Weeks ago, I arranged to visit my friend who moved away last summer. Sometimes being organised is a gift to your future self, as it can turn out that you’ve arranged good things for just when you need them most. Yesterday I took a trip on the A11 to Norwich, which was enjoyable not just because I got to visit a city I’d never been to before (not being of these East Anglian parts, I’d not yet made it much past Thetford, Norfolk-wise), but also because I drove through the rain in Suffolk to a beautiful day, listening to music on my car stereo at a volume which is probably not sensible. More pleasurable than all of that, of course, was that I got to see my friend. At one point we did talk about eyelashes, but in the main we only spoke about the things that really matter and that’s why I love her – she’s just not superficial. We joked about funerals, and cancer, and not being able to believe it when someone you love has died, and therapy and panic attacks. You know, all the good stuff. At points I had tears in my eyes, and so did she. That’s a real conversation, and real friendship. I also know that, in her own words, she won’t blow smoke up my arse, and she will tell it to me straight, and that’s friendship too.
We went to Cafe Britannia for brunch, which is a really lovely place and I was delighted that she knew I’d love it for our girl-date. In converted barracks, it’s got that shabby-chic Keep Calm and Carry On retro vibe, and is utterly unpretentious. It’s staffed by low-risk prisoners, which is obviously A Good Thing, in both the cafe and the shop. The menu was unfussy, but with plenty of choice, and the breakfast I ate was good and not too pricey. Thirdly, the views over Norwich were spectacular.