Monday, 19 November 2012

Feeling Festive

It's back to normality with a mighty big bump this monday morning after what has been a wonderful weekend. 

Norwich was brilliant.  We left the car at home and opted for a far more relaxing journey by train.  The landscape has changed so much since we visited just a couple of weeks ago.  The trees are holding onto only a handful of leaves, the tree skeletons now clearly visible, winter just around the corner.  I truly adore this time of year.

There are so many wonderful shops in Norwich.  Of course there are the normal shops found in most towns and cities but Norwich also offers a wide range of independent shops hidden down the many pretty little streets and lanes. 

Although the city’s Christmas lights weren’t lit, many shops had dressed their windows in preparation for the festive season.  A veritable festive feast for the eyes!

There are plenty of sweet shops in the city but the best one we found is the one below which, along with stocking an incredible range of sweets in jars as well as lesser know varieties of tasty treats, played the music of The Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller!

One of my favourite shops to visit is the huge department store Jarrold’s, where you are likely to find something for everyone.  Having done battle with the crowds in the toy department we happened upon the haberdashery department and were surprised at how much they had managed to pack into a relatively small space.  I picked up some Christmas ribbons, cream ric rac (something which had proved tricky to track down in an actual real shop and will allow me to finish another 1940's dress) and some pretty buttons.  I have no idea what I’m going to actually use the buttons for but at just 5p each, I couldn’t leave them behind.

We found our way to the Cath Kidston shop and it did not disappoint!  Well, in most part it didn't but I was really disappointed with the quality of the Christmas pudding decorations.  The felt is a lovely colour and the decorations are very pretty but they've used very poor quality felt and the white is so thin that you can see the brown through it.  At £4.50 a time, it's just as cheap to design and make your own pudding.  I'm very pleased I didn't order them online or I'd have been very disappointed!  Anyway, the window display was so pretty, the entire store was actually, with items perfectly placed for maximum product appeal.   

The shop was packed with people.  I bought my knitting bag, and I’m happy to report that it’s plenty big enough for my knitting, tape measure, spare needles, notepad, pencils etc and then some!  It is good quality and the big plus is its waterproof so I can take it on my travels!  I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts before having enough of the  leaving Mr Y in there to do a little shopping himself (once I’d steered him in the general direction of the things I like)! 

Once it got overcrowded, probably due to Norwich playing Manchester United (not the best day to choose to shop) we stopped and did a little people watching.  Although I don’t like to be in the swarming crowd (crowds make me stressed), I do like to step back and watch people go about their general business, shoppers with bustling bags, Christmas shoppers getting a head start and people simply spending time with family and friends. 

On Sunday, as if our tired feet hadn't had enough of walking, we went into Ipswich for their Christmas market where we were re-united with the critters who greeted us with snuggles and tales of a wonderful weekend spent with adoring grandparents.

The market in Ipswich was heaving and far too busy for my liking.  Getting to the stalls proved difficult and taking photographs of anything was nearly impossible. 

There were lots of vintage stalls mixed in among some craft stalls, a nice mix actually.  From a clothing front, there was nothing to my liking, lots of 1980's jumpers and faux fur hats but there were some nice home wares.  One stall had some stylish vintage French enamel items and I stupidly dithered over an enamel roaster so when I went back for a second look it had gone!

I was rather reserved on the purchasing front and only bought 12 Christmas baubles in a little box.  They aren’t 1940’s, but they are vintage and incredibly delicate.  At just £8.00, they had to come home with me.  I also bought another lot of baubles, this time from Paperchase.  I’d never been in before, don’t really know why, but I think, well I know, that I expected them to be ridiculously expensive but I was actually pleasantly surprised and am pleased to say that I was wrong.  They have lots of non-traditional stuff like glass robots and crocodiles (a Christmas crocodile??) but they also stock some vintage inspired pieces which are well worth a look.

Mr Postie was busy while we were away and there were some lovely packages waiting for me on the doormat including a rather tatty copy of issue 6 of Needlewoman Needlecraft magazine (only issues 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 to go now!) and a collection of old black and white photographs that I'll show you properly in a later post.

Our thoroughly enjoyable weekend has put me well and truly in a festive mood, after all, it’s only 36 sleeps until the day!  I suppose I better pull my finger out and get making! :o) 


  1. Have to agree that Norwich was very busy Saturday!! This sweet shop looks great, can you let me know where it is? The christmas baubles are lovely, I do think that glass ones are best, but it is hard to find nice ones. I'm also looking for paper ceiling decorations that we used to have as kids, any ideas? :)

    1. I'm not great on diretions so I'll ask Mr Y when he gets home and I'll update the details in the actual post :o)

      As to paper decorations, depends on what you are actually after but I bought some brightly coloured crepe ceiling decorations from eBay last year, have copied a link to similar ones

      Wilkinsons are also doing some vintage style decorations.
      They are the paper ones that are flat and then you open them up into Christmas tree's and snowflakes. Hard to explain but they're lovely.

  2. Looks like a lovely weekend :) x