the singing must have sounded amazing coming from windows, too!!! Echoing off walls and all around you....sounds dreamy!!! :)

    I love the yarnbombing!!! The lion is too funny and I especially like the ruffle on the post!!

    Your son looks like he has a twinkle in his eye and loves a little mischief!! ;)


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