Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Would You Like A Carrier Bag With That?

This isn't an eco-post, this is a post about my soon-to-be, fabulous (yet budget- PremierInn special offer, natch) pre-Christmas weekend in Norwich. The title is a tribute to the serving lady at the student supermarket at 'The UEA' in the mid 90s.

My, but she loved carrier bags- in spite of the green soc's attempt to put them under the counter and encourage students to use their own. Hence the casual enquiry becoming more than a little militant. It kinda reminded me of Mrs Doyle from Father Ted:

You'd get more than a little pressure when you popped in for your lunch.
'...and would you like a carrier bag with that?'
'No thanks.'
'Would you like a carrier bag?'
'I've only bought a Mars Bar.'
'Carrier bag with that?'
'No, no thanks...'
...and so on and so forth.

In the end I just gave up and collected the bags.

But pardon moi, I have forgotten that for most readers, the question will be 'will you have an explanation with that?', as they'll be wondering whether this UEA is an international spy ring or love cult or something. Well, it's a little bit from column A, and a little bit from column B. Additionally, it's my favourite University (having popped by several over the years).

It's a strange place, half parkland, half concrete block. Internationally renowned for its teaching and research into the written word- The Harold Pinter Centre is based there- it's the only university that deliberately chose local dialect for its motto: Do Different (how apt). Typical UEA attitude there, you see. Various famouse alumni include Matt Smith (AKA Dr Who), Paul Whitehouse and Gareth Malone (that guy who does TV shows about getting little boys to sing and enjoy school as if it's rocket science- some of us have been doing for the last 12 years without making a literal song and dance... actually, joke aside, a really decent guy) and not forgetting Johnny Briggs; famous prior to attending UEA but fondly remembered nonetheless by 80s TV fans.

But I digress, this post is in eager anticipation of shopping and frolics this year and not a carrier bag in sight (except ones from nice clothing and present shops).

First off I'd like to thank Retro Chick for her excellent shopping guide to Norwich; click here to view it. We're looking forward to hitting Prim, the antique markets and Poppy Valentine- Sir Florizel is as keen as I (indeed more so) and I anticipate that most of the afternoon will be spent with me sat on the shopping in a fug, watching him try on tweedy jackets and rugged fairisles, pining for the Unthank Arms and a good pint of Anglian cider.

Following that we're off to the annual Christmas LCR. We met at such an event many, many, many years ago and have decided to celebrate our (eventual) marriage by going back to a special reunion version!

So, what is The LCR?

On the surface, it's this:

A concrete building on a 1960s universite campus, hosting gigs from mid sized and cult bands/DJs and a range of reasonably priced club nights.

'The' LCR, and specifically 'The' Christmas LCR, as any alumni of my generation will tell you, was a wonderous event that any connoisseur of sophisticated evening entertainment would be a fool to miss. With a music policy that encompassed all contemporary and retro genres (in no particular order)- including the genre of 'freakin' awful'- and drinks prices that are no longer legal (I kid you not), these nights were the stuff of legends. I've managed to select a couple of photos of my ole' buddies and me from the archives that won't get me locked up/canned from my job/shunned by all good society. Check out the 90s clothes- 'SHABBA'

In the 90s, denim was in...

If only I'd thought 'wear a timeless black dress' in all 90s photos...DRAT

Horribly, I think that with our advancing years and more responsible attitudes to drink pricing and decibel levels, the night won't live up to all I can remember from the 90s... and strangely, I can remember a lot!

Ah well, at least we won't be in his-n-hers matching outfits. That's a rather disturbing aspect I didn't recall until I dug out those photos (I appear to do a lot of 'girl-band-match-your-buddies' dressing. Maybe it's like the decorators and you sychronise with your flatmates after a while...?). I'm hoping to fritter away my Christmas pay on one of these beauts at Poppy Valentine (these are handmade dresses using rare and vintage fabrics, eeek-with-excitement):

'Curious Lily'

'Doris Day' Dress
...but if I don't find anything I fancy, I might just dig out my old 90s LBD and see if it still fits! ;)


  1. that orangey pink dress is so divine! you should wear that! =)

  2. So jealous of you and Retrochick living in Norwich close to Poppy Valentine. I really need to visit that store one day.
    Love the Father Ted clip, such a classic, go on, go oooooon go on, go on!! :D

  3. Alas I am now only a holiday visitor to Norwich but I love that city! I agree, can't beat a bit of Father Ted. ;)

  4. ah the UEA campus, it's quite eerie when you walk through it when no students are there. I love the second dress, that is so cute.

  5. but then I should also add I love the animal print. I jut adore animal print.

  6. In the end I got a bright red one (in the Doris Day style). Very Christmassy!

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