Wouldn't you though?
We're full of the joys of Spring here at Muddy. Why, you ask? We've spritzed the office and everyone in it with this zingy, sunshiny, delicious new fragrance from natural beauty brand Neom
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What is it about nostalgia that gets us all warm and fuzzy inside? Take the humble milk bottle: this simple glass item – once delivered direct to our door by milk float – was topped with red tinfoil for skimmed milk and blue for full fat.
One thumb imprint and you were in, a glug of cream covering the milk which my mum used to save to make trifles on a Sunday.
Anything that harks back to the ‘good old days’ is popular right now and these ceramic kitchen aids from fellow Brit Claire Loves are sure to be a hit.
Only London attracts the best bands and County folk have to travel to the capital to see them (or make do with cheesy tribute versions) – right?
Not if you live in Norwich. This tiny city in the middle of nowhere (seriously, have a look at a map, it’s out on its lonesome) attracts top name bands to all its venues without having to beg.
Just last week I was looking for someone to see and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Richard Hawley and Turin Breaks were all billed to play that week, while Cat Empire and Joan as Police Woman were packing their bags ready to be Norwich bound.
It has to be said that duvets are pretty boring things. Warming, yes; essential in the winter, yes, but pretty dull to look at. Perhaps that’s why we wrap them in pretty covers to match our bedrooms.
But it wasn’t always like this – pretty eiderdowns once adorned the beds of the rich and famous, with a blend of silk material and goose or duck down. Thanks to a vintage revival (coupled with our love of Downton Abbey), eiderdowns are back in popularity.
One of the best things about writing Muddy is the hotel stays – and boy are there some amazing places to bed down for the night in Norfolk, so many that it would be prudent to keep an overnight bag continually packed and by my front door (it’s a tough job…).
But it’s admittedly hard to prepare you for an overnight stay in a windmill. Will it be cold, dark… noisy? Will I see Windy Miller, be able buy flour or get vertigo?
I don’t mind admitting to being the wrong side of 40 (no, really!), mainly because I’m lucky enough to have fairly good genes – mum: if you’re reading this, flowers are always happily received! But even good genes won’t hide the early morning wake-up call of kids (louder than a Rooster I tell you), the stress of full-time work and the amount of wine that goes down due to the stress full-time work. Oh, and, obviously, the natural ageing process.
One of my favourite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is go for a roast. You could say I’m a bit of a fanatic, happily comparing a new spot to the one last week or the week before (the meat was better quality, but how hard is it to make your own Yorkshire puddings? etc). And the best place to eat a roast (other than at your mum’s perhaps) is definitely a Georgian beauty in a quaint market town.
I’m always excited when a new shop opens in Norfolk, particularly when it’s independent and right on the money – new London-based ventures often closing before they really get going, priced out by chains willing to pay extortionate rents.
In Norwich, competitive rents and an arty bunch of locals – Norwich University of the Arts is one of the best in the country for Design, Arts and Media – ensures some longevity for inventive folk keen to start a new business.
Let’s face it: taking kids out for the day is often a selfless task with little enjoyment for parents (who can say they honestly enjoy pulling over-excited children out of a ball pit or mopping up gloopy chocolate ice-cream?). So when I come across something that is fun for both parties, I do a little internal dance before telling everyone I know – parents or otherwise.
Wroxham Barns is one of those rare finds that makes everyone happy, with its crafty emporium (parents), crazy golf (kids), deli (parents), mini train (kids), restaurant (parents), junior farm (kids) and café (both).
It’s always a pleasure to join the buzz when a tired, old – and frankly rough – pub gets revamped, attracts a new crowd and generally causes some local excitement.
Located in one of Norwich’s most popular areas, and sitting smugly in an oversized handsome redbrick Victorian (with a car park and a large beer garden to boot), the Black Horse Inn has a head start on many other pubs in the neighbourhood (of which there are over 30).
If, like me, the thought of a wet, muddy walk up and down hills isn’t a great way to spend a Sunday (a little *too* much mud on those stilettos you see), consider whether a flat, coastal walk would be more enticing.
For starters, walking alongside a beach doesn’t tend to be muddy, plus it’s, er, flat which would make you less out of breathe. And there’s nothing quite like a sea breeze to blow away the cobwebs and make you feel energised.