A lockdown love letter to Norwich: Part 3 by Lauren Gregory

One of a series of love letters to Norwich during the coronavirus lockdown of 2020. A few local people reflecting on what they miss, about everyday life in the city.

“Why I love Norwich” is something i’ve had plenty of time to think about recently. It’s that old saying that you don’t miss something until it’s gone. 

And whilst I know that this is simply a pause, my heart has really ached recently when wandering through the empty streets of this Fine City because what I miss most about Norwich at the moment is the characters that make up it’s community.

Norwich champions independent business and for that i’ve always been very grateful. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs over the years but Norwich nurtures, it doesn’t kick you while you’re down. There’s friends on every corner and there’s ALWAYS good places for a coffee or something stronger when needed!

My route from home in to work is something I’ve reflected on loads over the last month. Every day I’d had the pleasure of seeing so many fellow business owners and people I admire and respect without realising what a luxury this really was. 

So I’d like to take a moment to relive one of these previously considered mundane mornings starting off at Grapes Hill where I’ve just bumped in to the artist Alice Lee on the flyover…

We walk together resisting temptation to nip in to Breadsource and buy a gorgeous cinnamon bun, talking about cats and Diane and then spot Anne from Cupcake and Co outside her incredible shop on Upper St Giles. In the window she’s got a new creation by balloon artist and good friend Deck Above (aka Chris Francis). Ruth Knapp cycles past and on the corner of St Giles the wisteria is in phenomenal bloom outside the church. As we continue on to St Giles I have a quick peep in the window of the second-hand book shop because I can’t resist a Penguin Classic. James who owns Franks Bar is standing outside the Futon Company and we enjoy a good old grumble about something like our glasswashers breaking. I wave bye to Alice who is heading to work at Catfish for the day and continue down the Guildhall where I wave at Philip and the boys from Philip Brownes menswear and have a quick nose at their latest window display (secretly hoping it’s one of their naughty ones). I inevitably have to stop at Thorns for something (I’ll be back there again another five times throughout the day!) and then walk along the market saying a few words to Alex at Ponds, CJ, Mike and Debs and the City Fish guys as I head in to the Sir Garnet and crank on the coffee machine ready to catch up with Tim, Tif, Alex, Saskia or Sam and we work on what’s stopped working within the building over the last 24 hours (the pub has a mind of it’s own and is probably haunted)!

I will never take for granted these small moments of human contact that peppered my day and that i’d never really thought that much about until now. 

We will get through this I’m sure.

It’s a Fine City with some Fine Humans. Love you Norwich.  

About the Author

Lauren Gregory

“Lauren Gregory is a depressed former landlady of the Birdcage and The Garnet pub with two children who never stop talking and an escalating alcohol problem…..” JOKE 😉

She is also owner/creative of bespoke wedding and party planners Lullaby Inc and casting agency Crumb.