Friday Fun: 5 Things to Sing About

It took some deep digging these past two exhausting weeks, but I finally found five things to rejoice about.

On a Poetry Roll

I’ve been working hard at editing and in some cases rewriting my poems. Maybe I’m regaining my groove!

Unexpected Fleabag Treat

A friend of mine couldn’t make it to the NTLive screening of Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag theatre performance, so I was the lucky recipient of her ticket. I loved the TV series, but I thought the stage show demonstrated the range of her acting talent, as well as her writing talent. She is far more moving, able to switch (you as an audience) from laughter to tears in a few seconds.

A Painting I Thought About for a Year

I visited local artist (and friend of a friend) Inge du Plessis last year at the local art trail and open house. I bought a small portrait of one of my heroines Sophie Scholl, but I couldn’t forget another picture that grabbed my attention that time. It was entitled The Suburbs and reminded me of the books of Richard Yates – the everyday blandness but also darkness and loneliness of life there. This year, I visited again and there were plenty of new paintings, but no sign of The Suburbs. So I asked about it – and it turns out it hadn’t been sold and Inge was thinking of painting over it! Luckily, I rescued it from its ignoble fate and am now the proud owner of it. Taking pictures of painting is very tricky – but I hope you can catch a glimpse of why I fell in love with it.

Discovering Norwich and UEA

I was utterly charmed by the town and the university, despite the grey concrete of the latter. I’m trying not to influence my son, but wouldn’t mind if he went there to study. And, if I do stay in the UK after they leave home, I’m seriously considering moving there!

Iconic architecture, the Ziggurat accommodation seems to be the party hub of the campus.
The Sainsbury’s Centre for Visual Arts is not just a gallery but also Avengers HQ (especially in the earlier films).
Norwich Cathedral is just so beautiful and full of friendly people… and a cathedral cat.
Less Gothic, more Norman – a very interesting interior
Strangers Court, so-called because Norwich provided shelter for refugees from the Low Countries in the 16th century. By the late 1570s, one person in four in Norwich was a refugee who had come into the city within the previous ten years.

Going to the Gym with My Son

My older son and I have signed up with the local gym and are egging each other on. A much-needed break from hunching over books and computers!

22 thoughts on “Friday Fun: 5 Things to Sing About”

  1. You’ve been to Norwich! I’m so sorry I didn’t somehow bump into you and amazingly make friends. I hope your Son does come here. There is so much to discover and be awed by. It is the most wonderful place on earth, history, buildings, stories, everywhere you turn – and then there is all the writing stuff, which, it seems to me, colours every bit of life here. (And UEA has a very high happiness rate, or whatever they call it, among students.)

    1. The literature aspect is the one that tempts me most, I have to admit! And I could see myself still commuting to London a couple of days a week for work, and then working remotely or mostly writing! Good to hear your endorsement – and yes, hope to meet some time! I certainly plan to go back there.

  2. PS We moved here six months ago, after our Son left UEA, as we had utterly fallen in love with it. We came despite not knowing anyone or having jobs or anything practical like that. But it was the best move we have ever made. Do the same!

    1. I didn’t come across it, how could I not have? Although we entered a couple of bookshops… Mind you, we were only there for a few hours on Sunday, hardly enough time to do Norwich full justice.

  3. I am so happy to hear you’re doing poetry again, Marina Sofia! I’m sure it’s feeding your soul. And so is that painting. How nice that you were able to rescue it. It’s funny, too, about the gym. My daughter and I are both gym-goers, and it does give us a point of bonding. It’s a good, healthy habit to pass on, I think.

    1. So lovely to hear that about you and your daughter! I’m not much of a gym fan so it feels funny to go with my son, but so far so good. I used to be a runner but have had too many injuries, and of course skiing can’t be done here at all. I do go Nordic walking but haven’t been able to convince either of my sons to join me.

      1. I’ve just started Nordic Walking. Had my first lesson this week and went out for a practice today. Walked for an hour in a country park among the trees – so much more enjoyable than an hour walking on the treadmill in the gym which is what I would have done otherwise

        1. Good for you! It might get less fun when the weather turns nasty, but I never regret doing it (afterwards). It’s an excellent all body exercise and far less harsh on the joints than running.

  4. I had three Norfolk grandparents and both my parents were born in different villages on either side of the road that runs out of Norwich towards Yarmouth. If you haven’t read Tombland by C. J. Sansom yet you might enjoy it. Set in Norfolk during Kett’s rebellion and with great maps of the city at that time. It’s a series I love.

    1. Constable country, right? You see, I’m more of a fan of mountains, so I was thinking more in terms of Wales and perhaps Hay on Wye. The landscape is the only downside at the moment for me (well, that and the whole Brexit mess).

      1. Last week we went for our summer holidays to the flat, flat Norfolk coast. We walked from west to east in … days and it was absolute bliss. A very happy holiday. No mountains, but, oh, the skies and such a diverse coastline. You’ll see in time! And all set to the backdrop of endless literature set there or written there.

  5. Very nice that you found several things to feel good about. Nice painting. Glad that you are happy doing poetry again. Norwich sounds great with the literary, cultural assets. And, oh, yes, Sophie Scholl, a hero at her young age. I’m tearing up thinking about her principled acts.

  6. I’m glad you’re getting back into the poetry groove. That’s definitely a good thing. I love the painting you share and oh my does Norwich look lovely.

  7. And young women in the Climate Crisis movement, civil rights movement, so many movements. I love looking at photos of the climate change protests with young people in the front.

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