Autumn Break, Last Part: Walking the Past

‘I don’t know how you managed to find your way around,’ says Ma, ‘I would have been lost!’. We’re at my old university, UEA, making our way up from the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts through the campus, retracing a little of my past. I seem to remember my eighteen-year-old self was quite baffled by the concrete maze I found myself in too! First year students were accommodated at Fifers Lane, a former barracks at RAF Horsham St Faith, a bus ride away from the main camp. A mist, shrouding the place for most of my first week, only added to the sense of isolation, as did the trek to the nearest payphone to ring home. My worldly goods fitted in one small trunk and cooking and laundry (also involving a long and often rainy trek) were more logistical nightmares to overcome.

UEA’s celebrating its fiftieth anniversary and although my memories feel as they belong to another life-time, it isn’t actually fifty years since I enrolled there! Even so there are changes; accommodation blocks have come and gone - though not the iconic ziggurats of Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace - and the brutal concrete is softened now by climbing plants and tall trees. It’s not just the exterior of the buildings that are looking greener either; it makes me smile to see a house-plant sale doing a roaring trade. Not quite what I would have imagined in my day!

Power to the pot plant!

Our East Anglia adventures conclude with a crab sandwich in Cromer and a slow drive back through Cambridge, stopping off to visit Stepson Two's former college, Fitzwilliam.  The weather's been kind to us all week; we've barely seen a drop of rain and - even better - very little blood!

Proving that Ma survived more or less unscathed.


Jan Brigden said…
What a lovely trip down memory lane! I so enjoy your posts, Chris. Great photos too. That one of you and your Mum is adorable :) xx
Mandy K James said…
Apart from your initial setbacks a lovely time was had by all. Great post and photos, Chris! And I have a thing for crab sandwiches at the moment!
Jane Lovering said…
Oh it all looks so lovely, even the concrete, you have made me quite pine for my university days... Nope, it's all right, I've stopped now.

Glad you had a nice break, even given the occasional emergencies, and that you managed to fit in sight-seeing as well!
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks for sticking with me, Jan. Glad you enjoyed it! x

I can see why, Mandy! You live in a cracking spot for them. And thank you, GC! x

Like you, Jane, I stopped pining for mine as soon as thought about all the walking I did in the wet and cold, usually weighed down by vegetables from the market, laundry or books!
Cait O'Connor said…
Lovely mother and daughter pic, you both look soooo young!
Chris Stovell said…
Cait, I always liked you, you know :)
Thanks for stopping by. x
Frances said…
Chris, you are a sweetie to give us a Home Thoughts Weekly dividend with this sunshiny post. I love the photo of you and your Mom, with your wonderful smiles. (Did Tom take that photo?)

And...any news on the boat front?

Pondside said…
That photo of your and your mother is a keeper, for certain. I'm glad there was no blood - just sunshine, this time!
Fennie said…
Keep tight hold of her now!
Chris Stovell said…
Frances, you are a sweetie to say so! Tom took the photo, yes. And the boat? Well, still a thought in process, but will require more book sales!!x

Pondside, thank you - it did come out well, didn't it?! x

Chris Stovell said…
Fennie, someone did point out that there's a big drop behind us and it looks as if Ma and I are very close to it!!
Flowerpot said…
Lovely memories Chris and a lovely picture of you and your mum!

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