Lofty Pretentions

After viewings that ranged from the dreary to the dreadful, we found our Norwich city centre loft in appropriately named Queen’s Street. It’s a newly converted top-floor, top drawer flat with skylights, down lights and grey appliances with real feel-appeal. Yes, we are that shallow. The apartment is above a trendy bar with a student clientele. We’d rather hoped it would be a seedy clip joint to cement the sanitised neo-Bohemian garret theme we were looking for. Back at the letting agents, we paid our fee for our credit assessment. Without being prompted, the nice young man processed our application as a married couple which gave us a bit of a discount.

On the last evening of our exploratory week, we celebrated our continued good fortune at the Premier Inn restaurant where the fare was surprisingly good and wine surprisingly fine. As we raised our glasses, we watched the smart suits with smart phones file in two by two. It sent a visible shudder down Liam’s spine as he was rudely reminded of his old laboured life. “Never again,” he muttered. Our young waiter was a busy walker who darted about dispensing friendly but unobtrusive service to his charges. Now we’ve left Turkish airspace, my gaydar is fully-functional and we exchanged sly we-both-know-what-we-are glances. At the end of his shift, he joined us for a large glass of red and a little casual conversation. He’d recently moved from Devon to Norwich to be with his new partner and gave us the low down on the low life of the Norwich gay scene. Apparently, times were tough when he first got off the bus. It took him three months to find a job. He said:

“I was the assistant manager of a motorway service station. It had a Burger King and a Costa Coffee. I was trained in both. They said I was over-qualified.”

26 thoughts on “Lofty Pretentions

  1. Jack

    I am intrigued with your rapid exit from Turkey. A liitle bird tells me that this was not part of your original masterplan. Perhaps PTP touched a few raw nerves with the locals?
    And Norwich may be lovely but why there after London and Bodrum. London Bodrum Norwich. I ask where next do you escape to?


    1. It wasn’t the plan when we moved to Turkey but then neither were the blog or the book. I did rattle a few cages. Ironically, though, the more I wrote the more popular I became. The reasons we decided to return to England at this time are best explained in the following post The reason we chose Norwich is financial and its relative proximity to north London where Liam’s folks live. It’s also got a lively arts scene which is something we’ve missed. After Norwich? Who knows?


  2. Jack, you and Liam can go where the wind blows… We may ourselves be upping sticks at some point – although that wasn’t in the “plan” either. I think Norwich sounds great. London is not the center of the universe, as I keep telling our darling son (he disagrees, but then he lives there, and he is still young…) The loft looks COOL. And grey appliances are cool, too!! 🙂


    1. If I was your son’s age, I would want to be in the Smoke too but now we’re approaching our dotage, I think the provincial calm of Norwich will suit us just fine.


  3. Nothing is forever, and nothing is written in stone ,life is a journey not a destination .Bet you would like a pound every time someone said “Why Turkey ” and now your back they say ” Why have you come back ” .
    Nice looking pad by the way ,


  4. “It’s also got a lively arts scene which is something we’ve missed”
    Shame on you Jack! Bodrum has a plethora of art! What about the annual classical music festivals at Gumusluk and Turgutreis – some of the world’s best orchestras participate? What about the annual Ballet Festival held in the castle grounds with some of the world”s best dance companies? What about the cosy piano and quartet recitals held at the Marmaris college in Ortakent – with free entry? What about the pop and traditional music concerts held in the antique ampitheatre? What about the art exhibitions in Yalikavak and Geris?

    There is always loads happening on the peninsula – just too hot to make the effort to get there!! 😛 40 degrees in the shade today!!!


      1. Jose Carreras next month??
        Ferhat last week??
        Rhianna at Turgutreis next week??
        Mind You – no Stone Roses or Status Quo?
        Hope you enjoy your new place – it looks fab!


      2. Now, now calm down. I mean modern dance and theatre not tired old has beens in a car park in Turgutries. We lost the loft, by the way. More on this later x


    1. A difficult one, Tina. Comparing Bodrum culture with that of Norwich is a bit like comparing chalk and cheese. Bodrum attracts some good acts for the various festivals (Jack and I have saw many of them), but the cultural/arts scene, fascinating and welcome though it is (and it’s growing) was never enough to satisfy this music/dance-hungry resident. I missed regular world-class theatre, opera, contemporary dance, politically-challenging drama, student shows, English National Ballet, innovative art galleries and the general excitement of a liberal and progressive cultural scene. Many European cities have all of this in abundance, every week of the year. Bodrum offers something completely different (including sunshine and alfresco living!) but I think it’s a bit daft to compare it culturally with the likes of Norwich. It’s not a competition. They’re completely different. And surely, it’s okay to say one place does something better than another?

      P.S. At the moment, I’d say Bodrum is running away with the best sunshine award 😦


      1. maybe but I just thought it was a shame to suggest Bodrum was culturally bereft. If I am honest, I never had the time in England to pursue culture and it is wonderful that I find here at such wonderful prices and along with the sunshine. As the saying goes – you can’t (usually) have everything. I look forward to hearing about your events and the culture I am missing.
        Sorry to hear you lost the apartment but I am sure this is karma and a better one will come along.


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