An acronym used by English soldiers in letters to their sweethearts during WWII. Stands for: (k)Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home.

Norwich

Norwich, county town of Norfolk in the United Kingdom. It used to be notable for a chocolate factory, which is long gone, and soon to be redeveloped. The floating aroma, such as I remember it, was pleasant.

But I digress. Here, in inverse order of importance, the ever-so-slightly scattergun guide to Norwich.

Coffee and food

It took a while for Norwich to discover cafe culture, but the scrabble for some sort of cosmopolitan atmosphere, now established, continues apace - in the manner you'd expect of a provincial market city. Star*ucks obviously see Norwich as key to their empire-building stategy, for they've built two outlets within one minutes walk of each other. Genius. Suprisingly close to a fairly nice non-chain sandwich bar as well. Also be warned that the coffee from the outlet on Gentleman's Walk is more often than not foul. Suggestions for avoiding them include:

  • Togo's (down a side street off Gentleman's Walk) for tasty but expensive sandwiches, fairly tasty cheap coffee and being treated like dirt by the woman who runs it. You can't have it all.
  • The Costa a couple of doors down for okayish coffee.
  • Caffe Nero
  • also on Gentleman's Walk lays claim to the accolade of "best espresso outside of Italy". I'd say this is perhaps an exaggeration, but they are tolerable (if expensive) and open late.
  • Cafe Java
  • near the old bus station, serving very good sandwiches and fresh soup with good coffee.

Cinema

Norwich now has a disproportionate number of cinemas for the comparitively modest size of the town. I'm not complaining, you understand (although it would be nice if they didn't all show the same film). On top of the existing scummy Odeon multiplex on the scummy Anglia Square shopping centre, and an ABC cinema on the Price of Wales Road, two new cinemas have been built. A huge UCI multiplex with 14 screens on the new Riverside development (which is shaping up to be very nice indeed). Also, the altogether less impressive (but hilariously named) Ster Century in the Castle Mall in the centre of town. Much better territory is Cinema City, a tiny and fabulous independent cinema in an old theatre, showing mainly arthouse films and old classics.

Music

The usual complement of shops, including Virgin Megastore and HMV as well as a few reasonable independent shops for vinyl junkies (try the little streets near the market). Live music is supplied chiefly at the Waterfront venue and the UEA LCR. There was a fatal stabbing that raised questions as to the competence of security. Still, it's not as bad as all that, and Norwich attracts a fair number of smaller bands on UK tours.

Books

Finally, a new library was opened a year or two ago in the centre of town, on the site of the old one which burned down overnight in August 1994. It's been named The Forum, presumably in some vain attempt to lend the place some gravitas. It is nonetheless quite impressive, especially at night with its big dome lit up.

Transport

Trains are always late, often cancelled, although anyone who has had to rely on the British railway system at any point is likely familiar with this. Semi-regular trains to London via Ipswich, Lowestoft, various anonymous Norfolk towns and, from September 2002, a direct service to Cambridge.

Football

The local team are Norwich City, or the Canaries. I'll leave it to someone better informed to fill in the details, but essentially they were excellent (even beating then-kings of Europe Bayern Munich in the European Cup) until the local villain decided to tighten his sweaty grip on them, sold off all the good players prompting about a rapid and terribly sad fall from grace, for those who care about such things. They have just been promoted, though, so smiles all round.

Essentially a nice place. Could, I suppose, be accused of being a little dull - but generally fun and good for shopping. Things are looking up with several new and planned developments, although the city planners seem to lack any real vision as to what direction Norwich should be headed in.

Norwich. I live in Norwich (Norfolk, UK) too, and I get sick of many people slagging off how meaningless Norwich is to them. Norwich has plenty of good things, it just takes a bit of doing to find them (nice comment about Starbucks in this node -- I can testify, it is true :).

Some of my favourite/most amusing parts of Norwich are:
  • The Castle Museum - It's great, and has lots of swords, skulls, stuffed animals, and has recently been renovated to enhance/expand the exhibits and get decent art displays going
  • The Library - It used to be a horrific, foul building, but it burnt down and has since been replaced by a commercialised spectre that barely represents how it once was. Still, it's got books and stuff in.
  • Elm Hill - A really nice, old part of Norwich with cobbled streets and great Tudor houses
  • The Cathederal - Very large, has a wicked spire and some fantastic building/artwork inside. Definately worth a visit
  • Mojo's - (Sob) An club which used to exist merely to sate myself and my friends' desire to hear good music. A bit of a dump, quite franky, and has since been turned into something else.
  • My house!
  • Cinema City - As mentioned before, Cinema City is probably the best indie cinema I've been to and has a cool cafe/bar attached as well
  • The Arts Centre - Cafe/Bar which has had many music events going on. Has had a number of famous people playing, and they're always doing great jazz gigs and/or jam sessions
Well, that's all I can think of at the moment. Norwich is worth checking out since it does have a lot of scope for a medium/small sized city.

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